Proposals for UK higher education contain some positive points amid the financial gloom.
The decision to use the Montreal Protocol to reduce the impact of refrigerants on global warming is a step forward ahead of the Paris climate summit.
Conflict at the Arecibo Observatory highlights the need for funders to become more flexible.
US President Barack Obama rejects pipeline to transport oil from Canada's tar sands to refineries along the Gulf of Mexico.
Departure of long-term advocate adds to woes of the financially troubled radio telescope.
A flat budget is one of several possible outcomes that worry researchers.
Multimillion-dollar Breakthrough awards announce winners in physics, life sciences and mathematics.
New prime minister Justin Trudeau gives research a higher profile.
One-year-old girl treated as plans to inject DNA-cutting technology directly into patients' bodies take shape.
Social media is shaking up how scientists talk about gender issues.
Gene-editing technologies have breathed life into the languishing field of xenotransplantation.
News & Views
Time-resolved molecular snapshots of the bacterial enzyme AlkD reveal an unprecedented mechanism for the recognition and removal of damaged bases in DNA, with implications for cell biology and cancer therapy. See Letter p.254
A rocky planet close in size to Earth has been discovered in the cosmic vicinity of our Sun. The small size and proximity of the associated star bode well for studies of the planet's atmosphere. See Letter p.204
Reactive oxygen species have been viewed as stress-inducing molecules that promote cancer initiation. But new evidence indicates that oxidative stress can be beneficial — inhibiting the spread of a cancer to other sites. See Article p.186
New evidence suggests that seismic waves from the Chicxulub meteorite impact doubled the eruption rate of lavas on the opposite side of the planet — a combination that led to the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous period.
Climate change is causing large fish species to move into arctic marine environments. A network analysis finds that these fishes, with their generalist diets, add links to the existing food web that may alter biodiversity and web stability.
Porous solids have many uses in the chemical industry, which has stimulated the development of several generations of such materials. A new generation has now arrived, with the report of permanently porous liquids. See Letter p.216
A quantitative study of sleep patterns in three pre-industrial societies implies that our natural sleep duration is close to seven hours, and that sleep cycles are determined by environmental temperature as well as the light–dark cycle.
An attempt to reconcile the effects of temperature on economic productivity at the micro and macro levels produces predictions of global economic losses due to climate change that are much higher than previous estimates. See Letter p.235
Activation of the ventral medial prefrontal cortex–basomedial amygdala pathway is shown to suppress anxiety and fear-related freezing in mice, thus identifying the basomedial amygdala (and not intercalated cells, as posited by earlier models) as a novel target of top-down control.
Human melanoma cells grown in mice experience high levels of oxidative stress in the bloodstream such that few metastasizing cells survive to form tumours; the rare melanoma cells that successfully metastasize undergo metabolic changes that increase their capacity to withstand this stress, and antioxidant treatments increase metastasis formation by human melanoma cells, while inhibiting antioxidant pathways had the reverse effect.
A CRISPR-Cas9 approach is used to perform saturating mutagenesis of the human and mouse BCL11A enhancers, producing a map that reveals critical regions and specific vulnerabilities; BCL11A enhancer disruption is validated by CRISPR-Cas9 as a therapeutic strategy for inducing fetal haemoglobin by applying it in both mice and primary human erythroblast cells.
The structure of the full-length Slo2.2 Na+-activated K+ channel is determined by cryo-electron microscopy, revealing features that explain the high conductance and gating mechanism of the Slo K+ channel family.
A low-mass star that is just 12 parsecs away from Earth is shown to be transited by an Earth-sized planet, GJ 1132b, which probably has a rock/iron composition and might support a substantial atmosphere.
Spin-entangled states between two neutral atoms in different optical tweezers are prepared by combining them in the same optical tweezer and allowing for controlled interactions, after which the particles are dynamically separated in space and their entanglement is maintained.
The Hall effect is sometimes encountered in ferromagnetic materials in the absence of an external magnetic field; this so-called anomalous Hall effect is now reported in the antiferromagnetic material Mn3Sn, where it occurs as a consequence of the unusual and complex arrangement of the constituent magnetic moments.
Porous materials find use in applications such as gas separation, drug delivery and energy storage, but have hitherto been solid rather than liquid; now a combination of cage molecules and a crown-ether solvent that cannot enter the cage molecules is used to create a porous liquid that can solubilize methane gas better than non-porous liquids.
High-resolution three-dimensional thermomechanical simulations of Earth's lithosphere indicate that mantle plumes could have initiated the first subduction zones, but only in the hotter early Earth for old oceanic plates.
Detection of molecular biomarkers characteristic of beeswax in pottery vessels at archaeological sites reveals that humans have exploited bee products (such as beeswax and honey) at least 9,000 years ago since the beginnings of agriculture.
Salamanders are the only tetrapod that can fully regenerate their limbs and tail, a capacity that might be linked to their unique preaxial mode of limb development; here, data from fossils reveal the existence of preaxial polarity in various amphibians from the Carboniferous and Permian periods, suggesting that salamander-like regeneration is an ancient feature of tetrapods that was subsequently lost at least once in the lineage leading to amniotes.
Economic productivity is shown to peak at an annual average temperature of 13 °C and decline at high temperatures, indicating that climate change is expected to lower global incomes more than 20% by 2100.
In addition to its role in olfaction, Olfr78 is involved in sensing hypoxia.
The drug daclatasvir (DCV), which inhibits the hepatitis C virus (HCV) non-structural protein 5A (NS5A), can successfully reduce viral load in patients; here, a combination of DCV and an NS5A analogue is shown to enhance DCV potency on multiple genotypes and overcome resistance in vitro and in a mouse model.
Treating ovarian cancer in mouse models with inhibitors for the epigenetic regulators EZH2 and DNMT1 increases the expression of the inflammatory chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10, resulting in enhanced tumour infiltration by effector T cells, and slowed tumour progression.
Crystal structures of the DNA glycosylase AlkD with DNA containing various modified bases show that neither substrate recognition nor catalysis use a base-flipping mechanism; instead, AlkD scans the phosphodeoxyribose backbone for increased cationic charge imparted by the alkylated base, and then uses the positive charge to facilitate cleavage of the glycosidic bond, thus explaining the specificity of AlkD for cationic lesions.
The X-ray crystal structure is presented of a seven-transmembrane eukaryotic SWEET glucose transporter, revealing the link between seven-transmembrane eukaryotic SWEETs and their three-transmembrane bacterial homologues and providing insight into eukaryotic sugar transport mechanisms.