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Time to act p1077

Without a solid commitment from the world's leaders, innovative ways to combat climate change are likely to come to nothing.


Authorship policies p1078

We are clarifying the duties of lead authors and making author-contribution statements mandatory.



Research Highlights

Fluid dynamics: Dynamics of a dance p1080


Chemistry: Fuel from thin air p1080


Biochemistry: DNA base maker p1080


Stem-cell biology: New stem-cell formula p1080


Photonics: E-ink goes colour p1080


Chemical biology: Getting the glow p1081


Materials: Improving on nature p1081


Genomics: X-linked mysteries p1081


Climate: Ground truths p1081



Journal Club

Journal club p1081

Michelle Peckham




Swine flu goes global p1082

New influenza virus tests pandemic emergency preparedness.

Declan Butler


California in clean-fuel drive p1083

State rule says biofuels aren't so green.

Jeff Tollefson


Japan goes for the sun p1084

Government pushes to regain national lead in solar-energy research.

David Cyranoski


Basic researchers protest UK budget p1084

Reallocations threaten undirected fundamental research.

Geoff Brumfiel & Natasha Gilbert


Obama says more money p1085

President promises rise in research and development funds.

Jeff Tollefson


Funding cut for US nuclear waste dump p1086

Yucca Mountain's end would leave the country with few alternatives for a long-term repository.

Amanda Leigh Mascarelli


Brain imaging skewed p1087

Double dipping of data magnifies errors in functional MRI scans.

Alison Abbott


Fake Facebook pages spin web of deceit p1089

Stem-cell scientists are caught up in fictional friend network — but no-one knows why.

Lucas Laursen


Close shave for Austrian science budget p1090


Nobel laureate celebrates her centenary p1090


Japan cuts red tape holding up stem-cell work p1090


New UK coal must be partly 'clean' p1090


Texas agencies sue over national disease lab p1090


Researchers rally to support animal studies p1090


Correction p1090



News Features

Climate crunch: A burden beyond bearing p1091

The climate situation may be even worse than you think. In the first of three features, Richard Monastersky looks at evidence that keeping carbon dioxide beneath dangerous levels is tougher than previously thought.


Sucking it up p1094

It's simple to mop carbon dioxide out of the air, but it could cost a lot of money. In the second of three features on the carbon challenge, Nicola Jones talks with the scientists pursuing this strategy.


Great white hope p1097

Geoengineering schemes, such as brightening clouds, are being talked about ever more widely. In the third of three features, Oliver Morton looks at how likely they are to work.




Stem-cell treatments for spinal-cord injury may be worth the risk p1101

Jesse Owens


A lesson or two from a regional economic argument p1101

Daniel Schaffer


Romanian funding cuts call for more stringent criteria p1101

Tudor Luchian




Overshoot, adapt and recover p1102

We will probably overshoot our current climate targets, so policies of adaptation and recovery need much more attention, say Martin Parry, Jason Lowe and Clair Hanson.




The worst-case scenario p1104

Stephen Schneider explores what a world with 1,000 parts per million of CO2 in its atmosphere might look like.

Stephen Schneider



Spring Books

Could climate change capitalism? p1107

Economist Nicholas Stern's latest book is a rare and masterly synthesis of climate-change science and economics. His 'global deal' could change capitalism for the better, says Robert Costanza.

Robert Costanza


New in Paperback p1107


Why inequality is fatal p1109

Michael Sargent reviews The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Richard Wilkinson & Kate Pickett


Fiction beyond the grave p1110

Jascha Hoffman reviews Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives by David Eagleman


Genes, games and the sexes p1111

John Odling-Smee reviews The Genial Gene: Deconstructing Darwinian Selfishness by Joan Roughgarden and Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origin of Mutual Understanding by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy


Managing nature as Earth warms p1112

Jessica J. Hellmann reviews Heatstroke: Nature in an Age of Global Warming by Anthony D. Barnosky


Tales of top models p1113

Andrew F. Read reviews Pavlov's Dogs and Schrödinger's Cat: Scenes From the Living Laboratory by Rom Harré


A billionaire's vision for India p1114

L. K. Sharma reviews Imagining India: The Idea of a Renewed Nation by Nandan Nilekani


An eye on the Universe p1116

Joachim Wambsganss reviews Einstein's Telescope: The Hunt for Dark Matter and Dark Energy in the Universe by Evalyn Gates



News and Views

Climate change: Too much of a bad thing p1117

There are various — and confusing — targets to limit global warming due to emissions of greenhouse gases. Estimates based on the total slug of carbon emitted are possibly the most robust, and are worrisome.

Gavin Schmidt & David Archer


See also: Editor's summary

Cell biology: Another way to get rid of fat p1118

When starved, cells resort to breaking down their assets — proteins, lipids and even whole organelles. An investigation of lipid metabolism indicates that one process — autophagy — targets all three cellular components.

Rudolf Zechner & Frank Madeo


See also: Editor's summary

X-ray astronomy: When appearances are deceptive p1119

The sharpest X-ray image ever obtained of a portion of the Milky Way resolves a seemingly diffuse X-ray emission into discrete sources. These sources are likely to be stars of the 'garden variety' in the Sun's vicinity.

Michael Shull


See also: Editor's summary

Miniature devices: Voyage of the microrobots p1121

Nanobots — tiny robots that can be injected into the body to perform medical procedures — are the stuff of science fiction. Swimming microrobots propelled by artificial flagella bring that fantasy closer to reality.

Metin Sitti


Ecology: Speciation affects ecosystems p1122

Evidence that speciation and adaptive radiation can change the properties of an ecosystem is a reminder of the pressing need to integrate ecosystems science and evolutionary biology.

Ole Seehausen


See also: Editor's summary

Solid-state physics: Lost magnetic moments p1123

A neat study gives clear-cut evidence that when a wire made of a magnetic material such as iron is squashed to the atomic scale, the material's magnetism disappears via an exotic physical process.

Richard Korytár & Nicolás Lorente


See also: Editor's summary

Neuroscience: A social hub for worms p1124

There are more connections in the human brain than there are stars in the Milky Way, so scientists use simple organisms to search for universal neural-circuit motifs. Their latest find is a neuron for social behaviour.

Shawn R. Lockery


See also: Editor's summary

Correction p1125




Cytoplasmic functions of the tumour suppressor p53 p1127

Douglas R. Green & Guido Kroemer


See also: Editor's summary



Autophagy regulates lipid metabolism p1131

Description of a novel function for autophagy in regulating lipid metabolism, called 'macrolipophagy', in which lipid droplets and autophagic components associate during starvation and inhibition of autophagy increases lipid storage in lipid droplets. A critical role of autophagy in regulating lipid metabolism is identified, and may provide a new approach to prevent lipid accumulation in disease.

Rajat Singh, Susmita Kaushik, Yongjun Wang, Youqing Xiang, Inna Novak, Masaaki Komatsu, Keiji Tanaka, Ana Maria Cuervo & Mark J. Czaja


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Zechner & Madeo

Structural basis for leucine-rich nuclear export signal recognition by CRM1 p1136

The crystal structure of CRM1 in complex with a substrate called snurportin 1 is presented. Snurportin 1 binds CRM1 in a bipartite manner by means of an amino-terminal leucine-rich nuclear export signal (LR-NES) and its nucleotide-binding domain. Further analysis reveals a second NES epitope in the nucleotide-binding domain of snurportin 1, and multipartite recognition of individually weak NES epitopes may be a common feature of CRM1 binding.

Xiuhua Dong, Anindita Biswas, Katherine E. Süel, Laurie K. Jackson, Rita Martinez, Hongmei Gu & Yuh Min Chook


See also: Editor's summary



Discrete sources as the origin of the Galactic X-ray ridge emission p1142

Its source has been a mystery since the discovery 25 years ago of the Galactic ridge X-ray emission. The gravitational well of the Galactic disk cannot hold the hot gas generating the X-ray glow and no other single source of energy that is large enough exists, but perhaps the hot plasma is bound to a multitude of faint sources. Here most of the diffuse-seeming X-ray emission is resolved into discrete sources, probably accreting white dwarfs and coronally active stars.

M. Revnivtsev, S. Sazonov, E. Churazov, W. Forman, A. Vikhlinin & R. Sunyaev


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Shull

Serial time-encoded amplified imaging for real-time observation of fast dynamic phenomena p1145

Ultrafast real-time optical imaging is used in diverse areas of science, but conventional imaging devices such as CCDs are incapable of capturing fast dynamical processes with high sensitivity and resolution. This imaging method overcomes these limitations and offers frame rates that are at least 1,000 times faster than those of conventional CCDs. The approach is applied to continuous real-time imaging of microfluidic flow and phase-explosion effects that occur during laser ablation.

K. Goda, K. K. Tsia & B. Jalali


See also: Editor's summary

The Kondo effect in ferromagnetic atomic contacts p1150

Magnetism in metals is typically considered an intrinsic property of the material. But when the diameter of a magnetic wire is reduced to atomic dimensions, the material's magnetic properties are strongly altered, to the point where magnetism can even be eliminated. This is an unexpected realization of the so-called Kondo effect, and highlights the need to take into account atomic-scale geometry when investigating the properties of magnetic nanostructures.

M. Reyes Calvo, Joaquín Fernández-Rossier, Juan José Palacios, David Jacob, Douglas Natelson & Carlos Untiedt


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Korytár & Lorente

The ITQ-37 mesoporous chiral zeolite p1154

With extralarge pores, zeolites could catalyse reactions between larger molecules. Here a zeolite with the largest pores to date is synthesized, about 25 ångstroms across; the structure is also chiral, which is useful in the separation of enantiomorphic molecules. The synthesis is done by crystallization of a gel of germanate and silicate dissolved in a bulky organic molecular template, using high-throughput techniques.

Junliang Sun, Charlotte Bonneau, Ángel Cantín, Avelino Corma, María J. Díaz-Cabañas, Manuel Moliner, Daliang Zhang, Mingrun Li & Xiaodong Zou


See also: Editor's summary

Greenhouse-gas emission targets for limiting global warming to 2 °C p1158

The politically defined threshold of dangerous climate change is an increase of 2 degrees Celsius in the mean global temperature. Simulations here show that when carbon dioxide and a full suite of positive and negative radiative forcings are considered, total emissions from 2000 to 2050 of about 1,400 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide yield a 50% probability of exceeding this threshold by the end of the twenty-first century. 'Business as usual' emissions will probably meet or exceed this 50% probability.

Malte Meinshausen, Nicolai Meinshausen, William Hare, Sarah C. B. Raper, Katja Frieler, Reto Knutti, David J. Frame & Myles R. Allen


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Schmidt & Archer

Warming caused by cumulative carbon emissions towards the trillionth tonne p1163

The effect of a cumulative emission of carbon on peak global mean surface temperature is better constrained than the effect of stabilizing the atmospheric composition. The approach is also insensitive to the timing or peak rate of emissions. Using carbon cycle models, it is shown that a trillion tonnes of carbon emissions (about half of which has already been emitted since industrialization began) will produce a most likely peak warming of 2 degrees Celsius.

Myles R. Allen, David J. Frame, Chris Huntingford, Chris D. Jones, Jason A. Lowe, Malte Meinshausen & Nicolai Meinshausen


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Schmidt & Archer

Evolutionary diversification in stickleback affects ecosystem functioning p1167

A test of the ecosystem effects of a pair of stickleback species that have undergone a recent adaptive radiation and now colonize different niches, and also a related generalist that resembles their common ancestor. Adaptive radiation causes changes in lower trophic levels and in ecosystem productivity, and the sticklebacks act as ecosystem engineers by influencing the light transmissibility of the water.

Luke J. Harmon, Blake Matthews, Simone Des Roches, Jonathan M. Chase, Jonathan B. Shurin & Dolph Schluter


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Seehausen

A hub-and-spoke circuit drives pheromone attraction and social behaviour in C. elegans p1171

Nematodes socialize during feeding on bacteria; this behaviour depends on sophisticated integration of multiple sensory cues by a subset of the animal's 302 neurons. The RMG neurons are identified as the hub for such computations. Non-synaptic communication through 'gap junctions' is the key to RMG's regulation of neighbouring sensory neurons such as ASK (which responds to pheromones, a functional architecture that could be generalized to several other neuronal circuits).

Evan Z. Macosko, Navin Pokala, Evan H. Feinberg, Sreekanth H. Chalasani, Rebecca A. Butcher, Jon Clardy & Cornelia I. Bargmann


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Lockery

Toxin B is essential for virulence of Clostridium difficile p1176

Clostridium difficile, the cause of antibiotic-induced infection in hospitals, possesses two toxins, A and B, the former of which was believed to be the major C. difficile virulence factor. Using an animal model and C. difficile mutants, evidence is now presented that toxin B, and not toxin A, is essential for infection.

Dena Lyras, Jennifer R. O'Connor, Pauline M. Howarth, Susan P. Sambol, Glen P. Carter, Tongted Phumoonna, Rachael Poon, Vicki Adams, Gayatri Vedantam, Stuart Johnson, Dale N. Gerding & Julian I. Rood


See also: Editor's summary

Orally delivered siRNA targeting macrophage Map4k4 suppresses systemic inflammation p1180

Encapsulated small interfering RNA nanoparticles are shown to silence a kinase mediator of inflammatory responses in mice in vitro and in vivo.

Myriam Aouadi, Gregory J. Tesz, Sarah M. Nicoloro, Mengxi Wang, My Chouinard, Ernesto Soto, Gary R. Ostroff & Michael P. Czech


See also: Editor's summary

Zc3h12a is an RNase essential for controlling immune responses by regulating mRNA decay p1185

The zinc finger protein Zc3h12a is identified as a ribonuclease that inhibits autoimmune disorders by controlling the degradation of messenger RNAs encoding proinflammatory cytokines.

Kazufumi Matsushita, Osamu Takeuchi, Daron M. Standley, Yutaro Kumagai, Tatsukata Kawagoe, Tohru Miyake, Takashi Satoh, Hiroki Kato, Tohru Tsujimura, Haruki Nakamura & Shizuo Akira


See also: Editor's summary

The structural basis of lipopolysaccharide recognition by the TLR4–MD-2 complex p1191

The human immune system uses the TLR4-MD-2 complex to recognize the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) of Gram-negative bacteria, which cause diverse infections. The crystal structure of TLR4 in complex with MD-2 and the agonist LPS is described, showing how the TLR family can bind to the many different kinds of LPS.

Beom Seok Park, Dong Hyun Song, Ho Min Kim, Byong-Seok Choi, Hayyoung Lee & Jie-Oh Lee


See also: Editor's summary

A mutation in Ihh that causes digit abnormalities alters its signalling capacity and range p1196

A brachydactyly type A1 (BDA1) mutation in indian hedgehog (IHH) impairs the interaction between IHH and its receptor. In a mouse model that recapitulates this particular E95K mutation there is a change in the potency and range of IHH signalling, and the mice show digit abnormalities consistent with the human disorder.

Bo Gao, Jianxin Hu, Sigmar Stricker, Martin Cheung, Gang Ma, Kit Fong Law, Florian Witte, James Briscoe, Stefan Mundlos, Lin He, Kathryn S. E. Cheah & Danny Chan


See also: Editor's summary

Embryonic stem cells use ZFP809 to silence retroviral DNAs p1201

The zinc finger binding protein ZFP809 is shown to work together with the TRIM28 protein to mediate transcriptional silencing of integrated retroviruses in infected embryonic stem cells.

Daniel Wolf & Stephen P. Goff


See also: Editor's summary




Grants aim to help women p1207

Childcare grants help scientists attend conferences.


Postdoc journal

The moving blues p1207

As we move halfway across the globe, I miss my friends. My son misses his toys.

Joanne Isaac


In Brief

Grant funding cuts p1207

Many grantmakers expect to reduce the size or amount of their grants.


Solar R&D in Arizona p1207

Investment at the Arizona's Solar Technology Institute.


University research p1207

The factors that determine the quality of universities' research and how prolific they are.



State of energy p1208

New Mexico, with its national labs and natural resources, is poised to become a central player in the US race for energy independence. Paul Smaglik reports.

Paul Smaglik




En passant p1212

Family ties.

Michalis Barkoulas & Gemma Bilsborough


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