Reviews & Analysis

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  • Impulsivity has been linked to various psychiatric disorders and forms of violent behaviour. A gene mutated in a population of violent Finnish criminal offenders provides clues to the neural basis of this trait. See article p.1061

    • John R. Kelsoe
    News & Views
  • Analysis of ancient nuclear DNA, recovered from 40,000-year-old remains in the Denisova Cave, Siberia, hints at the multifaceted interaction of human populations following their migration out of Africa. See Article p.1053

    • Carlos D. Bustamante
    • Brenna M. Henn
    News & Views
  • Nanowires are candidates for enabling the exchange of quantum information between light and matter. The rapid control of a single electron spin by solely electrical means brings this possibility closer. See Letter p.1084

    • David J. Reilly
    News & Views
  • Protein molecules in solution exist as an equilibrium of different conformations, but the sizes and shifts of these populations cannot be determined from static structures. A report now shows how they can be measured in solution.

    • Pau Bernadó
    • Martin Blackledge
    News & Views
  • Protein factors can regulate gene expression by binding to specifically modified DNA-associated proteins. Small molecules that selectively interfere with such interaction may be of therapeutic value. See Article p.1067 & Letter p.1119

    • Sean D. Taverna
    • PhiliP A. Cole
    News & Views
  • Is the polar bear doomed to extinction? Maybe not, according to models of the future extent of Arctic sea ice if greenhouse-gas emissions are curbed. The outlook depends on the ability of policy-makers to act. See Letter p.955

    • Andrew E. Derocher
    News & Views
  • A neat study that involves placing colloidal particles on curved oil-glycerol interfaces reveals a new form of crystal defect. The defect is called a pleat, by analogy to the age-old type of fabric fold. See Letter p.947

    • Francesco Stellacci
    • Andreas Mortensen
    News & Views
  • Neuronal networks in the brain that develop early in life underlie our ability to learn, remember and communicate. Genetic defects that perturb the fine-tuning of such neuronal connectivity can cause disease.

    • Peter Scheiffele
    • Asim A. Beg
    News & Views
  • How is light perceived? The answer that might immediately come to mind is, through the eyes. Fly larvae, however, can 'feel' light using specialized neurons embedded under the cuticle encasing their bodies. See Article p.921

    • Paul A. Garrity
    News & Views
  • The structure of a mineral has been validated, ending the controversy about its potential usefulness as a model of an unusual magnetic lattice. This model might provide insight into superconductivity.

    • Mark A. de Vries
    • Andrew Harrison
    News & Views
  • The two Magellanic Clouds may have joined our Milky Way quite recently. It turns out that this trio of galaxies is remarkably unlike most other galaxy systems — both in the luminosity of the clouds and in their proximity to the Milky Way.

    • Sidney van den Bergh
    News & Views
  • The promise of an exciting new drug that inhibits the mutant B-RAF protein in skin cancer is marred by the fact that most patients relapse within a year. Fresh data hint at how such resistance emerges. See Letters p.968 & p.973

    • David Solit
    • Charles L. Sawyers
    News & Views
  • Simulations show that the still-mysterious origin of Saturn's vast, icy rings could be explained by the 'peeling' by Saturn's tides of the icy mantle of a large satellite migrating towards the planet. See Letter p.943

    • Aurélien Crida
    • Sébastien Charnoz
    News & Views
  • New astronomical and laboratory data show that the abundances of the two dominant ices, nitrogen and methane, on the surfaces of the Solar System's two largest dwarf planets are surprisingly similar — raising fresh questions.

    • S. Alan Stern
    News & Views
  • When and how the first stars and galaxies ionized the primordial hydrogen atoms that filled the early Universe is not known. Observations with a single radio antenna are opening a new window on the process. See Letter p.796

    • Jonathan Pritchard
    • Abraham Loeb
    News & Views
  • Sliding of the Greenland ice sheet is affected by the production of surface meltwater. A new theory shows that whether the result is a long-term speed-up or slow-down of ice motion depends on the variability in melt input. See Letter p.803

    • Martin P. Lüthi
    News & Views
  • Tumour stem cells are proposed to be the source of tumour cells. It now emerges that they also give rise to the endothelial cells that line the tumour vasculature, mediating tumour growth and metastasis. See Letters p.824 & p.829

    • Victoria L. Bautch
    News & Views
  • Comparative genomics studies reveal molecular signatures of the controversial 'phylotypic' stage — a time when embryos of members of an animal phylum all look more alike than at other embryonic stages. See Letters p.811 & p.815

    • Benjamin Prud'homme
    • Nicolas Gompel
    News & Views