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Climate of fear p141

The integrity of climate research has taken a very public battering in recent months. Scientists must now emphasize the science, while acknowledging that they are in a street fight.


Scientific glasnost p141

Russia's scientific reputation will continue to dwindle unless it embraces international research.


Europe's research future p142

The region's member states must follow through on their political and scientific commitments.



Research Highlights

Palaeontology: The long and the short p144


Metabolism: Warm milk p144


Chemistry: Cellulose busters p144


Neuroscience: Nerve cell talk p144


Biomaterials: Squishy particles p144


Cancer biology: Arsenic activation p144


Physics: Photon storage for telecoms p145


Cancer genomics: Melanoma's mutations p145


Nanotechnology: Harvesting heat p145


Evolution: Creating cooperation p145



Journal Club

Journal club p145

Markus Reichstein




News briefing: 11 March 2010 p146

The week in science.


Outcry over scientists' dismissal p148

Following years of acrimony, two high-profile researchers in Mexico have been expelled from their institute.

Rex Dalton


Climate e-mail rerun p149

Attack sparks memories of McCarthy witch-hunt.

Jeff Tollefson


Old rocks drown dry Moon theory p150

Samples collected during Apollo missions suggest a wet interior, raising questions about lunar origins.

Eric Hand


Biology thinks big to stay cuts p151

Intercontinental programme sets vision for frontier projects.

Alison Abbott


Science survives Canadian budget p153

Spending plans aim to battle national deficit yet still invest in research.

Nicola Jones


Plant biologists fear for cress project p154

Is enthusiasm withering for funding studies into Arabidopsis thaliana?

Heidi Ledford


Graphic detail: Securing UK science p155

Richard Van Noorden


A rescue plan for UK physics funding p155

Research council faces restructuring to resolve financial woes.

Geoff Brumfiel



News Features

Nuclear weapons physics: Welcome to the Atomic Weapons Establishment p156

With the launch of a powerful laser facility, Britain's most secretive lab is opening up to academics. Geoff Brumfiel secures a preview.


Bioengineering: What to make with DNA origami p158

Chemists looking to create complex self-assembling nanostructures are turning to DNA. Katharine Sanderson looks at the science beneath the fold.




Science and Mexico are the losers in institute politics p160

Harold W. Kroto, Pulikel M. Ajayan, Anthony K. Cheetham, Mildred S. Dresselhaus, Morinobu Endo, Alan L. Mackay & Ljubisa R. Radovic


Colour-coded targets would help clarify biodiversity priorities p160

Anne Larigauderie, Georgina M. Mace & Harold A. Mooney


Barriers to carbon capture and storage may not be obvious p160

Frances Bowen




Accelerating HIV vaccine development p161

Translational-research programmes supported by flexible, long-term, large-scale grants are needed to turn advances in basic science into successful vaccines to halt the AIDS epidemic, says Wayne C. Koff.

Wayne C. Koff



Books and Arts

Evolution of the motor car p163

A proposed reinvention for urban motoring based on ultra-small electric vehicles does not address the bigger environmental or social challenges, finds Daniel Sperling.

Daniel Sperling reviews Reinventing the Automobile: Personal Urban Mobility for the 21st Century by William J. Mitchell, Christopher E. Borroni-Bird & Lawrence D. Burns


Space to contemplate p164

Joanne Baker reviews The Edge of Physics: A Journey to Earth's Extremes to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe/Dispatches from the Frontiers of Cosmology by Anil Ananthaswamy


Genius who shuns the limelight p165

George Szpiro reviews Perfect Rigor: A Genius and the Mathematical Breakthrough of the Century by Masha Gessen


Q&A: Peter Hessler on urbanization in China p166

In Country Driving, the final book in his China trilogy, Peter Hessler recounts his 11,000-kilometre drive across China to see at first hand the effects of rapid industrialization. The New Yorker journalist explains how mass migration to cities brings out people's resourcefulness, but also how the speed of social and environmental change leads them to seek meaning in their lives.

Jane Qiu reviews Country Driving: A Journey Through China from Farm to Factory by Peter Hessler



News and Views

Structural biology: When four become one p167

Every machine is made of parts. But, as the new structure of the HIV integrase enzyme in complex with viral DNA shows, one could not have predicted from the individual parts just how this machine works.

Robert Craigie


See also: Editor's summary

50 & 100 years ago p168


Atmospheric chemistry: Wider role for airborne chlorine p168

Unexpected chlorine chemistry in the lowest part of the atmosphere can affect the cycling of nitrogen oxides and the production of ozone, and reduce the lifetime of the greenhouse gas methane.

Roland von Glasow


See also: Editor's summary

Supramolecular chemistry: Sticking to sugars p169

If evolution has had trouble making effective carbohydrate receptors, what hope do humans have of creating synthetic versions? A method for preparing libraries of such receptors boosts the chances of success.

Anthony P. Davis


Sex determination: An avian sexual revolution p171

Hormones are not all-powerful in determining whether birds develop with male or female features. Chickens that are genetic sexual mosaics reveal that individual cells also have a say in the matter.

Lindsey A. Barske & Blanche Capel


See also: Editor's summary

Applied ecology: Grass and the X factor p172

Tim Lincoln


Cosmology: Gravity tested on cosmic scales p172

Einstein's theory of general relativity has been tested — and confirmed — on scales far beyond those of our Solar System. But the results don't exclude all alternative theories of gravity.

J. Anthony Tyson


See also: Editor's summary


Insight: Exotic matter

Insight: Exotic matter

Exotic matter p175

Dan Csontos


The enigma of supersolidity p176

Sebastien Balibar


Superconductivity gets an iron boost p183

Igor I. Mazin


Non-Abelian states of matter p187

Ady Stern


The birth of topological insulators p194

Joel E. Moore


Spin liquids in frustrated magnets p199

Leon Balents


Electron liquids and solids in one dimension p209

Vikram V. Deshpande, Marc Bockrath, Leonid I. Glazman & Amir Yacoby




Targeting early infection to prevent HIV-1 mucosal transmission p217

Ashley T. Haase


See also: Editor's summary



Immunology and the elusive AIDS vaccine p224

Herbert W. Virgin & Bruce D. Walker


See also: Editor's summary



Retroviral intasome assembly and inhibition of DNA strand transfer p232

The integrase protein of retroviruses such as HIV-1 catalyses insertion of the viral genome into that of the host. Here, the long-awaited structure of the full-length integrase complex is predicted, revealing not only details of the biochemistry of the integration reaction, but also the means by which current inhibitors affect this process.

Stephen Hare, Saumya Shree Gupta, Eugene Valkov, Alan Engelman & Peter Cherepanov


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

Somatic sex identity is cell autonomous in the chicken p237

In mammals, embryos are considered to be sexually indifferent until the action of a sex-determining gene initiates gonadal differentiation. Here it is demonstrated that this situation is different for birds. Using rare, naturally occurring chimaeric chickens where one side of the animal appears male and the other female, it is shown that avian somatic cells possess an inherent sex identity and that, in birds, sexual differentiation is cell autonomous.

D. Zhao, D. McBride, S. Nandi, H. A. McQueen, M. J. McGrew, P. M. Hocking, P. D. Lewis, H. M. Sang & M. Clinton


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Barske & Capel

Systems survey of endocytosis by multiparametric image analysis p243

A new strategy is presented to accurately profile the activity of human genes in endocytosis by combining genome-wide RNAi, automated high-resolution confocal microscopy and quantitative multi-parametric image analysis. Several novel components of endocytosis and endosome trafficking were uncovered; a systems analysis further revealed that the cell regulates the number, size and concentration of cargo within endosomes.

Claudio Collinet, Martin Stöter, Charles R. Bradshaw, Nikolay Samusik, Jochen C. Rink, Denise Kenski, Bianca Habermann, Frank Buchholz, Robert Henschel, Matthias S. Mueller, Wolfgang E. Nagel, Eugenio Fava, Yannis Kalaidzidis & Marino Zerial


See also: Editor's summary

The primary transcriptome of the major human pathogen Helicobacter pylori p250

The transcriptome of Helicobacter pylori, an important human pathogen involved in gastric ulcers and cancer, is presented. The approach establishes a model for mapping and annotating the primary transcriptomes of many living species.

Cynthia M. Sharma, Steve Hoffmann, Fabien Darfeuille, Jérémy Reignier, Sven Findeiß, Alexandra Sittka, Sandrine Chabas, Kristin Reiche, Jörg Hackermüller, Richard Reinhardt, Peter F. Stadler & Jörg Vogel


See also: Editor's summary



Confirmation of general relativity on large scales from weak lensing and galaxy velocities p256

Although general relativity underlies modern cosmology, its applicability on cosmological length scales has yet to be stringently tested. Now, at a length scale of tens of megaparsecs, the quantity EG, which combines measures of large-scale gravitational lensing, galaxy clustering, and the growth rate of structure, has been measured to be 0.39±0.06, in agreement with the general relativistic prediction of about 0.4.

Reinabelle Reyes, Rachel Mandelbaum, Uros Seljak, Tobias Baldauf, James E. Gunn, Lucas Lombriser & Robert E. Smith


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

Deviations from a uniform period spacing of gravity modes in a massive star p259

Measuring the oscillations of a star can allow the various mixing processes in its interior to be disentangled, through the signature they leave on period spacings in the gravity mode spectrum. Here numerous gravity modes in a young star of about seven solar masses are reported: the mean period spacing enables the extent of the convective core to be determined, and the clear periodic deviation from the mean constrains the location of the chemical transition zone — at about 10 per cent of the radius.

Pieter Degroote, Conny Aerts, Annie Baglin, Andrea Miglio, Maryline Briquet, Arlette Noels, Ewa Niemczura, Josefina Montalban, Steven Bloemen, Raquel Oreiro, Maja Vučković, Kristof Smolders, Michel Auvergne, Frederic Baudin, Claude Catala & Eric Michel


See also: Editor's summary

Transmission of electrical signals by spin-wave interconversion in a magnetic insulator p262

An insulator does not conduct electricity, and so cannot in general be used to transmit an electrical signal. But an insulator's electrons possess spin in addition to charge, and so can transmit a signal in the form of a spin wave. Here a hybrid metal–insulator–metal structure is reported, in which an electrical signal in one metal layer is directly converted to a spin wave in the insulating layer; this wave is then transmitted to the second metal layer, where the signal can be directly recovered as an electrical voltage.

Y. Kajiwara, K. Harii, S. Takahashi, J. Ohe, K. Uchida, M. Mizuguchi, H. Umezawa, H. Kawai, K. Ando, K. Takanashi, S. Maekawa & E. Saitoh


See also: Editor's summary

Tunable polymer multi-shape memory effect p267

When a shape memory polymer is deformed at a temperature defined by a specific phase transition, the deformed shape is fixed upon cooling, but the original shape can be recovered on reheating. Here the perfluorosulphonic acid ionomer Nafion is shown to exhibit at least four different shapes as a result of its broad reversible phase transition.

Tao Xie


See also: Editor's summary

A large atomic chlorine source inferred from mid-continental reactive nitrogen chemistry p271

The presence of gaseous chlorine atom precursors within the troposphere was thought only to occur in marine areas but now nitryl chloride has been found at a distance of 1,400 km from the nearest coastline. A model study shows that the amount of nitryl chloride production in the continental USA alone is similar to previous global estimates for marine regions. A significant fraction of tropospheric chlorine atoms may arise directly from anthropogenic pollutants.

Joel A. Thornton, James P. Kercher, Theran P. Riedel, Nicholas L. Wagner, Julie Cozic, John S. Holloway, William P. Dubé, Glenn M. Wolfe, Patricia K. Quinn, Ann M. Middlebrook, Becky Alexander & Steven S. Brown


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

Antagonistic coevolution accelerates molecular evolution p275

The Red Queen hypothesis predicts that coevolution should increase the rate of evolution at the molecular level. Here, genome sequencing in an experimental phage–bacteria system is used to show that this is true, but the effect is concentrated on specific loci, and also that coevolution drives greater diversification of phage populations.

Steve Paterson, Tom Vogwill, Angus Buckling, Rebecca Benmayor, Andrew J. Spiers, Nicholas R. Thomson, Mike Quail, Frances Smith, Danielle Walker, Ben Libberton, Andrew Fenton, Neil Hall & Michael A. Brockhurst


See also: Editor's summary

Compensatory evolution in mitochondrial tRNAs navigates valleys of low fitness p279

Evolution from one fitness peak to another must involve either transitions through intermediates of low fitness or skirting round the fitness valley through compensatory mutations elsewhere. Here, the base pairs in mitochondrial tRNA stems is used as a model to show that deep fitness valleys can be traversed. Transitions between AU and GC pairs have occurred during mammalian evolution without help from genetic drift or mutations elsewhere.

Margarita V. Meer, Alexey S. Kondrashov, Yael Artzy-Randrup & Fyodor A. Kondrashov


See also: Editor's summary

Sister chromosome pairing maintains heterozygosity in parthenogenetic lizards p283

The existence of all-female species of whiptail lizard, formed as a hybrid between sexual species, has been known since 1962; however, how the meiotic program is altered to produce diploid eggs while maintaining heterozygosity has remained unclear. Here it is shown in parthenogenetic species that meiosis initiates with twice the number of chromosomes compared to sexual species, and that pairing and recombination takes place between genetically identical sister chromosomes instead of between homologues.

Aracely A. Lutes, William B. Neaves, Diana P. Baumann, Winfried Wiegraebe & Peter Baumann


See also: Editor's summary

Systematic genetic analysis of muscle morphogenesis and function in Drosophila p287

A genome-wide RNA interference screen to systematically test the genetic basis for formation and function of the Drosophila muscle is described. A role in muscle for 2,785 genes is identified; many of these genes are phylogenetically conserved.

Frank Schnorrer, Cornelia Schönbauer, Christoph C. H. Langer, Georg Dietzl, Maria Novatchkova, Katharina Schernhuber, Michaela Fellner, Anna Azaryan, Martin Radolf, Alexander Stark, Krystyna Keleman & Barry J. Dickson


See also: Editor's summary

Telomere elongation in induced pluripotent stem cells from dyskeratosis congenita patients p292

Here, iPS cell technology is used to study the mechanisms underlying dyskeratosis congenita in humans. Reprogramming restores telomere elongation in dyskeratosis congenita cells despite genetic lesions affecting telomerase. The reprogrammed cells were able to overcome a critical limitation in telomerase RNA component (TERC) levels to restore telomere maintenance and self-renewal, and multiple telomerase components are targeted by pluripotency-associated transcription factors.

Suneet Agarwal, Yuin-Han Loh, Erin M. McLoughlin, Junjiu Huang, In-Hyun Park, Justine D. Miller, Hongguang Huo, Maja Okuka, Rosana Maria dos Reis, Sabine Loewer, Huck-Hui Ng, David L. Keefe, Frederick D. Goldman, Aloysius J. Klingelhutz, Lin Liu & George Q. Daley


See also: Editor's summary

The cells and peripheral representation of sodium taste in mice p297

Mammals are repelled by large concentrations of salts but attracted to low concentrations of sodium. In mice, the latter behaviour can be blocked by the ion channel inhibitor amiloride. Here, mice have been produced lacking the drug's target sodium channel, ENaC, specifically in taste receptor neurons. It is confirmed that sodium sensing, like the four other taste modalities (sweet, sour, bitter and umami), is mediated by a dedicated 'labelled line'.

Jayaram Chandrashekar, Christina Kuhn, Yuki Oka, David A. Yarmolinsky, Edith Hummler, Nicholas J. P. Ryba & Charles S. Zuker


See also: Editor's summary

B-cell-derived lymphotoxin promotes castration-resistant prostate cancer p302

In a mouse model of prostate cancer it is shown that infiltrating B cells promote tumorigenesis by secreting lymphotoxin. Lymphotoxin accelerates the emergence of castration-resistant prostate tumours in this model. Interfering with this pathway may offer therapeutic strategies for androgen-independent prostate cancer.

Massimo Ammirante, Jun-Li Luo, Sergei Grivennikov, Sergei Nedospasov & Michael Karin


See also: Editor's summary

JARID2 regulates binding of the Polycomb repressive complex2 to target genes in ES cells p306

Polycomb proteins have a key role in regulating the expression of genes essential for development, differentiation and maintenance of cell fates. Here, Polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) is shown to form a complex with JARID2, a Jumonji domain protein. JARID2 is required for the binding of Polycomb proteins to target genes in embryonic stem cells as well as for the proper differentiation of ES cells.

Diego Pasini, Paul A. C. Cloos, Julian Walfridsson, Linda Olsson, John-Paul Bukowski, Jens V. Johansen, Mads Bak, Niels Tommerup, Juri Rappsilber & Kristian Helin


See also: Editor's summary




Speak up p312

Peter Fiske argues that too many young scientists adopt a passive voice, to the detriment of their careers.

Peter Fiske


Careers Q&A

Q&A p313

Lidia Brito, Mozambique's former science minister, now heads the science-policy division at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris.

Virginia Gewin


In Brief

Better prospects p313

UK oil, gas and petrochemical employers expect to hire researchers this year.


Salary freeze p313

US universities are expected to restrict hiring this year.


Wellcome translation p313

The UK Wellcome Trust launches new PhD studentships in several fields.




The Omniplus Ultra p316

You can't live without it.

Paul Di Filippo


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