Volume 515 Issue 7528


Ebola opportunity p.465

A slowdown in new cases offers a chance for control efforts to get ahead of the epidemic.

doi: 10.1038/515465b

Agree to agree p.465

The US–China emissions agreement raises hopes for international cooperation on a climate accord. But it does not go far enough.

doi: 10.1038/515465a

Moon on a stick p.466

A crowdfunded lunar mission might seem like a long shot — but there is no harm in trying.

doi: 10.1038/515466a


Confusion over open-data rules p.478

The Public Library of Science’s open-data mandate has prompted scientists to share more data online, but not everyone is complying with the regulations.

doi: 10.1038/515478a

News Features

The peer-review scam p.480

When a handful of authors were caught reviewing their own papers, it exposed weaknesses in modern publishing systems. Editors are trying to plug the holes.

doi: 10.1038/515480a

News & Views

El Niño's variable history p.494

A study of the El Niño phenomenon over the past 21,000 years suggests that El Niño responded in complex ways to a changing climate, with several competing factors playing a part in its varying strength. See Letter p.550

doi: 10.1038/515494a

A beast of the southern wild p.495

A newly discovered skull from the Cretaceous period belongs to a mammal that was big, strange and fast-moving. The fossil solves a long-standing mystery, and helps to resolve a controversy about mammalian evolution. See Article p.512

doi: 10.1038/nature13940

Antitumour immunity gets a boost p.496

Five papers extend the list of cancers that respond to therapies that restore antitumour immunity by blocking the PD-1 pathway, and characterize those patients who respond best. See Letters p.558, p.563, p.568, p.572 & p.577

doi: 10.1038/515496a

Cosmic triangles and black-hole masses p.498

A geometric measurement of the distance to a nearby galaxy implies a larger mass for its central black hole than previously calculated, and a consequent increase for most other masses of such black holes. See Letter p.528

doi: 10.1038/515498a

Polarize to elongate p.499

An analysis of fruit-fly embryos reveals that receptor proteins of the Toll family direct the oriented cell rearrangements required for the elongation of the head-to-tail axis during development. See Article p.523

doi: 10.1038/nature13937

Food choices for health and planet p.501

Are you wondering what to prepare for dinner tonight? Data analyses reveal that certain food choices greatly benefit both your health and the environment. But what to do with this evidence remains a challenge to society. See Article p.518

doi: 10.1038/nature13943

Tolerance lies in the timing p.502

During immune-cell development, potentially self-reactive T cells are eliminated. It emerges that recruitment of a co-receptor bound to the T-cell receptor by the enzyme Lck is the rate-limiting step in this negative selection.

doi: 10.1038/515502a


Belowground biodiversity and ecosystem functioning p.505

Growing evidence points to belowground biota as a significant contributor to aboveground diversity and functioning as well as impacting eco-evolutionary responses to environmental change; this review explores such evidence and proposes further research directions.

doi: 10.1038/nature13855


First cranial remains of a gondwanatherian mammal reveal remarkable mosaicism p.512

The gondwanatherians were mammals known only from teeth and some jaw fragments that lived in the southern continents alongside dinosaurs; here the entire cranium of a bizarre and badger-sized fossil mammal from the Cretaceous of Madagascar shows that gondwanatherians were related to the better-known multituberculates, a long-lived and successful group of now-extinct rodent-like mammals.

doi: 10.1038/nature13922

A positional Toll receptor code directs convergent extension in Drosophila p.523

Body axis elongation from head to tail is essential for animal development, however, the spatial cues that direct cell rearrangements relative to the anterior–posterior axis were unknown; this Drosophila study of convergent extension reveals that three Toll family receptors, expressed in overlapping stripes, modulate the contractile properties of cells to generate the polarized cell rearrangements that lead to body axis elongation.

doi: 10.1038/nature13953


A dust-parallax distance of 19 megaparsecs to the supermassive black hole in NGC 4151 p.528

The active galaxy NGC 4151 has a crucial role as one of only two active galactic nuclei for which black hole mass measurements based on emission line reverberation mapping can be calibrated against other dynamical techniques. Unfortunately, effective calibration requires accurate knowledge of the distance to NGC 4151, which is not at present available. Recently reported distances range from 4 to 29 megaparsecs. Strong peculiar motions make a redshift-based distance very uncertain, and the geometry of the galaxy and its nucleus prohibit accurate measurements using other techniques. Here we report a dust-parallax distance to NGC 4151 of megaparsecs. The measurement is based on an adaptation of a geometric method that uses the emission line regions of active galaxies. Because these regions are too small to be imaged with present technology, we use instead the ratio of the physical and angular sizes of the more extended hot-dust emission as determined from time delays and infrared interferometry. This distance leads to an approximately 1.4-fold increase in the dynamical black hole mass, implying a corresponding correction to emission line reverberation masses of black holes if they are calibrated against the two objects with additional dynamical masses.

doi: 10.1038/nature13914

Metallization of vanadium dioxide driven by large phonon entropy p.535

X-ray and neutron scattering measurements and ab initio molecular dynamics calculations show that the transition from an insulating phase to a metallic phase in vanadium dioxide is driven primarily by the entropic effects of soft anharmonic lattice vibrations, or phonons, which stabilize the metallic phase.

doi: 10.1038/nature13865

Passive radiative cooling below ambient air temperature under direct sunlight p.540

A multilayer photonic structure is described that strongly reflects incident sunlight while emitting heat selectively through an atmospheric transparency window to outer space; this leads to passive cooling under direct sunlight of 5 degrees Celsius below ambient air temperature, which has potential applications in air-conditioning and energy efficiency.

doi: 10.1038/nature13883

Evolution and forcing mechanisms of El Niño over the past 21,000 years p.550

A simulation of the evolution of El Niño Southern Oscillation in the past 21,000 years in a state-of-the-art climate model shows the complex response mechanisms of El Niño to external climate forcings and poses further challenges to our understanding and projection of El Niño in the future.

doi: 10.1038/nature13963

Multiplex single-molecule interaction profiling of DNA-barcoded proteins p.554

Single-molecular-interaction-sequencing involves attaching DNA barcodes to proteins, assaying these barcoded proteins en masse in an aqueous solution, followed by immobilization in a polyacrylamide film and amplifying and analysing the barcoding DNAs—the method allows for precise protein quantification and simultaneous interrogation of molecular binding affinity and specificity.

doi: 10.1038/nature13761

PD-1 blockade induces responses by inhibiting adaptive immune resistance p.568

The dynamics of T-cell responses are investigated in tumour tissue from patients with advanced melanoma who were treated with a PD-1-blocking monoclonal antibody, revealing that clinical efficacy of the treatment correlates with increased frequencies of pre-existing CD8+ T cells and PD-1 and PD-L1 expression.

doi: 10.1038/nature13954

Checkpoint blockade cancer immunotherapy targets tumour-specific mutant antigens p.577

A carcinogen-induced mouse tumour model is used here to show that mutant tumour-specific antigens are targets for CD8+ T-cell responses, mediating tumour regression after checkpoint blockade immunotherapy, and that these antigens can be used effectively in therapeutic vaccines; this advance potentially opens the door to personalized cancer vaccines.

doi: 10.1038/nature13988

Epigenetic reprogramming that prevents transgenerational inheritance of the vernalized state p.587

The Arabidopsis thaliana floral repressor FLC is epigenetically silenced by prolonged cold in a process called vernalization and then is reactivated before the completion of seed development; a histone demethylase, ELF6, is now shown to be involved in reactivating FLC in reproductive tissues, allowing the resetting of FLC expression and thus the requirement for vernalization in each generation.

doi: 10.1038/nature13722

A structure-based mechanism for tRNA and retroviral RNA remodelling during primer annealing p.591

To prime reverse transcription of Moloney murine leukaemia virus, a transfer RNA molecule must bind two regions of the retroviral RNA, the primer binding site (PBS) and primer activation signal within the U5-PBS; here, the NMR structures of the U5-PBS RNA and tRNA primer are solved, with and without the retroviral nucleocapsid protein, which remodels these regions.

doi: 10.1038/nature13709