Proposals to improve the international emergency response to disease outbreaks in the wake of the Ebola epidemic should be implemented — but local solutions are the best defence.
The public trusts scientists much more than scientists think. But should it?
The coming months promise to shed new light on the Solar System’s underworld.
Police investigate researchers' role in devastating bacterial epidemic.
Over rum cocktails at the World Conference on Research Integrity, experts discussed what can be learnt from the fallout of a flawed political-science paper.
Cultural fight over sacred mountain accelerates observatory closures.
Next-generation timekeepers can only be tested against each other.
Relief agency sees its mission expanding after leading response to West Africa epidemic.
A powerful gene-editing technology is the biggest game changer to hit biology since PCR. But with its huge potential come pressing concerns.
Moderna Therapeutics has big ambitions and a bankroll to match. How a fledgling start-up became one of the most highly valued private drug firms ever.
News & Views
The identification of an exchange of nutrients and signalling molecules between a planktonic alga and a bacterium demonstrates that targeted mutualistic interactions occur across domains of life in the oceans. See Letter p.98
Two studies of the cells that give rise to lymphatic vessels reveal that precursors arise from unexpected sources, demonstrating that the origins of this vasculature are more diverse than anticipated. See Articles p.56 & p.62
The tumour-suppressor protein PTEN is mostly found in the cell cytoplasm, tethered to endosome vesicles. This localization regulates the enzyme's activity towards specific lipids and influences its control of cell growth.
Images from the Hubble Space Telescope cast new light on the orbits, shapes and sizes of Pluto's small satellites. The analysis comes just before a planned reconnaissance by the first spacecraft to visit them. See Article p.45
New findings implicate the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX), secreted by oxygen-deprived breast cancer cells, in inducing bone lesions that precede and facilitate the spread of the cancer cells to the bone. See Letter p.106
The extremely rare decays of particles known as neutral B mesons have been observed at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. The result may be a glimpse of physics beyond that of the standard model of particle physics. See Letter p.68
Analyses of the interactions and rotations of Pluto’s four small moons Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra are reported.
Trajectory-dependent firing of neurons within the nucleus reuniens of the thalamus–hippocampus circuit predicted subsequent running direction, and disruption of this circuit reduced predictive firing in the hippocampus, suggesting that the thalamus is a key node in the integration of signals during goal-oriented navigation.
The lymphatic endothelium is thought to arise entirely from trans-differentiation of the venous endothelium; a new mechanism of lymphatic vessel formation is identified in zebrafish, whereby the lymphatic vessels derive from specialized angioblasts within the floor of the cardinal vein.
The lymphatic system is thought to be derived by transdifferentiation of venous endothelium; this study shows that the origin of cardiac lymphatics is in fact more heterogeneous, including both venous and non-venous origins and that lymphangiogenesis occurs in the adult heart following myocardial infarction and can be enhanced to improve heart function.
The standard model of particle physics describes the fundamental particles and their interactions via the strong, electromagnetic and weak forces. It provides precise predictions for measurable quantities that can be tested experimentally. The probabilities, or branching fractions, of the strange B meson () and the B0 meson decaying into two oppositely charged muons (μ+ and μ−) are especially interesting because of their sensitivity to theories that extend the standard model. The standard model predicts that the and decays are very rare, with about four of the former occurring for every billion mesons produced, and one of the latter occurring for every ten billion B0 mesons. A difference in the observed branching fractions with respect to the predictions of the standard model would provide a direction in which the standard model should be extended. Before the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN started operating, no evidence for either decay mode had been found. Upper limits on the branching fractions were an order of magnitude above the standard model predictions. The CMS (Compact Muon Solenoid) and LHCb (Large Hadron Collider beauty) collaborations have performed a joint analysis of the data from proton–proton collisions that they collected in 2011 at a centre-of-mass energy of seven teraelectronvolts and in 2012 at eight teraelectronvolts. Here we report the first observation of the µ+µ− decay, with a statistical significance exceeding six standard deviations, and the best measurement so far of its branching fraction. Furthermore, we obtained evidence for the µ+µ− decay with a statistical significance of three standard deviations. Both measurements are statistically compatible with standard model predictions and allow stringent constraints to be placed on theories beyond the standard model. The LHC experiments will resume taking data in 2015, recording proton–proton collisions at a centre-of-mass energy of 13 teraelectronvolts, which will approximately double the production rates of and B0 mesons and lead to further improvements in the precision of these crucial tests of the standard model.
A dense network of GPS observations shows that rapid lake drainage events on the western Greenland Ice Sheet are preceded by period of ice-sheet uplift and/or enhanced basal slip.
New anomalocaridid specimens from the Early Ordovician Fezouata Biota of Morocco show well-preserved trunk anatomy, revealing evidence for the evolution of arthropod limbs.
Protein sequences preserved in two Quaternary taxa, Macrauchenia and Toxodon, resolve the evolutionary history of South American native ungulates.
Isochron burial dating with cosmogenic nuclides 26Al and 10Be shows that the skeleton of the australopithecine individual known as ‘Little Foot’ is around 3.67 million years old, coeval with early Australopithecus from East Africa; a manuport dated to 2.18 million years ago from the Oldowan tool assemblage conforms with the oldest age previously suggested by fauna.
Rett syndrome is caused by mutation of the MECP2 gene that codes for a protein that binds methylated DNA; this study reveals that MeCP2 affects the expression of long genes, which often serve neuronal functions.
Mouse hair follicles in the skin cycle between growth and regression, while maintaining a pool of stem cells for continued regeneration; here, live imaging is used to show that a combination of niche-induced stem cell apoptosis and epithelial phagocytosis underlies regression, regulating the stem cell pool.
Molecular characterization of interactions between a globally distributed marine diatom and its bacterial consortium.
Influenza surveillance over 15 cities across 5 provinces in China from October 2013 to July 2014 shows that the virus has diverged into distinct clades, becoming established in chickens and also disseminating to wider geographic regions.
Metastasis to the bone of certain breast cancers can be driven by the enzyme lysyl oxidase (LOX) produced by primary tumour cells.
Eukaryotic initiation factor 3 (eIF3)—the deregulation of which has been linked with diverse cancers—is shown to bind to and direct the specialized translation of a subset of messenger RNAs, primarily involved in cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis, and can exert either translational activation or repression.