Volume 516 Number 7531


Spin cycle p.287

Pressures in all stages of the news-making process can lead to hype in science reporting.

doi: 10.1038/516287b

Keep asking the question p.287

Scientists must push to preserve a small part of a large US survey that provides essential information on the ever-changing scientific workforce.

doi: 10.1038/516287a

Honest brokers p.288

Climate negotiations in Lima stumbled on transparency, but there is time to adjust.

doi: 10.1038/516288a


Ebola threatens a way of life p.295

A front-line report from Sierra Leone examines efforts to change hearts and minds in West Africa’s villages.

doi: 10.1038/516295a

Bird family tree is in fine feather p.297

Birds get fresh perches in revamped tree of life built by vast collaboration.

doi: 10.1038/516297a

Putin’s Russia divides scientists p.298

Are geopolitical tensions destroying important links with the West, or can Russian research go it alone?

doi: 10.1038/516298a

365 days: 2014 in review p.300

Comets, stem cells and cosmic dust are among the year's top stories.

doi: 10.1038/516300a

365 days: Images of the year p.304

Eruptions, comets and a see-through mouse all captured the imagination in 2014.

doi: 10.1038/516304a

News Features

365 days: Nature’s 10 p.311

Ten people who mattered this year.

doi: 10.1038/516311a

News & Views

Organic synthesis: Better chemistry through radicals p.332

An iron catalyst has been developed that mediates bond formation between a wide range of alkene reactants, opening up short synthetic routes to compounds that were previously accessible only through arduous pathways. See Article p.343

doi: 10.1038/516332a

Synthetic biology: Toehold gene switches make big footprints p.333

The development of RNA-based devices called toehold switches that regulate translation might usher in an era in which protein production can be linked to almost any RNA input and provide precise, low-cost diagnostics.

doi: 10.1038/516333a

Malaria: How vector mosquitoes beat the heat p.334

Intensive longitudinal sampling of malaria mosquitoes in the African semi-desert reveals that three morphologically indistinguishable species have distinctive strategies for surviving the dry season.

doi: 10.1038/nature14073

Conservation: Mind the gaps p.336

New analysis reveals the conservation gains that could be achieved by expanding the global network of protected areas — but also how this may be undermined by land-use change and a lack of international coordination. See Letter p.383

doi: 10.1038/516336a

Materials science: Two steps for a magnetoelectric switch p.337

Magnetoelectric materials allow magnetism to be controlled by an electric field. The discovery of an indirect path for switching electrical polarization in one such material brings this idea close to practical use. See Letter p.370

doi: 10.1038/516337a

Influenza: An RNA-synthesizing machine p.338

Crystal structures of the complete RNA polymerases from influenza A and B viruses provide insight into how these enzymes initiate RNA synthesis, and reveal targets for antiviral drug design. See Articles p.355 & p.361

doi: 10.1038/516338a

2014 Editors' choice p.340

Extracts from selected News & Views articles published this year.

doi: 10.1038/516340a


Functionalized olefin cross-coupling to construct carbon–carbon bonds p.343

Highly substituted carbon–carbon bonds are constructed using a simple iron catalyst and an inexpensive silane: more than 60 examples of this reaction — in which heteroatom-substituted olefins are reacted with electron-deficient olefins — are presented.

doi: 10.1038/nature14006

An AUTS2–Polycomb complex activates gene expression in the CNS p.349

Polycomb group proteins are known to maintain gene repression during development; however, when autism susceptibility candidate 2 (AUTS2) associates with some Polycomb group complexes, these complexes have an unexpected gene activation role, offering new insight into the role of AUTS2 in neurological disorders.

doi: 10.1038/nature13921

Structure of influenza A polymerase bound to the viral RNA promoter p.355

The crystal structure of the bat-specific influenza A polymerase in complex with the viral RNA promoter is presented, revealing how binding of the 5′ end of the viral RNA is required to activate or enhance the polymerase allosterically.

doi: 10.1038/nature14008

Structural insight into cap-snatching and RNA synthesis by influenza polymerase p.361

Atomic resolution crystal structures of influenza A and B polymerases are presented; comparison of these structures provides mechanistic insight into influenza polymerase functions, explaining the processes of cap-snatching and cap-dependent priming, which are unique to segmented negative-strand RNA viruses.

doi: 10.1038/nature14009


The exclusion of a significant range of ages in a massive star cluster p.367

Hubble Space Telescope observations of the stellar cluster NGC 1651, which is approximately two billion years old, show that the colour–brightness distribution of stars old enough to have left the main sequence can be explained only by a single-age population, despite having a feature usually interpreted to indicate an age spread of more than 300 million years.

doi: 10.1038/nature13969

Deterministic switching of ferromagnetism at room temperature using an electric field p.370

Multiferroic devices that can switch magnetization with electric field at room temperature are desirable, but in BiFeO3 the required direct 180-degree switch is thermodynamically forbidden; here it is shown that such switching is possible because the kinetics of the switching process favours a two-step sequence of partial switching.

doi: 10.1038/nature14004

Reconstruction and control of a time-dependent two-electron wave packet p.374

The dynamics of two correlated electrons can be reconstructed from the quantum interference of low-lying doubly excited states in helium, as observed in attosecond transient-absorption spectra, and can be controlled by tuning the interaction with a visible laser field of variable intensity.

doi: 10.1038/nature14026

The contribution of the Precambrian continental lithosphere to global H2 production p.379

The production of hydrogen gas from the Precambrian continental lithosphere has been underestimated; taking into account hydrogen from serpentinization and radiolysis may double estimates previously based on marine systems alone.

doi: 10.1038/nature14017

Global protected area expansion is compromised by projected land-use and parochialism p.383

Internationally coordinated expansion of the global protected area network to 17% could triple the average protection of species ranges and ecoregions; if projected land-use changes and consequent habitat loss until 2040 occur, currently feasible protection levels will not be achievable, and more than 1,000 threatened species face reductions in the range of over 50%.

doi: 10.1038/nature14032

Signatures of aestivation and migration in Sahelian malaria mosquito populations p.387

Malaria-carrying mosquitoes nearly disappear in the dry season, yet they reappear suddenly following the first rains; using surveys of mosquito densities, the authors characterize the population dynamics of the three main vector species and use these to infer persistence by long-distance migration in two species and aestivation in the third.

doi: 10.1038/nature13987

A relative shift in cloacal location repositions external genitalia in amniote evolution p.391

It has been known for some time that limbs share at least some of their molecular patterning mechanism with external genitalia; here, this connection is examined in a variety of species, revealing that once-shared developmental trajectories could help to explain the observed patterning similarities.

doi: 10.1038/nature13819

Adenosine activates brown adipose tissue and recruits beige adipocytes via A2A receptors p.395

Cold exposure activates brown adipose tissue (BAT) through the sympathetic nervous system, and previous studies have reported inhibitory effects of the purinergic transmitter adenosine in BAT from hamster or rat; here adenosine/A2A signalling is shown to be involved in sympathetic activation of human and murine brown adipocytes to allow protection of mice from diet-induced obesity.

doi: 10.1038/nature13816

Modelling human development and disease in pluripotent stem-cell-derived gastric organoids p.400

The in vitro generation, from pluripotent stem cells, of three-dimensional human gastric organoids (hGOs) that contain a physiological gastric epithelium comprising both progenitor and differentiated cell types, and have expected functional characteristics is described, as is modelling the pathophysiological response of the human stomach to Helicobacter pylori using these hGOs.

doi: 10.1038/nature13863

Primate-specific endogenous retrovirus-driven transcription defines naive-like stem cells p.405

An extensive analysis of HERVH (a primate-specific endogenous retrovirus) expression in human pluripotent stem cells is presented, identifying a sub-population of cells within cultured human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells that has characteristics of naive-state cells — the study provides evidence for a new primate-specific transcriptional circuitry regulating pluripotency.

doi: 10.1038/nature13804

Protein quality control at the inner nuclear membrane p.410

A protein degradation pathway is found at the inner nuclear membrane that is distinct from, but complementary to, endoplasmic-reticulum-associated protein degradation, and which is mediated by the Asi protein complex; a genome-wide library screening of yeast identifies more than 20 substrates of this pathway, which is shown to target mislocalized integral membrane proteins for degradation.

doi: 10.1038/nature14096

Mitochondrial UPR-regulated innate immunity provides resistance to pathogen infection p.414

A link between an intracellular stress response, bacterial infection and triggering of the innate immune response is shown in Caenorhabditis elegant; exposure to the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa caused activation of the transcription factor ATFS-1 and innate immunity that is regulated by the mitochondrial unfolded protein response.

doi: 10.1038/nature13818

Rapid development of broadly influenza neutralizing antibodies through redundant mutations p.418

The main pathway of somatic mutations leading to the generation of high affinity broadly neutralizing antibodies against the influenza haemagglutinin stem is defined.

doi: 10.1038/nature13764

In vivo engineering of oncogenic chromosomal rearrangements with the CRISPR/Cas9 system p.423

The CRISPR/Cas system has been used to induce the Eml4–Alk chromosomal inversion in mice, a characteristic chromosomal rearrangement seen in human non-small cell lung cancers; the mice developed lung cancer and responded to the ALK inhibitor crizotinib, which is used to treat lung cancer patients with the EML4–ALK rearrangement; this general strategy can be used to engineer other disease-associated chromosomal rearrangements in mice and potentially in other organisms.

doi: 10.1038/nature13902

Rapid modelling of cooperating genetic events in cancer through somatic genome editing p.428

The CRISPR/Cas system has been used in mice for genome editing to introduce genetic alterations found in human lung tumours, and these genome modifications resulted in mouse lung tumours showing different histopathologies depending on the genes altered; the CRISPR/Cas system offers improved and faster ways to create animal models of human diseases such as cancer.

doi: 10.1038/nature13906

Cohesin-dependent globules and heterochromatin shape 3D genome architecture in S. pombe p.432

Genome-wide chromatin conformation capture (Hi-C) is used to investigate three-dimensional genome organization in Schizosaccharomyces bombe; small domains of chromatin interact locally on chromosome arms to form globules, which depend on cohesin but not heterochromatin for formation, and heterochromatin at centromeres and telomeres provides crucial structural constraints to shape genome architecture.

doi: 10.1038/nature13833

R-loops induce repressive chromatin marks over mammalian gene terminators p.436

R-loops, which have been considered to be rare and potentially harmful transcriptional by-products, are now shown to be needed for antisense transcription and to induce repressive chromatin marks that reinforce pausing of transcription and thereby enhance its termination.

doi: 10.1038/nature13787

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