Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Nature contents: 26 January 2017

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Nature Volume 541 Issue 7638
This Week  
Scientists must fight for the facts
President Trump’s unconventional stances cannot go unchallenged.
Gender imbalance in science journals is still pervasive
The latest update on Nature’s sexism shows an increase in female contributors and referees since 2012, but there is a long way to go.
Vaccine initiative marks bold resolution
Preparation against future epidemic threats is a welcome and essential move.
World View  
We must urgently clarify data-sharing rules
Scientists have worked hard to ensure that Europe’s new data laws do not harm science, but one last push is needed, says Jan-Eric Litton.
Seven Days  
Hottest year, atomic-clock problems and a diversity failure
The week in science: 20–26 January 2017.
Research Highlights  
Animal behaviour: Seal whiskers may sense fish breath | Environmental studies: Electric cars can harm environment | Cardiovascular biology: Mutation causes heart disease | Synthetic biology: Remote-controlled swimming bacteria | Cancer: Chromosome total affects therapy | Animal behaviour: How ants navigate backwards | Optics: Mini light gyroscope made | Evolution: Warming may shift mate choices | Astrophysics: Odd dwarf star is a pulsar
Nature Milestones: Antibodies chronicles the history of antibodies from their earliest description in antisera, their structure, generation and function, right through to their recent application in cancer immunotherapy. It also includes a timeline and a collection of seminal papers reproduced from Springer Nature.
Produced with support from
News in Focus
Trump’s next move? Scientists struggle with foggy future
The US president reiterated his promise to roll back climate regulations on his first day in office.
Lauren Morello, Sara Reardon, Jeff Tollefson et al.
  Billion-dollar project aims to prep vaccines before epidemics hit
Massive effort plans to stockpile vaccines against future outbreaks.
Declan Butler
Plant biologists welcome their robot overlords
Old-school areas of plant biology are getting tech upgrades that herald more detailed, faster data collection.
Heidi Ledford
  ‘You never said my peer review was confidential’ — scientist challenges publisher
Open-science advocate says journals should be clearer to peer-reviewers about terms and conditions.
Quirin Schiermeier
Biotech firm backs controversial CRISPR challenger
What Novozymes might do with the NgAgo protein, claimed by some to be a powerful gene editor, is still unclear.
David Cyranoski
  D-Wave upgrade: How scientists are using the world’s most controversial quantum computer
Scepticism surrounds the ultimate potential of D-wave machines, but researchers are already finding uses for them.
Elizabeth Gibney
Controversial patient-consent proposal left out of research-ethics reforms
US agency releases finalized ‘Common Rule’, which governs human-subjects research.
Sara Reardon
Big science has a buzzword problem
Moonshots, road maps, frameworks and more are proliferating, but few can agree on what these names even mean.
Megan Scudellari
Nature Podcast: 26 January 2017
This week, outer space law, predictive policing and enhancing the wisdom of the crowds.
Journals invite too few women to referee
Jory Lerback and Brooks Hanson present an analysis that reveals evidence of gender bias in peer review for scholarly publications.
Jory Lerback, Brooks Hanson
Reform predictive policing
Police agencies, software firms and the public must ensure that crime-forecasting software improves public safety and officer accountability, writes Aaron Shapiro.
Aaron Shapiro
Books and Arts  
Higher education: The making of US academia
Rogers Hollingsworth traces the European influence on US research universities that began some 150 years ago.
Rogers Hollingsworth
Bioethics: Democracy in vitro
Insoo Hyun weighs up a treatise exploring the ethical deliberations surrounding embryo research.
Insoo Hyun
Books in brief
Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week's best science picks.
Barbara Kiser
Crop pests: Crop-health survey aims to fill data gaps
Andy Nelson
  Anthropocene: be wary of social impact
George Holmes, Jacob Barber, Johannes Lundershausen
Anthropocene: keep communication clear
Lucy E. Edwards, David A. T. Harper, Philip L. Gibbard
  Axions: Detecting particles of dark matter
Jihn E. Kim, Pierre Sikivie, Steven Weinberg
Environment: Progressive taxes for sustainability
Francesco Orsi
Neuroscience: Big brain, big data
Neuroscientists are starting to share and integrate data — but shifting to a team approach isn't easy.
Esther Landhuis
Structural biology: Growth factor rattled out of its cage
The growth factor TGF-ß1 is located inside a protein cage, and is thought to be released by force applied through integrin proteins. A structure of TGF-ß1 in complex with integrin αVß6 sheds light on the uncaging process.
Regenerative medicine: Interspecies pancreas transplants
A mouse pancreas grown in a rat controls blood-sugar levels when transplanted into a mouse that models type 1 diabetes. This achievement provides a tantalizing glimpse of how organs could be grown for therapeutic use.
Medicine: The final frontier in cancer diagnosis
A computer, trained to classify skin cancers using image analysis alone, can now identify certain cancers as successfully as can skin-cancer doctors. What are the implications for the future of medical diagnosis?
An Argonaute phosphorylation cycle promotes microRNA-mediated silencing
The application of genome-wide CRISPR–Cas9 screening coupled with a fluorescent reporter to interrogate the microRNA pathway reveals that continual transient phosphorylation of Argonaute 2 is required to maintain the global efficiency of microRNA-mediated repression.
Force interacts with macromolecular structure in activation of TGF-β
Integrin αVβ6 binds the transforming growth factor-β1 precursor (pro-TGF-β1) in an orientation that is biologically relevant for force-dependent release of TGF-β from its latent form.
Prevalence and architecture of de novo mutations in developmental disorders
Whole-exome analysis of individuals with developmental disorders shows that de novo mutations can equally cause loss or altered protein function, but that most mutations causing altered protein function have not yet been described.
Interspecies organogenesis generates autologous functional islets
The authors inject mouse pluripotent stem cells into pancreatogenesis-disabled rat blastocysts and thereby generate rats with mouse pancreata from which the islets, when transplanted into mice, can provide a long-term cure for symptoms of diabetes, without continuous immunosuppression.
Integrated genomic and molecular characterization of cervical cancer
Weak synchronization and large-scale collective oscillation in dense bacterial suspensions
Cells in dense bacterial suspensions can self-organize into highly robust collective oscillatory motion, while individual cells move in an erratic manner; their interaction is modelled to reveal a weak synchronization mechanism.
Symmetry-protected collisions between strongly interacting photons
Excitations to Rydberg states in a gas of ultracold atoms are used to produce a robust, nonlinear phase shift of exactly π/2 between two photons, which is protected against variations in experimental parameters by a symmetry of the system.
MATRILINEAL, a sperm-specific phospholipase, triggers maize haploid induction
A frame-shift mutation in MATRILINEAL, a pollen-specific phospholipase, triggers haploid induction in maize, which may be useful in developing improved haploid induction systems for crop breeding.
Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally
Examination of the ecosystem properties of treeline ecotones in seven temperate regions of the world shows that the reduction in temperature with increasing elevation does not affect tree leaf nutrient concentrations, but does reduce ground-layer community-weighted plant nitrogen levels, leading to a strong stoichiometric convergence of ground-layer plant community nitrogen to phosphorus ratios across all regions.
Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution OPEN
The genome sequences of the neglected human-infective malaria species Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale provide new insights into their biology that are pertinent to understanding their epidemiology and to the broader agenda of malaria elimination.
Molybdenum chloride catalysts for Z-selective olefin metathesis reactions
Substitution of a ligand in molybdenum-based complexes enables typically inert hexafluorobutene to participate in Z-selective olefin cross-metathesis reactions.
A competitive inhibitory circuit for selection of active and passive fear responses
Competitive circuits in the amygdala of mice drive either freezing or flight behaviour in response to threat, and involve distinct neuronal subtypes.
Dermatologist-level classification of skin cancer with deep neural networks
An artificial intelligence trained to classify images of skin lesions as benign lesions or malignant skin cancers achieves the accuracy of board-certified dermatologists.
MFN1 structures reveal nucleotide-triggered dimerization critical for mitochondrial fusion
Crystal structures of engineered human MFN1 in different stages of GTP hydrolysis provide insights into the GTP-induced conformational changes that promote MFN1 dimerization to bring about mitochondrial fusion.
Basis of catalytic assembly of the mitotic checkpoint complex
Erratum: Wnt/β-catenin promotes gastric fundus specification in mice and humans
Brief Communications Arising  
PLD3 gene and processing of APP
Pietro Fazzari, Katrien Horre, Amaia M. Arranz et al.
News and Views  
Virology: Phages make a group decision
Alan R. Davidson
Physics: Optical transition seen in antihydrogen
Stefan Ulmer
Planetary science: Earth's building blocks
Richard W. Carlson


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Publishing Date: Jan 26th, 2016


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50 & 100 Years Ago
Materials science: Versatile gel assembly on a chip
Shoji Takeuchi
Cell biology: Unconventional translation in cancer
Marianne Terndrup Pedersen, Kim B. Jensen
Chiral quantum optics
The experimental state-of-the-art in the field of chiral quantum optics is reviewed and the ways in which chiral light–matter interaction could be exploited to add a new dimension of control to quantum networks and quantum many-body physics are discussed.
Peter Lodahl, Sahand Mahmoodian, Søren Stobbe et al.
Neurotoxic reactive astrocytes are induced by activated microglia
A reactive astrocyte subtype termed A1 is induced after injury or disease of the central nervous system and subsequently promotes the death of neurons and oligodendrocytes.
Shane A. Liddelow, Kevin A. Guttenplan, Laura E. Clarke et al.
Communication between viruses guides lysis–lysogeny decisions
Some phages—viruses that infect bacteria—encode peptides that are secreted from infected cells and that, beyond a certain threshold, stimulate other viruses to switch from the lytic (killing the host cell) to lysogenic (dormant) phase.
Zohar Erez, Ida Steinberger-Levy, Maya Shamir et al.
Translation from unconventional 5′ start sites drives tumour initiation
The translation of upstream open reading frames in skin tumour models protects some cancer-related mRNAs from global reductions in protein synthesis during the early stages of tumour initiation, suggesting that unconventional translation has a crucial role in tumorigenesis.
Ataman Sendoel, Joshua G. Dunn, Edwin H. Rodriguez et al.
Structure of a CLC chloride ion channel by cryo-electron microscopy
Some CLC proteins are channels that conduct chloride ions passively, whereas others are active co-transporters, a difference that has been hard to understand given their high degree of sequence homology; now, cryo-electron microscopy is used to determine the structure of a mammalian CLC channel, shedding light on this question.
Eunyong Park, Ernest B. Campbell, Roderick MacKinnon
Observation of the 1S–2S transition in trapped antihydrogen OPEN
The 1S–2S transition in magnetically trapped atoms of antihydrogen is observed, and its frequency is shown to be consistent with that expected for hydrogen.
M. Ahmadi, B. X. R. Alves, C. J. Baker et al.
High-spatial-resolution mapping of catalytic reactions on single particles
The chemical conversion of N-heterocyclic carbene molecules attached to catalytic particles is monitored at high spatial resolution using synchrotron-radiation-based infrared nanospectroscopy.
Chung-Yeh Wu, William J. Wolf, Yehonatan Levartovsky et al.
Compensatory water effects link yearly global land CO2 sink changes to temperature
A study of how temperature and water availability fluctuations affect the carbon balance of land ecosystems reveals different controls on local and global scales, implying that spatial climate covariation drives the global carbon cycle response.
Martin Jung, Markus Reichstein, Christopher R. Schwalm et al.
The isotopic nature of the Earth’s accreting material through time
The mantle signatures of elements with distinct affinities for metal isotopically record different stages of Earth’s accretion, revealing that the Moon-forming impactor had a similar composition to the other impactors that made the Earth.
Nicolas Dauphas
Breeding site sampling across the Arctic by individual males of a polygynous shorebird
Nomadic movement across the breeding range enables male pectoral sandpipers to display and sire offspring at multiple sites within a single breeding season, with tenure depending on breeding female numbers at each site.
Bart Kempenaers, Mihai Valcu
The Hippo kinases LATS1 and 2 control human breast cell fate via crosstalk with ERα
Ablation of the large tumour suppressor kinases 1 and 2 promotes a luminal breast cell phenotype through stabilization of oestrogen receptor-α, thereby changing human breast cell fate.
Adrian Britschgi, Stephan Duss, Sungeun Kim et al.
Ruthenium isotopic evidence for an inner Solar System origin of the late veneer
All chondrites are shown to have Ru isotopic compositions that are more different from that of the Earth’s mantle the further from the Sun they formed; this means the Earth’s late veneer cannot derive from volatile-rich material formed in the outer Solar System.
Mario Fischer-Gödde, Thorsten Kleine
A solution to the single-question crowd wisdom problem
The wisdom of the crowd can be improved by using an algorithm that selects the answer that is more popular than people predict, rather than the answer that is most popular.
Dražen Prelec, H. Sebastian Seung, John McCoy
Evolutionary genomics of the cold-adapted diatom Fragilariopsis cylindrus OPEN
The genome of the Southern Ocean phytoplankton Fragilariopsis cylindrus differs markedly from the genomes of its more temperate relatives, with divergent alleles being differentially expressed in environmentally specific conditions such as freezing and darkness.
Thomas Mock, Robert P. Otillar, Jan Strauss et al.
Structural basis for ArfA–RF2-mediated translation termination on mRNAs lacking stop codons
The structure of the bacterial ribosome stalled on a truncated mRNA in complex with ArfA and the release factor RF2 is presented, revealing how ArfA recruits RF2 to the ribosome and induces conformational changes within RF2 to enable translation termination in the absence of a stop codon.
Paul Huter, Claudia Müller, Bertrand Beckert et al.
Mechanistic insights into the alternative translation termination by ArfA and RF2
The structure of the bacterial 70S ribosome in complex with ArfA, the release factor RF2, a short non-stop mRNA and a cognate P-site tRNA is presented, revealing how ArfA and RF2 facilitate alternative translation termination of the non-stop ribosomal complex using a stop-codon surrogate mechanism.
Chengying Ma, Daisuke Kurita, Ningning Li et al.
Structural basis of co-translational quality control by ArfA and RF2 bound to ribosome
The structure of the bacterial ribosome in complex with the ArfA and the release factor RF2 shows how ArfA recruits RF2 to terminate translation of messenger RNAs that lack a stop codon in the ribosome.
Fuxing Zeng, Yanbo Chen, Jonathan Remis et al.
Corrigendum: Lens regeneration using endogenous stem cells with gain of visual function
Haotian Lin, Hong Ouyang, Jie Zhu et al.
Careers & Jobs
Scientific computing: Code alert
Monya Baker
Trade talk: Research writer
Jack Leeming
The last robot
It's the category that counts.
S. L. Huang
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