Volume 514 Issue 7523, 23 October 2014

A magnetic model of the Sun before a solar eruption produced by an ejected magnetic rope (top/blue) using data from the Helioseismic and Magnetic Imager of the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory mission. Coronal mass ejections are large-scale eruptions in the solar atmosphere that consist of a giant cloud of solar plasma embedded in a magnetic field. They have the potential to produce solar storms here on Earth that can damage artificial satellites and disrupt ground-based power generation. Using observations of the photospheric magnetic field made during the four days leading up to the coronal mass ejection of 13 December 2006, together with numerical modelling, Tahar Amari et al. show that the physical mechanism responsible for such ejections is best explained as the appearance and the later ejection of a ‘twisted rope� of magnetic flux. Cover: Tahar Amari/ CNRS-Ecole Polytechnique. France.


  • Editorial |

    After three years of heated debate, the advocates and critics of gain-of-function research must work to agree on how best to regulate the work.

  • Editorial |

    Social-media fun for medical research bypasses animal sensitivities.

  • Editorial |

    Europe must act to stop livestock drugs from wiping out its vulture populations.

World View

Research Highlights

Social Selection

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: Snail discovery revives publishing spat; proposed nuclear-waste site passes key US safety evaluation; and biopharmaceutical firm AbbVie cools on US$54-billion takeover deal.


News Feature


Books & Arts


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Integrated assessment models show that, without new climate policies, abundant supplies of natural gas will have little impact on greenhouse-gas emissions and climate change. See Letter p.482

    • Steven J. Davis
    •  & Christine Shearer
  • News & Views |

    A high-resolution crystal structure of the HIV-1 Env trimer proteins, in their form before they fuse with target cells, will aid the design of vaccines that elicit protective immune responses to this protein complex. See Article p.455

    • Rogier W. Sanders
    •  & John P. Moore
  • News & Views |

    Transplanting gene-corrected macrophage cells directly into the lungs of mice has been shown to effectively treat their pulmonary alveolar proteinosis, a hereditary lung disease also found in humans. See Article p.450

    • Mary Jane Thomassen
    •  & Mani S. Kavuru
  • News & Views |

    An analysis of hundreds of star-grazing comets in a young planetary system shows that they form two families: a group of old, dried-out comets and a younger group probably related to the break-up of a larger planetary body. See Letter p.462

    • Aki Roberge
  • News & Views |

    During inflammation, lymph nodes swell with an influx of immune cells. New findings identify a signalling pathway that induces relaxation in the contractile cells that give structure to these organs. See Letter p.498

    • Kari Vaahtomeri
    •  & Michael Sixt
  • News & Views |

    In a finding that highlights ways to optimize the efficacy of antibody-based therapeutics and vaccines, the activity of potent HIV-1-neutralizing antibodies has been confirmed to depend on cellular binding to the antibodies' Fc regions.

    • Alexandra Trkola


  • Article |

    The high-quality genome sequence of a 45,000-year-old modern human from Siberia reveals that gene flow from Neanderthals into the ancestors of this individual had already occurred about 7,000 to 13,000 years earlier; genomic comparisons show that he belonged to a population that lived close in time to the separation of populations in east and west Eurasia and that may represent an early modern human radiation out of Africa that has no direct descendants today.

    • Qiaomei Fu
    • , Heng Li
    •  & Svante Pääbo


  • Article |

    This study reports the correction of pulmonary alveolar proteinosis (PAP) in Csf2rb–/– mice by a single transfer of either wild-type or gene-corrected macrophages directly to the lungs — the transplanted macrophages persisted for at least 1 year; this transplantation strategy obviated the need for myeloablation and immunosuppression and should be a feasible therapy for humans with hereditary PAP.

    • Takuji Suzuki
    • , Paritha Arumugam
    •  & Bruce C. Trapnell
  • Article |

    A crystal structure of the human immunodeficiency virus Env trimer, used by the virus to infect cells, is determined here; the new structure, which shows the pre-fusion form of Env, increases our understanding of the fusion mechanism and of how the conformation of Env allows the virus to evade the immune response.

    • Marie Pancera
    • , Tongqing Zhou
    •  & Peter D. Kwong


  • Letter |

    Statistical analysis of over a thousand spectra of the star β Pictoris reveals that it has two kinds of exocomets circling it: old exhausted comets trapped in mean-motion resonance with a massive planet, and fragments of comets.

    • F. Kiefer
    • , A. Lecavelier des Etangs
    •  & R. Ferlet
  • Letter |

    Modelling the solar magnetic field using observations of the photospheric field in the four-day period preceding a coronal mass ejection shows that the formation and later ejection of a twisted rope of magnetic flux provides the physical mechanism responsible for the ejection.

    • Tahar Amari
    • , Aurélien Canou
    •  & Jean-Jacques Aly
  • Letter |

    The tetrahedral iridium tetroxide cation [IrO4]+, which has an iridium 5d0 valence electron configuration and a formal oxidation state of IX, is generated in the gas phase, identified by infrared photodissociation spectroscopy, and predicted, by quantum chemical calculations, to be the most stable of all possible [IrO4]+ isomers.

    • Guanjun Wang
    • , Mingfei Zhou
    •  & Sebastian Riedel
  • Letter |

    The abundance of key microbial lineages can be used to predict atmospherically relevant patterns in methane isotopes and the proportion of carbon metabolized to methane during permafrost thaw, suggesting that microbial ecology may be important in ecosystem-scale responses to global change.

    • Carmody K. McCalley
    • , Ben J. Woodcroft
    •  & Scott R. Saleska
  • Letter |

    In an experiment across China to test integrated soil–crop system management for rice, wheat and maize against current practice, improvements in grain yield are equivalent to high-input techniques, but nutrient use, nutrient loss and greenhouse gas emissions are lower than current practice.

    • Xinping Chen
    • , Zhenling Cui
    •  & Fusuo Zhang
  • Letter |

    Nested Hox expression domains are found in jawed vertebrates and in non-vertebrate chordates, but it is unclear whether there is a link between brain regionalization and Hox expression in jawless vertebrates; here, Hox expression is shown to be integrated with hindbrain segmentation in lampreys.

    • Hugo J. Parker
    • , Marianne E. Bronner
    •  & Robb Krumlauf
  • Letter |

    An investigation of the influence of age on the generation of insulin-producing cells after β-cell loss in mice reveals that, whereas α-cells can reprogram to produce insulin from puberty to adulthood, efficient reconstitution in the very young is through δ-cell reprogramming, leading to complete diabetes recovery.

    • Simona Chera
    • , Delphine Baronnier
    •  & Pedro L. Herrera
  • Letter |

    T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (T-ALL) is a haematological malignancy with a poor prognosis and no available targeted therapies; now two histone H3 lysine 27 demethylases, JMJD3 and UTX, are shown to have contrasting roles in human T-ALL cells and a mouse model of the disease, and a small molecule demethylase inhibitor is found to inhibit the growth of T-ALL cell lines, introducing a potential therapeutic avenue for acute leukaemia.

    • Panagiotis Ntziachristos
    • , Aristotelis Tsirigos
    •  & Iannis Aifantis
  • Letter |

    The X-ray crystal structures of a zinc-ion-transporting P-type ATPase are solved in a zinc-free, phosphoenzyme ‘ground’ state and in a transition state of dephosphorylation, characterizing these transporters of an essential micronutrient that is needed for many biological processes but is cytotoxic when free.

    • Kaituo Wang
    • , Oleg Sitsel
    •  & Pontus Gourdon




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