The terrorist attacks in Paris were an assault on the fundamental values of free and democratic societies. Researchers, and humorists, must combat obscurantism everywhere.
The preference for either cats or dogs affects science more than you might think.
Arguments among ocean scientists show how much remains to be discovered.
Environmentalists worried after Brazilian president picks ministers with ties to agriculture lobby.
Canine dominance bows to tabby chic as cat sequencing takes off.
But such cheaper, generic versions of biological drugs face scientific, regulatory and patent hurdles.
Material used in diaper absorbant can make brain tissue bigger and enable ordinary microscopes to resolve features down to 60 nanometres.
Digital version of Moorea will provide a way to experiment with an entire ecosystem.
Delayed DSCOVR probe will monitor conditions on Earth and solar storms in space.
A charcoal-rich product called biochar could boost agricultural yields and control pollution. Scientists are putting the trendy substance to the test.
Margaret McFall-Ngai has dissected the relationship between a beautiful squid and its live-in bacteria — and found lessons for microbiome research on the way.
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Flow-tank experiments and fluid-dynamics simulations refute the idea that water movements over the body of boxfishes are a stabilizing influence, instead showing that the fish's shape amplifies destabilizing forces to improve manoeuvrability.
Analysis reveals that the uranium isotopic composition of oceanic crust that is being subducted into Earth's interior is distinctive, allowing the development of chemical heterogeneity in the mantle to be tracked. See Letter p.356
The African Genome Variation Project presents genotyping and whole-genome data from individuals across sub-Saharan Africa, giving insight into population history and guiding future genomic studies on the continent. See Article p.327
The finding that immobilized ions can alter the strength of hydrophobic interactions between molecules suggests a strategy for tuning hydrophobicity to optimize molecular recognition and self-assembly processes. See Letter p.347
An analysis reveals that the dragonfly's impressive ability to catch its prey arises from internal calculations about its own movements and those of its target — the first example of such predictions in invertebrates. See Article p.333
A catalyst has been tuned to make different compounds from the same molecules in carbon–nitrogen bond-forming reactions, depending on the conditions used. The products are potential building blocks for biologically active molecules.
HIV variants that have mutated to escape T-cell immune responses dominate the latent viral reservoir in most patients on antiretroviral therapy. This finding will need to guide therapeutic approaches targeting reactivated virus. See Letter p.381
The African Genome Variation Project contains the whole-genome sequences of 320 individuals and dense genotypes on 1,481 individuals from sub-Saharan Africa; it enables the design and interpretation of genomic studies, with implications for finding disease loci and clues to human origins.
This study tracks dragonfly head and body movements during high-velocity and high-precision prey-capture flights, and shows that the dragonfly uses predictive internal models and reactive control to build an interception trajectory that complies with biomechanical constraints.
The origin of most chondrules (small, previously molten spherules inside meteorites) is shown to be impact jetting; chondrules form from the shock-melted material ejected from a protoplanet on impact, making meteorites a byproduct of planet formation.
Attosecond light pulses are now available experimentally, enabling ultrafast processes on the atomic scale to be probed; here the free-electron-like propagation of electrons through ultrathin layers of magnesium is observed in real time.
Chemical force microscopy measurements show that the immobilization of specific cationic groups near non-polar domains produces pronounced changes in the domains’ hydrophobic interaction strengths: charged ammonium groups double interaction strengths, whereas guanidinium groups eliminate measurable interactions.
A copper-catalysed dynamic kinetic asymmetric transformation using racemic substrates and alkyl nucleophiles is reported; organometallic reagents are generated in situ from alkenes by hydrometallation, and give highly enantioenriched products under mild reaction conditions.
Examination of the global uranium cycle — whereby uranium from the Earth’s crust is first transported to the oceans and then returned, by subduction, to the mantle — shows that the subducted uranium is isotopically distinct from the Earth as a whole and that this signature has been stirred throughout upper mantle, arguably within the past 600 million years.
Promoterless recombinant adeno-associated virus is used without nucleases to target the human coagulation factor IX gene to the liver-expressed albumin locus in haemophilia B mice, with an on-target integration into ~0.5% of the albumin alleles in hepatocytes; stable F9 plasma levels at 7–20% of normal were obtained, leading to normal coagulation times in treated factor-IX-deficient mice.
A global meta-analysis of conservation agriculture principles indicates that the potential contribution of no-till to the sustainable intensification of agriculture is more limited than often assumed.
A comparative analysis of bacterial growth and genetic phenotypes using hundreds of genome-scale metabolic models reveals a two-stage evolutionary process that consists of a rapid initial phenotypic diversification followed by a slow long-term divergence.
Using two-photon microendoscopy and genetically encoded calcium indicators the tuning properties of the first neural station of the gustatory system are explored; results reveal that ganglion neurons are matched to specific taste receptor cells, supporting a labelled line model of information transfer in the taste system.
Here, plant HAM proteins are shown to physically interact with the transcription factor WUSCHEL and the related WOX proteins, with this interaction driving downstream transcriptional programs and determining the activities of stem cells.
Despite receiving antiretroviral therapy, most patients with HIV still have latent reservoirs of the virus; here, these reservoirs are shown to be dominated by viruses with cytotoxic T lymphocyte escape mutations, with potential implications for the development of therapeutic vaccines.
CEACAM1 functions as a novel heterophilic ligand for TIM-3 and is necessary for TIM-3-mediated tolerance, which has marked consequences for inflammation, infection and cancer.
Obesity-linked insulin resistance is a major precursor to the development of type 2 diabetes. Previous work has shown that phosphorylation of PPARγ (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ) at serine 273 by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (Cdk5) stimulates diabetogenic gene expression in adipose tissues. Inhibition of this modification is a key therapeutic mechanism for anti-diabetic drugs that bind PPARγ, such as the thiazolidinediones and PPARγ partial agonists or non-agonists. For a better understanding of the importance of this obesity-linked PPARγ phosphorylation, we created mice that ablated Cdk5 specifically in adipose tissues. These mice have both a paradoxical increase in PPARγ phosphorylation at serine 273 and worsened insulin resistance. Unbiased proteomic studies show that extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) kinases are activated in these knockout animals. Here we show that ERK directly phosphorylates serine 273 of PPARγ in a robust manner and that Cdk5 suppresses ERKs through direct action on a novel site in MAP kinase/ERK kinase (MEK). Importantly, pharmacological inhibition of MEK and ERK markedly improves insulin resistance in both obese wild-type and ob/ob mice, and also completely reverses the deleterious effects of the Cdk5 ablation. These data show that an ERK/Cdk5 axis controls PPARγ function and suggest that MEK/ERK inhibitors may hold promise for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
The subnanometre-resolution electron cryomicroscopy structure of TmrAB, a heterodimeric ABC transport protein, in a nucleotide-free, inward-facing conformation, is determined.