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Volume 514 Issue 7520, 2 October 2014

The Procellarum is a broad feature on the nearside of the Moon, characterized by low elevations and thin crust, and largely covered by dark basalts that can be seen from Earth with the unaided eye. The red colours on the cover image show gravity anomalies bordering the Procellarum region, calculated with data from the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission. The background globe represents the topography of the Moon as measured by the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA). Andrews-Hanna et al. interpret the observed gravity anomalies as evidence of ancient lava-flooded rift zones buried beneath the volcanic plains (or maria) on the nearside of the Moon. Cover: NASA/ Colorado School of Mines/ Goddard Space Flight Center/ Scientific Visualization Studio


  • Editorial |

    Prospects for international agreement on combating climate change look brighter.

  • Editorial |

    A mixture of focus and innovation is the way forward for big neuroscience.

World View

Research Highlights

Social Selection

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: Japanese volcano erupts, India's Mars mission enters orbit, and Obama orders massive expansion of marine reserve.



News Feature

  • News Feature |

    The Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina has spent almost ten years looking for the source of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays — but to no avail. Now the observatory faces an uncertain future.

    • Katia Moskvitch


Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    Jennifer Light enjoys a chronicle of the collaborations that conjured the digital realm.

    • Jennifer Light
  • Books & Arts |

    Barbara Kiser reviews five of the week's best science picks.

    • Barbara Kiser


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Observations of the water pressure in drilled boreholes and natural moulins on the Greenland Ice Sheet show how its underlying plumbing system controls ice motion during the course of the summer melt season. See Letter p.80

    • Peter Nienow
  • News & Views |

    Analysis of the first step in repairing double-stranded-DNA breaks reveals that the Mre11 enzyme makes a DNA nick at a point separate from the break ends, creating an entry site for further processing by exonuclease enzymes. See Letter p.122

    • Lorraine S. Symington
  • News & Views |

    The cloud that emerged above the south pole of Saturn's moon Titan in 2012 has been found to consist of hydrogen cyanide particles. This unexpected result prompts fresh thinking about the atmosphere of this satellite. See Letter p.65

    • Caitlin A. Griffith
  • News & Views |

    A blend of three monoclonal antibodies has completely protected monkeys against a lethal dose of Ebola virus. Unlike other post-infection therapies, the treatment works even at advanced stages of the disease. See Article p.47

    • Thomas W. Geisbert
  • News & Views |

    An infrared census of accreting supermassive black holes across a wide range of cosmic times indicates that the canonical understanding of how these luminous objects form and evolve may need to be adjusted.

    • Daniel Mortlock
  • News & Views |

    An analysis of the combined genomes of microorganisms inhabiting human skin demonstrates how these communities vary between individuals and across body sites, and paves the way to understanding their functions. See Article p.59

    • Patrick D. Schloss


  • Article |

    A new treatment, containing an optimized cocktail of three monoclonal antibodies against Ebola virus, provided full protection and disease reversal in rhesus monkeys when given under conditions in which controls succumbed by day 8; this new therapy may be a good candidate for treating Ebola virus infection in human patients.

    • Xiangguo Qiu
    • Gary Wong
    • Gary P. Kobinger


  • Article |

    To investigate the role of sub-clonal tumour heterogeneity in cancer progression, a mouse xenograft model was used which revealed that tumour growth can be driven by a minor cell subpopulation by a non-cell-autonomous mechanism, although this minor subpopulation can be outcompeted by faster proliferating competitors.

    • Andriy Marusyk
    • Doris P. Tabassum
    • Kornelia Polyak
  • Article |

    Previous work has shown that human skin is home to a rich and varied microbiota; here a metagenomic approach for samples from physiologically diverse body sites illuminates that the skin microbiota, including bacterial, fungal and viral members, is shaped by the local biogeography and yet marked by strong individuality.

    • Julia Oh
    • Allyson L. Byrd
    • Julia A. Segre


  • Letter |

    The cloud that appeared above the south pole of Saturn’s satellite Titan in early 2012 is found to be composed of micrometre-sized particles of frozen hydrogen cyanide, indicating a dramatic cooling of Titan’s atmosphere to temperatures about 100 degrees less than predicted by atmospheric circulation models.

    • Remco J. de Kok
    • Nicholas A. Teanby
    • Sandrine Vinatier
  • Letter |

    The manipulation of spins in a solid-state system — nitrogen–vacancy defects in diamond — allows the experimental realization of a universal set of geometric quantum gates using holonomies, that is, non-Abelian generalizations of the Berry phase, and offers a scalable platform with the potential for room-temperature quantum computing.

    • C. Zu
    • W.-B. Wang
    • L.-M. Duan
  • Letter |

    By passing light through a chiral sample — here vapours and solutions — in a specially designed ring cavity, the resulting chiral signals can be isolated from the achiral backgrounds and enhanced by a factor of more than 1,000, making them detectable in situations where conventional means of measurement fail.

    • Dimitris Sofikitis
    • Lykourgos Bougas
    • T. Peter Rakitzis
  • Letter |

    Seafloor Global Positioning System observations immediately after the great 2011 Tohoku-oki earthquake provide unambiguous evidence for the dominant role of viscoelastic relaxation in short-term postseismic deformation, rather than just afterslip on the fault as is commonly assumed.

    • Tianhaozhe Sun
    • Kelin Wang
    • Yan Hu
  • Letter |

    Here 106 genomic loci associated with age at menarche, a marker of puberty timing in females, are identified; these loci show enrichment for genes involved in nuclear hormone receptor function, body mass index, and rare disorders of puberty, and for genes located in imprinted regions, with parent-of-origin specific effects at several loci.

    • John R. B. Perry
    • Felix Day
    • Ken K. Ong
  • Letter |

    Here, a long noncoding RNA, termed Mhrt, is identified in the loci of myosin heavy chain (Myh) genes in mice and shown to be capable of suppressing cardiomyopathy in the animals, as well as being repressed in diseased human hearts.

    • Pei Han
    • Wei Li
    • Ching-Pin Chang
  • Letter |

    The tumour microenvironment can influence its response to anticancer therapies; here, the enzyme FAK in endothelial cells is shown to have a role in the induction of a number of cytokines during chemotherapy or irradiation, which in turn protect tumours from DNA-damaging agents.

    • Bernardo Tavora
    • Louise E. Reynolds
    • Kairbaan M. Hodivala-Dilke
  • Letter |

    Transcription and translation are generally thought of as disconnected processes in eukaryotes; however, under starvation conditions in yeast, the promoter sequence influences not only messenger RNA levels but also several processes downstream of transcription, including the localization of mRNA within the cytoplasm and the translation rate of mRNA.

    • Brian M. Zid
    • Erin K. O’Shea
  • Letter |

    The MRX complex, required for double-strand break (DSB) repair by homologous recombination, has 3′ to 5′ exonuclease activity, but homologous recombination at a DSB uses a 3′-tailed molecule, which requires resection of the 5′ strand; here it is shown that in yeast, Sae2 nuclease promotes MRX to make an initial endonucleolytic cut on the 5′ strand that may allow MRX to digest the 5′ strand back to the end in a 3′ to 5′ fashion.

    • Elda Cannavo
    • Petr Cejka






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