All that glitters p.131

A review of the United Kingdom’s progress towards ‘gold’ open-access research is instructive — for funders, publishers and scientists both at home and abroad.

doi: 10.1038/520131a

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Seeds of change p.131

The European Union faces a fresh battle over next-generation plant-breeding techniques.

doi: 10.1038/520131b

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Lunar affairs p.132

A study in Nature adds a dramatic twist to the backstory of a neighbour we thought we knew.

doi: 10.1038/520132a

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Race to stamp out animal plague begins p.139

Killer disease that is scourge of world’s poorest ruminant farmers is ripe for elimination.

doi: 10.1038/520139a

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Climatologists to physicists: your planet needs you p.140

Climate scientists highlight cloud mysteries in a bid to compete with astronomy and cosmology.

doi: 10.1038/520140a

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Synthetic biologists seek standards for nascent field p.141

Common language and methods are needed to fulfil biofactory dream.

doi: 10.1038/520141a

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African hub set up to boost research autonomy p.142

Fledgling alliance will manage international grants and develop science strategy.

doi: 10.1038/520142a

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News Features


The future of the postdoc p.144


doi: 10.1038/520144a

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Materials science: The hole story p.148


doi: 10.1038/520148a

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News & Views


Cardiology: Race for healthy hearts p.160


doi: 10.1038/nature14379

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Planetary science: Prebiotic chemistry on the rocks p.161


doi: 10.1038/520161a

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Molecular biology: RNA interference hangs by a thread p.162


doi: 10.1038/nature14376

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Materials science: Unique wrinkles as identity tags p.164


doi: 10.1038/nature14380

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Metabolism: Growth in the fat lane p.165


doi: 10.1038/nature14375

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Nuclear chemistry: Lawrencium bridges a knowledge gap p.166


doi: 10.1038/520166a

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Neuroscience: Binge drinking and brain stress systems p.168


doi: 10.1038/520168a

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Solar System: An incredible likeness of being p.169


doi: 10.1038/520169a

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Climate change and the permafrost carbon feedback p.171

A large amount of organic carbon stored in frozen Arctic soils (permafrost) could be released as carbon dioxide and methane in a warming climate, which would accelerate the pace of climate change; this review suggests that release of greenhouse gas emissions will be gradual but prolonged.

doi: 10.1038/nature14338

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Branch-specific dendritic Ca2+ spikes cause persistent synaptic plasticity p.180

Ca2+ spikes are generated on different dendritic branches in the primary motor cortex of mice performing different motor learning tasks, causing long-lasting potentiation of postsynaptic dendritic spines; inactivation of a population of interneurons disrupts the spatial separation of Ca2+ spikes and persistent dendritic spine potentiation, suggesting that the generation of Ca2+ spikes on different dendritic branches is crucial for storing information in individual neurons.

doi: 10.1038/nature14251

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生物工学:黄色ブドウ球菌のCas9を用いたin vivoでのゲノム編集

In vivo genome editing using Staphylococcus aureus Cas9 p.186

The physical size of the commonly used Cas9 from Streptococcus pyogenes poses challenges for CRISPR-Cas genome editing systems that use the adeno-associated virus as a delivery vehicle; here, smaller Cas9 orthologues are characterized, and Cas9 from Staphylococcus aureus allowed targeting of the cholesterol regulatory gene Pcsk9 in the mouse liver.

doi: 10.1038/nature14299

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Fatty acid carbon is essential for dNTP synthesis in endothelial cells p.192

This study identifies a crucial role for fatty acid oxidation (FAO) in endothelial cells during angiogenesis, and reveals that fatty-acid-derived carbons are used for the de novo synthesis of nucleotides, and hence FAO stimulates vessel sprouting by increasing endothelial cell proliferation.

doi: 10.1038/nature14362

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The comet-like composition of a protoplanetary disk as revealed by complex cyanides p.198

The detection of complex cyanides in the protoplanetary disk around the young star MWC 480, and the similarity of their abundance ratios to those found in comets, implies that the rich organic chemistry of our solar nebula was not unique.

doi: 10.1038/nature14276

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Saturn’s fast spin determined from its gravitational field and oblateness p.202

The alignment of Saturn’s magnetic pole with its rotation axis precludes the use of magnetic field measurements to determine its rotation period. The period was previously determined from radio measurements by the Voyager spacecraft to be 10 h 39 min 22.4 s (ref. 2). When the Cassini spacecraft measured a period of 10 h 47 min 6 s, which was additionally found to change between sequential measurements, it became clear that the radio period could not be used to determine the bulk planetary rotation period. Estimates based upon Saturn’s measured wind fields have increased the uncertainty even more, giving numbers smaller than the Voyager rotation period, and at present Saturn’s rotation period is thought to be between 10 h 32 min and 10 h 47 min, which is unsatisfactory for such a fundamental property. Here we report a period of 10 h 32 min 45 s ± 46 s, based upon an optimization approach using Saturn’s measured gravitational field and limits on the observed shape and possible internal density profiles. Moreover, even when solely using the constraints from its gravitational field, the rotation period can be inferred with a precision of several minutes. To validate our method, we applied the same procedure to Jupiter and correctly recovered its well-known rotation period.

doi: 10.1038/nature14278

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Four-wave mixing experiments with extreme ultraviolet transient gratings p.205

Four-wave mixing processes are achieved at suboptical wavelengths by using a free-electron laser as a source to generate extreme ultraviolet pulses that produce transient gratings.

doi: 10.1038/nature14341

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Measurement of the first ionization potential of lawrencium, element 103 p.209

Lawrencium, with atomic number 103, has an isotope with a half-life of 27 seconds; even so, its first ionization potential has now been measured on an atom-at-a-time scale and agrees well with state-of-the-art theoretical calculations that include relativistic effects.

doi: 10.1038/nature14342

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A primordial origin for the compositional similarity between the Earth and the Moon p.212

The Moon is thought to have formed mainly from a giant impactor striking the Earth but it has seemed odd that the Earth and its impactor (and hence the Moon) had such similar compositions; here simulations of planetary accretion show that although the different planets have distinct compositions, the composition of each giant impactor is indeed often very similar to that of the planet it strikes.

doi: 10.1038/nature14333

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Levantine cranium from Manot Cave (Israel) foreshadows the first European modern humans p.216

A partial skull from northern Israel dated to be from around 55,000 years ago sheds light on a crucial but little-known period of prehistory: the spread of anatomically modern humans from Africa.

doi: 10.1038/nature14134

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Distinct relationships of parietal and prefrontal cortices to evidence accumulation p.220

A method to measure the precise relationship between neuronal firing rates and the representation of accumulated evidence is described; results in the parietal and prefrontal cortex of rats, together with transient optogenetic inactivation of the prefrontal cortex, challenge the prevailing view that the prefrontal cortex is part of the neural circuit for accumulating evidence, and suggest that neurons in parietal and prefrontal areas have distinct relationships to evidence accumulation in decision-making.

doi: 10.1038/nature14066

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Common genetic variants influence human subcortical brain structures p.224

Genome-wide association studies are used to identify common genetic variants that affect the structure of selected subcortical regions of the human brain; their identification provides insight into the causes of variability in brain development and may help to determine mechanisms of neuropsychiatric dysfunction.

doi: 10.1038/nature14101

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The maternal-age-associated risk of congenital heart disease is modifiable p.230

Increased maternal age is known to increase the risk of congenital heart disease in offspring; here, this link is investigated by transplanting ovaries between young and old mice, revealing that the maternal-age-associated risk is independent of the age of the ovaries but depends on the age of the mother, and that this risk can be mitigated by maternal genetic background or exercise.

doi: 10.1038/nature14361

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Repeated ER–endosome contacts promote endosome translocation and neurite outgrowth p.234

Repeated contacts between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and a subset of endosomes called late endosomes (LEs) is shown to promote microtubule-dependent translocation of LEs to the cell periphery and their subsequent fusion with the plasma membrane to induce outgrowth of neuronal protrusions.

doi: 10.1038/nature14359

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EZH2 inhibition sensitizes BRG1 and EGFR mutant lung tumours to TopoII inhibitors p.239

A subset of lung cancer cells with EGFR or BRG1 mutations shows selective sensitivity to a combination of EZH2 inhibitors with topoisomerase II inhibitors such as the commonly used chemotherapeutic drug etoposide.

doi: 10.1038/nature14122

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Genomic profiling of DNA methyltransferases reveals a role for DNMT3B in genic methylation p.243

Genome-wide localization and activity analysis of the de novo DNA methyltransferases DNMT3A and DNMT3B in mouse embryonic stem cells identifies overlapping and individual targeting preferences to the genome, including a role for DNMT3B in gene body methylation.

doi: 10.1038/nature14176

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The Paf1 complex represses small-RNA-mediated epigenetic gene silencing p.248

The fission yeast is shown to have a mechanism to prevent small RNAs from inducing heterochromatin and epigenetic gene silencing; this protective model involves the highly conserved Paf1 complex, which is known to promote transcription and processing of pre-mRNA, and protects protein-coding genes from unwanted silencing by spurious transcripts.

doi: 10.1038/nature14337

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