Volume 529 Issue 7584, 7 January 2016

An artistic impression of hydrogen molecules from their dielectric molecular state at moderate compressions (transparent molecules), through to the onset of its proposed pressure-induced metallization (metallic atoms). Under extremely high pressures, hydrogen molecules are predicted to break down and form a metallic atomic state. Such a state has yet to be realized, but new results from a team at the University of Edinburgh could be getting us closer to this goal. They have now managed to squeeze hydrogen molecules (and their deuterated equivalents) to pressures in excess of 3.5 million atmospheres, and see tantalizing hints of a new phase � possibly a precursor to the long-sought non-molecular phase. Cover: Philip Dalladay-Simpson

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    Cross-continent collaboration in the sciences has become the norm. We must ensure that disadvantaged regions are not left out.

World View

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    Volkswagen sued; Nobel laureate Alfred Gilman dies; and Guinea now free of Ebola.

News

News Feature

  • News Feature |

    From flocking birds to swarming molecules, physicists are seeking to understand 'active matter' — and looking for a fundamental theory of the living world.

    • Gabriel Popkin

    Collection:

Comment

  • Comment |

    Giving researchers access to information on turbine performance would allow wind farms to be optimized through data mining, says Andrew Kusiak.

    • Andrew Kusiak

Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    Gear up for some big birthdays, as anniversaries roll around for Star Trek, H. G. Wells and the US National Park Service. And jostling for the spotlight are Finding Nemo's fishy crew, a modern twist on haute couture, groundbreaking artists, ground-quaking dinosaurs and (perhaps) Keanu Reeves. Daniel Cressey reports.

    • Daniel Cressey

Correspondence

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Black holes can produce oscillating outbursts of radiation that were thought to be associated with high rates of infalling matter. The observation of pulses of visible light from a black hole complicates this picture. See Letter p.54

    • Poshak Gandhi
  • News & Views |

    Patterns of species association reveal that terrestrial plant and animal communities today are structured differently from communities spanning the 300 million years that preceded large-scale human activity. See Letter p.80

    • Gregory P. Dietl
  • News & Views |

    The polymerase enzyme from avian influenza A viruses does not function well in human cells. The protein ANP32A has been identified as the cellular factor mediating a major component of this host restriction. See Letter p.101

    • Anice C. Lowen
  • News & Views |

    Tree rings can pinpoint the source of wood as well as how old it is. This method has now been used to identify the sources of timber used by the Native Americans who constructed the pre-Columbian 'great houses' of Chaco Canyon.

    • Jared Diamond
  • News & Views |

    Light isotopes of hydrogen and helium formed minutes after the Big Bang. The study of one of these primordial isotopes, helium-3, has now been proposed as a useful strategy for constraining the physics of the standard cosmological model.

    • Nikos Prantzos
  • News & Views |

    Analysis of the 3D structure of DNA in tumour cells reveals how mutations in the IDH1 gene, and associated changes in methyl groups attached to DNA, elevate the expression of cancer-promoting genes. See Letter p.110

    • Matthew R. Grimmer
    •  & Joseph F. Costello

Article

  • Article |

    The regenerative properties of muscle stem cells decline with age as the stem cells enter an irreversible state of senescence; a study of mouse muscle stem cells reveals that entry into senescence is an autophagy-dependent process and promoting autophagy in old satellite cells can reverse senescence and restore their regenerative properties in an injury model.

    • Laura García-Prat
    • , Marta Martínez-Vicente
    • , Eusebio Perdiguero
    • , Laura Ortet
    • , Javier Rodríguez-Ubreva
    • , Elena Rebollo
    • , Vanessa Ruiz-Bonilla
    • , Susana Gutarra
    • , Esteban Ballestar
    • , Antonio L. Serrano
    • , Marco Sandri
    •  & Pura Muñoz-Cánoves
  • Article |

    Recent analyses have suggested that the intrinsic behaviour of tissue stem cells may be responsible for malignant transformation and cancer progression, raising questions regarding the influence of extrinsic factors on tumourigenesis; here, both data-driven and model-driven evidence show that such intrinsic risk factors contribute only marginally to cancer development, indicating that cancer risk is heavily influenced by extrinsic factors.

    • Song Wu
    • , Scott Powers
    • , Wei Zhu
    •  & Yusuf A. Hannun
  • Article |

    Symmetric dimethylation of the human RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain residue R1810 by the protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) directly recruits the protein survival of motor neuron (SMN) and indirectly recruits the helicase senataxin to resolve R-loops and promote transcription termination.

    • Dorothy Yanling Zhao
    • , Gerald Gish
    • , Ulrich Braunschweig
    • , Yue Li
    • , Zuyao Ni
    • , Frank W. Schmitges
    • , Guoqing Zhong
    • , Ke Liu
    • , Weiguo Li
    • , Jason Moffat
    • , Masoud Vedadi
    • , Jinrong Min
    • , Tony J. Pawson
    • , Benjamin J. Blencowe
    •  & Jack F. Greenblatt

Letter

  • Letter |

    Observations of V404 Cygni, an X-ray transient containing a black hole of nine solar masses and a companion star, show that optical oscillations on timescales of 100 seconds to 2.5 hours can occur at mass-accretion rates at least ten times lower than previously thought, suggesting that the accretion rate is not the critical parameter for inducing inner-disk instabilities.

    • Mariko Kimura
    • , Keisuke Isogai
    • , Taichi Kato
    • , Yoshihiro Ueda
    • , Satoshi Nakahira
    • , Megumi Shidatsu
    • , Teruaki Enoto
    • , Takafumi Hori
    • , Daisaku Nogami
    • , Colin Littlefield
    • , Ryoko Ishioka
    • , Ying-Tung Chen
    • , Sun-Kun King
    • , Chih-Yi Wen
    • , Shiang-Yu Wang
    • , Matthew J. Lehner
    • , Megan E. Schwamb
    • , Jen-Hung Wang
    • , Zhi-Wei Zhang
    • , Charles Alcock
    • , Tim Axelrod
    • , Federica B. Bianco
    • , Yong-Ik Byun
    • , Wen-Ping Chen
    • , Kem H. Cook
    • , Dae-Won Kim
    • , Typhoon Lee
    • , Stuart L. Marshall
    • , Elena P. Pavlenko
    • , Oksana I. Antonyuk
    • , Kirill A. Antonyuk
    • , Nikolai V. Pit
    • , Aleksei A. Sosnovskij
    • , Julia V. Babina
    • , Aleksei V. Baklanov
    • , Alexei S. Pozanenko
    • , Elena D. Mazaeva
    • , Sergei E. Schmalz
    • , Inna V. Reva
    • , Sergei P. Belan
    • , Raguli Ya. Inasaridze
    • , Namkhai Tungalag
    • , Alina A. Volnova
    • , Igor E. Molotov
    • , Enrique de Miguel
    • , Kiyoshi Kasai
    • , William L. Stein
    • , Pavol A. Dubovsky
    • , Seiichiro Kiyota
    • , Ian Miller
    • , Michael Richmond
    • , William Goff
    • , Maksim V. Andreev
    • , Hiromitsu Takahashi
    • , Naoto Kojiguchi
    • , Yuki Sugiura
    • , Nao Takeda
    • , Eiji Yamada
    • , Katsura Matsumoto
    • , Nick James
    • , Roger D. Pickard
    • , Tamás Tordai
    • , Yutaka Maeda
    • , Javier Ruiz
    • , Atsushi Miyashita
    • , Lewis M. Cook
    • , Akira Imada
    •  & Makoto Uemura
  • Letter |

    A spectroscopic comparison of ten hot-Jupiter exoplanets reveals that the difference between the planetary radius measured at optical and infrared wavelengths allows atmosphere types ranging from clear to cloudy to be distinguished; the difference in radius at a given wavelength correlates with the spectral strength of water at that wavelength, suggesting that haze obscures the signal from water.

    • David K. Sing
    • , Jonathan J. Fortney
    • , Nikolay Nikolov
    • , Hannah R. Wakeford
    • , Tiffany Kataria
    • , Thomas M. Evans
    • , Suzanne Aigrain
    • , Gilda E. Ballester
    • , Adam S. Burrows
    • , Drake Deming
    • , Jean-Michel Désert
    • , Neale P. Gibson
    • , Gregory W. Henry
    • , Catherine M. Huitson
    • , Heather A. Knutson
    • , Alain Lecavelier des Etangs
    • , Frederic Pont
    • , Adam P. Showman
    • , Alfred Vidal-Madjar
    • , Michael H. Williamson
    •  & Paul A. Wilson
  • Letter |

    Raman spectroscopy of three isotopes of hydrogen under very high compression yields evidence of a new phase of hydrogen—phase V—which could potentially be a precursor to the long-sought non-molecular phase.

    • Philip Dalladay-Simpson
    • , Ross T. Howie
    •  & Eugene Gregoryanz
  • Letter |

    Electroreduction of carbon dioxide into useful fuels helps to reduce fossil-fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, but activating carbon dioxide requires impractically high overpotentials; here a metal atomic layer combined with its native oxide that requires low overpotentials to reduce carbon dioxide is developed, adapted from an existing cobalt-based catalyst.

    • Shan Gao
    • , Yue Lin
    • , Xingchen Jiao
    • , Yongfu Sun
    • , Qiquan Luo
    • , Wenhua Zhang
    • , Dianqi Li
    • , Jinlong Yang
    •  & Yi Xie
  • Letter |

    The environmental and geopolitical problems associated with fossil fuels might be alleviated if it were possible to produce synthetic multicarbon fuels efficiently from single-carbon feedstocks; here, a molybdenum compound supported by a terphenyl–diphosphine ligand is used to convert carbon monoxide into a metal-free C2O1 fragment, with the ligand both serving as an electron reservoir and stabilizing the different intermediate species.

    • Joshua A. Buss
    •  & Theodor Agapie
  • Letter |

    Experiments show that carbonated oceanic crust subducting into the mantle will intersect the melting curve at depths of about 300 to 700 kilometres, creating a barrier to direct carbonate recycling into the deep mantle.

    • Andrew R. Thomson
    • , Michael J. Walter
    • , Simon C. Kohn
    •  & Richard A. Brooker

    Collection:

  • Letter |

    Plant and animal assemblage co-occurrence patterns have remained relatively consistent for 300 million years but have changed over the Holocene epoch as the impact of humans has dramatically increased.

    • S. Kathleen Lyons
    • , Kathryn L. Amatangelo
    • , Anna K. Behrensmeyer
    • , Antoine Bercovici
    • , Jessica L. Blois
    • , Matt Davis
    • , William A. DiMichele
    • , Andrew Du
    • , Jussi T. Eronen
    • , J. Tyler Faith
    • , Gary R. Graves
    • , Nathan Jud
    • , Conrad Labandeira
    • , Cindy V. Looy
    • , Brian McGill
    • , Joshua H. Miller
    • , David Patterson
    • , Silvia Pineda-Munoz
    • , Richard Potts
    • , Brett Riddle
    • , Rebecca Terry
    • , Anikó Tóth
    • , Werner Ulrich
    • , Amelia Villaseñor
    • , Scott Wing
    • , Heidi Anderson
    • , John Anderson
    • , Donald Waller
    •  & Nicholas J. Gotelli
  • Letter |

    Analyses of the effects of extreme weather disasters on global crop production over the past five decades show that drought and extreme heat reduced national cereal production by 9–10%, whereas no discernible effect at the national level was seen for floods and extreme cold; droughts affect yields and the harvested area, whereas extreme heat mainly affects yields.

    • Corey Lesk
    • , Pedram Rowhani
    •  & Navin Ramankutty
  • Letter |

    Synaptotagmin 7 is shown to be essential for synaptic facilitation at a variety of central synapses, and the results pave the way for future functional studies of short-term synaptic plasticity, a fundamental form of neuronal computation.

    • Skyler L. Jackman
    • , Josef Turecek
    • , Justine E. Belinsky
    •  & Wade G. Regehr
  • Letter |

    The FOXO transcription factor, DAF-16, is required for the long-life phenotype of daf-2 mutant nematode worms; here the authors find that daf-2 mutant worms maintain neuronal functions and behaviours with age by using a set of transcriptional targets that are distinct from previously identified canonical FOXO/DAF-16-regulated targets.

    • Rachel Kaletsky
    • , Vanisha Lakhina
    • , Rachel Arey
    • , April Williams
    • , Jessica Landis
    • , Jasmine Ashraf
    •  & Coleen T. Murphy
  • Letter |

    Antibody-mediated inhibition of R-spondin-3 in colorectal tumours decreases tumour growth and promotes differentiation—these effects are associated with a decrease in expression of genes associated with stem-cell function.

    • Elaine E. Storm
    • , Steffen Durinck
    • , Felipe de Sousa e Melo
    • , Jarrod Tremayne
    • , Noelyn Kljavin
    • , Christine Tan
    • , Xiaofen Ye
    • , Cecilia Chiu
    • , Thinh Pham
    • , Jo-Anne Hongo
    • , Travis Bainbridge
    • , Ron Firestein
    • , Elizabeth Blackwood
    • , Ciara Metcalfe
    • , Eric W. Stawiski
    • , Robert L. Yauch
    • , Yan Wu
    •  & Frederic J. de Sauvage
  • Letter |

    The host protein ANP32A is shown here to be a species barrier to the function of avian influenza virus polymerase in mammalian cells; the mutation E627K in viral protein PB2, which allows mammalian ANP32 family proteins to support the avian virus polymerase, is known to be associated with increased virulence of avian viruses in mammals.

    • Jason S. Long
    • , Efstathios S. Giotis
    • , Olivier Moncorgé
    • , Rebecca Frise
    • , Bhakti Mistry
    • , Joe James
    • , Mireille Morisson
    • , Munir Iqbal
    • , Alain Vignal
    • , Michael A. Skinner
    •  & Wendy S. Barclay
  • Letter |

    Monoclonal antibodies with broad reactivity against antigens on the parasite that causes malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, are isolated from two subjects and are found to have an unusual insertion of an immunoglobulin-like domain from a different chromosome, illustrating a new mechanism of antibody diversification.

    • Joshua Tan
    • , Kathrin Pieper
    • , Luca Piccoli
    • , Abdirahman Abdi
    • , Mathilde Foglierini
    • , Roger Geiger
    • , Claire Maria Tully
    • , David Jarrossay
    • , Francis Maina Ndungu
    • , Juliana Wambua
    • , Philip Bejon
    • , Chiara Silacci Fregni
    • , Blanca Fernandez-Rodriguez
    • , Sonia Barbieri
    • , Siro Bianchi
    • , Kevin Marsh
    • , Vandana Thathy
    • , Davide Corti
    • , Federica Sallusto
    • , Peter Bull
    •  & Antonio Lanzavecchia
  • Letter |

    An epigenetic mechanism in which gain-of-function IDH mutations promote gliomagenesis by disrupting chromosomal topology is presented, with IDH mutations causing the binding sites of the methylation-sensitive insulator CTCF to become hypermethylated; disruption of a CTCF boundary near the glioma oncogene PDGFRA allows a constitutive enhancer to contact and activate the oncogene aberrantly.

    • William A. Flavahan
    • , Yotam Drier
    • , Brian B. Liau
    • , Shawn M. Gillespie
    • , Andrew S. Venteicher
    • , Anat O. Stemmer-Rachamimov
    • , Mario L. Suvà
    •  & Bradley E. Bernstein

    Collection:

Toolbox

  • Toolbox |

    Creators of computer programs that underpin experiments don’t always get their due — so the website Depsy is trying to track the impact of research code.

    • Dalmeet Singh Chawla

    Collection:

Feature

  • Feature |

    The move to make scientific findings transparent can be a major boon to research, but it can be tricky to embrace the change.

    • Virginia Gewin

Q&A

  • Q&A |

    A biologist turns to economics — and Ethiopia — to explore policies that improve food security.

    • Virginia Gewin

Futures

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