Volume 515 Issue 7527


Save the museums p.311

Italy’s curators must band together to preserve their valuable collections.

doi: 10.1038/515311b

A global vision p.311

The International Council for Science needs to define its mission and show its members that it is worth their membership fees.

doi: 10.1038/515311a


News Features

Keeping the lights on p.326

Every year, the US government gives research institutions billions of dollars towards infrastructure and administrative support. A Nature investigation reveals who is benefiting most.

doi: 10.1038/515326a

Far-flung physics p.330

The International Centre for Theoretical Physics was set up to seed science in the developing world; 100,000 researchers later, it is still growing.

doi: 10.1038/515330a

News & Views

Mice in the ENCODE spotlight p.346

Following on from affiliated projects in humans and model invertebrates, the Mouse ENCODE Project presents comprehensive data sets on genome regulation in this key mammalian model. See Articles p.355, p.365, p.371 & Letter p.402

doi: 10.1038/515346a

RNA made in its own mirror image p.347

An RNA enzyme has been generated that can assemble a mirror-image version of itself. The finding helps to answer a long-standing conundrum about how RNA molecules could have proliferated on prebiotic Earth. See Letter p.440

doi: 10.1038/nature13935

Reactive walls p.348

Domain walls are natural borders in ferromagnetic, ferroelectric or ferroelastic materials. It seems that they can also be reactive areas that produce crystallographic phases never before observed in bulk materials. See Letter p.379

doi: 10.1038/515348a

Succinate strikes p.350

The high levels of tissue-damaging reactive oxygen species that arise during a stroke or heart attack have been shown to be generated through the accumulation of the metabolic intermediate succinate. See Letter p.431

doi: 10.1038/nature13941

Agriculture and the global carbon cycle p.351

Evolving agricultural practices dramatically increased crop production in the twentieth century. Two studies now find that this has altered the seasonal flux of atmospheric carbon dioxide. See Letters p.394 & p.398

doi: 10.1038/515351a

Leaf veins share the time of day p.352

Techniques for isolating and analysing leaf cell types have now been developed, leading to the discovery that circadian clocks in the plant vasculature communicate with and regulate clocks in neighbouring cells. See Letter p.419

doi: 10.1038/nature13936


A comparative encyclopedia of DNA elements in the mouse genome OPEN p.355

The Mouse ENCODE Consortium has mapped transcription, DNase I hypersensitivity, transcription factor binding, chromatin modifications and replication domains throughout the mouse genome in diverse cell and tissue types; these data were compared with those from human to confirm substantial conservation in the newly annotated potential functional sequences and to reveal pronounced divergence of other sequences involved in transcriptional regulation, chromatin state and higher order chromatin organization.

doi: 10.1038/nature13992

Principles of regulatory information conservation between mouse and human OPEN p.371

As part of the mouse ENCODE project, genome-wide transcription factor (TF) occupancy repertoires and co-association patterns in mice and humans are studied; many aspects are conserved but the extent to which orthologous DNA segments are bound by TFs in mice and humans varies both among TFs and genomic location, and TF-occupied sequences whose occupancy is conserved tend to be pleiotropic and enriched for single nucleotide variants with known regulatory potential.

doi: 10.1038/nature13985


Approaching disorder-free transport in high-mobility conjugated polymers p.384

Measurements and simulations of several high-mobility conjugated polymers show that their charge transport properties reflect an almost complete lack of disorder in the polymers, despite their amorphous microstructures, resulting from the resilience of the planar polymer backbone conformations to side-chain disorder.

doi: 10.1038/nature13854

Topologically associating domains are stable units of replication-timing regulation OPEN p.402

A study of DNA replication timing in mouse and human cells reveals that replication domains (domains of the genome which replicate at the same time) share a correlation with topologically associating domains; these results reconcile cell-type-specific sub-nuclear compartmentalization with developmentally stable chromosome domains and offer a unified model for large scale chromosome structure and function.

doi: 10.1038/nature13986

The drivers of tropical speciation p.406

Diversification of Neotropical birds is not directly linked to the Andean uplift, the major landscape change of the Neogene period; instead, most diversification is post-Neogene and species diversity is dependent on how long lineages have persisted in the landscape and how easily they disperse.

doi: 10.1038/nature13687

Individual improvements and selective mortality shape lifelong migratory performance p.410

A cross-sectional study of migrating raptors aged from 1 to 27 years old shows that migratory performance gradually improves with age and is driven both by selective mortality and individual improvement, with younger birds leaving progressively earlier as they age and becoming more proficient at coping with adverse environmental conditions, such as unfavourable winds.

doi: 10.1038/nature13696

Synaptic dysregulation in a human iPS cell model of mental disorders p.414

Generation and neural differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) from patients enables new ways to investigate the cellular pathophysiology of mental disorders; this approach was used with samples from a family with a schizophrenia pedigree and a DISC1 mutation, revealing synaptic abnormalities and large-scale transcriptional dysregulation.

doi: 10.1038/nature13716

Tissue-specific clocks in Arabidopsis show asymmetric coupling p.419

A detailed analysis of Arabidopsis leaf tissues using two new versatile techniques reveals that within vasculature tissue circadian clocks have characteristics distinct from those in other tissues, and that the vasculature clocks affect circadian clock regulation in other tissues; indicating that plants, like mammals, have a dual clock system.

doi: 10.1038/nature13919

Members of the human gut microbiota involved in recovery from Vibrio cholerae infection p.423

Recovery from cholera is characterized by a pattern of accumulation of bacterial taxa that shows similarities to the pattern of maturation of the gut microbiota in healthy children, raising the possibility that some of these taxa may be useful for ‘repair’ of the gut microbiota in individuals whose gut communities have been ‘wounded’ through a variety of insults.

doi: 10.1038/nature13738

Transcript-RNA-templated DNA recombination and repair p.436

Endogenous RNA transcripts are shown to mediate recombination with yeast chromosomal DNA; as the level of RNAs in the nucleus is quite high, these results may open up new understanding of the plasticity of repair and genome instability mechanisms.

doi: 10.1038/nature13682

A cross-chiral RNA polymerase ribozyme p.440

Here, a cross-chiral RNA polymerase is developed—an RNA enzyme that can catalyse the templated polymerization of activated mononucleotides that are of the opposite handedness—shedding light on how RNA-based life could have emerged.

doi: 10.1038/nature13900