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Science

The best in science news, commentary, and research

Patchy Insulation | Sleep Tight, Fly | Smoothing Graphene | On a Zeppelin | Starry Brightness | Changing Assemblages | Resilient Hyperpolarization | Hope for SUSY? | Strained Superconductor | Thin and Selective Outpourings | How Tight? | Resisting the Chop | Universal Immune Function | L[i]nc to Dendritic Cell Activation

Live poultry trade at local markets has long been a part of China's national identity. From small villages to big cities, the gathering and selling of different birds in this vibrant atmosphere is at the heart of the country's cuisine culture. Unfortunately, the backdrop to this tradition has changed. Last year, the H7N9 virus, a new strain of influenza A, jumped from birds to humans, causing 144 cases of human infection and 47 deaths in China. Now a second wave of this flu is coursing through the country, with 258 confirmed cases and 99 deaths as of 8 April 2014. Scientific evidence points to a connection between the conditions at these live markets and the spread of flu, suggesting that until other means are found to prevent the transmission of or effectively treat the illness, China must shut down live poultry markets to prevent further spread of the virus and a possible global pandemic. Author: George F. Gao

It's All in the Timing | Dead But Not Dangerous | Seeing Signaling | Disrupted Development | Doing Better Caged | On the Wall | Lead-Free Film

Follow the links below for a roundup of the week's top stories in science, or download a PDF of the entire section. Around the WorldFindingsNewsmakersRandom Samples

In science news around the world, the National Park Service decides not to introduce mainland wolves to rescue the declining wolf population on Lake Superior's Isle Royale, Japanese researchers plan to resume controversial whaling in 2015, Australia's Antarctic research program faces budget cuts, and more.

Molecular biologist Feng Zhang wins the National Science Foundation's Alan T. Waterman Award for young researchers, President Barack Obama nominates White House budget office director Sylvia Mathews Burwell to replace outgoing Health and Human Services head Kathleen Sebelius, physicist Stuart Parkin wins the 2014 Millennium Technology Prize, and more.

The winners of the Science, Play and Research Kit Competition reimagine the childhood chemistry set—on a microfluidic chip.

Hunter-Gatherers Don't Need Probiotics

Soaring cost estimates are jeopardizing the U.S. contribution to ITER, the massive international fusion energy project. Author: Adrian Cho

A chimeric mouse with a humanized liver offers a novel window into drug toxicity. Author: Jon Cohen

Researchers have harnessed the chemical degradation of fossil DNA to determine methylation patterns that may reveal which genes were turned on, or off, in ancient human species. Author: Elizabeth Pennisi

The latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, on mitigating emissions, finds a few glimmers of hope amid gloomy projections. Author: Eli Kintisch

A new find from NASA's Kepler orbiting observatory is the first Earth-sized planet to be detected in the habitable zone of a star. Author: Yudhijit Bhattacharjee

Jennifer Francis has made waves linking the melting Arctic to extreme weather around the world. But a storm of criticism has forced the climate scientist to defend her hypothesis. Author: Eli Kintisch

Authors: Robert J. Gould, Edward Maibach

Author: Brendan D. Kelly

Author: Misaki Wayengera


Author: David Samuel Johnson

Howe considers how researchers, environmentalists, and the public have interpreted and responded to the problem of global warming. Author: Gavin A. Schmidt

A listing of books received at Science during the week ending 11 April 2014.

Quasi-experimental evidence is needed on the relations between human health and airborne particulate matter. Authors: Francesca Dominici, Michael Greenstone, Cass R. Sunstein

Alternative methods of identification should be used to avoid collection of voucher specimens of threatened or rediscovered species. Authors: Ben A. Minteer, James P. Collins, Karen E. Love, Robert Puschendorf

To take advantage of the properties of graphene in biomedical applications, well-defined materials need to be matched with intended applications. Authors: Kostas Kostarelos, Kostya S. Novoselov

Stable at high temperatures, refractory plasmonic materials could boost existing optoelectronic technologies. Authors: Urcan Guler, Alexandra Boltasseva, Vladimir M. Shalaev

Unusual features of myelin in the mammalian cerebral cortex permit more complex forms of network integration. [Also see Report by Tomassy et al.] Author: R. Douglas Fields

Although global biodiversity is declining, local ecosystems are not systematically losing diversity, but rather experiencing rapid turnover in species. [Also see Report by Dornelas et al.] Authors: John M. Pandolfi, Catherine E. Lovelock

The ability of plant cell immune sensors to combine in different pairs could expand the host's defense against pathogens. [Also see Report by Williams et al.] Authors: Marc T. Nishimura, Jeffery L. Dangl

Young flies need their sleep, too. Authors: Matthew S. Kayser, Zhifeng Yue, Amita Sehgal

A white dwarf that eclipses a Sun-like star enhances, rather than dims, its brightness through relativistic effects. Authors: Ethan Kruse, Eric Agol

NASA’s Kepler mission revealed that the fifth and outermost planet orbiting Kepler-186 is capable of hosting liquid water. Authors: Elisa V. Quintana, Thomas Barclay, Sean N. Raymond, Jason F. Rowe, Emeline Bolmont, Douglas A. Caldwell, Steve B. Howell, Stephen R. Kane, Daniel Huber, Justin R. Crepp, Jack J. Lissauer, David R. Ciardi, Jeffrey L. Coughlin, Mark E. Everett, Christopher E. Henze, Elliott Horch, Howard Isaacson, Eric B. Ford, Fred C. Adams, Martin Still, Roger C. Hunter, Billy Quarles, Franck Selsis

An elusive symmetry is predicted to emerge at the boundary of an exotic condensed matter system. Authors: Tarun Grover, D. N. Sheng, Ashvin Vishwanath

An apparatus that can apply both tensile and compressive strain is used to study an unconventional superconductor. Authors: Clifford W. Hicks, Daniel O. Brodsky, Edward A. Yelland, Alexandra S. Gibbs, Jan A. N. Bruin, Mark E. Barber, Stephen D. Edkins, Keigo Nishimura, Shingo Yonezawa, Yoshiteru Maeno, Andrew P. Mackenzie

Wafer-scale single-crystal monolayer graphene can be repeatedly grown on a hydrogen-terminated germanium (110) surface. Authors: Jae-Hyun Lee, Eun Kyung Lee, Won-Jae Joo, Yamujin Jang, Byung-Sung Kim, Jae Young Lim, Soon-Hyung Choi, Sung Joon Ahn, Joung Real Ahn, Min-Ho Park, Cheol-Woong Yang, Byoung Lyong Choi, Sung-Woo Hwang, Dongmok Whang

Atomically thin nanoporous graphene membranes can sustain ultimate permeation in mass transport. Authors: Kemal Celebi, Jakob Buchheim, Roman M. Wyss, Amirhossein Droudian, Patrick Gasser, Ivan Shorubalko, Jeong-Il Kye, Changho Lee, Hyung Gyu Park

The tropospheric production of HONO from a light-dependent gas-phase source raises questions about its impact on OH. Authors: Xin Li, Franz Rohrer, Andreas Hofzumahaus, Theo Brauers, Rolf Häseler, Birger Bohn, Sebastian Broch, Hendrik Fuchs, Sebastian Gomm, Frank Holland, Julia Jäger, Jennifer Kaiser, Frank N. Keutsch, Insa Lohse, Keding Lu, Ralf Tillmann, Robert Wegener, Glenn M. Wolfe, Thomas F. Mentel, Astrid Kiendler-Scharr, Andreas Wahner

Ecological communities are experiencing changes in species composition rather than unidirectional loss. [Also see Perspective by Pandolfi and Lovelock] Authors: Maria Dornelas, Nicholas J. Gotelli, Brian McGill, Hideyasu Shimadzu, Faye Moyes, Caya Sievers, Anne E. Magurran

A heterodimer stands at the ready; a homodimer responds with action. [Also see Perspective by Nishimura and Dangl] Authors: Simon J. Williams, Kee Hoon Sohn, Li Wan, Maud Bernoux, Panagiotis F. Sarris, Cecile Segonzac, Thomas Ve, Yan Ma, Simon B. Saucet, Daniel J. Ericsson, Lachlan W. Casey, Thierry Lonhienne, Donald J. Winzor, Xiaoxiao Zhang, Anne Coerdt, Jane E. Parker, Peter N. Dodds, Bostjan Kobe, Jonathan D. G. Jones

The structure of a mammalian claudin suggests how extracellular domains may form paracellular ion pathways. Authors: Hiroshi Suzuki, Tomohiro Nishizawa, Kazutoshi Tani, Yuji Yamazaki, Atsushi Tamura, Ryuichiro Ishitani, Naoshi Dohmae, Sachiko Tsukita, Osamu Nureki, Yoshinori Fujiyoshi

A pseudoknot in a flavivirus RNA resists efforts by a host nuclease to untangle it. Authors: Erich G. Chapman, David A. Costantino, Jennifer L. Rabe, Stephanie L. Moon, Jeffrey Wilusz, Jay C. Nix, Jeffrey S. Kieft

A long noncoding RNA regulates dendritic cell differentiation and function. Authors: Pin Wang, Yiquan Xue, Yanmei Han, Li Lin, Cong Wu, Sheng Xu, Zhengping Jiang, Junfang Xu, Qiuyan Liu, Xuetao Cao

Intensifying pathogenic changes paradoxically ameliorate depressive symptoms in mice. Authors: Allyson K. Friedman, Jessica J. Walsh, Barbara Juarez, Stacy M. Ku, Dipesh Chaudhury, Jing Wang, Xianting Li, David M. Dietz, Nina Pan, Vincent F. Vialou, Rachael L. Neve, Zhenyu Yue, Ming-Hu Han

Mouse neurons display different and distinctive patterns of myelination. [Also see Perspective by Fields] Authors: Giulio Srubek Tomassy, Daniel R. Berger, Hsu-Hsin Chen, Narayanan Kasthuri, Kenneth J. Hayworth, Alessandro Vercelli, H. Sebastian Seung, Jeff W. Lichtman, Paola Arlotta

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

On this week's show: observation of a distinctive binary-star system that includes a white dwarf and a roundup of stories from our daily news site.