Table of Contents

Japanese Table of Contents

Volume 487 Number 7406 pp139-266

12 July 2012

About the cover

Heat cycles provide almost all of the energy that a modern civilization consumes. The thermoelectric cycle, a latecomer compared with steam and gases, generates electrical power through the Seebeck effect, whereby an electric voltage is generated when a conductor is placed in a temperature gradient. The 2008 discovery of the spin Seebeck effect ( — whereby a thermal gradient applied to a spin-polarized material leads to a spatially varying transverse spin current in an adjacent non-spin-polarized material — led to a new line of research in spintronics. In this issue of Nature, Jaworski et al. describe something similar but three orders of magnitude more powerful, 'giant spin Seebeck effect' in a material (indium antimonide, InSb) that is non-magnetic but that has strong spin–orbit coupling and phonon–electron drag. They propose a mechanism for this phenomenon that relies on spin polarization only, not on magnetic exchange. The results, say the authors, show that the spin Seebeck effect can be of a magnitude that may make spin-based thermal-energy converters a reality, and possibly competitive with existing technologies. Cover: IMAGE BY Scott Denison © Roberto C. Myers & Joseph P. Heremans.

This Week


  • Take a stand

    Legal actions and oversight are necessary to keep the drug industry in line.

  • Enjoy the moment

    The discovery of the Higgs boson is a massive achievement — let's just savour it.

World View


Seven Days

  • Seven days: 6–12 July 2012

    The week in science: Arsenic-loving bacterium needs phosphorus after all; polonium poisoning suspected in Yasser Arafat’s death; and China’s Three Gorges Dam reaches full power.

News in Focus


  • Neutrino physics: Beta test

    No Alt text available for this image

    Debate rages over whether researchers have managed to see an exceptionally rare form of radioactivity. Experiments this year should finally settle the issue.

    • Edwin Cartlidge


Books and Arts

  • Geoscience: Depth charge

    Cecily Wolfe welcomes a life of cartographer Marie Tharp, revealing her part in the plate-tectonics revolution.

    • Review of Soundings: The Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor
      Hali Felt
  • Q&A: Video maestro

    Bill Viola creates immersive video installations that focus on extreme emotions and primal human experiences such as birth and death. On the eve of the Sacred Geometry and Secular Science exhibition at the Loyola University Museum of Art in Chicago, Illinois, the artist talks about meditative video gaming, Renaissance “punks” and the power of mystery.

    • Review of Sacred Geometry and Secular Science Bill Viola: Reflections
  • Physics: Morals and madness

    Philip Ball finds little contemporary relevance in a play from the cold-war era that probes scientific responsibility.

    • Review of The Physicists
      Jack Thorne & Josie Rourke








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  • Anhedonia requires MC4R-mediated synaptic adaptations in nucleus accumbens

    • Byung Kook Lim
    • Kee Wui Huang
    • Brad A. Grueter
    • Patrick E. Rothwell
    • Robert C. Malenka

    Stress-induced behavioural measures of anhedonia in adult mice, but not measures of behavioural despair, required a decrease in the strength of excitatory synapses on D1 dopamine receptor-expressing nucleus accumbens medium spiny neurons owing to activation of melanocortin 4 receptors.

  • Accurate whole-genome sequencing and haplotyping from 10 to 20 human cells OPEN

    • Brock A. Peters
    • Bahram G. Kermani
    • Andrew B. Sparks
    • Oleg Alferov
    • Peter Hong
    • Andrei Alexeev
    • Yuan Jiang
    • Fredrik Dahl
    • Y. Tom Tang
    • Juergen Haas
    • Kimberly Robasky
    • Alexander Wait Zaranek
    • Je-Hyuk Lee
    • Madeleine Price Ball
    • Joseph E. Peterson
    • Helena Perazich
    • George Yeung
    • Jia Liu
    • Linsu Chen
    • Michael I. Kennemer
    • Kaliprasad Pothuraju
    • Karel Konvicka
    • Mike Tsoupko-Sitnikov
    • Krishna P. Pant
    • Jessica C. Ebert
    • Geoffrey B. Nilsen
    • Jonathan Baccash
    • Aaron L. Halpern
    • George M. Church
    • Radoje Drmanac

    A new DNA analysis method termed long fragment read technology is described, and the approach is used to determine parental haplotypes and to sequence human genomes cost-effectively and accurately from only 10 to 20 cells.


  • A filament of dark matter between two clusters of galaxies

    • Jörg P. Dietrich
    • Norbert Werner
    • Douglas Clowe
    • Alexis Finoguenov
    • Tom Kitching
    • Lance Miller
    • Aurora Simionescu

    A dark-matter filament connecting the galaxy clusters Abell 222 and Abell 223 has been detected from its weak gravitational lensing signal.

  • Synthetic homeostatic materials with chemo-mechano-chemical self-regulation

    • Ximin He
    • Michael Aizenberg
    • Olga Kuksenok
    • Lauren D. Zarzar
    • Ankita Shastri
    • Anna C. Balazs
    • Joanna Aizenberg

    A bilayer material comprising catalyst-bearing microstructures embedded in a responsive gel and actuated into and out of a reactant-containing ‘nutrient’ layer continuously interconverts chemical, thermal and mechanical energy and thereby shows autonomous, self-sustained homeostatic behaviour, which regulates the temperature of the system in a narrow range.

  • Birds have paedomorphic dinosaur skulls

    • Bhart-Anjan S. Bhullar
    • Jesús Marugán-Lobón
    • Fernando Racimo
    • Gabe S. Bever
    • Timothy B. Rowe
    • Mark A. Norell
    • Arhat Abzhanov

    The bird skull arose from the nonavian dinosaur skull by several episodes of paedomorphosis, in which descendants resemble the juveniles of their ancestors, according to a study of shape change during dinosaur ontogeny and phylogeny.

  • Disentangling nestedness from models of ecological complexity

    • Alex James
    • Jonathan W. Pitchford
    • Michael J. Plank

    Examination of previous results and computational analysis of empirical data sets representing mutualistic plant–pollinator networks shows that a simple metric—the number of mutualistic partners a species has—is a better predictor of individual species survival (and hence, community persistence) than is the nestedness of ecological networks.

    See also
  • Independent evolution of striated muscles in cnidarians and bilaterians

    • Patrick R. H. Steinmetz
    • Johanna E. M. Kraus
    • Claire Larroux
    • Jörg U. Hammel
    • Annette Amon-Hassenzahl
    • Evelyn Houliston
    • Gert Wörheide
    • Michael Nickel
    • Bernard M. Degnan
    • Ulrich Technau

    This phylogenomic study shows that core muscle proteins were already present in unicellular organisms before the origin of multicellular animals, and supports a convergent evolutionary model for striated muscles in which new proteins are added to ancient contractile apparatus during independent evolution of bilaterians and some non-bilaterians, resulting in very similar ultrastructures.

    See also
  • Genetic dissection of the circuit for hand dexterity in primates

    • Masaharu Kinoshita
    • Ryosuke Matsui
    • Shigeki Kato
    • Taku Hasegawa
    • Hironori Kasahara
    • Kaoru Isa
    • Akiya Watakabe
    • Tetsuo Yamamori
    • Yukio Nishimura
    • Bror Alstermark
    • Dai Watanabe
    • Kazuto Kobayashi
    • Tadashi Isa

    A new double-infection technique with viral vectors is used to interrupt transmission through the propriospinal neurons (PNs) in macaque monkeys, and this is found to impair reach and grasp movements, revealing a critical role for the PN-mediated pathway in the control of hand dexterity.

  • The mutational landscape of lethal castration-resistant prostate cancer

    • Catherine S. Grasso
    • Yi-Mi Wu
    • Dan R. Robinson
    • Xuhong Cao
    • Saravana M. Dhanasekaran
    • Amjad P. Khan
    • Michael J. Quist
    • Xiaojun Jing
    • Robert J. Lonigro
    • J. Chad Brenner
    • Irfan A. Asangani
    • Bushra Ateeq
    • Sang Y. Chun
    • Javed Siddiqui
    • Lee Sam
    • Matt Anstett
    • Rohit Mehra
    • John R. Prensner
    • Nallasivam Palanisamy
    • Gregory A. Ryslik
    • Fabio Vandin
    • Benjamin J. Raphael
    • Lakshmi P. Kunju
    • Daniel R. Rhodes
    • Kenneth J. Pienta
    • Arul M. Chinnaiyan
    • Scott A. Tomlins

    Exome sequencing is used to investigate the role of mutations and copy number aberrations in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, revealing recurrent mutations in multiple chromatin/histone modifying genes, as well as genes involved in androgen signalling.

  • A tumour suppressor network relying on the polyamine–hypusine axis

    • Claudio Scuoppo
    • Cornelius Miething
    • Lisa Lindqvist
    • José Reyes
    • Cristian Ruse
    • Iris Appelmann
    • Seungtai Yoon
    • Alexander Krasnitz
    • Julie Teruya-Feldstein
    • Darryl Pappin
    • Jerry Pelletier
    • Scott W. Lowe

    AMD1 and eIF5A are identified as two genes involved in the polyamine–hypusine pathway, a new tumour suppressor network regulating apoptosis.

  • An epigenetic silencing pathway controlling T helper 2 cell lineage commitment

    • Rhys S. Allan
    • Elina Zueva
    • Florence Cammas
    • Heidi A. Schreiber
    • Vanessa Masson
    • Gabrielle T. Belz
    • Danièle Roche
    • Christèle Maison
    • Jean-Pierre Quivy
    • Geneviève Almouzni
    • Sebastian Amigorena

    The histone modification H3K9me3, the histone methyltransferase SUV39H1 and the H3K9me3-binding protein HP1α participate in maintaining the silent state of the two canonical T helper 1 cell signature genes (which encode interferon-γ and T-bet), ensuring T helper 2 lineage stability in vitro and in vivo; targeting this pathway has the potential to reduce asthma-related pathology.

  • Rsx is a metatherian RNA with Xist-like properties in X-chromosome inactivation

    • Jennifer Grant
    • Shantha K. Mahadevaiah
    • Pavel Khil
    • Mahesh N. Sangrithi
    • Hélène Royo
    • Janine Duckworth
    • John R. McCarrey
    • John L. VandeBerg
    • Marilyn B. Renfree
    • Willie Taylor
    • Greg Elgar
    • R. Daniel Camerini-Otero
    • Mike J. Gilchrist
    • James M. A. Turner

    A non-coding RNA termed Rsx, which has properties consistent with a role in X-chromosome inactivation, is identified in the marsupial Monodelphis domestica.