Table of Contents

Volume 514 Number 7522 pp273-398

16 October 2014

About the cover

Universities must evolve if they are to survive. This special issue of Nature on the theme ‘The university experiment’ examines the myriad ways in which universities around the world are trying to free themselves from old habits of thought, and to explore new ways of doing things. No one knows which of these experiments will produce the best-educated students or the greatest leaps in academic understanding (see leading article on page 273). But all share the sentiment that the twenty-first-century university could be strikingly different from the institutions of the past. Cover: Angus Greig

This Week


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  • Review rewards

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World View

  • How terror-proof is your economy?

    Scientists can help to develop a financial safety net by providing transparent market data and loss-impact analysis, says Erwann Michel-Kerjan.

Seven Days

  • Seven days: 10–16 October 2014

    The week in science: Disaster strikes Taiwanese research vessel, UK launches its first space-weather forecasting centre, and ancient Greek shipwreck yields fresh booty.

    News in Focus




    Books and Arts

    • Origin of life: The first spark

      David Deamer welcomes a synthesis of what we know about the origins of life, as told by a master in the field.

      • Review of In Search of Cell History: The Evolution of Life's Building Blocks
        Franklin M. Harold
    • Books in brief

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




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    • The genetics of monarch butterfly migration and warning colouration

      • Shuai Zhan
      • Wei Zhang
      • Kristjan Niitepõld
      • Jeremy Hsu
      • Juan Fernández Haeger
      • Myron P. Zalucki
      • Sonia Altizer
      • Jacobus C. de Roode
      • Steven M. Reppert
      • Marcus R. Kronforst

      The monarch butterfly, well known for its spectacular annual migration across North America, is shown by genome sequencing of monarchs from around the world to have been ancestrally migratory and to have dispersed out of North America to occupy its current broad distribution; the authors also discovered signatures of selection associated with migration within loci implicated in flight muscle function, leading to greater flight efficiency.

      See also
    • Clonal dynamics of native haematopoiesis

      • Jianlong Sun
      • Azucena Ramos
      • Brad Chapman
      • Jonathan B. Johnnidis
      • Linda Le
      • Yu-Jui Ho
      • Allon Klein
      • Oliver Hofmann
      • Fernando D. Camargo

      On the basis of transplantation experiments it is generally believed that a very small number of haematopoietic stem cells maintain multi-lineage haematopoiesis by stably producing a hierarchy of short-lived progenitor cells; here a new transposon-based labelling technique shows that this might not be the case during non-transplant haematopoiesis, but rather that a large number of long-lived progenitors are the main drivers of steady-state haematopoiesis during most of adulthood.

    • Structural mechanism of glutamate receptor activation and desensitization

      • Joel R. Meyerson
      • Janesh Kumar
      • Sagar Chittori
      • Prashant Rao
      • Jason Pierson
      • Alberto Bartesaghi
      • Mark L. Mayer
      • Sriram Subramaniam

      Cryo-electron microscopy is used to visualize the AMPA receptor GluA2 and the kainate receptor GluK2 in several functional states — having access to so many different structural states has enabled the authors to propose a molecular model for the gating cycle of glutamate receptors.


    • Inefficient star formation in extremely metal poor galaxies

      • Yong Shi
      • Lee Armus
      • George Helou
      • Sabrina Stierwalt
      • Yu Gao
      • Junzhi Wang
      • Zhi-Yu Zhang
      • Qiusheng Gu

      Spatially resolved infrared observations of two galaxies with oxygen abundances below 10 per cent of the solar value show that stars formed very inefficiently in seven star-forming clumps, suggesting that star formation may have been very inefficient in the early Universe.

      See also
    • Binary orbits as the driver of γ-ray emission and mass ejection in classical novae

      • Laura Chomiuk
      • Justin D. Linford
      • Jun Yang
      • T. J. O’Brien
      • Zsolt Paragi
      • Amy J. Mioduszewski
      • R. J. Beswick
      • C. C. Cheung
      • Koji Mukai
      • Thomas Nelson
      • Valério A. R. M. Ribeiro
      • Michael P. Rupen
      • J. L. Sokoloski
      • Jennifer Weston
      • Yong Zheng
      • Michael F. Bode
      • Stewart Eyres
      • Nirupam Roy
      • Gregory B. Taylor

      High-resolution radio imaging of the γ-ray-emitting nova V959 Mon, hosted by a white dwarf and its binary companion, shows that gaseous ejecta are expelled along the poles as a wind from the white dwarf, that denser material drifts out along the equatorial plane, propelled by orbital motion, and that γ-ray production occurs at the interface between these polar and equatorial regions.

    • Giant Rydberg excitons in the copper oxide Cu2O

      • T. Kazimierczuk
      • D. Fröhlich
      • S. Scheel
      • H. Stolz
      • M. Bayer

      Rydberg excitons (condensed-matter analogues of hydrogen atoms) are shown to exist in single-crystal copper oxide with principal quantum numbers as large as n = 25 and giant wavefunctions with extensions of around two micrometres; this has implications for research in condensed-matter optics.

      See also
    • Lithium–antimony–lead liquid metal battery for grid-level energy storage

      • Kangli Wang
      • Kai Jiang
      • Brice Chung
      • Takanari Ouchi
      • Paul J. Burke
      • Dane A. Boysen
      • David J. Bradwell
      • Hojong Kim
      • Ulrich Muecke
      • Donald R. Sadoway

      All-liquid batteries comprising a lithium negative electrode and an antimony–lead positive electrode have a higher current density and a longer cycle life than conventional batteries, can be more easily used to make large-scale storage systems, and so potentially present a low-cost means of grid-level energy storage.

    • High winter ozone pollution from carbonyl photolysis in an oil and gas basin

      • Peter M. Edwards
      • Steven S. Brown
      • James M. Roberts
      • Ravan Ahmadov
      • Robert M. Banta
      • Joost A. deGouw
      • William P. Dubé
      • Robert A. Field
      • James H. Flynn
      • Jessica B. Gilman
      • Martin Graus
      • Detlev Helmig
      • Abigail Koss
      • Andrew O. Langford
      • Barry L. Lefer
      • Brian M. Lerner
      • Rui Li
      • Shao-Meng Li
      • Stuart A. McKeen
      • Shane M. Murphy
      • David D. Parrish
      • Christoph J. Senff
      • Jeffrey Soltis
      • Jochen Stutz
      • Colm Sweeney
      • Chelsea R. Thompson
      • Michael K. Trainer
      • Catalina Tsai
      • Patrick R. Veres
      • Rebecca A. Washenfelder
      • Carsten Warneke
      • Robert J. Wild
      • Cora J. Young
      • Bin Yuan
      • Robert Zamora

      Data from the oil- and gas-producing basin of northeastern Utah and a box model are used to assess the photochemical reactions of nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds that lead to excessive atmospheric ozone pollution in winter.

    • Hallucigenia’s onychophoran-like claws and the case for Tactopoda

      • Martin R. Smith
      • Javier Ortega-Hernández

      The claws of the Cambrian lobopodian Hallucigenia resemble the claws and jaws of extant onychophorans, establishing a close relationship between hallucigeniid lobopodians and onychophorans, resolving tardigrades as the closest extant relatives of true arthropods, and showing that the earliest ancestor of the arthropods and their kin would have looked like a lobopodian.

    • OSCA1 mediates osmotic-stress-evoked Ca2+ increases vital for osmosensing in Arabidopsis

      • Fang Yuan
      • Huimin Yang
      • Yan Xue
      • Dongdong Kong
      • Rui Ye
      • Chijun Li
      • Jingyuan Zhang
      • Lynn Theprungsirikul
      • Tayler Shrift
      • Bryan Krichilsky
      • Douglas M. Johnson
      • Gary B. Swift
      • Yikun He
      • James N. Siedow
      • Zhen-Ming Pei

      Osmotic stress is known to induce a transient increase in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration [Ca2+]i in plants, and now OSCA1 is identified as a long-sought Ca2+ channel that mediates [Ca2+]i increases—mutants lacking OSCA1 function have impaired osmotic Ca2+ signalling in guard cells and root cells, and reduced transpiration regulation and root growth under osmotic stress.

    • Antiviral immunity via RIG-I-mediated recognition of RNA bearing 5′-diphosphates

      • Delphine Goubau
      • Martin Schlee
      • Safia Deddouche
      • Andrea J. Pruijssers
      • Thomas Zillinger
      • Marion Goldeck
      • Christine Schuberth
      • Annemarthe G. Van der Veen
      • Tsutomu Fujimura
      • Jan Rehwinkel
      • Jason A. Iskarpatyoti
      • Winfried Barchet
      • Janos Ludwig
      • Terence S. Dermody
      • Gunther Hartmann
      • Caetano Reis e Sousa

      The innate immune receptor RIG-I is shown to sense 5′-diphosphate RNAs as found in some viral genomes in addition to its well characterized activation by RNAs bearing 5′-triphosphate moieties.

    • Stochasticity of metabolism and growth at the single-cell level

      • Daniel J. Kiviet
      • Philippe Nghe
      • Noreen Walker
      • Sarah Boulineau
      • Vanda Sunderlikova
      • Sander J. Tans

      The inherent stochasticity in metabolic reactions is a potent source of phenotypic heterogeneity in cell populations, with potentially fundamental implications for cancer research.

    • CRISPR-mediated direct mutation of cancer genes in the mouse liver

      • Wen Xue
      • Sidi Chen
      • Hao Yin
      • Tuomas Tammela
      • Thales Papagiannakopoulos
      • Nikhil S. Joshi
      • Wenxin Cai
      • Gillian Yang
      • Roderick Bronson
      • Denise G. Crowley
      • Feng Zhang
      • Daniel G. Anderson
      • Phillip A. Sharp
      • Tyler Jacks

      CRISPR plasmids targeting Pten and p53, alone and in combination, are delivered by hydrodynamic injection to the liver; the CRISPR-mediated mutations phenocopy the effects of deletions using Cre–LoxP technology, allowing the direct mutation of tumour suppressor genes and oncogenes in the liver using the CRISPR/Cas system, which presents a new approach for rapid development of liver cancer models and functional genomics.

    • Rb suppresses human cone-precursor-derived retinoblastoma tumours

      • Xiaoliang L. Xu
      • Hardeep P. Singh
      • Lu Wang
      • Dong-Lai Qi
      • Bradford K. Poulos
      • David H. Abramson
      • Suresh C. Jhanwar
      • David Cobrinik

      The nature of the retinal cell-type-specific circuitry that predisposes to retinoblastoma is demonstrated, in which a program that is unique to post-mitotic human cone precursors sensitizes to the oncogenic effects of retinoblastoma (Rb) protein depletion; hence, the loss of Rb collaborates with the molecular framework of cone precursors to initiate tumorigenesis.

      See also
    • Noncoding RNA transcription targets AID to divergently transcribed loci in B cells

      • Evangelos Pefanis
      • Jiguang Wang
      • Gerson Rothschild
      • Junghyun Lim
      • Jaime Chao
      • Raul Rabadan
      • Aris N. Economides
      • Uttiya Basu

      The 11-subunit RNA exosome is thought to regulate the mammalian noncoding transcriptome; here, a mouse model is generated in which the essential Exosc3 subunit of the RNA exosome in B cells is conditionally deleted, revealing a link between sites of genomic RNA exosome function and AID-mediated chromosomal translocations.