Rewarding existing nuclear power plants for the value of their low-carbon power makes sense, but the nuclear industry has a lot of work to do if it is survive and thrive in the twenty-first century.
The disappearance of a tantalizing LHC signal is disappointing for those who want to build the next big accelerator.
But the hunt continues for elementary particles beyond the standard model of physics.
Perlan mission will surf stratospheric waves and conduct atmospheric research.
Researchers in the United States will soon be able to resume creating chimaera-based projects.
As failures to replicate results using the CRISPR alternative stack up, a quiet scientist stands by his claims.
The popular technique has limitations that have sparked searches for alternatives.
Life came to ice-free Canadian corridor too late to sustain migrations of Clovis and pre-Clovis people.
Researchers are scrambling to repair and expand data pipes worldwide — and to keep the information revolution from grinding to a halt.
News & Views
A solid composite material has been made that conducts electricity through the rapid transport of silver ions, which diffuse faster than in some liquids. The material holds promise for applications in charge-storage devices. See Article p.159
A nanocolumn spans the synaptic cleft between neurons, connecting regions of neurotransmitter molecule release and capture. This discovery informs on mechanisms of synaptic organization and regulation. See Letter p.210
An authoritative map of the modules that make up the cerebral cortex of the human brain promises to act as a springboard for greater understanding of brain function and disease. See Article p.171
To migrate into the lungs, cancer cells in the bloodstream must cross the lung's endothelial-cell barrier. A study shows that cancer cells can achieve this feat by signalling to induce endothelial-cell death. See Letter p.215
A study of the proteasome — a protein-degradation complex — reveals an evolutionarily conserved pathway that acts through the protein kinase TORC1 to adjust proteasome levels in response to cellular needs. See Letter p.184
In obese people with pancreatic cancer, the many interactions between fat cells and the inflammatory microenvironment surrounding the tumour leads to below-average prognosis and chemotherapy outcome.
An artificial composite of the super-ionic conductor RbAg4I5 and the electronic conductor graphite exhibits extremely fast diffusion of silver ions at the interface between the two materials, generating both silver-excess and silver-deficient sites.
Whole-genome sequencing of 264 clones sampled from 12 Escherichia coli populations evolved over 50,000 generations under identical culture conditions is used to characterize the patterns and dynamics of genome evolution over time.
A detailed parcellation (map) of the human cerebral cortex has been obtained by integrating multi-modal imaging data, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and the resulting freely available resources will enable detailed comparative studies of the human brain in health, ageing and disease.
Bacteria of the SAR11 clade constitute up to one half of all marine microbes and are thought to require oxygen for growth; here, a subgroup of SAR11 bacteria are shown to thrive in ocean oxygen minimum zones and to encode abundant respiratory nitrate reductases.
Proteasome abundance is crucial for cell survival, but how cells maintain adequate amounts of proteasome is unclear; an analysis in yeast identifies TORC1 and Mpk1 as central components of a pathway regulating proteasome homeostasis through the coordinated regulation of regulatory particle assembly chaperones and proteasome subunits—this pathway is evolutionarily conserved with mTOR and ERK5 regulating proteasome abundance in mammals.
The upper atmosphere above Jupiter’s Great Red Spot—the largest storm in the Solar System—is hundreds of degrees hotter than anywhere else on the planet; the heating must come from below, suggesting coupling between Jupiter’s lower and upper atmospheres, probably the result of upwardly propagating acoustic or gravity waves.
To enable two photons to interact, a single atom in an optical resonator is used to build a universal photon–photon quantum gate; this could lead to applications in long-distance quantum communication and scalable quantum computing that require the processing of optical quantum information.
Blue energy is a desirable renewable resource, involving the osmotic transport of ions through a membrane from seawater to fresh water; here, nanopores have been created in two-dimensional molybdenum-disulfide membranes, and shown to generate a substantial osmotic power output.
By applying a new geotectonic analysis technique to revised global plate reconstructions, rifted margins are shown to feature an initial slow rift phase followed by an abrupt increase of plate divergence prior to breakup.
Genetic differences that specify unique aspects of human evolution have typically been identified by comparative analyses between the genomes of humans and closely related primates, including more recently the genomes of archaic hominins. Not all regions of the genome, however, are equally amenable to such study. Recurrent copy number variation (CNV) at chromosome 16p11.2 accounts for approximately 1% of cases of autism and is mediated by a complex set of segmental duplications, many of which arose recently during human evolution. Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of the locus and identify bolA family member 2 (BOLA2) as a gene duplicated exclusively in Homo sapiens. We estimate that a 95-kilobase-pair segment containing BOLA2 duplicated across the critical region approximately 282 thousand years ago (ka), one of the latest among a series of genomic changes that dramatically restructured the locus during hominid evolution. All humans examined carried one or more copies of the duplication, which nearly fixed early in the human lineage—a pattern unlikely to have arisen so rapidly in the absence of selection (P < 0.0097). We show that the duplication of BOLA2 led to a novel, human-specific in-frame fusion transcript and that BOLA2 copy number correlates with both RNA expression (r = 0.36) and protein level (r = 0.65), with the greatest expression difference between human and chimpanzee in experimentally derived stem cells. Analyses of 152 patients carrying a chromosome 16p11.2 rearrangement show that more than 96% of breakpoints occur within the H. sapiens-specific duplication. In summary, the duplicative transposition of BOLA2 at the root of the H. sapiens lineage about 282 ka simultaneously increased copy number of a gene associated with iron homeostasis and predisposed our species to recurrent rearrangements associated with disease.
Synaptic vesicle fusion, as evoked by action potentials, is confined to presynaptic protein nanoclusters, which are closely aligned with concentrated postsynaptic receptors and their scaffolding proteins—an organization termed a ‘nanocolumn’.
Human and murine tumour cells induce programmed necrosis (necroptosis) of endothelial cells, which promotes tumour cell extravasation and metastasis.
Here, the selection of substrates by the protein–RNA complex known as the signal recognition particle (SRP) is investigated in the bacterium Escherichia coli, revealing that the SRP has a strong preference for hydrophobic transmembrane domains of inner membrane proteins.
The signal recognition particle (SRP) preferentially binds peptides destined for secretion before peptide-targeting signals are translated through recognition of elements in their mRNA, including non-coding sequences.
Structural data on the protein CASTOR1 reveal how the mTORC1 pathway senses intracellular arginine, suggesting a repurposing of an evolutionarily pre-metazoan mechanism.
Single-molecule assays show that the recruitment of UvrA and UvrAB to Mfd–RNA polymerase complex formed on a DNA lesion arrests the translocating complex and causes its dissolution.