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Data's shameful neglect p145

Research cannot flourish if data are not preserved and made accessible. All concerned must act accordingly.


A step too far? p145

The Obama administration must fund human space flight adequately, or stop speaking of 'exploration'.


Overrated ratings p146

Criteria for 'green buildings' need to make energy performance a priority — as do universities.



Research Highlights

Animal communication: Warning wings p148


Atmospheric chemistry: Ozone's winners and losers p148


Physics: Magnetic monopoles p148


Computational biology: A new protein subdivision p148


Microbial evolution: Cholera gene swap p148


Chemistry: Going for gold p149


Evolution and development: Genes in the mirror p149


Neuroscience: Fear net p149


Genetics: Why Y knots p149



Journal Club

Journal club p149

Elena B. Pasquale




News briefing p150


Cash crisis could ground NASA rocket p153

Crewed missions to the Moon are under threat, warns an expert panel.

Eric Hand


How green is your campus? p154

Universities are working to bring sustainability to their campuses and classrooms, and could serve as a model for other institutions looking to go carbon-neutral. But there's no single way to grade the initiatives.

Amanda Leigh Mascarelli


Export-control laws worry academics p156

US researchers hope planned reforms will reduce the risk of prosecution.

Sharon Weinberger


Ethics scrutiny needed for Chinese–European projects p157

Panel calls for joint advisory body to monitor research.

Daniel Cressey


Toxicity testing gets a makeover p158

Europe aims to make chemical-exposure studies more predictive while using fewer animals.

Alison Abbott


World climate services framework agreed p159

Much work remains to provide predictions to governments.

Olive Heffernan


Correction p159



News Features

Data sharing: Empty archives p160

Most researchers agree that open access to data is the scientific ideal, so what is stopping it happening? Bryn Nelson investigates why many researchers choose not to share.


Evolution: Mouth to mouth p164

Hagfish and lampreys are the only surviving fish without jaws. And they could solve an evolutionary mystery, finds Henry Nicholls.




Choking on carbon emissions from Greek academic paperwork p167

Costas Synolakis & Spyros Foteinis


Evolution pioneers: celebrating Lamarck at 200, Darwin 215 p167

William E. Friedman


Evolution pioneers: Lamarck's reputation saved by his zoology p167

Pietro Corsi


Religious belief and the history of science p167

Scott Goode




Prepublication data sharing p168

Rapid release of prepublication data has served the field of genomics well. Attendees at a workshop in Toronto recommend extending the practice to other biological data sets.

Toronto International Data Release Workshop Authors


Post-publication sharing of data and tools p171

Despite existing guidelines on access to data and bioresources, good practice is not widespread. A meeting of mouse researchers in Rome proposes ways to promote a culture of sharing.

Paul N. Schofield, Tania Bubela, Thomas Weaver, Lili Portilla, Stephen D. Brown, John M. Hancock, David Einhorn, Glauco Tocchini-Valentini, Martin Hrabe de Angelis, Nadia Rosenthal & CASIMIR Rome Meeting participants



Books and Arts

Call for a climate culture shift p174

A new book describes the rapid reshaping of human priorities needed to save the planet from global warming. Some of that change is already under way at the community level, explains Robert Costanza.

Robert Costanza reviews Down to the Wire: Confronting Climate Collapse by David W. Orr


The wider lessons for finance p175

Ehsan Masood reviews Animal Spirits: How Human Psychology Drives the Economy, and Why It Matters for Global Capitalism by George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller and Fool's Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe by Gillian Tett


How Spain redrew the world p176

Neil Safier reviews Secret Science: Spanish Cosmography and the New World by María M. Portuondo



News and Views

Sex determination: Birds do it with a Z gene p177

The gene that determines sex in birds has eluded scientists for a decade. Now this all-important locus is revealed as a gene on the Z chromosome known for its proclivity for determining sex in all kinds of animals.

Jennifer A. Marshall Graves


See also: Editor's summary

Nanotechnology: A gentle jackhammer p178

A futuristic method of data storage depends on the 'write–read' action of a multitude of tiny silicon tips. The concept of dynamic superlubricity offers a way to avoid the wear that would otherwise cripple them.

Enrico Gnecco


Early Earth: Oxygen for heavy-metal fans p179

Chromium isotopes provide an eyebrow-raising history of oxygenation of Earth's atmosphere. Not least, it seems that oxygen might have all but disappeared half a billion years after its initial rise.

Timothy W. Lyons & Christopher T. Reinhard


See also: Editor's summary

50 & 100 years ago p180


Cell biology: Sent by the scent of death p181

Dying cells release 'find-me' factors that attract professional scavenger cells to engulf and digest them. These cellular invitations to dine can take unexpected forms.

Christopher Gregory


See also: Editor's summary

Materials chemistry: Catalysts made thinner p182

Thinner can be better, at least for the industrially useful catalysts known as zeolites. A technique that allows single layers of zeolites to assemble from solution opens up a plethora of practical applications.

Avelino Corma


See also: Editor's summary

Developmental biology: Instructions writ in blood p183

It seems that growth factors may instruct blood-cell progenitors to develop into specific mature cell types, actively determining lineage choice. But is this reductionist view of cell fate overly simplistic?

Tariq Enver & Sten Eirik W. Jacobsen



Insight: Transcribing the genome

Insight: Transcribing the genome

Transcribing the genome p185

Alex Eccleston & Magdalena Skipper


Defining mechanisms that regulate RNA polymerase II transcription in vivo p186

Nicholas J. Fuda, M. Behfar Ardehali & John T. Lis


The logic of chromatin architecture and remodelling at promoters p193

Bradley R. Cairns


Genomic views of distant-acting enhancers p199

Axel Visel, Edward M. Rubin & Len A. Pennacchio


Implications of chimaeric non-co-linear transcripts p206

Thomas R. Gingeras


Chromosome crosstalk in three dimensions p212

Anita Göndör & Rolf Ohlsson


Molecular networks as sensors and drivers of common human diseases p218

Eric E. Schadt




Co-translational mRNA decay in Saccharomyces cerevisiae p225

The levels of messenger RNA are determined by the rates of RNA decay and transcription, but although the details of transcriptional regulation are increasingly understood, the mechanism(s) controlling mRNA decay remain unclear. In yeast, it is hypothesized that ribosomes must be removed from mRNA before transcripts are destroyed. However, here it is shown that decay takes place while mRNAs are associated with actively translating ribosomes, allowing the last translocating ribosome to complete translation.

Wenqian Hu, Thomas J. Sweet, Sangpen Chamnongpol, Kristian E. Baker & Jeff Coller


See also: Editor's summary

An RNA-dependent RNA polymerase formed by TERT and the RMRP RNA p230

Accumulating evidence suggests that the human telomerase reverse transcriptase catalytic subunit (TERT) has a role in cell physiology independent to that of elongating telomeres. Here it is shown to interact with RMRP, a gene that is mutated in the syndrome cartilage–hair hypoplasia, to form a distinct ribonucleoprotein complex that has RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRP) activity and produces double-stranded RNAs that can be processed into small interfering RNAs.

Yoshiko Maida, Mami Yasukawa, Miho Furuuchi, Timo Lassmann, Richard Possemato, Naoko Okamoto, Vivi Kasim, Yoshihide Hayashizaki, William C. Hahn & Kenkichi Masutomi


See also: Editor's summary



The global distribution of pure anorthosite on the Moon p236

It has long been thought that the lunar highland crust was formed by the crystallization and floatation of plagioclase from a global magma ocean, but the exact mechanism by which such a crust formed remains debated. Data from the Japanese SELENE spacecraft are now used to produce a clear and high spatial resolution view of the composition of the lunar crust. The existence of widely distributed crustal rocks with compositions approaching 100 per cent (by volume) plagioclase is revealed.

Makiko Ohtake, Tsuneo Matsunaga, Junichi Haruyama, Yasuhiro Yokota, Tomokatsu Morota, Chikatoshi Honda, Yoshiko Ogawa, Masaya Torii, Hideaki Miyamoto, Tomoko Arai, Naru Hirata, Akira Iwasaki, Ryosuke Nakamura, Takahiro Hiroi, Takamitsu Sugihara, Hiroshi Takeda, Hisashi Otake, Carle M. Pieters, Kazuto Saiki, Kohei Kitazato, Masanao Abe, Noriaki Asada, Hirohide Demura, Yasushi Yamaguchi, Sho Sasaki, Shinsuke Kodama, Junya Terazono, Motomaro Shirao, Atsushi Yamaji, Shigeyuki Minami, Hiroaki Akiyama & Jean-Luc Josset


See also: Editor's summary

Coherent optical pulse sequencer for quantum applications p241

Precise and arbitrary control of an optical field that preserves optical coherence is an important requisite for many proposed photonic technologies. Here, a coherent optical memory based on photon echoes induced through controlled reversible inhomogeneous broadening is presented. The scheme allows storage of multiple pulses of light which can be arbitrarily recalled, time-stretched or split.

Mahdi Hosseini, Ben M. Sparkes, Gabriel Hétet, Jevon J. Longdell, Ping Koy Lam & Ben C. Buchler


See also: Editor's summary

Stable single-unit-cell nanosheets of zeolite MFI as active and long-lived catalysts p246

Zeolites — microporous crystalline aluminosilicates — are widely used in industry as size- and shape-selective catalysts, but the micropores that enable this catalytic activity also cause diffusion limitations that adversely affect it. This can be overcome by reducing the thickness of the zeolite crystals and thus improving molecular diffusion. Here it is shown that bifunctional surfactants can direct the formation of zeolite structures that are only one unit cell thick.

Minkee Choi, Kyungsu Na, Jeongnam Kim, Yasuhiro Sakamoto, Osamu Terasaki & Ryong Ryoo


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

Fluctuations in Precambrian atmospheric oxygenation recorded by chromium isotopes p250

It is thought that oxygenation of the Earth's atmosphere occurred in two broad steps, but details of the evolution of atmospheric oxygenation remain uncertain. Chromium (Cr) stable isotopes from banded iron formations are now used to track the presence of Cr(VI) in Precambrian oceans, providing a time-resolved picture of the oxygenation history of the Earth's atmosphere–hydrosphere system.

Robert Frei, Claudio Gaucher, Simon W. Poulton & Don E. Canfield


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Lyons & Reinhard

The importance of niches for the maintenance of species diversity p254

If organisms are involved in a perpetual struggle for existence, how is it that communities are so diverse? The traditional answer is the ecological niche but this has recently been challenged by the neutral theory of biodiversity, which explains coexistence with the equivalence of competitors. Here, theory and experimentation are integrated in order to explore this problem; the results show that diversity declines when niches are removed.

Jonathan M. Levine & Janneke HilleRisLambers


See also: Editor's summary

Photosystem I gene cassettes are present in marine virus genomes p258

Cyanobacteria are important contributors to photosynthetic productivity in the open oceans. Functional photosystem II components are known to be encoded in cyanophage genomes and are suggested to provide a fitness advantage to the virus by boosting host performance. It is now shown that photosystem I components can also be detected in cyanophages.

Itai Sharon, Ariella Alperovitch, Forest Rohwer, Matthew Haynes, Fabian Glaser, Nof Atamna-Ismaeel, Ron Y. Pinter, Frédéric Partensky, Eugene V. Koonin, Yuri I. Wolf, Nathan Nelson & Oded Béjà


See also: Editor's summary

Changes of mind in decision-making p263

How do we change our minds? Here, subjects were asked to make decisions about a noisy visual stimulus, which they indicated by moving a handle. By following hand trajectories, it was possible to determine the rare occasions when subjects changed their minds halfway through a trial. The authors extend a model developed to account for the timing and accuracy of the initial decision to explain these subsequent changes of mind.

Arbora Resulaj, Roozbeh Kiani, Daniel M. Wolpert & Michael N. Shadlen


See also: Editor's summary

The avian Z-linked gene DMRT1 is required for male sex determination in the chicken p267

Although sex determination in birds, as in mammals, is chromosomally based, its mechanism has been a long-standing mystery. In birds, the homogametic sex is male (ZZ) and the heterogametic sex is female (ZW); one hypothesis is that two doses of a Z-linked gene are required for male development. Here it is shown that reducing expression of the conserved Z-linked gene DMRT1 feminizes the embryonic gonads in genetically male (ZZ) chicken embryos.

Craig A. Smith, Kelly N. Roeszler, Thomas Ohnesorg, David M. Cummins, Peter G. Farlie, Timothy J. Doran & Andrew H. Sinclair


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

Targeted capture and massively parallel sequencing of 12 human exomes p272

Although DNA sequencing costs have fallen dramatically, they are still too high for whole genome sequencing to be used to routinely identify rare and novel variants in large cohorts. The targeted capture and massively parallel sequencing of the exomes of 12 humans is now reported. Freeman–Sheldon syndrome is used as a proof-of-concept that candidate genes for monogenic disorders can be identified by exome sequencing of a small number of unrelated, affected individuals.

Sarah B. Ng, Emily H. Turner, Peggy D. Robertson, Steven D. Flygare, Abigail W. Bigham, Choli Lee, Tristan Shaffer, Michelle Wong, Arindam Bhattacharjee, Evan E. Eichler, Michael Bamshad, Deborah A. Nickerson & Jay Shendure


See also: Editor's summary

Modification of CO2 avoidance behaviour in Drosophila by inhibitory odorants p277

Fruitflies instinctively avoid CO2, for example that produced by stressed fellow flies, but they overcome this avoidance response in some environments that contain CO2, such as ripening fruits. Here, a new class of odorants present in food is identified that directly inhibit CO2-sensitive neurons in the antenna — not, as one would expect, indirectly via other olfactory pathways.

Stephanie Lynn Turner & Anandasankar Ray


See also: Editor's summary

Nucleotides released by apoptotic cells act as a find-me signal to promote phagocytic clearance p282

The efficient removal of apoptotic cells in vivo is thought to be due to the release of 'find-me' signals by apoptotic cells that recruit motile phagocytes. Here, the caspase-dependent release of ATP and UTP during the early stages of apoptosis is demonstrated. ATP and UTP are found to act as chemoattractants in a process mediated through the ATP/UTP receptor P2Y2, which is present on monocytes and macrophages.

Michael R. Elliott, Faraaz B. Chekeni, Paul C. Trampont, Eduardo R. Lazarowski, Alexandra Kadl, Scott F. Walk, Daeho Park, Robin I. Woodson, Marina Ostankovich, Poonam Sharma, Jeffrey J. Lysiak, T. Kendall Harden, Norbert Leitinger & Kodi S. Ravichandran


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

ErbB2 resembles an autoinhibited invertebrate epidermal growth factor receptor p287

The tyrosine kinase receptor ErbB2 has been implicated in cancer, particularly breast cancer. It has been suggested that its oncogenic signalling properties result from the absence of a key 'tether' in the extracellular region that autoinhibits other human ErbB receptors. ErbB2 is now shown to be the closest structural relative of the dEGFR receptor in Drosophila; although dEGFR also lacks a tether, a distinct set of autoinhibitory interactions keep it inactive.

Diego Alvarado, Daryl E. Klein & Mark A. Lemmon


See also: Editor's summary

Structure of the BK potassium channel in a lipid membrane from electron cryomicroscopy p292

Electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) is an increasingly powerful method for looking at the structures of large soluble proteins that does not require crystallization of the proteins. Here, the first single-particle cryo-EM study of a membrane protein is reported — the human large-conductance calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channel (BK) — in a lipid environment.

Liguo Wang & Fred J. Sigworth


See also: Editor's summary



MicroRNA-mediated switching of chromatin-remodelling complexes in neural development p296

Andrew S. Yoo, Brett T. Staahl, Lei Chen & Gerald R. Crabtree





Business skills for postdocs p299

Master's programme recognizes need for bridge into industry.

Virginia Gewin


Postdoc journal

Finding the perfect match p299

Applying for jobs can be like finding the perfect date.

Julia Boughner


In Brief

Foreign admissions fall p299

Foreign admissions down at US graduate schools.


Data manager for Europe p299

Colossal data management effort could open up bioinformatics opportunities.


IT sector takes a hit p299

IT sector hurting but industry will remain a magnet for venture-capital investment.



Eyeing the underdog p300

Can Philadelphia's biotechnology industry absorb the jobs lost from pharmaceutical companies? Kerry Grens investigates.

Kerry Grens



Spotlight on Philadelphia




The pet p304

An exercise in control.

Robert W. Janes


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