Reviews & Analysis

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  • Emissions of carbon dioxide from inland waters to the atmosphere are a crucial link in the global carbon cycle. A comprehensive analysis reveals that this connection is much stronger than was previously thought. See Article p.355

    • Bernhard Wehrli
    News & Views
  • An analysis of North American drought variability over the past millennium shows that it is not unusual for widespread drought to persist for years, prompting fresh thinking about our ability to deal with such climate conditions.

    • Jonathan T. Overpeck
    News & Views
  • The almost complete extinction of small mammals in forest islands within 25 years of the construction of a reservoir that fragmented the habitat provides a striking example of delayed biodiversity loss.

    • Andrew Gonzalez
    News & Views
  • A random array of holes etched in a semiconductor structure, consisting of a periodic series of thin layers, has been demonstrated that emits mid-infrared laser radiation. The device could have sensing and imaging applications.

    • Hui Cao
    • Stafford W. Sheehan
    News & Views
  • The recent entry of a 20-metre-wide celestial rock into Earth's atmosphere offered both a spectacular show and a source of invaluable data that advance our understanding of high-velocity impacts. See Letters p.235 & p.238

    • Natalia Artemieva
    News & Views
  • Many animals use culture, the ability to learn from others, but only humans create complex culture. A laboratory experiment tests which characteristics of our social networks give us this capacity. See Letter p.389

    • Peter Richerson
    News & Views
  • Long-lived single electron spins are crucial for quantum computation and for understanding spin dynamics. A remarkably long lifetime — of the order of minutes — has now been obtained for a solid-state system. See Letter p.242

    • Michael E. Flatté
    News & Views
  • Antibiotic-tolerant, dormant variants of otherwise antibiotic-sensitive bacteria underlie many chronic and relapsing infections. A small molecule has been identified that can efficiently eradicate these persister cells. See Article p.365

    • Kenn Gerdes
    • Hanne Ingmer
    News & Views
  • The phonon is the physical particle responsible for the transmission of sound and heat; controlling the properties of phonons in materials could trigger many advances, which are reviewed here.

    • Martin Maldovan
    Review Article
  • Decisions can differ depending on the context that surrounds them. Analyses of the prefrontal cortex region of the monkey brain indicate that a dynamical process at the neuronal population level controls this behaviour. See Article p.78

    • Jeffrey C. Erlich
    • Carlos D. Brody
    News & Views
  • Chemical analysis of the spliceosome's active site reveals that it is the RNA components of this enzyme complex that coordinate the catalytic metal ions responsible for production of a spliced messenger RNA. See Article p.229

    • Scott A. Strobel
    News & Views
  • HIV avoids triggering the cell receptors that initiate the host's innate immune responses. It seems that the virus achieves this evasion by using its protein coat to hide its nucleic acids until they are beyond detection. See Letter p.402

    • Stephen P. Goff
    News & Views
  • Uncertainty in estimates of the effects of aerosols on climate stems from poor knowledge of the past, pristine atmosphere — so getting a better understanding of these effects might not be as useful as was thought. See Article p.67

    • Bjorn Stevens
    News & Views
  • It emerges that a transcription program differentially regulates inhibitory inputs in distinct neuronal compartments — an unexpected coordinated switch for achieving experience-dependent 'plasticity' in neural circuits. See Letter p.121

    • Emily Sylwestrak
    • Peter Scheiffele
    News & Views
  • Two independent studies show that, if push comes to shove, differentiated cells of the stomach and lung can act as adult stem cells, generating various cell types of the tissues, including a pool of stem cells. See Article p.218

    • Tushar J. Desai
    • Mark A. Krasnow
    News & Views
  • Populations of rolling particles have been shown to display unidirectional collective motion in a racetrack enclosure. Theoretical modelling suggests that hydrodynamic and electrostatic effects promote such behaviour. See Letter p.95

    • Michael Shelley
    News & Views
  • An alternative view of diabetes is presented in which blood glucose homeostasis is achieved via collective actions of two regulatory systems: a brain-centred glucoregulatory system (BCGS), which works together with the pancreatic islets; defects in both systems may be required for diabetes to occur, and interventions targeting both systems may have greater therapeutic potential.

    • Michael W. Schwartz
    • Randy J. Seeley
    • David D’Alessio
    Review Article
  • The connectivity of cortical neurons relates to the way in which they encode sensory features, and integrate them with behavioural context; these factors are discussed in relation to recent research, the major questions still to be addressed, and emerging techniques that may help to answer these.

    • Kenneth D. Harris
    • Thomas D. Mrsic-Flogel
    Review Article
  • Research on guppies provides the most definitive evidence yet for the rare-male effect — a long-standing hypothesis to explain the perplexing maintenance of variation in traits that are subject to strong mate choice. See Letter p.108

    • Jeffrey S. McKinnon
    • Maria R. Servedio
    News & Views