China is vigorously promoting nuclear energy, but its pursuit of reprocessing is misguided.
The final stages of a dispute over an ancient Native American skeleton signal the need for clearer oversight of such human remains.
Humans' exceptional ability to burn through calories fuels our evolution.
Embryos cultured for up to 13 days after fertilization open a window into early development.
New research centre at national science agency CSIRO adds 40 jobs, amid hundreds of redundancies.
Space agency declares the astronomy satellite a loss.
Space-based detector draws interest, but regulatory hurdles might complicate a partnership.
Ambitious effort depends on transformation of rhino tissue into sperm and egg cells.
Some researchers believe that machine-learning techniques can revolutionize how materials science is done.
Canadian scientists are now allowed to speak out about their work — and the government policy that had restricted communications.
News & Views
Design rules for exotic materials known as polar metals have been put into practice in thin films. The findings will motivate studies of how a phenomenon called screening can be manipulated to generate new phases in metals. See Letter p.68
Insects readily evolve resistance to insecticidal proteins that are introduced into genetically modified crop plants. Continuous directed evolution has now been used to engineer a toxin that overcomes insect resistance. See Article p.58
Certain sequence variants of the α-synuclein gene are linked to the risk of Parkinson's disease. An analysis of these variants using gene-editing technology provides a possible explanation for this increased risk. See Letter p.95
The microorganisms that colonize pregnant mice have been shown to prime the innate immune system in newborn offspring, preparing them for life in association with microbes.
A protein in the pathogenic bacterium Legionella pneumophila has been found to attach the modifying molecule ubiquitin to human proteins, using a mechanism that, surprisingly, does not involve cellular E1 and E2 enzymes. See Letter p.120
The highly precise atomic clocks used in science and technology are based on electronic transitions in atoms. The discovery of a nuclear transition in thorium-229 raises hopes of making nuclear clocks a reality. See Article p.47
Direct detection of the 229Th nuclear clock transition has been achieved, placing direct constraints on transition energy and half-life; these results are a step towards a nuclear clock, nuclear quantum optics and a nuclear laser.
Recordings from cat visual cortex show that the cortical maps for stimulus orientation, direction and retinal disparity depend on an organization in which thalamic axons with similar retinotopy and light/dark responses are clustered together in the cortex.
Phage-assisted continuous evolution (PACE) rapidly evolves Bacillus thuringiensis toxins through more than 500 generations of mutation, selection, and replication to bind a receptor expressed on the surface of insect-pest midgut cells.
Ultraluminous X-ray sources are thought to be powered by accretion onto a compact object; now the discovery of X-ray emission lines and blueshifted absorption lines in the high-resolution spectra of ultraluminous X-ray sources NGC 1313 X-1 and NGC 5408 X-1 shows that in each case the compact object is surrounded by powerful winds with an outflow velocity of about 0.2 times that of light.
Ab initio calculations are used to identify the structural conditions under which a polar state in metals might be stabilized; this information is used to guide the experimental realization of new room-temperature polar metals.
Failed chemical reactions are rarely reported, even though they could still provide information about the bounds on the reaction conditions needed for product formation; here data from such reactions are used to train a machine-learning algorithm, which is subsequently able to predict reaction outcomes with greater accuracy than human intuition.
An electrochemical C–H oxidation strategy that exhibits broad substrate scope, operational simplicity and high chemoselectivity is described; it uses inexpensive and readily available materials and represents a scalable allylic C–H oxidation that could be adopted in large-scale industrial settings without substantial environmental impact.
High-precision analysis of magmatic gas from the Eifel volcanic area in Germany suggests that the light xenon isotopes reflect a chondritic primordial component that differs from the precursor of atmospheric xenon, consistent with an asteroidal origin for the volatile elements in the Earth’s mantle.
Vertebrate and invertebrate cartilage share structural and biochemical properties, and their development is controlled by a highly conserved genetic circuit, suggesting that a deeply homologous mechanism underlies the parallel evolution of cartilage in Bilateria.
Two-photon imaging of calcium signals in the tree shrew visual cortex shows that light-responsive and dark-responsive inputs have distinct arrangements that allow the cortex to map the orientation, visual location and spatial phase of visual stimuli.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified numerous genetic variants associated with complex diseases, but mechanistic insights are impeded by a lack of understanding of how specific risk variants functionally contribute to the underlying pathogenesis. It has been proposed that cis-acting effects of non-coding risk variants on gene expression are a major factor for phenotypic variation of complex traits and disease susceptibility. Recent genome-scale epigenetic studies have highlighted the enrichment of GWAS-identified variants in regulatory DNA elements of disease-relevant cell types. Furthermore, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)-specific changes in transcription factor binding are correlated with heritable alterations in chromatin state and considered a major mediator of sequence-dependent regulation of gene expression. Here we describe a novel strategy to functionally dissect the cis-acting effect of genetic risk variants in regulatory elements on gene expression by combining genome-wide epigenetic information with clustered regularly-interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9 genome editing in human pluripotent stem cells. By generating a genetically precisely controlled experimental system, we identify a common Parkinson’s disease associated risk variant in a non-coding distal enhancer element that regulates the expression of α-synuclein (SNCA), a key gene implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease. Our data suggest that the transcriptional deregulation of SNCA is associated with sequence-dependent binding of the brain-specific transcription factors EMX2 and NKX6-1. This work establishes an experimental paradigm to functionally connect genetic variation with disease-relevant phenotypes.
Fatal Ebola virus disease is characterized by a high proportion of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells expressing the inhibitory molecules CTLA-4 and PD-1, correlating with high virus load; individuals who survive the infection exhibit lower expression of these inhibitory molecules and generate Ebola-specific CD8+ T cells, suggesting that dysregulation of the T cell response is a key component of Ebola virus disease pathophysiology.
A single injection of four anti-HIV-1-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies blocks repeated weekly low-dose virus challenges of simian/human immunodeficiency virus.
The differentiation of T follicular helper cells requires the G-protein-coupled receptor Ebi2 as well as the interaction with CD25-producing dendritic cells that quench T-cell-derived interleukin-2.
Defects in LC3-associated phagocytosis in mice are shown to result in systemic lupus erythematosus-like disease; dying cells are engulfed but not degraded in LAP-deficient mice, resulting in increased serum levels of autoantibodies and inflammatory cytokines, and evidence of kidney disease.
An unprecedented mechanism of ubiquitination that is independent of E1 and E2 enzymes, instead relying on activation of ubiquitin by ADP-ribosylation, and which is mediated by members of the SidE effector family encoded by the bacterial pathogen Legionella pneumophila, establishes that ubiquitination can be carried out by a single enzyme.
A CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing framework has been developed that allows controlled introduction of mono- and bi-allelic sequence changes, and is used to generate induced human pluripotent stem cells with heterozygous and homozygous dominant mutations in amyloid precursor protein and presenilin 1 that have been associated with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.