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Volume 490 Issue 7419, 11 October 2012

Some individuals can cope with stress � from the extremes of battle to the pressures of modern life � with no apparent ill effects. Others in similar situations will develop serious mental illness. The efforts of neuroscientists to track down the elusive links between life experience and mental illness are the focus of in this week’s Nature. Cover: Paddy Mills


  • Editorial |

    It is time for sociologists and biologists to bury the hatchet and cooperate to study the effects of environmental stress on how people behave.

  • Editorial |

    To make progress in clinical genomics, institutions must work out how to pass on data.

  • Editorial |

    Collaboration between geneticists and economists has the potential to bear fruit.

World View

Research Highlights

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: Drug hope for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Europe’s nuclear plants need safety upgrade and a well-preserved mammoth is revealed in Siberia.


News Feature


  • Comment |

    A stark warning about the societal costs of stress comes from links between shortened telomeres, chronic stress and disease, say Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Elissa S. Epel.

    • Elizabeth H. Blackburn
    • Elissa S. Epel
  • Comment |

    Trauma affects people differently. Epigenetics may be partly to blame, says Eric J. Nestler.

    • Eric J. Nestler

Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    Meredith Wadman lifts the blanket on the creeping medicalization of sleep in the United States.

    • Meredith Wadman
  • Books & Arts |

    Amy Maxmen views a prizewinning film that shines a light into the dark corners of US psychiatric care.

    • Amy Maxmen


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The unexpected finding that neurons can co-release two neurotransmitter molecules, dopamine and GABA, through a common mechanism provides a further advance in our understanding of the nervous system. See Letter p.262

    • John T. Williams
  • News & Views |

    A variant of a classical reaction has been used to generate short-lived chemical species called arynes, allowing the one-step synthesis of structurally complex benzene derivatives from simple precursors. See Article p.208

    • John T. S. Yeoman
    • Sarah E. Reisman
  • News & Views |

    Fossilized remains of an arthropod from the Cambrian period provide an unusual example of preservation of the brain and nervous system, and shed new light on when and how these tissues evolved. See Letter p.258

    • Graham E. Budd
  • News & Views |

    Observations of the migration patterns of Norwegian red deer show that some animals ride waves of greener vegetation as spring spreads across the landscape, whereas others jump ahead in anticipation of this higher-quality food.

    • John M. Fryxell
    • Tal Avgar
  • News & Views |

    Analyses of two recent earthquakes of great magnitude show how complex the breaking of the oceanic lithosphere can be, how it is linked to earlier great events and how it triggers seismicity worldwide. See Letters p.240, p.245 & p.250

    • Jean-Yves Royer
  • News & Views |

    The discovery of different classes of neuronal progenitor cell, destined to give rise to neurons in specific layers of the cerebral cortex, could presage the revision of a 50-year-old model of brain development.

    • Oscar Marín


Review Article

  • Review Article |

    Graphene’s numerous highly desirable properties mean that it has many possible applications in various technologies and devices; these are reviewed and analysed here.

    • K. S. Novoselov
    • V. I. Fal′ko
    • K. Kim


  • Article |

    The de novo generation of benzynes—through a hexadehydro-Diels–Alder reaction—followed by their in situ elaboration is reported; the reaction is metal-free and reagent-free, and reveals new modes of intrinsic benzyne reactivity.

    • Thomas R. Hoye
    • Beeraiah Baire
    • Brian P. Woods
  • Article |

    Heat stroke triggers necrotic cell death and neurodegeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans, but hormetic preconditioning at a mildly elevated temperature strongly protects C. elegans from necrosis induced by several insults, including heat, and shields mammalian neurons from heat cytotoxicity, suggesting that this protective mechanism is conserved.

    • Nikos Kourtis
    • Vassiliki Nikoletopoulou
    • Nektarios Tavernarakis
  • Article |

    In live neonatal mice, waves of spontaneous retinal activity are present and can propagate patterned information capable of guiding activity-dependent development of complex intra- and inter-hemispheric circuits throughout the visual system before the onset of vision (before eye opening).

    • James B. Ackman
    • Timothy J. Burbridge
    • Michael C. Crair
  • Article |

    The activity of somatostatin-expressing inhibitory neurons (SOMs) in the superficial layers of the mouse visual cortex increases with stimulation of the receptive-field surround, thereby contributing to the surround suppression of pyramidal cells.

    • Hillel Adesnik
    • William Bruns
    • Massimo Scanziani


  • Letter |

    The two earthquakes of respective magnitudes 8.6 and 8.2 that occurred off the coast of the Sumatra subduction zone on 11 April 2012 are shown to be part of a continuing boost of the intraplate deformation between India and Australia that followed the Aceh 2004 and Nias 2005 megathrust earthquakes.

    • Matthias Delescluse
    • Nicolas Chamot-Rooke
    • Christophe Vigny
  • Letter |

    The magnitude 8.7 earthquake that occurred off the coast of the Sumatra subduction zone on 11 April 2012 is shown to have had an extraordinarily complex four-fault rupture; these great ruptures represent large lithospheric deformation that may eventually lead to a localized boundary between the Indian and Australian plates.

    • Han Yue
    • Thorne Lay
    • Keith D. Koper
  • Letter |

    Although strong remote aftershocks are exceedingly rare, their rate increased fivefold during the six days following the 2012 east Indian Ocean earthquake, perhaps as a result of the strike-slip nature of the 2012 event or a build up of close-to-failure nucleation sites.

    • Fred F. Pollitz
    • Ross S. Stein
    • Roland Bürgmann
  • Letter |

    Global yields of major crops are analysed using climate, irrigation and new nutrient data to show that large production increases are possible from closing yield gaps to 100% of attainable yields, and that changes in management practices needed to close yield gaps vary considerably by region and current intensity.

    • Nathaniel D. Mueller
    • James S. Gerber
    • Jonathan A. Foley
  • Letter |

    An arthropod specimen from an early Cambrian deposit in China shows a nervous system very similar to that of modern insects and crustaceans, suggesting that insect and crustacean nervous systems evolved from a relatively complex ancestral one, and that simple animals, such as branchiopod shrimps, have evolved a marked reduction in the complexity of their nervous systems.

    • Xiaoya Ma
    • Xianguang Hou
    • Nicholas J. Strausfeld
  • Letter |

    A meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of phenotypic variation for height and body mass index in human populations using 170,000 samples shows that one single nucleotide polymorphism at the FTO locus, which is associated with obesity, is also associated with phenotypic variation.

    • Jian Yang
    • Ruth J. F. Loos
    • Peter M. Visscher
  • Letter |

    Two types of human ES-cell-derived otic progenitors are shown to have the ability to differentiate in vitro into hair-cell-like cells and auditory neurons, and to engraft, differentiate and improve auditory-evoked response thresholds when transplanted into an auditory neuropathy model; this indicates that it may be possible to use cell-based therapeutic strategies to recover damaged sensory circuitry in deafness.

    • Wei Chen
    • Nopporn Jongkamonwiwat
    • Marcelo N. Rivolta
  • Letter |

    Using intravital microscopy, this study visualizes HIV-1-infected T cells within the lymph nodes of humanized mice, demonstrating that infected cells have reduced motility and long membrane processes; treating infected mice with a lymphocyte egress inhibitor prevents HIV-1 from spreading to the circulation during the course of treatment.

    • Thomas T. Murooka
    • Maud Deruaz
    • Thorsten R. Mempel




Technology Feature

  • Technology Feature |

    The field of connectomics is pulling neuroscience into a speedy, high-throughput lane that is generating vast amounts of data.

    • Vivien Marx



  • Feature |

    Depression is rife among graduate students and postdocs. Universities are working to get them the help they need.

    • Virginia Gewin


  • Column |

    Interdisciplinary mentorship must evolve to keep pace with innovative programmes, argues Katherine Mackey.

    • Katherine Mackey




  • Outlook |

    The 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting opened with a talk by Brian Schmidt, who shared the 2011 physics prize for the shocking revelation that the Universe is expanding at an accelerating rate. Fifteen years after Schmidt's initial discovery, the 'dark energy' invoked to explain this cosmic acceleration is still a mystery.

    • Matthew Chalmers
  • Outlook |

    In the spirit of the Lindau Meeting, we present a dialogue between a Nobel laureate and a young researcher. This interchange started online, where it continues to unfold. Here is a digest of this conversation, which has developed across time and space.

    • John Mather
    • Minnie Mao
  • Outlook |

    Five laureates from the 2012 Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting give us their thoughts on everything from the Higgs boson to climate change.

    • Dan Csontos
  • Outlook |

    This year's Lindau meeting coincided with the biggest particle-physics discovery in a generation. Theoretical particle physicist Martinus Veltman, emeritus professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, shared the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the 'standard model' of particle physics — the theory that predicted the Higgs boson. Yet he has spent the past 30 years doubting whether the Higgs exists.

    • Matthew Chalmers
  • Outlook |

    William Phillips is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He was joint winner of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics, awarded for the development of laser cooling and trapping methods, and is still beguiled by the lure of the unknown.

    • Iulia Georgescu
  • Outlook |

    Roy Glauber shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. He was cited for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence, which explains why many experiments, using lasers for example, can only be understood if light is explicitly considered to be granular (composed of individual photons). His work laid the foundations of a field now known as quantum optics.

    • Andreas Trabesinger
  • Outlook |

    The first Mexican-born scientist to become a Nobel laureate in chemistry, Mario Molina shared the 1995 prize for his role in discovering the threat posed by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to Earth's ozone layer. An optimist who passionately pursued science from a young age, Molina now focuses on finding practical solutions to environmental challenges.

    • Olive Heffernan

Nature Outlook

  • Nature Outlook |

    Physics masterclass

    From subatomic particles to cosmic-scale phenomena, Nature Outlook Physics Masterclassuses the Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting 2012 to launch an examination of some of the biggest breakthroughs in physics — including conversations between physics laureates and the young researchers who hope to emulate them.

Nature Briefing

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