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Volume 505 Issue 7481, 2 January 2014

The deep-sea Hawaiian gold coral Kulamanamana haumeaae pictured in its living habitat during a NOAA/HURL Pisces V submersible dive. K. haumeaae is a remarkably long-lived species, sometimes attaining ages of thousands of years. Over the millennia these corals provide a unique geochemical time-series as they convert sinking phytoplankton and other tiny particles into a proteinaceous coral skeleton. Primary productivity in the North Pacific subtropical gyre has increased in recent decades despite a decline in nutrient supply. An ecosystem shift towards nitrogen-fixing plankton communities has been put forward as a possible explanation, but the cause for this shift remains unclear. Owen Sherwood and colleagues use nitrogen isotopic (15N) records from K. haumeaae corals to establish that the increase in nitrogen fixation had already began around 150 years ago, and that it may have been linked to Northern Hemisphere climate change since the end of the Little Ice Age. Cover image: NOAA Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory, DSRV Pisces Pilot Max Cremer, 2004

Editorial

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  • This week in science: Europe launches star-mapping mission, GSK to phase out physician fees, and geneticist Janet Rowley dies.

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News Feature

  • By studying disadvantaged children, Richard Tremblay has traced the roots of chronic aggressive behaviour back as far as infancy. Now he hopes to go back further.

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Books & Arts

  • It promises to be a heady year for science in culture: fans can steep in the sumptuous world of colour, unpeel the upside of failure, explore neural pathways, revisit the First World War, mend a rip in space-time, go pterosaur-spotting and traverse a mammoth-ridden nation. Daniel Cressey investigates.

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Article

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Letter

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    • Owen A. Sherwood
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    • Julien Courtin
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  • The mRNAs of higher eukaryotes are extensively modified internally with N6-methyladenosine, but the specific functional role of this modification has been unclear; here this modification on mRNA is shown to be recognized by several proteins, the modification and its recognition serve to regulate the RNA’s lifetime.

    • Xiao Wang
    • Zhike Lu
    • Chuan He

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Career Brief

  • More patents linked to greater chance of leaving academia.

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    Career Brief
  • NIH aims to use modelling to address trends that threaten size and diversity of biomedical research community.

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