Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Volume 519 Issue 7543, 19 March 2015

Genetic data have been used widely to inform our understanding of population history and migrations. Now with the advent of genome-wide analysis of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data cataloguing variation between individuals at a single position in the genome sequence fine-scale genetic variation between human populations can be used as a signature of historical demographic events. Peter Donnelly and colleagues use such data from a selected geographically diverse sample of more than 2,000 individuals from the United Kingdom to reveal remarkable concordance between genetic clusters and geography. The results throw new light on several aspects of the peopling of Britain. For instance the genetic contribution to southeastern England from Anglo-Saxon migrations is under half, suggesting significant pre-Roman but post-Mesolithic population movement from the European continent. The data also reveal that non-Saxon regions contain genetically differentiated subgroups rather than a general Celtic population. Cover illustration: Jasiek Krzysztofiak/ Nature


  • Editorial |

    As the world warms and technology improves, researchers and institutions should look at their carbon footprints and question whether they really need to travel to academic conferences.

  • Editorial |

    The public’s distorted attitude towards mental-health conditions hampers their treatment.

  • Editorial |

    The latest episode of the Nature Audiofile podcast looks at how music inspires science.

World View

  • World View |

    Ebola vaccines have little in the way of commercial markets, so the risks should be shared between governments and industry, says Seth Berkley.

    • Seth Berkley

Research Highlights


Social Selection

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: Carbon dioxide emissions stall; lapses in hygiene practices at biosafety lab; and vaccine advice on rare meningitis W.


News Feature

  • News Feature |

    Short-sightedness is reaching epidemic proportions. Some scientists think they have found a reason why.

    • Elie Dolgin
  • News Feature |

    Daniel Pauly is sounding the alarm over global fish harvests, but others think he is making too much noise.

    • Daniel Cressey



Books & Arts




News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Enzymes bind carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a highly precise way, whereas synthetic materials just passively adsorb it. Or do they? A study of compounds called metal–organic frameworks now challenges this picture. See Article p.303

    • Andrew I. Cooper
  • News & Views |

    The carbon sink in the land biosphere has grown during the past 30 years, taking up much of the carbon dioxide produced by human activities. The first signs of this growth levelling off have been spotted in Amazon forests. See Letter p.344

    • Lars O. Hedin
  • News & Views |

    Two studies investigate how information about temperature is processed in the brains of fruit flies, and reveal that different neuronal pathways transmit heating and cooling signals to higher brain regions. See Letters p.353 & p.358

    • TJ Florence
    • Michael B. Reiser
  • News & Views |

    Devices known as luminescent solar concentrators could find use as renewable-energy generators, but have so far been plagued by a major light-reabsorption effect. A new study offers a promising route to tackling this problem.

    • Michael Debije
  • News & Views |

    Taking inspiration from a modern technological advance, a classic technique — low-frequency electrical stimulation of a deep-brain region — has been refined to combat cocaine addiction in experiments in mice.

    • Alim Louis Benabid
  • News & Views |

    Vaccines that induce an antitumour immune response are disappointingly ineffective in treating patients with cancer. Pre-conditioning the vaccination site to induce inflammation might provide a way to improve this therapy. See Letter p.366

    • Rachel Lubong Sabado
    • Nina Bhardwaj


  • Article |

    Extensive genetic analysis of over 2,000 individuals from different locations in Britain reveals striking fine-scale patterns of population structure; comparisons with similar genetic data from the European continent reveal the legacy of earlier population migrations and information about the ancestry of current populations in specific geographic regions.

    • Stephen Leslie
    • Bruce Winney
    • Walter Bodmer
  • Article |

    dG•dT and rG•rU ‘wobble’ mispairs in DNA and RNA transiently form base pairs with Watson–Crick geometry via tautomerization and ionization with probabilities that correlate with misincorporation probabilities during replication and translation.

    • Isaac J. Kimsey
    • Katja Petzold
    • Hashim M. Al-Hashimi
  • Article |

    The crystal structure of the heterohexameric origin recognition complex (ORC), essential for coordinating DNA replication onset in eukaryotes, is resolved at 3.5 Å resolution.

    • Franziska Bleichert
    • Michael R. Botchan
    • James M. Berger


  • Letter |

    Far-infrared measurements of galaxies in the early Universe would reveal their detailed properties, but have been lacking for the more typical galaxies where most stars form; here an archetypal, early Universe star-forming galaxy is detected at far-infrared wavelengths, allowing its dust mass, total star-formation rate and dust-to-gas ratio to be calculated.

    • Darach Watson
    • Lise Christensen
    • Michał Jerzy Michałowski
  • Letter |

    Empirical evidence for the effect of rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels on Earth’s surface energy balance is presented: the increase in surface radiative forcing from 2000 to 2010 measured at two sites is directly attributable to the increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide over that decade and agrees with model results.

    • D. R. Feldman
    • W. D. Collins
    • T. R. Shippert
  • Letter |

    The capacity of Amazonian forests to sequester carbon has weakened with potentially important implications for climate change.

    • R. J. W. Brienen
    • O. L. Phillips
    • R. J. Zagt
  • Letter |

    In vitro evolution experiments on haploid, diploid, and tetraploid yeast strains show that adaptation is faster in tetraploids, providing direct quantitative evidence that in some environments polyploidy can accelerate evolutionary adaptation.

    • Anna M. Selmecki
    • Yosef E. Maruvka
    • David Pellman
  • Letter |

    The mechanisms of thermosensing in the Drosophila brain are elucidated by the identification of distinct classes of projection neurons which are excited either by external cooling or warming, or both; the neurons that are excited by warming participate in complex circuits that incorporate crossover inhibition from cool receptor neurons.

    • Wendy W. Liu
    • Ofer Mazor
    • Rachel I. Wilson
  • Letter |

    This study identifies distinct classes of neurons in the fly brain, which respond to external cooling, warming, or both, and contribute to behavioural response; the results illustrate how higher brain centres extract a stimulus’ quality, intensity and timing from a simple temperature map at the periphery.

    • Dominic D. Frank
    • Genevieve C. Jouandet
    • Marco Gallio
  • Letter |

    The structure and function of CetZ, a protein related to both tubulin and FtsZ (the bacterial homologue of tubulin) from the archaeon Haloferax volcanii, is reported and its involvement in the control of cell shape uncovered; it appears that this family of proteins was involved in the control of cell shape long before the evolution of eukaryotes.

    • Iain G. Duggin
    • Christopher H. S. Aylett
    • Jan Löwe
  • Letter |

    A clinical trial in patients with glioblastoma shows increased immune and anti-tumour responses to dendritic cell vaccination after pre-conditioning the site of vaccination with tetanus toxoid (Td); similar results are also seen in mice in part due to the actions of the chemokine CCL3, and the findings may represent new ways to improve the efficacy of anti-cancer vaccines.

    • Duane A. Mitchell
    • Kristen A. Batich
    • John H. Sampson
  • Letter |

    A newly developed method, NAD captureSeq, has been used to show that bacteria cap the 5′-ends of some RNAs to protect against degradation, much as happens with eukaryotic messenger RNAs, although with a different modification: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.

    • Hana Cahová
    • Marie-Luise Winz
    • Andres Jäschke




  • Feature |

    Manufacturers are snapping up chemists who can make their products more environmentally friendly.

    • Rachel Cernansky


  • Futures |

    The price of fame.

    • John Frizell
Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing


Quick links