Table of Contents

Volume 512 Number 7514 pp231-342

21 August 2014

About the cover

John Sibbick’s painting imagines the iconic Early Jurassic basal mammals, Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium, hunting their favoured prey on the small island that they shared in what is now Glamorgan, southern Wales. The very earliest mammals, living in the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic around 200 million years ago, were small and are often presumed to have been generalized insectivores. Now a close study of Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium shows that niche partitioning and dietary specialization were well under way even at that early date. Analysis of tooth wear and jaw biomechanics shows that whereas Morganucodon had powerful jaws, capable of crushing hard prey such as beetles, Kuehneotherium was adapted for snapping at softer prey, such as the scorpion flies illustrated here. Cover:

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World View


Seven Days

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News in Focus




Books and Arts

  • History of science: The first scientist

    Roberto Lo Presti applauds a brilliant reappraisal of Aristotle as the father of observational biology.

    • Review of The Lagoon: How Aristotle Invented Science
      Armand Marie Leroi
  • Books in brief

    Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week’s best science picks.




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  • Away

    A message to the stars.

    • Debbie Urbanski



  • Ribosomal frameshifting in the CCR5 mRNA is regulated by miRNAs and the NMD pathway

    • Ashton Trey Belew
    • Arturas Meskauskas
    • Sharmishtha Musalgaonkar
    • Vivek M. Advani
    • Sergey O. Sulima
    • Wojciech K. Kasprzak
    • Bruce A. Shapiro
    • Jonathan D. Dinman

    Programmed −1 ribosomal frameshifting (−1 PRF) is a process by which a signal in a messenger RNA causes a translating ribosome to shift by one nucleotide, thus changing the reading frame; here −1 PRF in the mRNA for the co-receptor for HIV-1, CCR5, is stimulated by two microRNAs and leads to degradation of the transcript by nonsense-mediated decay and at least one other decay pathway.

  • Crystal structure of a human GABAA receptor

    • Paul S. Miller
    • A. Radu Aricescu

    GABAA receptors are the principal mediators of rapid inhibitor synaptic transmission in the brain, and a decline in GABAA signalling leads to diseases including epilepsy, insomnia, anxiety and autism; here, the first X-ray crystal structure of a human GABAA receptor, the human β3 homopentamer, reveals structural features unique for this receptor class and uncovers the locations of key disease-causing mutations.

  • X-ray structure of the mouse serotonin 5-HT3 receptor

    • Ghérici Hassaine
    • Cédric Deluz
    • Luigino Grasso
    • Romain Wyss
    • Menno B. Tol
    • Ruud Hovius
    • Alexandra Graff
    • Henning Stahlberg
    • Takashi Tomizaki
    • Aline Desmyter
    • Christophe Moreau
    • Xiao-Dan Li
    • Frédéric Poitevin
    • Horst Vogel
    • Hugues Nury

    The first X-ray crystal structure of the mouse serotonin 5-HT3 receptor, a pentameric ligand-gated ion channel, is similar to those of other Cys-loop receptors — though here electron density for part of the cytoplasmic domain, which is important for trafficking, synaptic localization, and modulation by cytoplasmic proteins, but not visible in previous structures, is also described.


  • Interacting supernovae from photoionization-confined shells around red supergiant stars

    • Jonathan Mackey
    • Shazrene Mohamed
    • Vasilii V. Gvaramadze
    • Rubina Kotak
    • Norbert Langer
    • Dominique M.-A. Meyer
    • Takashi J. Moriya
    • Hilding R. Neilson

    A model in which the stellar wind of the fast-moving red supergiant Betelgeuse is photoionized by radiation from external sources can explain the dense, almost static shell recently discovered around the star, and predicts both that debris from Betelgeuse’s eventual supernova explosion will violently collide with the shell and that other red supergiants should have similar, but much more massive, shells.

  • Magneto-optical trapping of a diatomic molecule

    • J. F. Barry
    • D. J. McCarron
    • E. B. Norrgard
    • M. H. Steinecker
    • D. DeMille

    Magneto-optical trapping is the standard method for laser cooling and confinement of atomic gases but now this technique has been demonstrated for the diatomic molecule strontium monofluoride, leading to the lowest temperature yet achieved by cooling a molecular gas.

    See also
  • Continuing megathrust earthquake potential in Chile after the 2014 Iquique earthquake

    • Gavin P. Hayes
    • Matthew W. Herman
    • William D. Barnhart
    • Kevin P. Furlong
    • Sebástian Riquelme
    • Harley M. Benz
    • Eric Bergman
    • Sergio Barrientos
    • Paul S. Earle
    • Sergey Samsonov

    The 2014 Iquique event was not the earthquake that had been expected to fill the regional seismic gap; given that significant sections of the northern Chile subduction zone have not ruptured in almost 150 years, it is likely that future megathrust earthquakes will occur south and potentially north of the 2014 Iquique sequence.

    See also
    See also
  • Gradual unlocking of plate boundary controlled initiation of the 2014 Iquique earthquake

    • Bernd Schurr
    • Günter Asch
    • Sebastian Hainzl
    • Jonathan Bedford
    • Andreas Hoechner
    • Mauro Palo
    • Rongjiang Wang
    • Marcos Moreno
    • Mitja Bartsch
    • Yong Zhang
    • Onno Oncken
    • Frederik Tilmann
    • Torsten Dahm
    • Pia Victor
    • Sergio Barrientos
    • Jean-Pierre Vilotte

    A long foreshock series unlocked the South American plate boundary until eventually initiating the M 8.1 Iquique, Chile, earthquake.

    See also
    See also
  • Dietary specializations and diversity in feeding ecology of the earliest stem mammals

    • Pamela G. Gill
    • Mark A. Purnell
    • Nick Crumpton
    • Kate Robson Brown
    • Neil J. Gostling
    • M. Stampanoni
    • Emily J. Rayfield

    Differences in function and dietary ecology between Morganucodon and Kuehneotherium show that lineage splitting during the earliest stages of mammalian evolution was associated with ecomorphological specialization and niche partitioning.

  • The timing and spatiotemporal patterning of Neanderthal disappearance

    • Tom Higham
    • Katerina Douka
    • Rachel Wood
    • Christopher Bronk Ramsey
    • Fiona Brock
    • Laura Basell
    • Marta Camps
    • Alvaro Arrizabalaga
    • Javier Baena
    • Cecillio Barroso-Ruíz
    • Christopher Bergman
    • Coralie Boitard
    • Paolo Boscato
    • Miguel Caparrós
    • Nicholas J. Conard
    • Christelle Draily
    • Alain Froment
    • Bertila Galván
    • Paolo Gambassini
    • Alejandro Garcia-Moreno
    • Stefano Grimaldi
    • Paul Haesaerts
    • Brigitte Holt
    • Maria-Jose Iriarte-Chiapusso
    • Arthur Jelinek
    • Jesús F. Jordá Pardo
    • José-Manuel Maíllo-Fernández
    • Anat Marom
    • Julià Maroto
    • Mario Menéndez
    • Laure Metz
    • Eugène Morin
    • Adriana Moroni
    • Fabio Negrino
    • Eleni Panagopoulou
    • Marco Peresani
    • Stéphane Pirson
    • Marco de la Rasilla
    • Julien Riel-Salvatore
    • Annamaria Ronchitelli
    • David Santamaria
    • Patrick Semal
    • Ludovic Slimak
    • Joaquim Soler
    • Narcís Soler
    • Aritza Villaluenga
    • Ron Pinhasi
    • Roger Jacobi

    Accelerator mass spectrometry radiocarbon dating is used to construct a chronology of Neanderthal disappearance, showing that Neanderthals overlapped with anatomically modern humans for between about 2,000 and 5,000 years.

    See also
  • A microbial ecosystem beneath the West Antarctic ice sheet

    • Brent C. Christner
    • John C. Priscu
    • Amanda M. Achberger
    • Carlo Barbante
    • Sasha P. Carter
    • Knut Christianson
    • Alexander B. Michaud
    • Jill A. Mikucki
    • Andrew C. Mitchell
    • Mark L. Skidmore
    • Trista J. Vick-Majors
    • the WISSARD Science Team

    There has been active debate over microbial life in Antarctic subglacial lakes owing to a paucity of direct observations from beneath the ice sheet and concerns about contamination in the samples that do exist; here the authors present the first geomicrobiological description of pristine water and surficial sediments from Subglacial Lake Whillans, and show that the lake water contains a diverse microbial community, many members of which are closely related to chemolithoautotrophic bacteria and archaea.

    See also
  • Haematopoietic stem cell induction by somite-derived endothelial cells controlled by meox1

    • Phong Dang Nguyen
    • Georgina Elizabeth Hollway
    • Carmen Sonntag
    • Lee Barry Miles
    • Thomas Edward Hall
    • Silke Berger
    • Kristine Joy Fernandez
    • David Baruch Gurevich
    • Nicholas James Cole
    • Sara Alaei
    • Mirana Ramialison
    • Robert Lyndsay Sutherland
    • Jose Maria Polo
    • Graham John Lieschke
    • Peter David Currie

    A new somite compartment, called the endotome, that contributes to the formation of the embryonic dorsal aorta by providing endothelial progenitors is identified here; endotome-derived endothelial progenitors, whose formation is regulated by the activity of the meox1 gene, induce haematopoietic stem cell formation upon colonization of the nascent dorsal aorta.

    See also
    See also
  • Jam1a–Jam2a interactions regulate haematopoietic stem cell fate through Notch signalling

    • Isao Kobayashi
    • Jingjing Kobayashi-Sun
    • Albert D. Kim
    • Claire Pouget
    • Naonobu Fujita
    • Toshio Suda
    • David Traver

    Notch signalling has a key role in the generation of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) during vertebrate development; here two adhesion molecules, Jam1a and Jam2a, are shown to be essential for the contact between precursors of HSCs and the somite during embryonic migration, and the Jam1a–Jam2a interaction is shown to be needed to transmit the Notch signal and produce HSCs.

    See also
    See also
  • A vaccine targeting mutant IDH1 induces antitumour immunity

    • Theresa Schumacher
    • Lukas Bunse
    • Stefan Pusch
    • Felix Sahm
    • Benedikt Wiestler
    • Jasmin Quandt
    • Oliver Menn
    • Matthias Osswald
    • Iris Oezen
    • Martina Ott
    • Melanie Keil
    • Jörg Balß
    • Katharina Rauschenbach
    • Agnieszka K. Grabowska
    • Isabel Vogler
    • Jan Diekmann
    • Nico Trautwein
    • Stefan B. Eichmüller
    • Jürgen Okun
    • Stefan Stevanović
    • Angelika B. Riemer
    • Ugur Sahin
    • Manuel A. Friese
    • Philipp Beckhove
    • Andreas von Deimling
    • Wolfgang Wick
    • Michael Platten

    The mutant IDH1 protein, which is expressed in a large fraction of human gliomas, is shown to be immunogenic; mutant-specific immune responses can be detected in patients with IDH1 mutated gliomas and generated in mice and are shown to treat established IDH1 mutant tumours in a syngeneic MHC humanized mouse model in a CD4 T-cell-dependent manner.

  • Dynamic pathways of −1 translational frameshifting

    • Jin Chen
    • Alexey Petrov
    • Magnus Johansson
    • Albert Tsai
    • Seán E. O’Leary
    • Joseph D. Puglisi

    To investigate the mechanism of frameshifting during messenger RNA translation, a technique was developed to monitor translation of single molecules in real time using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET); ribosomes were revealed to pause tenfold longer than usual during elongation at the frameshifting sites.

  • X-ray structures of GluCl in apo states reveal a gating mechanism of Cys-loop receptors

    • Thorsten Althoff
    • Ryan E. Hibbs
    • Surajit Banerjee
    • Eric Gouaux

    This study solved structures of the glutamate-gated chloride channel (GluCl), a Cys-loop receptor from C. elegans, in an apo, closed state and in a lipid-bound state — comparison of these structures with a previously published structure of GluCl in an ivermectin-bound state reveals what conformational changes probably occur as this membrane protein transitions from the closed/resting state towards an open/activated state.