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Volume 509 Issue 7498, 1 May 2014


  • Editorial |

    Carbon capture and storage projects promise to make a dent in global emissions — but only as part of a broader programme of technology deployment and economic incentives.

  • Editorial |

    A correlation between error rate and success undermines promise of stem-cell trials.

  • Editorial |

    Japan’s proposed reforms to science monitoring are welcome but long overdue.

World View

Research Highlights

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: FDA proposes regulating e-cigarettes; new UK ice-breaker research ship; and aid agencies warn of famine in South Sudan.



News Feature

  • News Feature |

    Frozen mummies and envelopes of scabs could contain remnants of one of history's most prolific killers.

    • Sara Reardon


  • Comment |

    A new wave of small-scale agricultural innovation will boost yields and protect the planet, contend Tom MacMillan and Tim G. Benton.

    • Tom MacMillan
    • Tim G. Benton
  • Comment |

    As technical barriers fall, the United States should adapt existing measures to govern the generation of human embryos for research, says Insoo Hyun.

    • Insoo Hyun

Books & Arts



News & Views

  • News & Views |

    A remote-sensing analysis of tropical forests in the Congo Basin that are experiencing chronic drought reveals consistent patterns of reduced vegetation greenness, increased temperatures and decreased water storage. See Letter p.86

    • Jeffrey Q. Chambers
    • Dar A. Roberts
  • News & Views |

    A new holographic method has been used to convert ordinary electron beams into helical beams. These beams show promise in applications such as the spectroscopic analysis of materials with intrinsic handedness and nanoparticle manipulation.

    • Jun Yuan
  • News & Views |

    A group of regulatory neurons in the spinal cord has been found to reduce sensory feedback to muscles in mice. Removal of these neurons leads to repetitive limb oscillations during reaching. See Article p.43

    • Stephen H. Scott
    • Frédéric Crevecoeur
  • News & Views |

    Controversy exists over the roles of water and melt in the ductile layer of the mantle beneath Earth's surface plates. New data support models in which small amounts of melting occur in the uppermost part of this region. See Letter p.81

    • Rob L. Evans
  • News & Views |

    Spectroscopic observations of a young exoplanet have allowed its spin velocity to be directly measured. Its fast spin is in accord with the extrapolation of the known trend in spin velocity as a function of planet mass. See Letter p.63

    • Travis Barman


  • Article |

    A population of spinal interneurons that form axo–axonic connections with the terminals of proprioceptive afferents are shown to mediate presynaptic inhibition; their ablation elicits harmonic oscillations during goal-directed forelimb movements, which can be modelled as the consequence of an increase in sensory feedback gain.

    • Andrew J. P. Fink
    • Katherine R. Croce
    • Eiman Azim
  • Article |

    Haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) have a lower rate of protein synthesis in vivo than most other haematopoietic cells, and both increases and decreases in the rate of protein synthesis impair HSC function, demonstrating that HSC maintenance—and hence, cellular homeostasis—requires the rate of protein synthesis to be highly regulated.

    • Robert A. J. Signer
    • Jeffrey A. Magee
    • Sean J. Morrison
  • Article |

    A longitudinal study of an individual patient developing neutralizing antibodies against HIV-1 (targeting the V1V2 region of gp120) reveals how such neutralizing antibodies develop and evolve over time, providing important insights relevant to vaccine development.

    • Nicole A. Doria-Rose
    • Chaim A. Schramm
    • John R. Mascola


  • Letter |

    Near-infrared spectroscopic observations of the young extrasolar planet β Pictoris b indicate that it spins significantly faster than any planet in the Solar System, in line with the extrapolation of the known trend in spin velocity with planet mass.

    • Ignas A. G. Snellen
    • Bernhard R. Brandl
    • Henriette Schwarz
  • Letter |

    Single organic dye molecules have high-flux, narrow-bandwidth single-photon emission and can be spectrally matched to the transitions of atoms acting as a quantum memory, making them promising for use in quantum information and communication schemes.

    • Petr Siyushev
    • Guilherme Stein
    • Ilja Gerhardt
  • Letter |

    An enantioselective reaction involving a molecule with two axes of stereochemical consequence produces four stereoisomers, and rather than racemizing as the system approaches equilibrium, one of the diastereomeric pairs drifts spontaneously to a higher enantiomeric ratio.

    • Kimberly T. Barrett
    • Anthony J. Metrano
    • Scott J. Miller
  • Letter |

    New sea surface temperature and oxygen isotope records, combined with climate modelling experiments, show that slowdowns of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation during Heinrich stadials and the Younger Dryas stadial affected the tropical Indian Ocean hydroclimate through changes to the Hadley circulation.

    • Mahyar Mohtadi
    • Matthias Prange
    • Andreas Lückge
  • Letter |

    Determination of the electrical conductivity of carbon-dioxide- and water-rich melts, which are typically produced at the onset of mantle melting, shows that incipient melts can trigger the high electrical conductivities found in oceanic regions of the asthenosphere.

    • David Sifré
    • Emmanuel Gardés
    • Fabrice Gaillard
  • Letter |

    Cystathionine γ-lyase, which is responsible for the production of cysteine, is decreased in the striatum and cortex of mouse models of Huntington’s disease and in patients with Huntington’s disease, and cysteine supplementation in diet and drinking water partly rescues the phenotype and the diminished longevity of the mouse model.

    • Bindu D. Paul
    • Juan I. Sbodio
    • Solomon H. Snyder
  • Letter |

    Reprogramming after somatic cell nuclear transfer had been thought to be dependent on the recipient cytoplasm being arrested at the metaphase stage, but here interphase two-cell mouse embryos are shown to support successful reprogramming and generation of embryonic stem cells or cloned mice.

    • Eunju Kang
    • Guangming Wu
    • Shoukhrat Mitalipov
  • Letter |

    RIG-I protein recognizes viral duplex RNA with a 5′-triphosphate group, activating innate immune responses; a crystal structure of its tetrameric CARD signalling domain reveals that non-covalently linked ubiquitin chains stabilize the tetramer in a ‘lock-washer’ structure that serves as a signalling platform for the recruitment and activation of MAVS.

    • Alys Peisley
    • Bin Wu
    • Sun Hur
  • Letter |

    An X-ray structure of human P2Y12 receptor, a clinical drug target for platelet aggregation inhibitors, is presented in complex with an agonist, providing insight into the δ-group of class A G-protein-coupled receptors.

    • Jin Zhang
    • Kaihua Zhang
    • Qiang Zhao



  • Column |

    Saying no to a move is not easy, but there could be some very good reasons to stay put, says Yoshimi Rii.

    • Yoshimi Rii



Nature Outlook

  • Nature Outlook |


    Antibiotic-resistant infections are increasing worldwide. For instance, nearly half a million people get infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis every year, one-third of whom die. Part of the problem arises from casual overuse of life-saving medicines, rendering them worthless. As this Outlook reveals, it will take agricultural and healthcare reforms to defeat the encroaching bacterial epidemic.

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