Nature is the international weekly journal of science: a magazine style journal that publishes full-length research papers in all disciplines of science, as well as News and Views, reviews, news, features, commentaries, web focuses and more, covering all branches of science and how science impacts upon all aspects of society and life.
The oldest evidence for limb regeneration has been found in fossils of a 300-million-year-old amphibian.Salamanders can regrow entire lost limbs. Usually, the regrowths are indistinguishable from those that they replace, but in some cases they have distinctive abnormalities such as fused or missing digits.
A single molecule can act as a nanometre-sized microphone.Michel Orrit and his colleagues at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands placed molecules of dibenzoterrylene within a crystal a few degrees above absolute zero and attached a tuning fork to the crystal. Hitting the
Paralysed rats can be made to walk using a device that electrically stimulates the spine and adjusts the pulses according to ongoing movement.Grégoire Courtine and his colleagues from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne implanted electrodes into the spinal cords of rats
Vitamin D could make pancreatic cancer treatment more effective, by reprogramming cells that bolster tumour growth.Pancreatic cancer is particularly deadly, partly because of cells called pancreatic stellate cells, which foster an environment that favours the growth of tumours and resists chemotherapy. Ronald Evans and
Efforts to control Australia's dingo populations to protect livestock may not be having negative effects on other prey species.Some studies have suggested that controlling populations of top predators, such as the dingo (Canis lupus dingo), can indirectly cause declines in some prey
An advanced method of making stone tools did not spread out of Africa in a single wave as once thought, but evolved independently among different groups of early humans in Eurasia and Africa.Stone-tool-making technology changed 400,000 to 200,000 years ago from a process whereby
Polynesians took advantage of an unusual shift in climate and tradewind direction about a 1,000 years ago to sail downwind towards New Zealand and other islands.Ian Goodwin at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and his colleagues reconstructed Pacific sea-level pressure and wind patterns during
Gravitational waves could energize and brighten stars — possibly providing indirect evidence for the weak ripples in space time that are thought to be emitted by high-energy events such as exploding stars.Barry McKernan at the City University of New York and his colleagues calculated
The hormone that regulates sleep and other circadian processes in vertebrates also controls night-time behaviour in zooplankton, suggesting early evolutionary origins for the hormone.Melatonin is produced by many organisms, but its function in invertebrates has not been clear. Maria Antonietta Tosches, Detlev Arendt and
In honour of the winners of this year's Ig Nobel Prizes, researchers on social media buzzed about holy images on toast, medical uses for bacon, the slipperiness of banana skins and other offbeat works of science.The awards, presented by the Annals of Improbable
It is to be hoped that Japan's new guidelines for research integrity, released recently by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), will curb research misconduct (see T.Tanimotoet al. Nature512, 371;10.1038/512371d2014).Institutions in
False-positive results from computed-tomography (CT) scans were a cause for concern in the 2011 US National Lung Screening Trial (see Nature513, S4–S6;10.1038/513S4a2014). But false-positives have now been cut significantly owing to improved imaging technology and more-refined screening
The use of new data sources to model humans' behavioural responses to climate change (see P.Palmer and M.SmithNature512, 365–366;10.1038/512365a2014) raises methodological and ethical issues.The authors do not mention the importance of call-detail
Tibet's fragile environment is being damaged by a paucity of energy, as well as by pollutants and litter (see Nature512, 240–241;10.1038/512240a2014). Greater investment could unleash the region's huge potential to produce renewable energy.Access to fossil fuels
Ageing is not just a linear physiological decline (see L.Fontanaet al. Nature511, 405–407;10.1038/511405a2014). Research into its more positive features could lead to a better-quality and longer life.Personal resources such as optimism, resilience and
Arising from L. Kruidenier et al.Nature488,404–408 (2012); doi:10.1038/nature11262The recent publication of the first highly potent and specific inhibitor GSK-J1/J4 of the H3K27me3/me2-demethylases JMJD3/KDM6B and UTX/KDM6A provides a potential tool compound for this histone demethylase subfamily. This inhibitor was used in tissue culture assays to conclude that the catalytic activities of the KDM6 proteins are required in inflammatory responses; the generation of the inhibitor is intriguing, because it provides a strategy for generating sub-type-specific inhibitors of the 27-member Jumonji family and for the future treatment of various types of disease. Here we show that the inhibitor is not specific for the H3K27me3/me2-demethylase subfamily in vitro and in tissue culture assays. Thus, the inhibitor cannot be used alone for drawing conclusions regarding the specific role of H3K27me3/me2-demethylase activity in biological processes or disease. There is a Reply to this Brief Communications Arising by Kruidenier et al. Nature514,http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13689 (2014).
Replying to B. Heinemann et al. Nature514,http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13688 (2014)We welcome the accompanying Comment by Heinemann et al., in which the authors use an extensive panel of sensitive KDM assays to independently confirm our results that GSK-J1 is a potent KDM6 inhibitor. Additionally, Heinemann et al. demonstrate that GSK-J1 has some, albeit weaker, activity towards KDM5B and KDM5C, for which we only had preliminary data available at the time of our original publication. As our jumonji assay portfolio expands, we have continued to update the GSK-J1 activity profile on the SGC website (http://www.thesgc.org/chemical-probes/GSKJ1); this includes KDM5 inhibition activity by GSK-J1 similar to that reported by Heinemann. In conclusion, GSK-J1 remains the most selective KDM inhibitor yet disclosed and thus a valuable chemical tool.
Arising from G. Hemani et al.Nature508, 249–253 (2014); doi:10.1038/nature13005Epistasis occurs when the effect of a genetic variant on a trait is dependent on genotypes of other variants elsewhere in the genome. Hemani et al. recently reported the detection and replication of many instances of epistasis between pairs of variants influencing gene expression levels in humans. Using whole-genome sequencing data from 450 individuals we strongly replicated many of the reported interactions but, in each case, a single third variant captured by our sequencing data could explain all of the apparent epistasis. Our results provide an alternative explanation for the apparent epistasis observed for gene expression in humans. There is a Reply to this Brief Communication Arising by Hemani, G. et al. Nature514,http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13692 (2014).
Replying to A. R. Wood et al.Nature514, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13691 (2014).We thank Wood et al. for their interesting observations and although their proposed mechanism does not explain all our reported results, we acknowledge that alternative mechanisms could be behind the observation of epistatic signals. Although we replicate our results in large, independent samples, 19/30 of our reported interactions (Table 1 in ref. 2), Wood et al. do not replicate in the InCHIANTI data set (n = 450) at a type-I error rate of 0.05/30 = 0.002, including none of our reported cis–trans interactions. Having insufficient data to replicate the discovery interactions makes it problematic to draw firm conclusions on the reported cis–trans effects.
The News story 'Seed-patent case in Supreme Court' (Nature494, 289–290; 2013 ) implied that Monsanto patented a method for engineering transgenic crops to produce sterile seeds before 1999. Although it began negotiations in 1998 to acquire the firm
Observations of the water pressure in drilled boreholes and natural moulins on the Greenland Ice Sheet show how its underlying plumbing system controls ice motion during the course of the summer melt season. See Letter p.80
Analysis of the first step in repairing double-stranded-DNA breaks reveals that the Mre11 enzyme makes a DNA nick at a point separate from the break ends, creating an entry site for further processing by exonuclease enzymes. See Letter p.122
The cloud that emerged above the south pole of Saturn's moon Titan in 2012 has been found to consist of hydrogen cyanide particles. This unexpected result prompts fresh thinking about the atmosphere of this satellite. See Letter p.65
A blend of three monoclonal antibodies has completely protected monkeys against a lethal dose of Ebola virus. Unlike other post-infection therapies, the treatment works even at advanced stages of the disease. See Article p.47
50 Years AgoThere are many puzzles about left handedness. Left handers are often less consistent in using the left hand than right handers in using the right; the incidence of left handedness is raised in many pathological groups and yet left handers may be
An infrared census of accreting supermassive black holes across a wide range of cosmic times indicates that the canonical understanding of how these luminous objects form and evolve may need to be adjusted.
An analysis of the combined genomes of microorganisms inhabiting human skin demonstrates how these communities vary between individuals and across body sites, and paves the way to understanding their functions. See Article p.59
Without an approved vaccine or treatments, Ebola outbreak management has been limited to palliative care and barrier methods to prevent transmission. These approaches, however, have yet to end the 2014 outbreak of Ebola after its prolonged presence in West Africa. Here we show that a