Volume 517 Issue 7533, 8 January 2015

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    As two new fronts in the war on disease demonstrate, creativity remains a key weapon for scientists in the hunt for drugs.

  • Editorial |

    Human echolocation kicks off the Nature podcast’s new series on sound science

World View

Research Highlights

Social Selection

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: Discredited stem-cell findings linked to contamination; NASA balloon mission springs a leak; and US to consider protections for monarch butterfly.

News

Correction

News Feature

  • News Feature |

    Twenty-four years after the conflict ended, scientists and veterans are still fighting for recognition of Gulf War illness.

    • Sara Reardon
  • News Feature |

    Step aside, fitness trackers. The next wave of personal sensors is giving people the ability to monitor the air they breathe.

    • Kat Austen

Comment

  • Comment |

    Alexander D. Gitlin and Michel C. Nussenzweig reflect on the discovery of two lineages of adaptive immune cells, and how it influenced vaccination, cancer therapy and the development of a class of antibody-based drugs.

    • Alexander D. Gitlin
    •  & Michel C. Nussenzweig

Books & Arts

Correspondence

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    How much more of Earth's fossil fuels can we extract and burn in the short- to medium-term future and still avoid severe global warming? A model provides the answer, and shows where these 'unburnable' reserves are. See Letter p.187

    • Michael Jakob
    •  & Jérôme Hilaire

    Special:

  • News & Views |

    Spin systems have now been found that have lifetimes of up to six hours. They could be used to build quantum-communication networks and, if optical transmission fails, could even be shipped as a 'quantum memory stick'. See Letter p.177

    • John J. L. Morton
    •  & Klaus Mølmer
  • News & Views |

    There is conflicting evidence about which cell type is responsible for liver regeneration following damage. It emerges that duct-like progenitor cells arise from hepatocytes after liver damage, a finding that reconciles previous data.

    • Meritxell Huch
  • News & Views |

    Bladder-cancer cells have been found to release prostaglandin E2 when they are killed by chemotherapy. Paradoxically, this molecule stimulates the proliferation of surviving cancer stem cells, leading to tumour repopulation. See Letter p.209

    • Ian F. Tannock
  • News & Views |

    The discovery that the neural navigation system of the mammalian brain acts in three dimensions sheds light on how mammals orient themselves in complex environments. See Article p.159

    • David C. Rowland
    •  & May-Britt Moser
  • News & Views |

    Molecular diffusion of some enzymes is enhanced when they catalyse reactions, but the reason for this was obscure. Dissipation of heat generated by catalysis through the protein is now thought to propel the molecules. See Letter p.227

    • A. Joshua Wand
  • News & Views |

    The extent to which coastal-ocean regions act as a sink for carbon dioxide has been enigmatic. An estimate based on more than 3 million observations suggests a smaller sink than was thought, concentrated at high latitudes.

    • Nicolas Gruber

Futures

Letter

  • Letter |

    Interactions between T and B cells in the germinal centre are brief but involve extensive cell-surface contact in an entangled mode; ICOSL promotes T–B entanglement and B-cell acquisition of CD40L, which drives B cells to upregulate ICOSL, thus forming an intercellular feed-forward loop that is required for efficient positive selection and development of the bone marrow plasma cell compartment.

    • Dan Liu
    • , Heping Xu
    • , Changming Shih
    • , Zurong Wan
    • , Xiaopeng Ma
    • , Weiwei Ma
    • , Dan Luo
    •  & Hai Qi
  • Letter |

    The discovery of claspers in fossils of antiarch placoderms, an ancient group of armoured fish, suggests that internal fertilization was the ancestral type of reproduction for all jawed vertebrates: this contrasts with the current understanding that external fertilization must be the ancestral state.

    • John A. Long
    • , Elga Mark-Kurik
    • , Zerina Johanson
    • , Michael S. Y. Lee
    • , Gavin C. Young
    • , Zhu Min
    • , Per E. Ahlberg
    • , Michael Newman
    • , Roger Jones
    • , Jan den Blaauwen
    • , Brian Choo
    •  & Kate Trinajstic
  • Letter |

    Structural and biochemical approaches are used to show how RNF146 activity is allosterically regulated by the binding of poly(ADP-ribose) ligand, and how substrate specificity is achieved with protein poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation and ubiquitination occurring in the same protein complex.

    • Paul A. DaRosa
    • , Zhizhi Wang
    • , Xiaomo Jiang
    • , Jonathan N. Pruneda
    • , Feng Cong
    • , Rachel E. Klevit
    •  & Wenqing Xu
  • Letter |

    A fraction of the intestinal microbiota as precise as a single bacterial species confers infection resistance by synthesizing Clostridium difficile-inhibiting metabolites from host-derived bile salts.

    • Charlie G. Buffie
    • , Vanni Bucci
    • , Richard R. Stein
    • , Peter T. McKenney
    • , Lilan Ling
    • , Asia Gobourne
    • , Daniel No
    • , Hui Liu
    • , Melissa Kinnebrew
    • , Agnes Viale
    • , Eric Littmann
    • , Marcel R. M. van den Brink
    • , Robert R. Jenq
    • , Ying Taur
    • , Chris Sander
    • , Justin R. Cross
    • , Nora C. Toussaint
    • , Joao B. Xavier
    •  & Eric G. Pamer
  • Letter |

    To limit global warming to a rise of 2 °C compared to pre-industrial levels, we cannot use all of our fossil fuel reserves; here an integrated assessment model shows that this temperature limit implies that we must leave unused a third of our oil reserves, half of our gas reserves and over 80 per cent of our coal reserves during the next 40 years, and indicates where these are geographically located.

    • Christophe McGlade
    •  & Paul Ekins
  • Letter |

    An essential ingredient of future worldwide quantum communication is the generation of long-lived entangled quantum states; a coherence time of six hours is now reported for optically addressable nuclear spins in europium-doped yttrium orthosilicate.

    • Manjin Zhong
    • , Morgan P. Hedges
    • , Rose L. Ahlefeldt
    • , John G. Bartholomew
    • , Sarah E. Beavan
    • , Sven M. Wittig
    • , Jevon J. Longdell
    •  & Matthew J. Sellars
  • Letter |

    Using human bladder cancer xenograft models, a new mechanism involving an active proliferative response of cancer stem cells to chemotherapy-induced damage is shown, driven by prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) release in a manner similar to PGE2-induced wound repair; pharmacological inhibition of the PGE2/COX2 axis by celecoxib attenuates chemoresistance, suggesting a possible adjunctive therapy for bladder carcinomas.

    • Antonina V. Kurtova
    • , Jing Xiao
    • , Qianxing Mo
    • , Senthil Pazhanisamy
    • , Ross Krasnow
    • , Seth P. Lerner
    • , Fengju Chen
    • , Terrence T. Roh
    • , Erica Lay
    • , Philip Levy Ho
    •  & Keith Syson Chan
  • Letter |

    It has been traditionally assumed that the heat released during a single enzymatic catalytic event does not perturb the enzyme in any way; however, here single-molecule fluorescence correlation spectroscopy is used to show that, for enzymes that catalyse chemical reactions with large reaction enthalpies, the heat released at the protein's active site during catalysis transiently displaces the protein's centre-of-mass, essentially giving rise to a recoil effect that propels the enzyme.

    • Clement Riedel
    • , Ronen Gabizon
    • , Christian A. M. Wilson
    • , Kambiz Hamadani
    • , Konstantinos Tsekouras
    • , Susan Marqusee
    • , Steve Pressé
    •  & Carlos Bustamante
  • Letter |

    Spectrographically obtained zirconium, niobium and technetium abundances in a sample of low-mass stars of type S are used to determine that, in these stars, heavy elements are synthesized by the slow-neutron-capture process at a temperature of less than about 250 million kelvin, and that the process began one million to three million years ago.

    • P. Neyskens
    • , S. Van Eck
    • , A. Jorissen
    • , S. Goriely
    • , L. Siess
    •  & B. Plez
  • Letter |

    Unlike the limited post-injury neuronal regeneration in humans, severed axons in C. elegans can regenerate through a cellular fusion mechanism; this study identifies the molecular basis for this process which includes phosphatidylserine recognition and a role for specific molecules that also act in apoptosis.

    • Brent Neumann
    • , Sean Coakley
    • , Rosina Giordano-Santini
    • , Casey Linton
    • , Eui Seung Lee
    • , Akihisa Nakagawa
    • , Ding Xue
    •  & Massimo A. Hilliard
  • Letter |

    Seismicity and ground deformation measurements show how a recent segmented dyke intrusion in the Bárðarbunga volcanic system in Iceland grew laterally for 45 kilometres over 14 days; dyke opening and seismicity were focused at the most distal segment, where lateral dyke growth with segment barrier breaking by pressure build-up occurred.

    • Freysteinn Sigmundsson
    • , Andrew Hooper
    • , Sigrún Hreinsdóttir
    • , Kristín S. Vogfjörd
    • , Benedikt G. Ófeigsson
    • , Elías Rafn Heimisson
    • , Stéphanie Dumont
    • , Michelle Parks
    • , Karsten Spaans
    • , Gunnar B. Gudmundsson
    • , Vincent Drouin
    • , Thóra Árnadóttir
    • , Kristín Jónsdóttir
    • , Magnús T. Gudmundsson
    • , Thórdís Högnadóttir
    • , Hildur María Fridriksdóttir
    • , Martin Hensch
    • , Páll Einarsson
    • , Eyjólfur Magnússon
    • , Sergey Samsonov
    • , Bryndís Brandsdóttir
    • , Robert S. White
    • , Thorbjörg Ágústsdóttir
    • , Tim Greenfield
    • , Robert G. Green
    • , Ásta Rut Hjartardóttir
    • , Rikke Pedersen
    • , Richard A. Bennett
    • , Halldór Geirsson
    • , Peter C. La Femina
    • , Helgi Björnsson
    • , Finnur Pálsson
    • , Erik Sturkell
    • , Christopher J. Bean
    • , Martin Möllhoff
    • , Aoife K. Braiden
    •  & Eva P. S. Eibl

Article

  • Article |

    Mannan, a component of yeast cell walls, is shown to be a viable food source for Bacteroides thetaiotamicron, a dominant member of the gut microbiota, which catabolizes the mannan ‘selfishly’—countering the general assumption that multiple members of the gut microbiota take a role in, and benefit from, polysaccharide catabolism.

    • Fiona Cuskin
    • , Elisabeth C. Lowe
    • , Max J. Temple
    • , Yanping Zhu
    • , Elizabeth A. Cameron
    • , Nicholas A. Pudlo
    • , Nathan T. Porter
    • , Karthik Urs
    • , Andrew J. Thompson
    • , Alan Cartmell
    • , Artur Rogowski
    • , Brian S. Hamilton
    • , Rui Chen
    • , Thomas J. Tolbert
    • , Kathleen Piens
    • , Debby Bracke
    • , Wouter Vervecken
    • , Zalihe Hakki
    • , Gaetano Speciale
    • , Jose L. Munōz-Munōz
    • , Andrew Day
    • , Maria J. Peña
    • , Richard McLean
    • , Michael D. Suits
    • , Alisdair B. Boraston
    • , Todd Atherly
    • , Cherie J. Ziemer
    • , Spencer J. Williams
    • , Gideon J. Davies
    • , D. Wade Abbott
    • , Eric C. Martens
    •  & Harry J. Gilbert
  • Article |

    This study shows that glutathione, a ubiquitous antioxidant, is also a critical signalling molecule that allosterically activates the master virulence regulator in the intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes.

    • Michelle L. Reniere
    • , Aaron T. Whiteley
    • , Keri L. Hamilton
    • , Sonya M. John
    • , Peter Lauer
    • , Richard G. Brennan
    •  & Daniel A. Portnoy
  • Article |

    A study of freely moving bats provides new insights into how the brain encodes a three-dimensional neural compass; neurons were identified encoding the three Euler rotation angles of the head (azimuth, pitch, and roll) and recordings from these head-direction cells revealed a toroidal model of spatial orientation mapped out by cells tuned to two circular variables (azimuth × pitch).

    • Arseny Finkelstein
    • , Dori Derdikman
    • , Alon Rubin
    • , Jakob N. Foerster
    • , Liora Las
    •  & Nachum Ulanovsky

Feature

  • Feature |

    Whether publishing contentious findings or defending evidence, the right tone is essential.

    • Virginia Gewin

Career Brief

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