The human brain's abit of finding what it wants to find is a key problem for research. Establishing robust methods to avoid such bias will make results more reproducible.
In difficult times, Turkey is investing in a clutch of new scientific research centres.
Formal recognition of drug pollution will help to protect humans and ecosystems.
Centre in Izmir swims against the tide to produce world-class fundamental science.
Machines that ‘surf’ particles on electric fields could reach high energies at a lower price.
Chinese pharmacologist Youyou Tu developed key antimalarial drug artemisinin.
Demonstration by Takaaki Kajita and Arthur McDonald that neutrinos oscillate between identities showed that the particles have mass.
Venus and asteroids take the spotlight as the agency chops list of Discovery-class candidates from 27 to 5.
Country seeks big cuts in carbon intensity and greater reliance on clean energy.
A Japanese mathematician claims to have solved one of the most important problems in his field. The trouble is, hardly anyone can work out whether he's right.
Humans are remarkably good at self-deception. But growing concern about reproducibility is driving many researchers to seek ways to fight their own worst instincts.
News & Views
A comprehensive modelling effort has revealed the relative contributions of different malaria-control measures to the massive reductions in disease prevalence that have occurred in Africa between 2000 and 2015. See Article p.207
The finding that the Mediator protein complex contributes to messenger RNA export from the nucleus in yeast adds to a growing list of roles for the complex in regulating transcriptional processes.
The discovery that certain neurons' odour responses differ between individual fruit flies, but are consistent across the hemispheres of each fly's brain, indicates that sensory processing depends on an individual's experience. See Letter p.258
The HIV protein Nef is a viral 'Swiss army knife' with many functions. New work now shows how Nef increases infectivity — by inhibiting two of the host cell's antiviral proteins, SERINC3 and SERINC5. See Articles p.212 & p.218
Nanotechnology studies explore the extreme properties of strongly interacting electronic systems through conductance measurements, and probe quantum phase transitions close to absolute zero temperature. See Letters p.233 & p.237
A recently commissioned planet-finding instrument has been used to study a young solar system around the star AU Microscopii, leading to the discovery of rapidly moving features in the dust disk around the star. See Letter p.230
In this study, the authors present an analysis of the malaria burden in sub-Saharan Africa between 2000 and 2015, and quantify the effects of the interventions that have been implemented to combat the disease; they find that the prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum infection has been reduced by 50% since 2000 and the incidence of clinical disease by 40%, and that interventions have averted approximately 663 million clinical cases since 2000, with insecticide-treated bed nets being the largest contributor.
The transmembrane protein SERINC5 is identified as a potent inhibitor of HIV-1 particle infectivity that is counteracted by Nef; Nef redirects SERINC5 from the plasma membrane to a Rab7-positive endosomal compartment, thus excluding it from HIV-1 particles, emphasizing the potential of SERINC5 as a potent anti-retroviral factor.
The transmembrane proteins SERINC3 and SERINC5 are identified as new restriction factors for HIV-1 replication; this restriction is counteracted by Nef and glycoGag, which prevent SERINC3 and SERINC5 from becoming incorporated into HIV-1 virions and from profoundly blocking HIV-1 infectivity, suggesting a potential new therapeutic strategy for immunodeficiency viruses.
A high-resolution electron cryo-microscopy structure of the zebrafish α1 glycine receptor bound to agonists or antagonists reveals the conformational changes that take place when the channel transitions from closed to open state.
High-contrast imaging of the nearby, young, active late-type star AU Microscopii reveals five mysterious large-scale features in the southeast side of its debris disk, moving away from the star.
Zero-temperature quantum phase transitions and their associated quantum critical points are believed to underpin the exotic finite-temperature behaviours of many strongly correlated electronic systems, but identifying the microscopic origins of these transitions can be challenging and controversial; Iftikhar et al. (see also the related paper by Keller et al.) show how such behaviours can be engineered into nanoelectronic quantum dots, which permit both precise experimental control of the quantum critical behaviour and its exact theoretical characterization.
Zero-temperature quantum phase transitions and their associated quantum critical points are believed to underpin the exotic finite-temperature behaviours of many strongly correlated electronic systems, but identifying the microscopic origins of these transitions can be challenging and controversial; Keller et al. (see also the related paper by Iftikhar et al.) show how such behaviours can be engineered into nanoelectronic quantum dots, which permit both precise experimental control of the quantum critical behaviour and its exact theoretical characterization.
The branched structure and stereoisomerism of carbohydrates make them difficult to analyse; here, ion mobility–mass spectrometry is used to distinguish unambiguously between synthetic trisaccharides that differ in connectivity or configuration.
Analysis of a database of Precambrian palaeomagnetic intensity measurements reveals a clear transition in the Earth’s magnetic field that is probably the signature of the inner core first forming, suggesting a modest value of core thermal conductivity and supporting a simple thermal evolution model for the Earth.
The Trivers–Willard theory proposes that the sex ratio of offspring should vary with maternal condition when it has sex‐specific influences on offspring fitness. In particular, mothers in good condition in polygynous and dimorphic species are predicted to produce an excess of sons, whereas mothers in poor condition should do the opposite. Despite the elegance of the theory, support for it has been limited. Here we extend and generalize the Trivers–Willard theory to explain the disparity between predictions and observations of offspring sex ratio. In polygynous species, males typically have higher mortality rates, different age‐specific reproductive schedules and more risk‐prone life history tactics than females; however, these differences are not currently incorporated into the Trivers–Willard theory. Using two‐sex models parameterized with data from free‐living mammal populations with contrasting levels of sex differences in demography, we demonstrate how sex differences in life history traits over the entire lifespan can lead to a wide range of sex allocation tactics, and show that correlations between maternal condition and offspring sex ratio alone are insufficient to conclude that mothers adaptively adjust offspring sex ratio.
A multi-centre genome-wide association study of severe malaria in African children uncovers a new resistance locus close to a cluster of genes encoding glycophorins, which are receptors used by the malaria-causing parasite to invade red blood cells.
Neuronal representations of sensory stimuli tend to become sparse and decorrelated, with different odours giving rise to fewer neuronal spikes in rare neurons, as signal processing moves up to higher brain layers; here comprehensive recording from the Drosophila olfactory processing centre finds instead some highly correlated tuning curves that vary flexibly from animal to animal.
The effect of somatic genetic changes in colorectal cancer on sensitivity to anti-EGFR antibody therapy is analysed.
Saccharomyces cerevisiae controls its cell size through the differential size-dependency of the synthesis of the cell cycle activator Cln3 relative to the cell cycle inhibitor Whi5.
A small-molecule inhibitor of the Mediator-associated kinases CDK8 and CDK19 inhibits growth of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells and induces upregulation of super-enhancer-associated genes with tumour suppressor and lineage-controlling functions; Mediator kinase inhibition therefore represents a promising therapeutic approach for AML.
Neurotransmitter-gated ion channels of the Cys-loop receptor family are essential mediators of fast neurotransmission throughout the nervous system and are implicated in many neurological disorders. Available X-ray structures of prokaryotic and eukaryotic Cys-loop receptors provide tremendous insights into the binding of agonists, the subsequent opening of the ion channel, and the mechanism of channel activation. Yet the mechanism of inactivation by antagonists remains unknown. Here we present a 3.0 Å X-ray structure of the human glycine receptor-α3 homopentamer in complex with a high affinity, high-specificity antagonist, strychnine. Our structure allows us to explore in detail the molecular recognition of antagonists. Comparisons with previous structures reveal a mechanism for antagonist-induced inactivation of Cys-loop receptors, involving an expansion of the orthosteric binding site in the extracellular domain that is coupled to closure of the ion pore in the transmembrane domain.