A policy change that could discourage UK government scientists from talking to the media is a backwards step. All researchers need to speak up to put science on the political agenda.
The world must follow Brazil’s lead and do more to protect and restore forests.
A passive device that augments calf muscles improves on natural selection’s best effort.
But effort to catalogue brain’s building blocks may stoke disagreements over classification.
Panel creates scientific baseline for debate about climate reparations.
What the rising influence of the Greens, UKIP and the Scottish National Party means for research policy.
Discovery expands potential CRISPR toolbox for treating genetic diseases in humans.
Brazil has waged a successful war on tropical deforestation, and other countries are trying to follow its lead. But victory remains fragile.
Transfusions are one of the most overused treatments in modern medicine, at a cost of billions of dollars. Researchers are working out how to cut back.
News & Views
The Hong–Ou–Mandel effect, whereby two identical quantum particles launched into the two input ports of a 'beam-splitter' always bunch together in the same output port, has now been demonstrated for helium-4 atoms. See Letter p.66
An iron-dependent form of cell death called ferroptosis has been implicated as a component of the tumour-suppressor activity of p53, providing fresh insight into how this protein prevents cancer development. See Article p.57
A meta-analysis at a local scale reveals that land-use change has caused species richness to decline by approximately 8.1% on average globally, mainly as a result of large increases in croplands and pastures. See Article p.45
Researchers have found a mechanism that prevents newly forming giant-planet cores from spiralling in towards their parent stars. The result may explain why planets such as Saturn and Jupiter are where they are today. See Letter p.63
The discovery of peptides encoded by what were thought to be non-coding – or 'junk' – regions of precursors to microRNA sequences reveals a new layer of gene regulation. These sequences may not be junk, after all. See Letter p.90
Analysis of a global data set of local biodiversity comparisons reveals an average 13.6% reduction in species richness and 10.7% reduction in abundance as a result of past human land use, and projections based on these data under a business-as-usual land-use scenario predict further substantial loss this century, unless strong mitigation efforts are undertaken to reverse the effects.
In severe autism, deleterious variants at conserved residues are enriched in patients arising from female-enriched multiplex families, enhancing the detection of key autism genes in modest numbers of cases.
p53 suppresses expression of SLC7A11, a key component of the cystine/glutamate amino acid transport machinery, leading to inhibition of cystine uptake and promoting ferroptosis, an iron-dependent form of cell death.
Modelling of planetary formation reveals that asymmetries in the temperature rise associated with accretion produce a torque that counteracts inward migration, suggesting how the conditions for giant-planet formation may arise.
The Hong–Ou–Mandel effect—in which two indistinguishable photons that enter a 50:50 beam-splitter are found only as a pair at one of the two outputs, leading to a dip in the coincidence rate of the detectors—is now realized with 4He atoms instead of photons; this opens the way to performing basic quantum-physics experiments with mechanical observables of massive particles.
A miniature laser is reported that uses two-dimensional tungsten diselenide as the active medium, which is placed on a photonic crystal membrane that acts as the laser cavity; the laser emits visible light, with an ultralow pump threshold.
A shape-changing sensor made of pairs of magnetic disks spaced by swellable hydrogel material removes all need for optical access by operating in the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) radio-frequency spectrum.
Mapping the frontier-orbital interactions with atom specificity using X-ray laser-based femtosecond-resolution spectroscopy reveals that spin crossover and ligation determine the sub-picosecond excited-state dynamics of a transition-metal complex in solution.
A new analysis of a 415-million-year-old fossil fish head originally described as from an early osteichthyan (bony fish) puts it instead as the sister group of the gnathosomes (jawed vertebrates), and suggests that the extinct acanthodians were relatives of cartilaginous fishes.
Traditionally, the vertebral column of snakes was thought to have lost regionalization; Hox regionalization is now shown to be maintained in snakes, suggesting that gradational vertebral column regionalization is primitive to amniotes.
Plant primary microRNA (miRNA) transcripts (pri-miRNAs) are not just a source of miRNAs but can also encode regulatory peptides (miPEPs) that enhance the accumulation, and so the effect, of the corresponding mature miRNAs—an observation that may have agronomical applications.
α-MSH and AgRP, two hypothalamus-derived peptides with opposing actions on the melanocortin-4 receptor (MC4R), modulate neurons driving feeding behaviour; although previous downstream mechanisms of cellular modulation by these peptides have been determined, here α-MSH and AgRP are shown to regulate neural activity by coupling MC4R to Kir7.1 potassium channels and closing or opening them, respectively.
Development of a segmented filamentous bacteria and host cell co-culturing system that supports filamentation, segmentation, and differentiation to release viable infectious intracellular offspring.
Defined skin commensal bacteria elicit a dermal dendritic-cell-dependent, long-lasting, commensal-specific CD8+ T-cell response that promotes protection against pathogens while preserving tissue homeostasis.
Human antibodies in complex with the soluble dimeric form of the dengue virus envelope protein E recognize a quaternary epitope and exhibit strong neutralizing activity against all four virus serotypes.
Meiotic recombination is a critical step in gametogenesis for many organisms, enabling the creation of genetically diverse haploid gametes. In each meiotic cell, recombination is initiated by numerous DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) created by Spo11, the evolutionarily conserved topoisomerase-like protein, but how these DSBs are distributed relatively uniformly across the four chromatids that make up each chromosome pair is poorly understood. Here we employ Saccharomyces cerevisiae to demonstrate distance-dependent DSB interference in cis (in which the occurrence of a DSB suppresses adjacent DSB formation)—a process that is mediated by the conserved DNA damage response kinase, Tel1ATM. The inhibitory function of Tel1 acts on a relatively local scale, while over large distances DSBs have a tendency to form independently of one another even in the presence of Tel1. Notably, over very short distances, loss of Tel1 activity causes DSBs to cluster within discrete zones of concerted DSB activity. Our observations support a hierarchical view of recombination initiation where Tel1ATM prevents clusters of DSBs, and further suppresses DSBs within the surrounding chromosomal region. Such collective negative regulation will help to ensure that recombination events are dispersed evenly and arranged optimally for genetic exchange and efficient chromosome segregation.