Volume 525 Issue 7567, 3 September 2015

The outputs from numerical weather prediction (NWP) models are pervasive throughout society, and now provide skillful forecasts a week into the future. Looking back several decades, the increase in forecasting accuracy has been remarkable, but it was gradual, amounting to about an extra day of skillful forecast lead time per decade. Peter Bauer and colleagues review the many technological and scientific advances that have brought NWP to its present level, and reveal the considerable challenges in the future, if the historical rate of improvement is to continue. (Cover: Kelly Krause /Nature/Images by AijaK-Shutterstock)

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    The US Precision Medicine Initiative needs to tread carefully when revealing health and genetic data to participants.

  • Editorial |

    Drought highlights the state’s lack of an ecological strategy.

World View

Research Highlights

Social Selection

Seven Days

News

Correction

News Feature

Comment

Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

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

    • Barbara Kiser

Correspondence

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Expansion of a repetitive DNA sequence is associated with neurodegeneration. Three studies identify genes involved in nuclear import and export that can mediate the toxicity this expansion causes. See Article p.56 & Letter p.129

    • Bennett W. Fox
    •  & Randal S. Tibbetts
  • News & Views |

    By increasing the sensitivity of an established technique, researchers have shown that swimming bacteria can make frictionless fluids — with potential applications in areas such as microfluidics.

    • M. Cristina Marchetti
  • News & Views |

    Many naturalized non-native plants pose ecological and economic threats. A quantitative analysis of the global distribution of naturalized plants confirms some anticipated trends and exposes new patterns. See Letter p.100

    • Marcel Rejmánek
  • News & Views |

    Attitudes to high-temperature superconductivity have swung from disbelief to a conviction that it occurs only 'unconventionally'. But conventional superconductivity is now reported at record high temperatures. See Letter p.73

    • Igor I. Mazin
  • News & Views |

    Monitored changes in the number of copies of a gene during DNA replication control the timing of sporulation in bacteria. This discovery links replication to the concept that a gene's location on a chromosome can influence cell traits.

    • Beth A. Lazazzera
    •  & Diarmaid Hughes
  • News & Views |

    Soil water that evaporates or is tapped by plants is largely separate from that which runs into streams and recharges groundwater. This finding has big implications for our understanding of water cycling. See Letter p.91

    • Gabriel Bowen
  • News & Views |

    The DNA breakage-and-repair mechanism that generates antibodies of different classes has, in theory, a 50% chance of occurring correctly. But this recombination turns out to be heavily biased towards productive events. See Letter p.134

    • Javier M. Di Noia

Review Article

  • Review Article |

    The cumulative progress of numerical weather prediction represents one of the most remarkable successes of modern science; here the many technological and scientific advances that have brought NWP to its present level are reviewed, as are the considerable challenges for the future.

    • Peter Bauer
    • , Alan Thorpe
    •  & Gilbert Brunet

Article

  • Article |

    A candidate-based genetic screen in Drosophila expressing 30 G4C2-repeat-containing RNAs finds that RanGAP, a key regulator of nucleocytoplasmic transport, is a potent suppressor of neurodegeneration; the defects caused by the G4C2 repeat expansions can be rescued with antisense oligonucleotides or small molecules targeting the G-quadruplexes.

    • Ke Zhang
    • , Christopher J. Donnelly
    • , Aaron R. Haeusler
    • , Jonathan C. Grima
    • , James B. Machamer
    • , Peter Steinwald
    • , Elizabeth L. Daley
    • , Sean J. Miller
    • , Kathleen M. Cunningham
    • , Svetlana Vidensky
    • , Saksham Gupta
    • , Michael A. Thomas
    • , Ingie Hong
    • , Shu-Ling Chiu
    • , Richard L. Huganir
    • , Lyle W. Ostrow
    • , Michael J. Matunis
    • , Jiou Wang
    • , Rita Sattler
    • , Thomas E. Lloyd
    •  & Jeffrey D. Rothstein
  • Article |

    The first crystal structures of complexes between synaptotagmin-1 and neuronal SNARE, bound to either Ca2+ or Mg2+, are described, and show that Ca2+-triggered neurotransmitter release relies on a large, Ca2+-independent interface.

    • Qiangjun Zhou
    • , Ying Lai
    • , Taulant Bacaj
    • , Minglei Zhao
    • , Artem Y. Lyubimov
    • , Monarin Uervirojnangkoorn
    • , Oliver B. Zeldin
    • , Aaron S. Brewster
    • , Nicholas K. Sauter
    • , Aina E. Cohen
    • , S. Michael Soltis
    • , Roberto Alonso-Mori
    • , Matthieu Chollet
    • , Henrik T. Lemke
    • , Richard A. Pfuetzner
    • , Ucheor B. Choi
    • , William I. Weis
    • , Jiajie Diao
    • , Thomas C. Südhof
    •  & Axel T. Brunger
  • Article |

    The crystal structure of the 240-kilodalton C–P lyase core complex from the bacterium E. coli offers insights into the relatively unknown mechanisms of the enzymatic machinery that allows some microbes to extract phosphate from phosphonate compounds.

    • Paulina Seweryn
    • , Lan Bich Van
    • , Morten Kjeldgaard
    • , Christopher J. Russo
    • , Lori A. Passmore
    • , Bjarne Hove-Jensen
    • , Bjarne Jochimsen
    •  & Ditlev E. Brodersen

Letter

  • Letter |

    Conventional superconductivity is observed at 203 kelvin in the sulfur hydride system, well above the highest superconducting transition temperature obtained in the copper oxides, raising hopes that even higher transition temperatures will be discovered in other hydrogen-rich systems.

    • A. P. Drozdov
    • , M. I. Eremets
    • , I. A. Troyan
    • , V. Ksenofontov
    •  & S. I. Shylin
  • Letter |

    A negative refractive index, a property that does not exist in natural materials, can be produced in so-called metamaterials by combining two building blocks; here it is shown that it is possible to design and fabricate a metamaterial with a negative refractive index that consists of only one type of building block by taking advantage of its crystalline structure, and this approach is demonstrated through an acoustic superlens.

    • Nadège Kaina
    • , Fabrice Lemoult
    • , Mathias Fink
    •  & Geoffroy Lerosey
  • Letter |

    Probing the assembly process that occurs when single-stranded DNA is folded into desired shapes by ‘DNA origami’ shows that it can be guided by controlling the strengths of local and long-range interactions, enabling more reproducible synthesis.

    • Katherine E. Dunn
    • , Frits Dannenberg
    • , Thomas E. Ouldridge
    • , Marta Kwiatkowska
    • , Andrew J. Turberfield
    •  & Jonathan Bath
  • Letter |

    The biochemical process of spin-centre shift is used to accomplish mild, non-traditional alkylation reactions using alcohols as radical precursors; this represents the first broadly applicable use of unactivated alcohols as latent alkylating reagents, achieved via the successful merger of photoredox and hydrogen atom transfer catalysis.

    • Jian Jin
    •  & David W. C. MacMillan
  • Letter |

    Soil water is usually assumed to be equally available for all purposes, supplying plant transpiration as well as groundwater and streamflow; however, a study of hydrogen and oxygen isotopes from 47 globally distributed sites shows that in fact the water used by plants tends to be isotopically distinct from the water that feeds streamflow.

    • Jaivime Evaristo
    • , Scott Jasechko
    •  & Jeffrey J. McDonnell
  • Letter |

    A whole-mantle seismic imaging technique, combining accurate wavefield computations with information contained in whole seismic waveforms, is used to reveal the presence of broad conduits beneath many of Earth’s surface hotspots, supporting the idea that these conduits are the source of hotspot volcanoes.

    • Scott W. French
    •  & Barbara Romanowicz
  • Letter |

    A global database of alien plants, showing that over 13,000 species, nearly 4% of the global flora, have become naturalized in a new location.

    • Mark van Kleunen
    • , Wayne Dawson
    • , Franz Essl
    • , Jan Pergl
    • , Marten Winter
    • , Ewald Weber
    • , Holger Kreft
    • , Patrick Weigelt
    • , John Kartesz
    • , Misako Nishino
    • , Liubov A. Antonova
    • , Julie F. Barcelona
    • , Francisco J. Cabezas
    • , Dairon Cárdenas
    • , Juliana Cárdenas-Toro
    • , Nicolás Castaño
    • , Eduardo Chacón
    • , Cyrille Chatelain
    • , Aleksandr L. Ebel
    • , Estrela Figueiredo
    • , Nicol Fuentes
    • , Quentin J. Groom
    • , Lesley Henderson
    • , Inderjit
    • , Andrey Kupriyanov
    • , Silvana Masciadri
    • , Jan Meerman
    • , Olga Morozova
    • , Dietmar Moser
    • , Daniel L. Nickrent
    • , Annette Patzelt
    • , Pieter B. Pelser
    • , María P. Baptiste
    • , Manop Poopath
    • , Maria Schulze
    • , Hanno Seebens
    • , Wen-sheng Shu
    • , Jacob Thomas
    • , Mauricio Velayos
    • , Jan J. Wieringa
    •  & Petr Pyšek
  • Letter |

    Previous genetic studies have suggested that the Americas were peopled by a single founding population of Eurasian origin, but a genome-wide study of 30 Native American groups shows that Amazonian Native Americans also have a second source of ancestry that is deeply related to indigenous Australians, New Guineans and Andaman Islanders.

    • Pontus Skoglund
    • , Swapan Mallick
    • , Maria Cátira Bortolini
    • , Niru Chennagiri
    • , Tábita Hünemeier
    • , Maria Luiza Petzl-Erler
    • , Francisco Mauro Salzano
    • , Nick Patterson
    •  & David Reich

    Collection:

  • Letter |

    Two mutations in the gene DCHS1 are shown to cause non-syndromic mitral valve prolapse (MVP), a common cardiac valve disease; understanding the role of DCHS1 in mitral valve development and MVP pathogenesis holds therapeutic potential.

    • Ronen Durst
    • , Kimberly Sauls
    • , David S. Peal
    • , Annemarieke deVlaming
    • , Katelynn Toomer
    • , Maire Leyne
    • , Monica Salani
    • , Michael E. Talkowski
    • , Harrison Brand
    • , Maëlle Perrocheau
    • , Charles Simpson
    • , Christopher Jett
    • , Matthew R. Stone
    • , Florie Charles
    • , Colby Chiang
    • , Stacey N. Lynch
    • , Nabila Bouatia-Naji
    • , Francesca N. Delling
    • , Lisa A. Freed
    • , Christophe Tribouilloy
    • , Thierry Le Tourneau
    • , Hervé LeMarec
    • , Leticia Fernandez-Friera
    • , Jorge Solis
    • , Daniel Trujillano
    • , Stephan Ossowski
    • , Xavier Estivill
    • , Christian Dina
    • , Patrick Bruneval
    • , Adrian Chester
    • , Jean-Jacques Schott
    • , Kenneth D. Irvine
    • , Yaopan Mao
    • , Andy Wessels
    • , Tahirali Motiwala
    • , Michel Puceat
    • , Yoshikazu Tsukasaki
    • , Donald R. Menick
    • , Harinath Kasiganesan
    • , Xingju Nie
    • , Ann-Marie Broome
    • , Katherine Williams
    • , Amanda Johnson
    • , Roger R. Markwald
    • , Xavier Jeunemaitre
    • , Albert Hagege
    • , Robert A. Levine
    • , David J. Milan
    • , Russell A. Norris
    •  & Susan A. Slaugenhaupt
  • Letter |

    PIK3CA mutations are associated with distinct types of human breast cancers but the cellular origin and mechanisms responsible for this heterogeneity were unclear; here, using a genetic approach in mice, the PIK3CAH1047R mutation is shown to induce multipotent stem-like cells and mammary tumours with different levels of malignancy depending on the cell of origin.

    • Shany Koren
    • , Linsey Reavie
    • , Joana Pinto Couto
    • , Duvini De Silva
    • , Michael B. Stadler
    • , Tim Roloff
    • , Adrian Britschgi
    • , Tobias Eichlisberger
    • , Hubertus Kohler
    • , Olulanu Aina
    • , Robert D. Cardiff
    •  & Mohamed Bentires-Alj
  • Letter |

    PIK3CA mutations are associated with distinct types of human breast cancers but the cellular origin and mechanisms responsible for this heterogeneity were unclear; here, using a genetic approach in mice, PIK3CA mutations are shown to activate a genetic program directing multiple cell fates in normally lineage-restricted cell types.

    • Alexandra Van Keymeulen
    • , May Yin Lee
    • , Marielle Ousset
    • , Sylvain Brohée
    • , Sandrine Rorive
    • , Rajshekhar R. Giraddi
    • , Aline Wuidart
    • , Gaëlle Bouvencourt
    • , Christine Dubois
    • , Isabelle Salmon
    • , Christos Sotiriou
    • , Wayne A. Phillips
    •  & Cédric Blanpain
  • Letter |

    Mitochondria have essential functions within cells, and their dysfunction is linked to various disorders; here, the fatty acid stearic acid (C18:0), which is a dietary component, and the transferrin receptor (TFR1) are shown to regulate mitochondrial function.

    • Deniz Senyilmaz
    • , Sam Virtue
    • , Xiaojun Xu
    • , Chong Yew Tan
    • , Julian L. Griffin
    • , Aubry K. Miller
    • , Antonio Vidal-Puig
    •  & Aurelio A. Teleman
  • Letter |

    An unbiased genetic screen in Drosophila expressing G4C2-repeat-containing transcripts (repeats that in human cause pathogenesis in C9orf72-related neurological disease) finds genes that encode components of the nuclear pore and nucleocytoplasmic transport machinery, and reveals that G4C2 expanded-repeat-induced alterations in nucleocytoplasmic transport contribute to C9orf72 pathology and neurodegeneration.

    • Brian D. Freibaum
    • , Yubing Lu
    • , Rodrigo Lopez-Gonzalez
    • , Nam Chul Kim
    • , Sandra Almeida
    • , Kyung-Ha Lee
    • , Nisha Badders
    • , Marc Valentine
    • , Bruce L. Miller
    • , Philip C. Wong
    • , Leonard Petrucelli
    • , Hong Joo Kim
    • , Fen-Biao Gao
    •  & J. Paul Taylor
  • Letter |

    High-throughput genome-wide sequencing reveals why class switch recombination in the IgH locus, an essential step in the process of antibody generation, has a directional joining bias towards deletion rather than inversion.

    • Junchao Dong
    • , Rohit A. Panchakshari
    • , Tingting Zhang
    • , Yu Zhang
    • , Jiazhi Hu
    • , Sabrina A. Volpi
    • , Robin M. Meyers
    • , Yu-Jui Ho
    • , Zhou Du
    • , Davide F. Robbiani
    • , Feilong Meng
    • , Monica Gostissa
    • , Michel C. Nussenzweig
    • , John P. Manis
    •  & Frederick W. Alt
  • Letter |

    Csp1, a novel copper-binding protein that is exported from the cytosol of the methanotroph Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b and stores copper ions for particulate methane monooxygenase, is identified and characterized.

    • Nicolas Vita
    • , Semeli Platsaki
    • , Arnaud Baslé
    • , Stephen J. Allen
    • , Neil G. Paterson
    • , Andrew T. Crombie
    • , J. Colin Murrell
    • , Kevin J. Waldron
    •  & Christopher Dennison

Corrigendum

Toolbox

  • Toolbox |

    Software tools that track how animals move are helping researchers to do everything from diagnosing neurological conditions to illuminating evolution.

    • Boer Deng

    Collection:

Feature

  • Feature |

    An innovative US National Institutes of Health programme aims to expose junior scientists to different career paths.

    • Paul Smaglik

Q&A

  • Q&A |

    How an ecosystem modeller adjusted to a tenure track through research, teaching and outreach.

    • Virginia Gewin

Futures

  • Futures |

    The catch of a lifetime.

    • Carie Juettner
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