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Volume 519 Issue 7544, 26 March 2015

An artist’s impression of a galaxy with powerful large-scale outflows originating from its nuclear regions. Francesco Tombesi et al. report the detection of a powerful accretion-disk wind with a mildly relativistic velocity in the X-ray spectrum of IRAS F11119+3257, a nearby (z = 0.189) optically classified type 1 ultraluminous infrared galaxy hosting a powerful molecular outflow. The energetics of these winds are consistent with the suggestion that active galactic nuclei winds can provide an efficient way to transfer energy to the interstellar medium and support the theory that such winds affect the evolution of supermassive black holes and their host galaxies. Cover image: ESA/ATG medialab


  • Editorial |

    Critics of the European Human Brain Project were justified, says an independent report on the project. Both its governance and its scientific direction need to be adjusted.

  • Editorial |

    The UK research assessment should inspire everybody to reward excellent societal impacts.

  • Editorial |

    The next few years will see NASA missions probe the innermost secrets of gas giants.

World View

  • World View |

    The common fear is that intelligent machines will turn against humans. But who will save the robots from each other, and from us, asks Hutan Ashrafian.

    • Hutan Ashrafian

Research Highlights

Social Selection

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: Pitcairn islands to gain massive marine reserve; US sets rules on fracking; and the head of Japan’s RIKEN Institute quits.


News Feature

  • News Feature |

    US funding agencies are turning to a Silicon Valley entrepreneur to focus fledgling biomedical companies on success — even when that means making a scientific course correction.

    • Heidi Ledford




  • Comment |

    Heritable human genetic modifications pose serious risks, and the therapeutic benefits are tenuous, warn Edward Lanphier, Fyodor Urnov and colleagues.

    • Edward Lanphier
    • Fyodor Urnov
    • Joanna Smolenski


Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    Henry Nicholls savours the posthumous autobiography of the pioneering conservationist Alison Jolly.

    • Henry Nicholls
  • Books & Arts |

    Daniel Cressey reviews five of the week's best science picks.

    • Daniel Cressey



News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Blockade of the enzyme PDE9 prevents degradation of the molecule cyclic GMP, which has been shown to protect against heart failure. The finding indicates that PDE9 inhibition might be a drug target for treating this condition. See Letter p.472

    • Michaela Kuhn
  • News & Views |

    Films of ice less than 1 nanometre thick, sandwiched between sheets of graphene, have been observed to adopt a square lattice structure quite different from the widely occurring hexagonal structure of bulk ice. See Letter p.443

    • Alan K. Soper
  • News & Views |

    Chromosomes must be faithfully duplicated in each cell-division cycle to ensure genome integrity. The in vitro reconstitution of DNA-replication initiation in yeast allows mechanistic studies of this fundamental process. See Article p.431

    • Michael Weinreich
  • News & Views |

    Analysis of the interaction between a photon and an ensemble of some 3,000 atoms trapped between two mirrors has revealed a form of multi-atom quantum entanglement that has no counterpart in classical mechanics. See Letter p.439

    • James K. Thompson
  • News & Views |

    Genetically identical cells can have many variable properties. A study of correlations between cells in a lineage explains paradoxical inheritance laws, in which mother and daughter cells seem less similar than cousins. See Letter p.468

    • Andreas Hilfinger
    • Johan Paulsson
  • News & Views |

    Astronomical observations of a luminous galaxy that has a central, mass-accreting supermassive black hole reveal how such entities launch and propel gas through galaxies at high speeds. See Letter p.436

    • James E. Geach


  • Article |

    A new MAP4K4–moesin–talin–β1-integrin pathway regulating endothelial cell motility was discovered through chemical and siRNA screens; loss of Map4k4 or inhibition of MAP4K4 kinase activity altered the sprout morphology of endothelial cells during angiogenesis by blocking moesin phosphorylation, which regulates the disassembly of focal adhesions, demonstrating that this pathway is involved in both normal and pathological angiogenesis.

    • Philip Vitorino
    • Stacey Yeung
    • Weilan Ye
  • Article |

    It has long been a goal to reconstitute eukaryotic DNA replication; here a purified in vitro system from budding yeast containing 16 factors, themselves composed of 42 polypeptides, fulfils the staged process of origin-dependent initiation, including its regulation by kinases.

    • Joseph T. P. Yeeles
    • Tom D. Deegan
    • John F. X. Diffley


  • Letter |

    The detection of a single photon from a laser interacting with an atomic ensemble is shown to produce entanglement of almost 3,000 atoms; in contrast to previous production of multi-atom entanglement, the highly non-classical nature of the present entangled state is verified by measurement of a negative quasiprobability distribution.

    • Robert McConnell
    • Hao Zhang
    • Vladan Vuletić
  • Letter |

    The structure of the low-dimensional water confined in hydrophobic pores is shown, using electron microscopy and supported by molecular dynamics simulations, to be ‘square ice’, which does not have the conventional tetrahedral hydrogen bonding.

    • G. Algara-Siller
    • O. Lehtinen
    • I. V. Grigorieva
  • Letter |

    Droplets of mixed water and propylene glycol deposited on clean glass exhibit a contact angle but do not suffer from contact line pinning; their motion can be controlled by the vapour emitted from neighbouring droplets to create a variety of autonomous fluidic machines with integrated sensing and motility capabilities.

    • N. J. Cira
    • A. Benusiglio
    • M. Prakash


  • Letter |

    Inhibiting projections from the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus to a specific division of the amygdala prevents fear conditioning in mice, indicating an important role for the thalamus–amygdala circuit in establishing and maintaining fear responses.

    • Mario A. Penzo
    • Vincent Robert
    • Bo Li
  • Letter |

    Dissociating early from late fear memory retrieval in rats reveals that while the projection from the prelimbic prefrontal cortex to the amygdala is critical for fear memory retrieval at early time points, a separate circuit involving the paraventricular region of the dorsal midline thalamus is critical for fear memory retrieval at late time points, establishing the paraventricular region as a critical maintenance/retrieval node during the transition from short- to long-term fear memory.

    • Fabricio H. Do-Monte
    • Kelvin Quiñones-Laracuente
    • Gregory J. Quirk
  • Letter |

    Some insects have alternative wing morphs, one that is long-winged and changes habitat to follow resources, and one that is short-winged and flightless but has high fertility; here, the molecular details of this switch are revealed, with opposite effects of two insulin receptors controlling the development of different wing morphs in the planthopper.

    • Hai-Jun Xu
    • Jian Xue
    • Chuan-Xi Zhang
  • Letter |

    Precise measurement of cell-cycle duration in thousands of mammalian cells reveals correlations among cousin cells, but no such correlations between mother and daughter cells; recapitulating this finding using a deterministic model suggests that observed cellular heterogeneities in cell-cycle duration may be attributable to deterministic processes, and eventually be controlled.

    • Oded Sandler
    • Sivan Pearl Mizrahi
    • Nathalie Q. Balaban
  • Letter |

    The mTORC1 protein kinase complex integrates nutrient and growth stimuli to modulate signalling pathways that regulate cellular metabolism and physiology, but the molecular nature of the amino acid sensing mechanism at the lysosome is unknown; here, an orphan member of the human solute carrier group of proteins, SLC38A9, is shown to be an integral component of the lysosomal machinery that can directly sense amino acids and activate mTORC1.

    • Manuele Rebsamen
    • Lorena Pochini
    • Giulio Superti-Furga
  • Letter |

    The single-stranded nature of RNAs synthesized in the cell gives them great scope to form different structures, but current methods to measure RNA structure in vivo are limited; now, a new methodology allows researchers to examine all four nucleotides in mouse embryonic stem cells.

    • Robert C. Spitale
    • Ryan A. Flynn
    • Howard Y. Chang


  • Letter |

    A method, termed hiCLIP, has been developed to determine the RNA duplexes bound by RNA-binding proteins, revealing an unforeseen prevalence of long-range duplexes in 3′ untranslated regions (UTRs), and a decreased incidence of SNPs in duplex-forming regions; the results also show that RNA structure is able to regulate gene expression.

    • Yoichiro Sugimoto
    • Alessandra Vigilante
    • Jernej Ule


  • Feature |

    Centralized laboratories offer an alternative for researchers with a predilection for the latest technology.

    • Julie Gould



  • Outlook |

    Materials researchers are taking cues from specific plants and animals that make substances that could endow humans with superhero powers.

    • Julie Gould
  • Outlook |

    The sturdy, stretchy, sticky silks spun by spiders have inspired engineers to design pioneering medical devices such as artificial tendons and corneas.

    • Katherine Bourzac
  • Outlook |

    Characteristics adapted from lizards, ivy and other natural materials could help to engineer everyday objects with remarkable properties.

    • Neil Savage
  • Outlook |

    Bioinspired fibres and coatings that can repel water, oil and other liquids form the basis of cutting-edge cloth.

    • Elie Dolgin
  • Outlook |

    The mechanism used by mussels to stick to slippery rocks is the idea behind glue that could mend broken bones.

    • Andrew R. Scott
  • Outlook |

    Researchers are borrowing tricks from armadillo shells and mother-of-pearl to create replacements for human bone and to develop a new generation of protective clothing.

    • Katharine Sanderson
  • Outlook |

    Wanted: biomaterials for a risky journey. Giovanni Traverso and Robert Langer explain the gastrointestinal frontier.

    • Giovanni Traverso
    • Robert Langer

Nature Index

  • Nature Index |

    The Nature Index 2015 Asia-Pacific reveals strong overall results from the traditional science leaders in this region. In addition, some smaller countries excel in specific areas.

  • Nature Index |

    Increased investment levels continue to signal China's intention of becoming a global research leader and structural reform has been implemented to encourage collaboration on the country's acute needs — such as clean energy.

  • Nature Index |

    Reforms are underway to make best use of tight research budgets, but it remains unclear if changes will address Japan's many challenges or further destabilize the deeply unsettled science powerhouse.

  • Nature Index |

    Working to build a 'creative economy', the country has boosted its significant science spending with researchers particularly focusing on nanotechnology, nuclear fusion and stem-cell research.

  • Nature Index |

    Amid sweeping funding cuts and an often hostile political environment, the country's science leaders look outward for multi-disciplinary collaboration and prepare to take the long-term strategic view.

  • Nature Index |

    Space-travel success inspires the growing science and technology community, but financial difficulties create obstacles and industry is being called upon to take up more of the financial burden.

  • Nature Index |

    Even Asia-Pacific's smaller players — notably Singapore, Taiwan and New Zealand — work to improve their scientific and technical capabilities, while several tiny nations in the region are beginning to shine.

  • Nature Index |

    A description of the terminology and methodology used in this supplement, and a guide to the functionality available free online at

  • Nature Index |

    Asia-Pacific's leading institutions for high–quality science, ordered by weighted fractional count (WFC) for 2014. Also shown are the total number of articles, and the change in WFC from 2013. Articles are from the 68 natural science journals that comprise the Nature Index (see A guide to the Nature Index, page S75 ).


  • Collection |

    The Leading Edge of Impact

    PROMOTIONAL FEATURE. The UK has been assessing the quality of its university research for three decades. Until recently, the evaluation process focused on the excellence of research from an academic perspective. In the latest round, completed in 2014, the UK included socioeconomic impact. This supplement highlights the myriad ways in which UK research benefits society at home and overseas.

  • Nature Outlook |

    Nature Index 2015 Asia-Pacific

    The Asia-Pacific region is home to some of the world's most dynamic centres of science and technology. The region produces more than a quarter of the publications in the global Nature Index, and China is placed second in the world for the total number of science papers published in 2014. Funding allocation and policy decisions in each country will play a large part in determining the region's scientific capabilities in the coming years.

  • Nature Outlook |


    Millions of years of evolution have made the biological world into a supremely effective materials development laboratory. Nature Outlook: Biomaterialsexamines the many ways in which solutions created by the natural world — by spiders, mussels, geckos, lotus leaves and more — are inspiring technological imitations that surpass some of the best existing human-engineered substances.

Nature Briefing

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