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

World View

Seven Days

News

News Feature

Comment

Books & Arts

  • 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.

    • Daniel Cressey
  • Books & Arts |

    Andrew Liddle contemplates an accomplished explication of the multiverse.

    • Andrew Liddle

Correspondence

Obituary

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    A series of in vitro, genomic, ecological and epidemiological studies has pinpointed gene mutations in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum that play a key part in resistance to artemisinin-based antimalarial drugs. See Article p.50

    • Christopher V. Plowe
  • News & Views |

    The flat and featureless transmission spectra of two intermediate-sized extrasolar planets, observed during the planets' passage across their host stars, shed light on the properties of their atmospheres. See Letters p.66 & p.69

    • Julianne Moses
  • News & Views |

    Adding the first high-quality Neanderthal sequence to genomic comparisons of archaic and modern humans sheds light on gene flow, population structure and adaptation, and suggests the existence of an unknown group. See Article p.43

    • Ewan Birney
    •  & Jonathan K. Pritchard

    Collection:

  • News & Views |

    An evaluation of atmospheric convective mixing and low-level clouds in climate models suggests that Earth's climate will warm more than was thought in response to increasing levels of carbon dioxide. See Article p.37

    • Hideo Shiogama
    •  & Tomoo Ogura
  • News & Views |

    Studies in mice and humans suggest that cellular senescence, the cessation of cell proliferation that is known to suppress cancer and promote ageing, may have evolved to regulate embryonic development.

    • Judith Campisi

Article

  • Article |

    The change in global mean temperature in response to a change in external forcing is highly uncertain; here differences in the simulated strength of convective mixing between the lower and middle tropical troposphere are shown to explain about half of the variance in climate sensitivity, constraining the predicted equilibrium climate sensitivity to an increase of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius.

    • Steven C. Sherwood
    • , Sandrine Bony
    •  & Jean-Louis Dufresne
  • Article |

    A complete genome sequence is presented of a female Neanderthal from Siberia, providing information about interbreeding between close relatives and uncovering gene flow events among Neanderthals, Denisovans and early modern humans, as well as establishing substitutions that became fixed in modern humans after their separation from the ancestors of Neanderthals and Denisovans.

    • Kay Prüfer
    • , Fernando Racimo
    • , Nick Patterson
    • , Flora Jay
    • , Sriram Sankararaman
    • , Susanna Sawyer
    • , Anja Heinze
    • , Gabriel Renaud
    • , Peter H. Sudmant
    • , Cesare de Filippo
    • , Heng Li
    • , Swapan Mallick
    • , Michael Dannemann
    • , Qiaomei Fu
    • , Martin Kircher
    • , Martin Kuhlwilm
    • , Michael Lachmann
    • , Matthias Meyer
    • , Matthias Ongyerth
    • , Michael Siebauer
    • , Christoph Theunert
    • , Arti Tandon
    • , Priya Moorjani
    • , Joseph Pickrell
    • , James C. Mullikin
    • , Samuel H. Vohr
    • , Richard E. Green
    • , Ines Hellmann
    • , Philip L. F. Johnson
    • , Hélène Blanche
    • , Howard Cann
    • , Jacob O. Kitzman
    • , Jay Shendure
    • , Evan E. Eichler
    • , Ed S. Lein
    • , Trygve E. Bakken
    • , Liubov V. Golovanova
    • , Vladimir B. Doronichev
    • , Michael V. Shunkov
    • , Anatoli P. Derevianko
    • , Bence Viola
    • , Montgomery Slatkin
    • , David Reich
    • , Janet Kelso
    •  & Svante Pääbo

    Collection:

  • Article |

    A molecular marker is required to monitor artemisinin-resistant Plasmodium falciparum parasites in southeast Asia; here mutations in K13-propeller are associated with artemisinin resistance in vitro and in vivo and also cluster in Cambodian provinces where resistance is prevalent.

    • Frédéric Ariey
    • , Benoit Witkowski
    • , Chanaki Amaratunga
    • , Johann Beghain
    • , Anne-Claire Langlois
    • , Nimol Khim
    • , Saorin Kim
    • , Valentine Duru
    • , Christiane Bouchier
    • , Laurence Ma
    • , Pharath Lim
    • , Rithea Leang
    • , Socheat Duong
    • , Sokunthea Sreng
    • , Seila Suon
    • , Char Meng Chuor
    • , Denis Mey Bout
    • , Sandie Ménard
    • , William O. Rogers
    • , Blaise Genton
    • , Thierry Fandeur
    • , Olivo Miotto
    • , Pascal Ringwald
    • , Jacques Le Bras
    • , Antoine Berry
    • , Jean-Christophe Barale
    • , Rick M. Fairhurst
    • , Françoise Benoit-Vical
    • , Odile Mercereau-Puijalon
    •  & Didier Ménard
  • Article |

    X-ray crystal structures of a voltage-gated Na+channel mutated to be highly Ca2+selective provide a framework for understanding the mechanisms of ion selectivity and conductance in vertebrate voltage-gated Ca2+channels.

    • Lin Tang
    • , Tamer M. Gamal El-Din
    • , Jian Payandeh
    • , Gilbert Q. Martinez
    • , Teresa M. Heard
    • , Todd Scheuer
    • , Ning Zheng
    •  & William A. Catterall

Letter

  • Letter |

    Cycles of electron capture and β decay involving neutron-rich nuclei at a typical depth of about 150 metres are found to cool the outer crust of a neutron star by emitting neutrinos while also thermally decoupling the surface layers from the deeper crust; this mechanism has been studied in other astrophysical environments, but has not hitherto been considered in neutron stars.

    • H. Schatz
    • , S. Gupta
    • , P. Möller
    • , M. Beard
    • , E. F. Brown
    • , A. T. Deibel
    • , L. R. Gasques
    • , W. R. Hix
    • , L. Keek
    • , R. Lau
    • , A. W. Steiner
    •  & M. Wiescher
  • Letter |

    The transmission spectrum of the super-Earth exoplanet GJ 1214b is observed to be featureless at near-infrared wavelengths and its atmosphere must contain clouds to be consistent with the data.

    • Laura Kreidberg
    • , Jacob L. Bean
    • , Jean-Michel Désert
    • , Björn Benneke
    • , Drake Deming
    • , Kevin B. Stevenson
    • , Sara Seager
    • , Zachory Berta-Thompson
    • , Andreas Seifahrt
    •  & Derek Homeier
  • Letter |

    Very slow cooling, over several days, of solutions of complementary-DNA-modified nanoparticles through the melting temperature of the system produces nanoparticle assemblies with the Wulff equilibrium crystal structure, thus showing that DNA hybridization can direct nanoparticle assembly along a pathway that mimics atomic crystallization.

    • Evelyn Auyeung
    • , Ting I. N. G. Li
    • , Andrew J. Senesi
    • , Abrin L. Schmucker
    • , Bridget C. Pals
    • , Monica Olvera de la Cruz
    •  & Chad A. Mirkin
  • Letter |

    Despite a reduction in nutrient supply to the North Pacific subtropical gyre, it has undergone a recent increase in nitrogen fixation, and here records of nitrogen isotopes preserved in Hawaiian corals show that this is a trend that could be linked to climate change since the end of the Little Ice Age.

    • Owen A. Sherwood
    • , Thomas P. Guilderson
    • , Fabian C. Batista
    • , John T. Schiff
    •  & Matthew D. McCarthy
  • Letter |

    Plant life-history traits, notably plant investments in growth versus reproduction, can explain the impact of nitrogen:phosphorus stoichiometry on plant species richness; compared with plants in nitrogen-limited communities, plants in phosphorus-limited communities (in which endangered plant species are more common) invest little in phosphorus-intense activity such as sexual reproduction and have conservative leaf traits.

    • Yuki Fujita
    • , Harry Olde Venterink
    • , Peter M. van Bodegom
    • , Jacob C. Douma
    • , Gerrit W. Heil
    • , Norbert Hölzel
    • , Ewa Jabłońska
    • , Wiktor Kotowski
    • , Tomasz Okruszko
    • , Paweł Pawlikowski
    • , Peter C. de Ruiter
    •  & Martin J. Wassen
  • Letter |

    Draft genomes of two south-central Siberian individuals dating to 24,000 and 17,000 years ago show that they are genetically closely related to modern-day western Eurasians and Native Americans but not to east Asians; the results have implications for our understanding of the origins of Native Americans.

    • Maanasa Raghavan
    • , Pontus Skoglund
    • , Kelly E. Graf
    • , Mait Metspalu
    • , Anders Albrechtsen
    • , Ida Moltke
    • , Simon Rasmussen
    • , Thomas W. Stafford Jr
    • , Ludovic Orlando
    • , Ene Metspalu
    • , Monika Karmin
    • , Kristiina Tambets
    • , Siiri Rootsi
    • , Reedik Mägi
    • , Paula F. Campos
    • , Elena Balanovska
    • , Oleg Balanovsky
    • , Elza Khusnutdinova
    • , Sergey Litvinov
    • , Ludmila P. Osipova
    • , Sardana A. Fedorova
    • , Mikhail I. Voevoda
    • , Michael DeGiorgio
    • , Thomas Sicheritz-Ponten
    • , Søren Brunak
    • , Svetlana Demeshchenko
    • , Toomas Kivisild
    • , Richard Villems
    • , Rasmus Nielsen
    • , Mattias Jakobsson
    •  & Eske Willerslev
  • Letter |

    Single-unit recordings and optogenetic manipulations in mice undergoing auditory fear conditioning show that fear expression is related to the phasic inhibition of prefrontal cortex (PFC) parvalbumin interneurons; inhibition disinhibits PFC projection neurons and synchronizes their firing, leading to fear expression.

    • Julien Courtin
    • , Fabrice Chaudun
    • , Robert R. Rozeske
    • , Nikolaos Karalis
    • , Cecilia Gonzalez-Campo
    • , Hélène Wurtz
    • , Azzedine Abdi
    • , Jerome Baufreton
    • , Thomas C. M. Bienvenu
    •  & Cyril Herry
  • Letter |

    Secreted C-type lectins protect the intestinal epithelium from Gram-positive bacteria; this study shows that for the C-type lectin RegIIIα, bacterial killing occurs in a two-step process whereby the lectin first binds to bacterial peptidoglycans then oligomerizes on the bacterial membrane to form a permeabilizing pore.

    • Sohini Mukherjee
    • , Hui Zheng
    • , Mehabaw G. Derebe
    • , Keith M. Callenberg
    • , Carrie L. Partch
    • , Darcy Rollins
    • , Daniel C. Propheter
    • , Josep Rizo
    • , Michael Grabe
    • , Qiu-Xing Jiang
    •  & Lora V. Hooper
  • Letter |

    Botulinum neurotoxin A (BoNT/A) is considered the most toxic substance known but is also used as a therapeutic drug for a growing number of diseases and conditions; researchers have now obtained a high-resolution crystal structure of the receptor-binding domain of the BoNT/A in complex with the luminal domain of synaptic vesicle protein 2C (SV2C), one of its receptors, allowing the identification of a peptide that can inhibit complex formation.

    • Roger M. Benoit
    • , Daniel Frey
    • , Manuel Hilbert
    • , Josta T. Kevenaar
    • , Mara M. Wieser
    • , Christian U. Stirnimann
    • , David McMillan
    • , Tom Ceska
    • , Florence Lebon
    • , Rolf Jaussi
    • , Michel O. Steinmetz
    • , Gebhard F. X. Schertler
    • , Casper C. Hoogenraad
    • , Guido Capitani
    •  & Richard A. Kammerer
  • Letter |

    Two proteins are identified in yeast that regulate the timing of pre-ribosome export from the nucleus; Nug2 binds pre-60S particles until they are ready for export, at which time Nug2 is replaced by the export adaptor Nmd3, enabling the export machinery to recognise the pre-ribosome that is ready to be transferred to the cytoplasm.

    • Yoshitaka Matsuo
    • , Sander Granneman
    • , Matthias Thoms
    • , Rizos-Georgios Manikas
    • , David Tollervey
    •  & Ed Hurt
  • Letter |

    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
    • , Adrian Gomez
    • , Gary C. Hon
    • , Yanan Yue
    • , Dali Han
    • , Ye Fu
    • , Marc Parisien
    • , Qing Dai
    • , Guifang Jia
    • , Bing Ren
    • , Tao Pan
    •  & Chuan He

    Collection:

Feature

Career Brief

  • Career Brief |

    More patents linked to greater chance of leaving academia.

  • Career Brief |

    MD-PhD holders focus on research less than they used to, according to analysis.

  • Career Brief |

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

Futures

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