Research articles

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  • Specific manipulation of midbrain dopamine neurons in freely moving rodents shows that their inhibition or excitation immediately modulates depression-like phenotypes that are induced by chronic mild stress, and that their activation alters the neural encoding of depression-related behaviours in the nucleus accumbens.

    • Kay M. Tye
    • Julie J. Mirzabekov
    • Karl Deisseroth
  • The minimal possible requirement for AMPA receptor trafficking during long-term potentiation is explored, revealing that no region of the receptor subunit is necessary, in contrast with previous work; the only requirement for LTP seems to be a large reserve of glutamate receptors.

    • Adam J. Granger
    • Yun Shi
    • Roger A. Nicoll
  • The crystal structure of the inner-membrane urea channel HpUreI from Helicobacter pylori, the causative organism of peptic ulcers, reveals how the channel selectively transports urea across the membrane and buffers the pathogen’s periplasmic pH against the acidic gastric environment.

    • David Strugatsky
    • Reginald McNulty
    • Hartmut Luecke
  • The X-ray crystal structure of the human G-protein-coupled receptor protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) bound to the antagonist vorapaxar is solved, revealing an unusual method of drug binding that should facilitate the development of improved PAR1-selective antagonists.

    • Cheng Zhang
    • Yoga Srinivasan
    • Brian K. Kobilka
  • TET2 is shown to associate with OGT, which catalyses O-GlcNAcylation, and the two enzymes are found together at transcription start sites; TET2 facilitates the activity of OGT in O-GlcNAcylation of histone 2B, and epigenetic modifications to both DNA and histones by TET2 and OGT may be important in gene transcription regulation.

    • Qiang Chen
    • Yibin Chen
    • Xiaochun Yu
  • An X-ray crystal structure of the bacterial cellulose synthase captures the process of cellulose synthesis and membrane translocation; the structure indicates how the synthesis of cellulose and the translocation of the nascent polysaccharide chain across the cell membrane are coupled.

    • Jacob L. W. Morgan
    • Joanna Strumillo
    • Jochen Zimmer
  • Exposing a fused silica sample to a strong, waveform-controlled, few-cycle optical field increases the dielectric’s optical conductivity by more than 18 orders of magnitude in less than 1 femtosecond, allowing electric currents to be driven, directed and switched by the instantaneous light field.

    • Agustin Schiffrin
    • Tim Paasch-Colberg
    • Ferenc Krausz
  • Randomly adsorbing chemically synthesized silver nanocubes, each of which is the optical analogue of a grounded patch antenna, onto a nanoscale-thick polymer spacer layer on a gold film results in a metamaterial surface with a reflectance spectrum that can be tailored by varying the geometry.

    • Antoine Moreau
    • Cristian Ciracì
    • David R. Smith
  • An explanation for the formation of binary systems in which the components are extremely far apart is proposed: triple systems can break up and send one component far away by taking energy from the remaining binary, bringing the two stars so close together that from a distance they appear like one star.

    • Bo Reipurth
    • Seppo Mikkola
  • During normal ageing a low rate of division of pre-existing cardiomyocytes, rather than progenitor cells, is responsible for cardiomyocyte genesis; this process is increased fourfold during myocardial infarction.

    • Samuel E. Senyo
    • Matthew L. Steinhauser
    • Richard T. Lee
  • In the earliest stage of star formation, protostars accrete mass from their surrounding envelopes through circumstellar disks; observations of the protostar L1527 IRS find a large, rotating proto-planetary disk from which the protostellar mass is measured to be 0.19 solar masses, with a protostar-to-envelope mass ratio of about 0.2.

    • John J. Tobin
    • Lee Hartmann
    • Paola D’Alessio
  • The ultrafast reversibility of changes to the electronic structure and electric polarizability of a dielectric with the electric field of a laser pulse, demonstrated here, offers the potential for petahertz-bandwidth optical signal manipulation.

    • Martin Schultze
    • Elisabeth M. Bothschafter
    • Ferenc Krausz
  • The spectrum of a quasar at redshift 7.04 reveals absorption from a large column of foreground neutral hydrogen with no corresponding heavy elements; this absorbing gas is either diffuse and intergalactic but has not yet been ionized by starlight at this early epoch, or it is gravitationally bound to a proto-galaxy that has a chemical abundance <1/10,000 the solar level.

    • Robert A. Simcoe
    • Peter W. Sullivan
    • Adam J. Burgasser
  • A framework for metagenomic variation analysis to explore variation in the human microbiome is developed; the study describes SNPs, short indels and structural variants in 252 faecal metagenomes of 207 individuals from Europe and North America.

    • Siegfried Schloissnig
    • Manimozhiyan Arumugam
    • Peer Bork
  • A series of genetic studies have led to the discovery of novel independent loci and candidate genes associated with red blood cell phenotype; for a proportion of these genes potential single-nucleotide genetic variants are also identified, providing new insights into genetic pathways controlling red blood cell formation, function and pathology.

    • Pim van der Harst
    • Weihua Zhang
    • John C. Chambers
  • Models and field measurements together show that the branching patterns of fine-scale river networks are the result of coupled instabilities in the erosional processes that drive valley incision.

    • J. Taylor Perron
    • Paul W. Richardson
    • Mathieu Lapôtre
  • The human heart regenerates poorly, causing insufficient healing after injury; here, microRNAs screened for the ability to induce cardiomyocyte proliferation are shown to stimulate cardiac regeneration and almost complete recovery of the heart after infarction.

    • Ana Eulalio
    • Miguel Mano
    • Mauro Giacca
  • Recordings from rat grid cells, cells that are active at periodically spaced locations in the environment, show that they are organized into discrete modules that maintain distinct scale and orientation, and may respond independently to environmental changes.

    • Hanne Stensola
    • Tor Stensola
    • Edvard I. Moser