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Microscopic marvels p615

Microscopes are changing the face of biology. Researchers should innovate and collaborate if they want to be part of the new vision.


Stem-cell clarity p615

The draft NIH guidelines on stem-cell research are a good first step, but some revision is needed.


Power vacuum p616

The US president's delay in naming an NIH director is symptomatic of a widespread problem.



Research Highlights

Animal behaviour: Pretty please p618


Evolution: Carnivore claim quashed p618


Astronomy: A big head start p618


Palaeontology: Bone study bugbear p618


Genetics: Setting the biological clock p618


Neurobiology: Squeaking in tongues p619


Chemistry: Toxic toadstools p619


Genetics: Filling mouse holes p619


Quantum physics: Attack of the giant neutrinos p619



Journal Club

Journal club p619

Lucas N. Joppa




Mouse patent sparks 'uncivil' spat p620

Academic institutes lock horns in legal action over mutant mice.

Alison Abbott


Funding struggle for mercury monitoring p620

Researchers look to quantify pollution levels.

Naomi Lubick


Europe's parliamentary priorities p622

This week's Europe-wide elections will affect researchers more than they realize, reports Alison Abbott.

Alison Abbott


Quaternary geologists win timescale vote p624

Redefinition rescues once-threatened terminology from extinction.

Amanda Leigh Mascarelli


Spooky research cuts p625

US intelligence agency axes funding for work on quantum computing.

Sharon Weinberger


Sweden likely winner for neutron source p626

European spallation facility looks set to land near Lund.

Geoff Brumfiel


University wins injunction against animal activists p627


Economic gloom threatens renewables investment p627


Malaria vaccine enters phase III clinical trials p627


Africa declares its stance for climate-change talks p627


Changes at the top for Indian science p627


Open-access publishing gains another convert p627


Correction p627




Party of One

Climate future p628

Deciding how to evaluate a cap-and-trade programme raises some thorny questions, says David Goldston.

David Goldston



News Features

Microscopic marvels: Magnifying power p629

New microscopes are revealing sights that have never been seen before. Nature profiles five machines that are changing how biologists view the world.


Microscopic marvels: Seeing the system p630


Microscopic marvels: Microscope for the masses p632


Microscopic marvels: The big and the bold p634


Microscopic marvels: The naked microscope p636


Microscopic marvels: The glorious resolution p638




Fair-use policies aim to balance access and cost of publishing p641

H. Frederick Dylla


Funding ban could break careers at the toss of a coin p641

Cameron Neylon


Cancer screening for women in developing countries p641

Chinmoy K. Bose




A microscopic reality tale p642

The earliest microscopes shed light on a once-invisible world. But, Patricia Fara explains, microscopists were uncertain about how well the images reflected reality — just as they are today.

Patricia Fara



Books and Arts

Keeping up scientific standards p645

A journalistic account of the case of data manipulation by physicist Jan Hendrik Schön is rich in detail but draws the wrong conclusions about the self-correcting processes of science, argues Martin Blume.

Martin Blume


An Indian history of numbers p646

Pervez Hoodbhoy reviews Mathematics In India by Kim Plofker


Averting environmental crisis p647

Shepard Krech III reviews Becoming Good Ancestors: How We Balance Nature, Community, and Technology by David Ehrenfeld and Nature and Power: A Global History of the Environment by Joachim Radkau


Q&A: Acting the part p648

Actor and playwright Anna Deavere Smith has pioneered documentary theatre through her one-woman plays constructed from interviews. As she prepares to portray biologists Edward O. Wilson and James Watson at the World Science Festival in New York next week, Smith talks about life, death and the influence of science on her work.

Jascha Hoffman



News and Views

Photonics: How nanocrystals lost their blink p649

Semiconducting nanocrystals emit light in many different colours, but they blink on and off at random. The latest nanocrystals emit photons steadily, thanks to the blending of their cores into their outer shells.

Taekjip Ha


See also: Editor's summary

Cosmology: Climbing up the cosmic ladder p650

Study of an under-appreciated subclass of stars that brighten and dim periodically brings to light their potential use as cosmic yardsticks — out to distances of a few hundred million light years.

Ofer Lahav


Membrane-protein structure: Piercing insights p651

Pore-forming proteins are deadly biological weapons that punch holes in target-cell membranes. The structure of the pore formed by a bacterial toxin suggests that diverse pore formers have similar assembly pathways.

Hagan Bayley


See also: Editor's summary

Geophysics: Magnetic ringing of the Earth p652

The study of Earth's core is an exacting task that involves interpreting indirect evidence. An innovative approach to understanding decadal changes in the magnetic field provides a new probe of core dynamics.

Richard Holme


Quantum mechanics: Entanglement goes mechanical p653

A neat experiment shows that the mechanical vibration of two ion pairs separated by a few hundred micrometres is entangled — their motions are intrinsically and inseparably connected in a quantum way.

Rainer Blatt


See also: Editor's summary

Developmental biology: The early heart remodelled p654

What factors direct the formation of heart muscle in the developing embryo? Unexpectedly, a chromatin-remodelling protein complex turns out to be a crucial determinant of cardiac-cell fate.

Fu-Sen Liang & Gerald R. Crabtree


See also: Editor's summary


Brief Communications Arising

Attrition of memory CD8 T cells pE3

Raymond M. Welsh & Liisa K. Selin


Vezys et al. reply pE4

Vaiva Vezys, Andrew Yates, Kerry A. Casey, Gibson Lanier, Rafi Ahmed, Rustom Antia & David Masopust




Evolution of pathogenicity and sexual reproduction in eight Candida genomes p657

Candida species are the most common cause of opportunistic fungal infection worldwide. Here, the genomes of six Candida species are sequenced and compared with each other and with related pathogens and non-pathogens; providing insight into the genetic features that underlie the diversity of Candida biology, including pathogenesis and the architecture of mating and meiotic processes.

Geraldine Butler, Matthew D. Rasmussen, Michael F. Lin, Manuel A. S. Santos, Sharadha Sakthikumar, Carol A. Munro, Esther Rheinbay, Manfred Grabherr, Anja Forche, Jennifer L. Reedy, Ino Agrafioti, Martha B. Arnaud, Steven Bates, Alistair J. P. Brown, Sascha Brunke, Maria C. Costanzo, David A. Fitzpatrick, Piet W. J. de Groot, David Harris, Lois L. Hoyer, Bernhard Hube, Frans M. Klis, Chinnappa Kodira, Nicola Lennard, Mary E. Logue, Ronny Martin, Aaron M. Neiman, Elissavet Nikolaou, Michael A. Quail, Janet Quinn, Maria C. Santos, Florian F. Schmitzberger, Gavin Sherlock, Prachi Shah, Kevin A. T. Silverstein, Marek S. Skrzypek, David Soll, Rodney Staggs, Ian Stansfield, Michael P. H. Stumpf, Peter E. Sudbery, Thyagarajan Srikantha, Qiandong Zeng, Judith Berman, Matthew Berriman, Joseph Heitman, Neil A. R. Gow, Michael C. Lorenz, Bruce W. Birren, Manolis Kellis & Christina A. Cuomo


See also: Editor's summary

Driving fast-spiking cells induces gamma rhythm and controls sensory responses p663

Cortical gamma oscillations (20–80 Hz) predict increases in focused attention, and failure in gamma regulation is a hallmark of neurological and psychiatric disease; however, what induces this activity band is unclear. Here, by using a cell-type targeted optogenetic approach, it is revealed that gamma oscillations can be driven by specific activation of fast-spiking interneurons in vivo, and that sensory input relative to these oscillations can determine the extent of evoked cortical activity.

Jessica A. Cardin, Marie Carlén, Konstantinos Meletis, Ulf Knoblich, Feng Zhang, Karl Deisseroth, Li-Huei Tsai & Christopher I. Moore


See also: Editor's summary

Chaperonin overexpression promotes genetic variation and enzyme evolution p668

Amino acid mutations that alter a protein's function can affect the stability of the protein, but these mutations are believed to be 'buffered' by chaperones, or heat-shock proteins-potentially facilitating the acquisition of genetic diversity and the rate of adaptation. Here, the overexpression of bacterial GroEL/GroES chaperonins is found to double the number of accumulating mutations in four different enzymes in vitro.

Nobuhiko Tokuriki & Dan S. Tawfik


See also: Editor's summary



A low-energy core-collapse supernova without a hydrogen envelope p674

Theory suggests that stars with initial masses greater than 25–30 solar masses end up as Wolf-Rayet stars, which are deficient in hydrogen in their outer layers; subsequent supernova explosions should produce ejecta of low kinetic energy, a faint optical luminosity and a small mass fraction of radioactive nickel, but no weak, hydrogen-deficient, core-collapse supernovae have hitherto been seen. Now, SN 2008ha is reported to be a faint hydrogen-poor supernova.

S. Valenti, A. Pastorello, E. Cappellaro, S. Benetti, P. A. Mazzali, J. Manteca, S. Taubenberger, N. Elias-Rosa, R. Ferrando, A. Harutyunyan, V. P. Hentunen, M. Nissinen, E. Pian, M. Turatto, L. Zampieri & S. J. Smartt


See also: Editor's summary

Global circulation as the main source of cloud activity on Titan p678

Clouds on Titan result from the condensation of methane and ethane and, at present, cloud activity mainly occurs in the southern hemisphere; general circulation models predict that this distribution should change with the seasons on a 15-year timescale. Now, global spatial cloud coverage on Titan is reported to be in general agreement with the models.

Sébastien Rodriguez, Stéphane Le Mouélic, Pascal Rannou, Gabriel Tobie, Kevin H. Baines, Jason W. Barnes, Caitlin A. Griffith, Mathieu Hirtzig, Karly M. Pitman, Christophe Sotin, Robert H. Brown, Bonnie J. Buratti, Roger N. Clark & Phil D. Nicholson


See also: Editor's summary

Entangled mechanical oscillators p683

Superposition and entanglement are hallmarks of quantum mechanics. One system ubiquitous to nature where entanglement has not previously been shown is distinct mechanical oscillators, such as springs or pendula. Here, deterministic entanglement of separated mechanical oscillators—consisting of the vibrational states of two pairs of atomic ions held in different locations—is demonstrated.

J. D. Jost, J. P. Home, J. M. Amini, D. Hanneke, R. Ozeri, C. Langer, J. J. Bollinger, D. Leibfried & D. J. Wineland


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

Non-blinking semiconductor nanocrystals p686

The usefulness of semiconductor nanocrystals is severely limited by the fact that they 'blink': they turn on and off intermittently under continuous excitation. Here, ternary core/shell CdZnSe/ZnSe nanocrystals are realized, in which the transition between CdZnSe and ZnSe seems to be radially graded rather than abrupt, and which show completely non-blinking behaviour and strong photoluminescence.

Xiaoyong Wang, Xiaofan Ren, Keith Kahen, Megan A. Hahn, Manju Rajeswaran, Sara Maccagnano-Zacher, John Silcox, George E. Cragg, Alexander L. Efros & Todd D. Krauss


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

The Gamburtsev mountains and the origin and early evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet p690

The nature of initial glaciation on Antarctica about 34 million years ago is a mystery. Results from an intensive radar survey now show that the Gamburtsev mountains at Dome A, at the centre of the present ice sheet, were initially incised by rivers and then subsequently overdeepened by ice movement; this is suggestive of topographical development before 34 million years ago, when mean summer temperatures were about 3 °C.

Sun Bo, Martin J. Siegert, Simon M. Mudd, David Sugden, Shuji Fujita, Cui Xiangbin, Jiang Yunyun, Tang Xueyuan & Li Yuansheng


See also: Editor's summary

Kinematic variables and water transport control the formation and location of arc volcanoes p694

The production of arc magmas at convergent plate margins is thought to involve the mantle wedge overlying subducting slabs, as well as fluids or melts from the subducting slab itself. However, the role of kinematic variables, such as slab dip and convergence rate, remains an open question. Here, a model is proposed to address how kinematic parameters of plate subduction relate to the location of mantle wedge melting and the position of arc volcanoes.

T. L. Grove, C. B. Till, E. Lev, N. Chatterjee & E. Médard


See also: Editor's summary

Parvalbumin neurons and gamma rhythms enhance cortical circuit performance p698

Interneurons defined by the fast-spiking phenotype and expression of the calcium-binding protein parvalbumin are thought to be involved in gamma oscillations. Here, optogenetic technology is used in mice to selectively modulate parvalbumin interneurons in vivo, revealing that inhibition of these interneurons suppresses gamma oscillations, whereas driving them is sufficient to generate emergent gamma-frequency rhythmicity.

Vikaas S. Sohal, Feng Zhang, Ofer Yizhar & Karl Deisseroth


See also: Editor's summary

Mechanism of differential control of NMDA receptor activity by NR2 subunits p703

N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors have different opening probabilities and pharmacological profiles according to the type of NR2 subunit they possess (NR2A to NR2D). The region formed by the NR2 amino-terminal domain, and the short linker connecting this to the agonist-binding domain, are now shown to be responsible for controlling the subunit-specific gating of NMDA receptors.

Marc Gielen, Beth Siegler Retchless, Laetitia Mony, Jon W. Johnson & Pierre Paoletti


See also: Editor's summary

Directed transdifferentiation of mouse mesoderm to heart tissue by defined factors p708

The heart has little regenerative capacity after damage, so understanding the factors required to produce new cardiac myocytes is of great interest. The minimal requirements for transdifferentiation of mouse mesoderm to cardiac myocytes are now defined, with implications for the reprogramming of cardiomyocytes for regenerative purposes in the future.

Jun K. Takeuchi & Benoit G. Bruneau


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Liang & Crabtree

Frequent inactivation of A20 in B-cell lymphomas p712

A20 is a negative regulator of the NF-kappaB pathway and has a pivotal role in regulation of the immune response. Using a genome-wide analysis of genetic lesions in B-cell lymphomas, A20 is shown to be a common genetic target in B-lineage lymphomas, with uncontrolled NF-kappaB signalling caused by loss of A20 function implicated in the pathogenesis of subsets of these lymphomas.

Motohiro Kato, Masashi Sanada, Itaru Kato, Yasuharu Sato, Junko Takita, Kengo Takeuchi, Akira Niwa, Yuyan Chen, Kumi Nakazaki, Junko Nomoto, Yoshitaka Asakura, Satsuki Muto, Azusa Tamura, Mitsuru Iio, Yoshiki Akatsuka, Yasuhide Hayashi, Hiraku Mori, Takashi Igarashi, Mineo Kurokawa, Shigeru Chiba, Shigeo Mori, Yuichi Ishikawa, Koji Okamoto, Kensei Tobinai, Hitoshi Nakagama, Tatsutoshi Nakahata, Tadashi Yoshino, Yukio Kobayashi & Seishi Ogawa


See also: Editor's summary

Mutations of multiple genes cause deregulation of NF-kappaB in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma p717

Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is the most common form of lymphoma in adulthood. Here, mutations in multiple genes that regulate the NK-kappaB pathway are shown to be present in DLBCL, with the most commonly affected being the A20 gene, which encodes a ubiquitin-modifying enzyme involved in termination of NK-kappaB responses.

Mara Compagno, Wei Keat Lim, Adina Grunn, Subhadra V. Nandula, Manisha Brahmachary, Qiong Shen, Francesco Bertoni, Maurilio Ponzoni, Marta Scandurra, Andrea Califano, Govind Bhagat, Amy Chadburn, Riccardo Dalla-Favera & Laura Pasqualucci


See also: Editor's summary

F-box protein FBXO31 mediates cyclin D1 degradation to induce G1 arrest after DNA damage p722

Upon DNA damage, eukaryotic cells initiate the DNA damage response, a complex signalling pathway which coordinates cell cycle arrest with DNA repair. Using a genome-wide RNA interference screen, the human F-box protein FBXO31 is shown to regulate the G1/S cell cycle transition in response to DNA damage by mediating degradation of cyclin D1, an important regulator of progression from G1 to S phase.

Manas K. Santra, Narendra Wajapeyee & Michael R. Green


See also: Editor's summary

The structure of a cytolytic alpha-helical toxin pore reveals its assembly mechanism p726

Pore-forming toxins are a class of potent virulence factors that convert from a soluble form to a membrane-integrated pore. The bacterial toxin cytolysin A is one such pore-forming toxin, and it is responsible for the haemolytic phenotype of several Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica strains. Here, the crystal structure of the assembled pore is reported, and a sequential mechanism for its assembly proposed.

Marcus Mueller, Ulla Grauschopf, Timm Maier, Rudi Glockshuber & Nenad Ban


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

Metamorphic enzyme assembly in polyketide diversification p731

Co-evolution of enzymes for metabolic diversification is not well understood, especially at the biochemical level. Here, the biosynthetic pathways responsible for the synthesis of two natural products, curacin and jamaicamide, are examined; several domains are characterized to help determine how, although the two pathways have a high sequence identity, they are responsible for the production of two such dramatically different chemical motifs.

Liangcai Gu, Bo Wang, Amol Kulkarni, Todd W. Geders, Rashel V. Grindberg, Lena Gerwick, Kristina Håkansson, Peter Wipf, Janet L. Smith, William H. Gerwick & David H. Sherman


See also: Editor's summary



The ATM repair pathway inhibits RNA polymerase I transcription in response to chromosome breaks p736

Michael Kruhlak, Elizabeth E. Crouch, Marika Orlov, Carolina Montaño, Stanislaw A. Gorski, André Nussenzweig, Tom Misteli, Robert D. Phair & Rafael Casellas




Millennial-scale trends in west Pacific warm pool hydrology since the Last Glacial Maximum p736

Judson W. Partin, Kim M. Cobb, Jess F. Adkins, Brian Clark & Diego P. Fernandez


UCP2 mediates ghrelin's action on NPY/AgRP neurons by lowering free radicals p736

Zane B. Andrews, Zhong-Wu Liu, Nicholas Walllingford, Derek M. Erion, Erzsebet Borok, Jeffery M. Friedman, Matthias H. Tschöp, Marya Shanabrough, Gary Cline, Gerald I. Shulman, Anna Coppola, Xiao-Bing Gao, Tamas L. Horvath & Sabrina Diano





New shores of literature p739

For good reading, look more deeply, says Paul Smaglik.

Paul Smaglik


Postdoc journal

The little green monster p739

Staying at home is making me jealous.

Joanne Isaac


In Brief

Biotech audience shrinks p739

Attendance down for this year's BIO meeting.


Boston ahead of the pack p739

Life-science sectors in the lead.


Show me the money p739

US agencies gear up for spending stimulus funds.


Careers and Recruitment

Here comes the sun p740

The solar-energy industry is poised for a strong comeback from the rough patch it has hit, thanks to solid governmental and private investment. Kurt Kleiner investigates.

Kurt Kleiner




To all sister capsules p744

There's something out there.

Scott Virtes


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