Table of Contents

Volume 498 Number 7455 pp407-532

27 June 2013

About the cover

Darwin speculated that bipedalism might have contributed to humans' unique ability to throw things so well. Although some primates, including our closest relatives — chimpanzees, will throw objects now and then, their throws do not come close to matching the speed and accuracy achieved by even young human boys. Neil Roach and colleagues analysed the biomechanics of collegiate baseball players' throwing motion in order to better understand the evolution of this novel behaviour. Their findings show that adaptations in the human upper body allow us to store and release elastic energy in the shoulder in a catapult-like fashion. Evidence of these key shifts in morphology that make this energy storage possible is preserved in the hominin fossil record. From these fossils, the authors infer that the ability to throw objects with high speed probably arose with Homo erectus, and may have had a crucial role in early hunting. Cover: Corbis

This Week


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World View


Seven Days

  • Seven days: 21–27 June 2013

    The week in science: Indonesian fires spew hazardous haze, Los Alamos scientist admits releasing classified nuclear data, and Fermilab names next leader.

News in Focus


  • Medical research: Cell division

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Books and Arts

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    Joanne Baker enjoys a biography of the doughty French inventor of the bull's-eye lens, the secret of the modern lighthouse.

    • Review of A Short Bright Flash: Augustin Fresnel and the Birth of the Modern Lighthouse
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Outlook: Leukaemia

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Brief Communications Arising



  • Temporal patterning of Drosophila medulla neuroblasts controls neural fates

    • Xin Li
    • Ted Erclik
    • Claire Bertet
    • Zhenqing Chen
    • Roumen Voutev
    • Srinidhi Venkatesh
    • Javier Morante
    • Arzu Celik
    • Claude Desplan

    Five transcription factors are sequentially expressed in a temporal cascade in Drosophila medulla neuroblasts of the visual system; cross-regulations between these transcription factors control the temporal transitions, and temporal switching of neural progenitors may be a common theme in neuronal specification, with different sequences of transcription factors being used in different contexts.

    See also


  • Multi-periodic pulsations of a stripped red-giant star in an eclipsing binary system

    • Pierre F. L. Maxted
    • Aldo M. Serenelli
    • Andrea Miglio
    • Thomas R. Marsh
    • Ulrich Heber
    • Vikram S. Dhillon
    • Stuart Littlefair
    • Chris Copperwheat
    • Barry Smalley
    • Elmé Breedt
    • Veronika Schaffenroth

    Measurements of a precursor to a low-mass white-dwarf star reveal that such white-dwarf stars probably had a thick hydrogen envelope, which was lost by irradiation or shell flashes in the case of rapidly cooling white-dwarf stars.

  • A micrometre-scale Raman silicon laser with a microwatt threshold

    • Yasushi Takahashi
    • Yoshitaka Inui
    • Masahiro Chihara
    • Takashi Asano
    • Ryo Terawaki
    • Susumu Noda

    A continuous-wave Raman silicon laser with a photonic-crystal nanocavity less than tenmicrometres in size and an unprecedentedly low lasing threshold of onemicrowatt is demonstrated, showing that the integration of all-silicon devices into photonic circuits may be possible.

    See also
  • Elastic energy storage in the shoulder and the evolution of high-speed throwing in Homo

    • Neil T. Roach
    • Madhusudhan Venkadesan
    • Michael J. Rainbow
    • Daniel E. Lieberman

    Humans are able to throw projectiles with high speed and accuracy largely as a result of anatomical features that enable elastic energy storage and release at the shoulder; features that first appear together approximately 2million years ago in Homo erectus, possibly as a means to hunt.

  • EndMT contributes to the onset and progression of cerebral cavernous malformations

    • Luigi Maddaluno
    • Noemi Rudini
    • Roberto Cuttano
    • Luca Bravi
    • Costanza Giampietro
    • Monica Corada
    • Luca Ferrarini
    • Fabrizio Orsenigo
    • Eleanna Papa
    • Gwenola Boulday
    • Elisabeth Tournier-Lasserve
    • Françoise Chapon
    • Cristina Richichi
    • Saverio Francesco Retta
    • Maria Grazia Lampugnani
    • Elisabetta Dejana

    Cerebral cavernous malformations associated with loss of function of Ccm1 are shown to be formed by endothelial cells undergoing endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndMT) induced by TGF-β and BMP signalling; inhibition of TGF-β and BMP signalling prevents EndMT and the appearance of CCM lesions.

  • In vivo cardiac reprogramming contributes to zebrafish heart regeneration

    • Ruilin Zhang
    • Peidong Han
    • Hongbo Yang
    • Kunfu Ouyang
    • Derek Lee
    • Yi-Fan Lin
    • Karen Ocorr
    • Guson Kang
    • Ju Chen
    • Didier Y. R. Stainier
    • Deborah Yelon
    • Neil C. Chi

    A cardiac injury study in zebrafish reveals the plasticity of heart cell lineages as shown by a Notch-dependent transdifferentiation of atrial to ventricular cardiomyocytes, regenerating a cell type that is damaged in human heart failure.

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    • Louise Turner
    • Thomas Lavstsen
    • Sanne S. Berger
    • Christian W. Wang
    • Jens E. V. Petersen
    • Marion Avril
    • Andrew J. Brazier
    • Jim Freeth
    • Jakob S. Jespersen
    • Morten A. Nielsen
    • Pamela Magistrado
    • John Lusingu
    • Joseph D. Smith
    • Matthew K. Higgins
    • Thor G. Theander

    Endothelial protein C receptor is shown to be the receptor for Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane protein 1 variants associated with severe malaria.

  • BACH2 represses effector programs to stabilize Treg-mediated immune homeostasis

    • Rahul Roychoudhuri
    • Kiyoshi Hirahara
    • Kambiz Mousavi
    • David Clever
    • Christopher A. Klebanoff
    • Michael Bonelli
    • Giuseppe Sciumè
    • Hossein Zare
    • Golnaz Vahedi
    • Barbara Dema
    • Zhiya Yu
    • Hui Liu
    • Hayato Takahashi
    • Mahadev Rao
    • Pawel Muranski
    • Joseph G. Crompton
    • George Punkosdy
    • Davide Bedognetti
    • Ena Wang
    • Victoria Hoffmann
    • Juan Rivera
    • Francesco M. Marincola
    • Atsushi Nakamura
    • Vittorio Sartorelli
    • Yuka Kanno
    • Luca Gattinoni
    • Akihiko Muto
    • Kazuhiko Igarashi
    • John J. O’Shea
    • Nicholas P. Restifo

    Diverse autoimmune and allergic diseases are associated with polymorphisms in a locus encoding the transcription factor BACH2; here, BACH2 is shown to be a broad regulator of immune activation that stabilizes the differentiation of Treg cells by repressing commitment of CD4+ T cells to alternate cell fates.

  • Rev-Erbs repress macrophage gene expression by inhibiting enhancer-directed transcription

    • Michael T. Y. Lam
    • Han Cho
    • Hanna P. Lesch
    • David Gosselin
    • Sven Heinz
    • Yumiko Tanaka-Oishi
    • Christopher Benner
    • Minna U. Kaikkonen
    • Aneeza S. Kim
    • Mika Kosaka
    • Cindy Y. Lee
    • Andy Watt
    • Tamar R. Grossman
    • Michael G. Rosenfeld
    • Ronald M. Evans
    • Christopher K. Glass

    It is unclear whether bidirectional non-coding RNAs transcribed from enhancer elements (eRNAs) have any functional role; here, the repressive functions of Rev-Erb nuclear receptors in macrophages are shown to be linked to their ability to inhibit the transcription of eRNAs.

  • Functional roles of enhancer RNAs for oestrogen-dependent transcriptional activation

    • Wenbo Li
    • Dimple Notani
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    • Bogdan Tanasa
    • Esperanza Nunez
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    • Daria Merkurjev
    • Jie Zhang
    • Kenneth Ohgi
    • Xiaoyuan Song
    • Soohwan Oh
    • Hong-Sook Kim
    • Christopher K. Glass
    • Michael G. Rosenfeld

    It is unclear whether bidirectional non-coding RNAs transcribed from enhancer elements (eRNAs) have any functional role; here, eRNA transcription is shown to be functionally important during the activation of genes by the oestrogen receptor in human breast cancer cells.

  • Unusual architecture of the p7 channel from hepatitis C virus

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    • Shiqi Xie
    • Marcelo J. Berardi
    • Xinhao Zhao
    • Jyoti Dev
    • Wenjing Yu
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    • James J. Chou

    The structure of the oligomeric hepatitis C virus viroporin p7 protein, solved by NMR spectroscopy, is reported; this protein can self-assemble into a channel complex that conducts cations and has a funnel-like channel architecture.