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The best in science news, commentary, and research
China's expansion of universities has not been on a level playing field. Earlier this year, Education Minister Guiren Yuan declared that the government must treat both public and private universities equally. As founder and president of one of China's largest private universities, I wholeheartedly agree. China's private universities can help usher in new opportunities for social and economic development, but they must be enabled to launch robust education programs and compete for research grants. Unless the government loosens restrictions on such endeavors, private universities could enter a tailspin, and such an erosion of higher education could threaten social stability. Author: Huiqing Jin

A roundup of weekly science policy and related news.

One-year “pause” to develop new policy on controversial research that enhances pathogens. Author: Jocelyn Kaiser

“Self-domestication” turned humans into the cooperative species we are today. Author: Ann Gibbons

South American DNA found in Easter Islanders. Author: Andrew Lawler

New vessel was sparking international collaborations. Author: Dennis Normile

Funding, peer review, water rules, fusion, and other science issues on tap after the vote. Author: Jeffrey Mervis

New catch phrase represents a two-edged sword for research community. Author: Jeffrey Mervis

Critics say ayurgenomics is at best a quixotic quest. Author: Priyanka Pulla

A bitter dispute lays bare questionable practices in China's foreign-talent programs. Author: Mara Hvistendahl

Dinosaur color vision may have been key to the evolution of bird feathers Authors: Marie-Claire Koschowitz, Christian Fischer, Martin Sander

Multiple proteins modify and dismantle a key enzyme after DNA replication terminates [Also see Research Article by Maric et al. and Report by Priego Moreno et al.] Author: Stephen P. Bell

Ending illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing would bring hope for ocean wildlife Authors: Amanda C. J. Vincent, Jean M. Harris

Artificial magnetic fields bend electron trajectories in gapped graphene [Also see Report by Gorbachev et al.] Authors: Mark B. Lundeberg, Joshua A. Folk

Separation of the synthesis and sensing of a signaling molecule controls sex in ferns [Also see Report by Tanaka et al.] Author: Tai-ping Sun

A crystal structure reveals how some bacteria break down organohalide pollutants [Also see Report by Bommer et al.] Author: Elizabeth Anne Edwards

Traits that entrench cells in a group lifestyle may pave the way for complexity Authors: Eric Libby, William C. Ratcliff

Components of a cellular degradation system are exploited by influenza virus during infection [Also see Report by Banerjee et al.] Authors: Ricardo Rajsbaum, Adolfo García-Sastre

Institutions, infrastructure, and information for adaptation Authors: J. W. Hall, D. Grey, D. Garrick, F. Fung, C. Brown, S. J. Dadson, C. W. Sadoff

Author: Jonathan M. Samet

Author: Caroline Ash

A listing of books received at Science during the week ending 17 October 2014.

Authors: M. Elizabeth Halloran, Alessandro Vespignani, Nita Bharti, Leora R. Feldstein, K. A. Alexander, Matthew Ferrari, Jeffrey Shaman, John M. Drake, Travis Porco, Joseph N. S. Eisenberg, Sara Y. Del Valle, Eric Lofgren, Samuel V. Scarpino, Marisa C. Eisenberg, Daozhou Gao, James M. Hyman, Stephen Eubank, Ira M. Longini

Authors: L. A. Reperant, L. H. M. van de Burgwal, E. Claassen, A. D. M. E. Osterhaus

Author: Gilles Guerrier

Godefroit et al. (Reports, 25 July 2014, p. 451) reported scales and feathers, including “basal plates,” in an ornithischian dinosaur. Their arguments against the filaments being collagen fibers are not supported because of a fundamental misinterpretation of such structures and underestimation of their size. The parsimonious explanation is that the filaments are support fibers in association with badly degraded scales and that they do not represent early feather stages. Author: Theagarten Lingham-Soliar

Lingham-Soliar questions our interpretation of integumentary structures in the Middle-Late Jurassic ornithischian dinosaur Kulindadromeus as feather-like appendages and alternatively proposes that the compound structures observed around the humerus and femur of Kulindadromeus are support fibers associated with badly degraded scales. We consider this hypothesis highly unlikely because of the taphonomy and morphology of the preserved structures. Authors: Pascal Godefroit, Sofia M. Sinitsa, Danielle Dhouailly, Yuri L. Bolotsky, Alexander V. Sizov, Maria E. McNamara, Michael J. Benton, Paul Spagna

Making adjustments for a new neighborhood | Digital amplification of T cell receptor signals | Mountain dwellers of the Pleistocene | Flu mimics damaged proteins during entry | Making use of graphene's valleys | Layering on solar cell power and stability | Building with alphahelical coiled coils | Anticancer drug coming out on TOPK | How bacteria break down organohalides | Experimental platforms for probing bacteria | From single molecules to embryos in living color | How to stop after copying the genome | How to make vanadium dioxide metallic | Ensuring handedness when breaking C-H bonds | Identifying the workhorse of working memory | Sex determination driven by community cooperation | Addressing fishing threats to ocean wildlife | Dinosaur color vision and the evolution of feathers

Actin reins in plant cell division | When winter snowfall trumps summer melting | A primate model of Alzheimer's disease | Helping palladium atoms stand apart | For radiotherapy, less can be more | Blending polymers with Janus particles | A microRNA for retinal regeneration

The spatial structure of natural habitats strongly affects bacterial life, ranging from nanoscale structural features that individual cells exploit for surface attachment, to micro- and millimeter-scale chemical gradients that drive population-level processes. Nanofabrication and microfluidics are ideally suited to manipulate the environment at those scales and have emerged as powerful tools with which to study bacteria. Here, we review the new scientific insights gained by using a diverse set of nanofabrication and microfluidic techniques to study individual bacteria and multispecies communities. This toolbox is beginning to elucidate disparate bacterial phenomena—including aging, electron transport, and quorum sensing—and enables the dissection of environmental communities through single-cell genomics. A more intimate integration of microfluidics, nanofabrication, and microbiology will enable further exploration of bacterial life at the smallest scales. Authors: Felix J. H. Hol, Cees Dekker

A new microscope allows three-dimensional imaging of living systems at very high resolution in real time. Authors: Bi-Chang Chen, Wesley R. Legant, Kai Wang, Lin Shao, Daniel E. Milkie, Michael W. Davidson, Chris Janetopoulos, Xufeng S. Wu, John A. Hammer, Zhe Liu, Brian P. English, Yuko Mimori-Kiyosue, Daniel P. Romero, Alex T. Ritter, Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz, Lillian Fritz-Laylin, R. Dyche Mullins, Diana M. Mitchell, Joshua N. Bembenek, Anne-Cecile Reymann, Ralph Böhme, Stephan W. Grill, Jennifer T. Wang, Geraldine Seydoux, U. Serdar Tulu, Daniel P. Kiehart, Eric Betzig

DNA replication machinery stably encircles replicating DNA and is actively disassembled once replication is complete. [Also see Perspective by Bell] Authors: Marija Maric, Timurs Maculins, Giacomo De Piccoli, Karim Labib

A polar fullerene derivative layered on the cathode of a polymer solar cell fosters simultaneous stability and efficiency. Authors: Zachariah A. Page, Yao Liu, Volodimyr V. Duzhko, Thomas P. Russell, Todd Emrick

Simultaneous measurements of structural and optical properties are used to study optically excited vanadium dioxide. Authors: Vance R. Morrison, Robert. P. Chatelain, Kunal L. Tiwari, Ali Hendaoui, Andrew Bruhács, Mohamed Chaker, Bradley J. Siwick

Graphene is aligned with a layer of hexagonal boron nitride to achieve the valley Hall effect. [Also see Perspective by Lundeberg and Folk] Authors: R. V. Gorbachev, J. C. W. Song, G. L. Yu, A. V. Kretinin, F. Withers, Y. Cao, A. Mishchenko, I. V. Grigorieva, K. S. Novoselov, L. S. Levitov, A. K. Geim

Palladium catalysis produces benzylamine derivatives of interest in medicinal chemistry. Authors: Ling Chu, Kai-Jiong Xiao, Jin-Quan Yu

The crystal structure of a reductive dehalogenase shows how bacteria break down organohalide contaminants. [Also see Perspective by Edwards] Authors: Martin Bommer, Cindy Kunze, Jochen Fesseler, Torsten Schubert, Gabriele Diekert, Holger Dobbek

Optogenetic manipulation of neuronal activity as memories form can impair acquisition of working memory. Authors: Ding Liu, Xiaowei Gu, Jia Zhu, Xiaoxing Zhang, Zhe Han, Wenjun Yan, Qi Cheng, Jiang Hao, Hongmei Fan, Ruiqing Hou, Zhaoqin Chen, Yulei Chen, Chengyu T. Li

On small islands in Florida, native lizards adapt to higher perches following invasion by a related species. Authors: Y. E. Stuart, T. S. Campbell, P. A. Hohenlohe, R. G. Reynolds, L. J. Revell, J. B. Losos

Artifacts and rock shelters indicate hunter-gatherer presence at ~4500 meters above sea level, 12.8 to 11.5 thousand years ago. Authors: Kurt Rademaker, Gregory Hodgins, Katherine Moore, Sonia Zarrillo, Christopher Miller, Gordon R. M. Bromley, Peter Leach, David A. Reid, Willy Yépez Álvarez, Daniel H. Sandweiss

A biosynthetic pathway split between young and old individual ferns controls hormonal signaling that regulates sex determination. [Also see Perspective by Sun] Authors: Junmu Tanaka, Kenji Yano, Koichiro Aya, Ko Hirano, Sayaka Takehara, Eriko Koketsu, Reynante Lacsamana Ordonio, Seung-Hyun Park, Masatoshi Nakajima, Miyako Ueguchi-Tanaka, Makoto Matsuoka

A flu virus mimics misfolded protein aggregates and hijacks associated cellular machinery early during infection. [Also see Perspective by Rajsbaum and García-Sastre] Authors: Indranil Banerjee, Yasuyuki Miyake, Samuel Philip Nobs, Christoph Schneider, Peter Horvath, Manfred Kopf, Patrick Matthias, Ari Helenius, Yohei Yamauchi

DNA replication machinery stably encircles replicating DNA and is actively disassembled once replication is complete. [Also see Perspective by Bell] Authors: Sara Priego Moreno, Rachael Bailey, Nicholas Campion, Suzanne Herron, Agnieszka Gambus

Protein design expands the repertoire of coiled-coil structures to α-helical barrels and hyperstable helical bundles. Authors: Po-Ssu Huang, Gustav Oberdorfer, Chunfu Xu, Xue Y. Pei, Brent L. Nannenga, Joseph M. Rogers, Frank DiMaio, Tamir Gonen, Ben Luisi, David Baker

Protein design expands the repertoire of coiled-coil structures to α-helical barrels and hyperstable helical bundles. Authors: Andrew R. Thomson, Christopher W. Wood, Antony J. Burton, Gail J. Bartlett, Richard B. Sessions, R. Leo Brady, Derek N. Woolfson

A weekly roundup of information on newly offered instrumentation, apparatus, and laboratory materials of potential interest to researchers.

On this week's show: The earliest high-altitude humans.

Thai Truong

This issue of Science includes the program of the 2015 AAAS Annual Meeting. The theme of the AAAS Annual Meeting in San Jose, CA, 12 to 16 February 2015, is Innovations, Information, and Imaging.A PDF of the program as it appears in this issue is available here; for more information on the meeting (including registration forms and information on accommodations), please visit www.aaas.org/meetings/.

Author: Huan Wang