Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nature contents: 23 February 2017

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  journal cover  
Nature Volume 542 Issue 7642
This Week  
Researchers should reach beyond the science bubble
Scientists in the United States and elsewhere ought to address the needs and employment prospects of taxpayers who have seen little benefit from scientific advances.
Gene editing in legal limbo in Europe
The European Union is dragging its feet on gene-editing rules and scientists should push the issue.
Pluto could be staging a comeback — and it’s not alone
A proposal to massively expand the number of bodies called planets raises interesting questions.
World View  
Energy scientists must show their workings
Public trust demands greater openness from those whose research is used to set policy, argues Stefan Pfenninger.
Seven Days  
Daring deep-sea explorers, armyworm offensive and GM-rice theft
The week in science: 17–23 February 2017.
Research Highlights  
Evolution: Origin of vertebrate gills | Computing: A faster brain-inspired computer | Cancer biology: Rogue metabolite halts DNA repair | Glaciology: East Antarctica's Weddell woe | Planetary science: Ceres has complex chemistry | Palaeontology: Ancient reptile bore live young | Imaging: 3D-printed camera sees like an eagle | Infectious disease: Autoimmunity in nodding syndrome | Meteorology: High winds add to extreme deluges
News in Focus
Inside the Chinese lab poised to study world's most dangerous pathogens
Maximum-security biolab is part of plan to build network of BSL-4 facilities across China.
David Cyranoski
  Broad Institute wins bitter battle over CRISPR patents
The US Patent and Trademark Office issues a verdict in legal tussle over rights to genome-editing technology.
Heidi Ledford
Giant crack in Antarctic ice shelf spotlights advances in glaciology
Rift through Larsen C ice shelf has grown to 175 kilometres, and collapse of nearby ice shelves could offer a glimpse of its future.
Jeff Tollefson
  Delay in hiring science advisers intensifies Brexit worries
Policy experts want scientists at the table when government decides on environmental protection and membership of international collaborations.
Daniel Cressey
Collapse of Aztec society linked to catastrophic salmonella outbreak
DNA of 500-year-old bacteria is first direct evidence of an epidemic — one of humanity's deadliest — that occurred after Spanish conquest.
Ewen Callaway
  The race to map the human body — one cell at a time
A host of detailed cell atlases could revolutionize understanding of cancer and other diseases.
Heidi Ledford
An epigenetics gold rush: new controls for gene expression
How rediscovered chemical tags on DNA and RNA are shaking up the field.
Cassandra Willyard
Nature Podcast: 23 February 2017
This week, highlights from AAAS, the new epigenetics, and a new way to conduct biomedical research.
No publication without confirmation
Jeffrey S. Mogil and Malcolm R. Macleod propose a new kind of paper that combines the flexibility of basic research with the rigour of clinical trials.
Jeffrey S. Mogil, Malcolm R. Macleod
Books and Arts  
Water supply: The emptying well
Margaret Catley-Carlson plunges into a study of a dwindling resource — groundwater.
Margaret Catley-Carlson
Books in brief
Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week's best science picks.
Barbara Kiser
Population statistics: Does child survival limit family size?
Malcolm Potts, Alisha Graves, Duff Gillespie
  Viruses: Model to accelerate epidemic responses
John W. McCauley
Community support: Locals embrace China nuclear project
Hong Yang, Junqiang Xia, Roger J. Flower
  Peer review: Award bonus points to motivate reviewers
David Gurwitz
Stephen E. Fienberg (1942–2016)
Statistician who campaigned for better science in court.
Robin Mejia
The RNA code comes into focus
As researchers open up to the reality of RNA modification, an expanded epitranscriptomics toolbox takes shape.
Kelly Rae Chi
Cardiovascular disease: Commonality with cancer
Ageing is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease caused by the rupture of inflamed cholesterol plaques in arteries. It emerges that this might be partly due to genetic mutations that cause cancerous changes in white blood cells.
Immunology: T-cell tweaks to target tumours
Immune cells known as T cells can destroy tumour cells, but their clinical use requires complex preparation and the cells can lose effectiveness over time. A new approach might improve the efficiency of T-cell therapy.
Biochemistry: Origin of a key player in methane biosynthesis
The biosynthesis of a coenzyme in the microbial production of methane has been determined — completing the biosynthetic pathways for the family of compounds that includes chlorophyll, haem and vitamin B12.
Immunology: The chronicles of T-cell exhaustion
T cells of the immune system often fail to target cancer cells because they enter a dysfunctional state known as exhaustion. Molecular analysis of T-cell exhaustion provides insights into the clinical use of these cells.
Intragenic DNA methylation prevents spurious transcription initiation
Intragenic DNA methylation, dependent on Dnmt3b, protects the gene body from spurious entry of RNA Polymerase II and aberrant transcription initiation events.
Elucidation of the biosynthesis of the methane catalyst coenzyme F430
The enzymes and pathway involved in the biosynthesis of coenzyme F430 are identified, completing our understanding of how members of the cyclic modified tetrapyrrole family are constructed.
Mechanical metamaterials at the theoretical limit of isotropic elastic stiffness
Finite-element models are used to identify a material geometry that achieves the theoretical bounds on isotropic elastic stiffness—a combination closed-cell cubic and octet foam.
Amplified stimulated emission in upconversion nanoparticles for super-resolution nanoscopy
Super-resolution optical microscopy based on stimulated emission depletion effects can now be performed at much lower light intensities than before by using bright upconversion emission from thulium-doped nanoparticles.
Crystallization of silicon dioxide and compositional evolution of the Earth’s core
Melting experiments with liquid Fe–Si–O alloy at the pressure of the Earth’s core reveal that the crystallization of silicon dioxide leads to core convection and a dynamo.
Complement drives glucosylceramide accumulation and tissue inflammation in Gaucher disease
Complement-activating glycosylceramide-specific autoantibodies drive a self-propagating cycle of glycosylceramide accumulation and inflammation in Gaucher disease.
Prefrontal cortex output circuits guide reward seeking through divergent cue encoding
Neurons that project from the prefrontal cortex to either the nucleus accumbens or paraventricular thalamus receive different inputs, differentially encode reward-predictive cues, and have opposing effects on reward seeking during cue presentation.
Survival of tissue-resident memory T cells requires exogenous lipid uptake and metabolism
FABP4 and FABP5 are important for the maintenance, longevity and function of CD8+ tissue-resident memory T cells, which use oxidative metabolism of exogenous free fatty acids to persist in tissues and to mediate protective immunity.
Reconstitution of the tubular endoplasmic reticulum network with purified components
In the presence of GTP, a tubular endoplasmic reticulum network can be reconstituted with only two purified membrane proteins.
Light-induced structural changes and the site of O=O bond formation in PSII caught by XFEL
A new approach, time-resolved serial femtosecond crystallography, is used to view the intermediate states of a photosystem complex following illumination, shedding light on proton transfer and O=O bond formation.
Targeting a CAR to the TRAC locus with CRISPR/Cas9 enhances tumour rejection
Introducing chimeric antigen receptors into the endogenous T-cell receptor locus reduces tonic signalling, averts accelerated T-cell differentiation and delays T-cell exhaustion, leading to enhanced function and anti-tumour efficacy compared to random integrations.
News and Views  
Molecular biology: RNA editing packs a one-two punch
William T. Yewdell, Jayanta Chaudhuri
Cancer: A targeted treatment with off-target risks
David A. Fruman, Susan O'Brien
Climate science: Predictable ice ages on a chaotic planet
Didier Paillard
Astronomy: Earth's seven sisters
Ignas A. G. Snellen
50 & 100 Years Ago
Materials science: Organic analogues of graphene
Maryam Ebrahimi, Federico Rosei
Systems neuroscience: Diversity in sight
Richard H. Masland
A simple rule to determine which insolation cycles lead to interglacials
A simple model, based on only summer insolation energy and time since the previous deglaciation, correctly predicts the deglaciation history of the past 2.6 million years, including the change in frequency of glacial–interglacial cycles about one million years ago.
P. C. Tzedakis, M. Crucifix, T. Mitsui et al.
Adipose-derived circulating miRNAs regulate gene expression in other tissues
Adipose tissue is a major source of circulating exosomal miRNAs, which contribute to the regulation of gene expression in distant tissues and organs.
Thomas Thomou, Marcelo A. Mori, Jonathan M. Dreyfuss et al.
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.
Deciphering Developmental Disorders Study
Inhibition decorrelates visual feature representations in the inner retina
The functional diversity of bipolar cells, which split visual inputs into different excitatory channels within the retina, arises from centre–surround interactions in their receptive fields that tune both spatial and temporal signalling.
Katrin Franke, Philipp Berens, Timm Schubert et al.
Sterile protection against human malaria by chemoattenuated PfSPZ vaccine
Immunization with Plasmodium falciparum sporozoites under chemoprophylaxis can protect against controlled human malaria infection with the same strain for at least 10 weeks, and protection correlates with polyfunctional T-cell memory.
Benjamin Mordmüller, Güzin Surat, Heimo Lagler et al.
Seven temperate terrestrial planets around the nearby ultracool dwarf star TRAPPIST-1
Last year, three Earth-sized planets were discovered to be orbiting the nearby Jupiter-sized star TRAPPIST-1; now, follow-up photometric observations from the ground and from space show that there are at least seven Earth-sized planets in this star system, and that they might be the right temperature to harbour liquid water on their surfaces.
Michaël Gillon, Amaury H. M. J. Triaud, Brice-Olivier Demory et al.
Onset of the aerobic nitrogen cycle during the Great Oxidation Event
Nitrogen isotope data from sediments deposited during the earliest stage of the Great Oxidation Event show evidence for the emergence of a pervasive aerobic marine nitrogen cycle.
Aubrey L. Zerkle, Simon W. Poulton, Robert J. Newton et al.
Theory of chaotic orbital variations confirmed by Cretaceous geological evidence
Cretaceous astrochronologic evidence reveals a resonance transition associated with the orbits of Mars and the Earth, confirming predicted chaotic Solar System behaviour and enabling an improvement in the geological timescale.
Chao Ma, Stephen R. Meyers, Bradley B. Sageman
Synthetic essentiality of chromatin remodelling factor CHD1 in PTEN-deficient cancer
The gene CHD1 is synthetic essential in PTEN-deficient prostate and breast cancers.
Di Zhao, Xin Lu, Guocan Wang et al.
Static non-reciprocity in mechanical metamaterials
Suitably engineered mechanical metamaterials show static non-reciprocity—that is, the transmission of motion from one side to the other depends on the direction of that motion.
Corentin Coulais, Dimitrios Sounas, Andrea Alù
Ancestral morphology of crown-group molluscs revealed by a new Ordovician stem aculiferan
Presence of a radula in Calvapilosa kroegeri confirms the molluscan affinity of sachitids, and the single shell plate reveals the ancestral condition for all crown molluscs and early evolution of the multi-plated body plan characteristic of Aculifera.
Jakob Vinther, Luke Parry, Derek E. G. Briggs et al.
m6A-dependent maternal mRNA clearance facilitates zebrafish maternal-to-zygotic transition
The N 6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification facilitates maternally driven clearance of zebrafish maternal mRNAs through the m6A-binding protein Ythdf2, ensuring proper and timely embryonic development.
Boxuan Simen Zhao, Xiao Wang, Alana V. Beadell et al.
Metabolic gatekeeper function of B-lymphoid transcription factors
The B-lymphoid transcription factors PAX5 and IKZF1 restrict the supply of glucose and energy to B cells to levels that are not enough to fuel a driver-oncogene, thereby acting as tumour suppressors and sensitizing acute lymphoblastic leukaemia B cells to glucocorticoid therapy.
Lai N. Chan, Zhengshan Chen, Daniel Braas et al.
Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase δ blockade increases genomic instability in B cells
PI3Kδ controls the expression of the recombinogenic enzyme AID; excessive AID activity caused by PI3Kδ inhibition can induce genomic instability in leukaemia and lymphoma cells, as well as in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia treated with PI3Kδ inhibitors.
Mara Compagno, Qi Wang, Chiara Pighi et al.
Editing and methylation at a single site by functionally interdependent activities
The C-to-U deamination at position 32 of tRNAThr in Trypanosoma brucei requires two enzymatic activities and proceeds via formation of a 3-methylcytosine intermediate, supporting the notion of a coupled modification system.
Mary Anne T. Rubio, Kirk W. Gaston, Katherine M. McKenney et al.
Basis of catalytic assembly of the mitotic checkpoint complex
The near-complete in vitro reconstitution of the mitotic spindle assembly checkpoint reveals how the assembly of its effector, the mitotic checkpoint complex, is catalysed.
Alex C. Faesen, Maria Thanasoula, Stefano Maffini et al.
Careers & Jobs
Poland: Into the light
Quirin Schiermeier
Career Briefs  
Finance: Pan-European pension
Employment: Male majority
The terminator
Dreams of another world.
Laurence Suhner
  Science jobs of the week


NRC Research Associateship Program


National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 


Analytical Chemist




Research Associate


Imperial College London 


Business Development Professional (ft)


Basic Pharma 


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