Universities should release reports to show what they are doing to tackle misconduct — and funders should help them to do so effectively.
Making lawsuits more risky for patent trolls is just one way to stop abuse of the system.
Brain researchers and social scientists are well placed to find out what makes humans murder.
Advance holds potential for better opiate painkillers — but raises concerns about illicit use.
Huge experiment across six nations shows lasting benefits from short-term support.
Revised legislation would spare universities from being penalized in the same way as unscrupulous companies.
Few institutions have followed research integrity guidelines to the letter.
Proposed US electron–ion smasher wins endorsement from influential nuclear-science panel.
Ministry of Justice threatens to label Dynasty Foundation a ‘foreign agent’.
Antibodies are the workhorses of biological experiments, but they are littering the field with false findings. A few evangelists are pushing for change.
A wave of experiments is probing the root of quantum weirdness.
News & Views
The finding of 3.3-million-year-old stone flints, cores, hammers and anvils in Kenya suggests that the first stone tools were made by human ancestors that pre-dated the earliest known members of the genus Homo. See Article p.310
Experiments on a trapped calcium ion have again exposed the strange nature of quantum phenomena, and could pave the way for sensitive techniques to explore the boundary between the quantum and classical worlds. See Letter p.336
Organelles called mitochondria are asymmetrically apportioned to the daughters of dividing stem cells according to mitochondrial age. This finding sheds light on the mechanisms underlying asymmetric stem-cell division.
A family of alloys has been discovered that undergoes unexpected changes of shape when magnetized. This strange behaviour might help in unravelling the mystery of a phenomenon called magnetic hysteresis. See Letter p.340
Pluripotent cells can produce all cell types in the body. It emerges that this state of potential is endowed by cues, including inhibition of Wnt signalling, that maintain a balance between diverse cellular outcomes. See Article p.316
An intricate recursive RNA splicing mechanism that removes especially long introns (non-coding sequences) from genes has been found to be evolutionarily conserved and more prevalent than previously thought. See Letters p.371 & p.376
Although classical crystallography is insufficient to determine disordered structure in crystals, correlated disorder does nevertheless contain clear crystallographic signatures that map to the type of disorder, which we are learning to decipher.
Tool making has been considered to be an attribute of the genus Homo; this paper reports 3.3-million-year-old stone tools and the early timing of these tools provides evidence that the making and use of stone tools by hominins occurred before the evolution of our own genus.
A previously unknown type of stem cell that can engraft in specific regions of the mouse epiblast is described; these region-selective pluripotent stem cells display notable intra- and inter-specific chimaera competency and will help to further our understanding of mammalian development.
Here the X-ray crystal structures of the Drosophila dopamine transporter bound to dopamine, D-amphetamine, methamphetamine and cocaine are solved; these structures show how a neurotransmitter, small molecule stimulants and cocaine bind to a biogenic amine transporter, and are examples of how the ligand binding site of a neurotransmitter transporter can remodel itself to accommodate structurally unrelated small molecules that are different in shape, size and polarity or charge.
Observations of declining ultraviolet emission from a type Ia supernova within four days of the explosion are as expected if material ejected by the supernova collided with a companion star, supporting the single degenerate channel model of supernova progenitors.
The explosion of a type Ia supernova could be triggered either by accretion from a companion—which should be indicated by brightening caused by interaction of supernova ejecta with the companion—or by a merger with a white dwarf or other small star; here observations by the Kepler mission of three type Ia supernovae reveal no such brightening, leading to the conclusion that they were triggered by a merger.
A single atom is used to create squeezed ‘Schrödinger’s cat’ states, which could be useful for quantum computation and interferometry.
Typical ferromagnets elongate and contract anisotropically when placed in a magnetic field but conserve the overall volume, an effect known as Joule magnetostriction; here, a new effect is observed in Fe–Ga alloys—large non-volume-conserving or non-Joulian magnetostriction—which has not previously been observed in any magnet.
Quantifying activity of cis-regulatory sequences controlling gene expression shows that selection on expression noise has a greater impact on sequence variation than selection on mean expression level.
During an auditory discrimination task in rats, synaptic inputs representing either high or low sound frequencies from the cortex to the striatum are specifically strengthened, depending on reward contingencies.
Identification of transient early induced pluripotency reprogramming intermediates allows for mechanistic insight into the reprogramming process.
This study shows that, despite malignant transformation, autoimmune checkpoints are still functional in B-cell leukaemia, with targeted activation of these checkpoints effectively killing patient-derived B-cell leukaemia in a transplant model; the results represent a novel strategy to overcome drug resistance in leukaemia patients.
Ebola-virus-targeting short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles are adapted to the current outbreak strain of the virus, and the siRNA cocktail is shown to protect nonhuman primates fully when administered 3 days after challenge with the current West African Ebola virus isolate; upon viral sequence data availability, the drug can be adapted to the new virus and produced in as little as 8 weeks.
An analysis of mouse skin reveals that super-enhancers are critical to identity, lineage commitment and plasticity of adult stem cells; dynamic super-enhancer remodelling in new niches is dependent on the levels of pioneer transcription factor SOX9, which is identified as a key regulator of super-enhancer chromatin for hair follicle stem cells.
Highly conserved recursive splice sites are identified in vertebrates, particularly within long genes encoding proteins that are involved in neuronal development; analysis of the splicing mechanism reveals that such recursive splicing sites can be used to dictate different mRNA isoforms.
In flies, some introns contain internal splice sites that cause ‘recursive splicing’, a multi-step removal of a single intron; this study demonstrates that the scope of this regulatory mechanism is much more extensive in flies than had been appreciated, and provides details about the recursive splicing process.