Geonomics & Science News

Geonomics & Science News


[Report] Convergent local adaptation to climate in distantly related conifers - 23 Sep 2016

When confronted with an adaptive challenge, such as extreme temperature, closely related species frequently evolve similar phenotypes using the same genes. Although such repeated evolution is thought to be less likely in highly polygenic traits and distantly related species, this has not been tested at the genome scale. We performed a population genomic study of convergent local adaptation among two distantly related species, lodgepole pine and interior spruce. We identified a suite of 47 genes, enriched for duplicated genes, with variants associated with spatial variation in temperature or cold hardiness in both species, providing evidence of convergent local adaptation despite 140 million years of separate evolution. These results show that adaptation to climate can be genetically constrained, with certain key genes playing nonredundant roles. Authors: Sam Yeaman, Kathryn A. Hodgins, Katie E. Lotterhos, Haktan Suren, Simon Nadeau, Jon C. Degner, Kristin A. Nurkowski, Pia Smets, Tongli Wang, Laura K. Gray, Katharina J. Liepe, Andreas Hamann, Jason A. Holliday, Michael C. Whitlock, Loren H. Rieseberg, Sally N. Aitken

[Editors' Choice] Activating chromatin by stretching - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Guy Riddihough

[Research Article] A global genetic interaction network maps a wiring diagram of cellular function - 23 Sep 2016

We generated a global genetic interaction network for Saccharomyces cerevisiae, constructing more than 23 million double mutants, identifying about 550,000 negative and about 350,000 positive genetic interactions. This comprehensive network maps genetic interactions for essential gene pairs, highlighting essential genes as densely connected hubs. Genetic interaction profiles enabled assembly of a hierarchical model of cell function, including modules corresponding to protein complexes and pathways, biological processes, and cellular compartments. Negative interactions connected functionally related genes, mapped core bioprocesses, and identified pleiotropic genes, whereas positive interactions often mapped general regulatory connections among gene pairs, rather than shared functionality. The global network illustrates how coherent sets of genetic interactions connect protein complex and pathway modules to map a functional wiring diagram of the cell. Authors: Michael Costanzo, Benjamin VanderSluis, Elizabeth N. Koch, Anastasia Baryshnikova, Carles Pons, Guihong Tan, Wen Wang, Matej Usaj, Julia Hanchard, Susan D. Lee, Vicent Pelechano, Erin B. Styles, Maximilian Billmann, Jolanda van Leeuwen, Nydia van Dyk, Zhen-Yuan Lin, Elena Kuzmin, Justin Nelson, Jeff S. Piotrowski, Tharan Srikumar, Sondra Bahr, Yiqun Chen, Raamesh Deshpande, Christoph F. Kurat, Sheena C. Li, Zhijian Li, Mojca Mattiazzi Usaj, Hiroki Okada, Natasha Pascoe, Bryan-Joseph San Luis, Sara Sharifpoor, Emira Shuteriqi, Scott W. Simpkins, Jamie Snider, Harsha Garadi Suresh, Yizhao Tan, Hongwei Zhu, Noel Malod-Dognin, Vuk Janjic, Natasa Przulj, Olga G. Troyanskaya, Igor Stagljar, Tian Xia, Yoshikazu Ohya, Anne-Claude Gingras, Brian Raught, Michael Boutros, Lars M. Steinmetz, Claire L. Moore, Adam P. Rosebrock, Amy A. Caudy, Chad L. Myers, Brenda Andrews, Charles Boone

[This Week in Science] Oxygen deficit - 23 Sep 2016

Author: H. Jesse Smith

[Review] Atomic electron tomography: 3D structures without crystals - 23 Sep 2016

Crystallography has been fundamental to the development of many fields of science over the last century. However, much of our modern science and technology relies on materials with defects and disorders, and their three-dimensional (3D) atomic structures are not accessible to crystallography. One method capable of addressing this major challenge is atomic electron tomography. By combining advanced electron microscopes and detectors with powerful data analysis and tomographic reconstruction algorithms, it is now possible to determine the 3D atomic structure of crystal defects such as grain boundaries, stacking faults, dislocations, and point defects, as well as to precisely localize the 3D coordinates of individual atoms in materials without assuming crystallinity. Here we review the recent advances and the interdisciplinary science enabled by this methodology. We also outline further research needed for atomic electron tomography to address long-standing unresolved problems in the physical sciences. Authors: Jianwei Miao, Peter Ercius, Simon J. L. Billinge

[Research Article] Molecular architecture of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae activated spliceosome - 23 Sep 2016

The activated spliceosome (Bact) is in a catalytically inactive state and is remodeled into a catalytically active machine by the RNA helicase Prp2, but the mechanism is unclear. Here, we describe a 3D electron cryomicroscopy structure of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Bact complex at 5.8-angstrom resolution. Our model reveals that in Bact, the catalytic U2/U6 RNA-Prp8 ribonucleoprotein core is already established, and the 5′ splice site (ss) is oriented for step 1 catalysis but occluded by protein. The first-step nucleophile—the branchsite adenosine—is sequestered within the Hsh155 HEAT domain and is held 50 angstroms away from the 5′ss. Our structure suggests that Prp2 adenosine triphosphatase–mediated remodeling leads to conformational changes in Hsh155’s HEAT domain that liberate the first-step reactants for catalysis. Authors: Reinhard Rauhut, Patrizia Fabrizio, Olexandr Dybkov, Klaus Hartmuth, Vladimir Pena, Ashwin Chari, Vinay Kumar, Chung-Tien Lee, Henning Urlaub, Berthold Kastner, Holger Stark, Reinhard Lührmann

[Research Article] RNA G-quadruplexes are globally unfolded in eukaryotic cells and depleted in bacteria - 23 Sep 2016

In vitro, some RNAs can form stable four-stranded structures known as G-quadruplexes. Although RNA G-quadruplexes have been implicated in posttranscriptional gene regulation and diseases, direct evidence for their formation in cells has been lacking. Here, we identified thousands of mammalian RNA regions that can fold into G-quadruplexes in vitro, but in contrast to previous assumptions, these regions were overwhelmingly unfolded in cells. Model RNA G-quadruplexes that were unfolded in eukaryotic cells were folded when ectopically expressed in Escherichia coli; however, they impaired translation and growth, which helps explain why we detected few G-quadruplex–forming regions in bacterial transcriptomes. Our results suggest that eukaryotes have a robust machinery that globally unfolds RNA G-quadruplexes, whereas some bacteria have instead undergone evolutionary depletion of G-quadruplex–forming sequences. Authors: Junjie U. Guo, David P. Bartel

[This Week in Science] Seeing the disorder in the ordered - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Marc S. Lavine

[Editorial] Speaking of insects… - 23 Sep 2016

Given that Aedes aegypti, the main mosquito vector of Zika virus, has been an intense focus of public health attention in the Americas, most recently in Florida, it seems apt that next week, 7000 entomologists from around the world will converge on Orlando, Florida, for the 25th International Congress of Entomology (ICE), where, among other activities, 175 discipline thought-leaders will join policy-makers and other experts to address “Improving the Human Condition through Insect Science.” The ICE summit's goals are to define the major global insect-related challenges—from arthropod-borne diseases to the protection of beneficial species—and plan collaborative efforts to meet these challenges through research and technology. These “grand challenges” aren't new. What's new, however, is an explicit effort to address one of the greatest challenges: effective engagement with the public about the value of insect science. Author: May R. Berenbaum

[This Week in Science] Finding the weak spots of subduction - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Brent Grocholski

[In Brief] News at a glance - 23 Sep 2016

In science news around the world, the United States designates a region of sea canyons and submerged mountains off the coast of Massachusetts as its first national marine monument in the Atlantic Ocean, the European Commission proposes loosening rules to make it easier for researchers to mine data and text from copyrighted papers, the National Football League plans to fund $40 million in new medical research on head trauma over the next 5 years, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration awards its first pilot contracts for commercial weather satellites, and more. Also, the University of Tokyo prepares to investigate anonymous claims that numerous papers by six university research groups included fabricated or falsified data. And new research finds a link between a medieval pope's edict and plump modern chickens.

[Editors' Choice] Can you feel what I feel? - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Marc S. Lavine

[In Depth] The Subduction Zone Observatory takes shape - 23 Sep 2016

Depending on how you count, there are roughly a dozen subduction zones around the globe, regions where ocean crust is dragged down into Earth along plate boundaries, leading to large earthquakes and melting in the mantle that causes magma to burble up. Subduction zones not only pose a threat to humans, but also act as critical gears in the rock cycle, recycling crust into Earth's interior and pumping up new volcanic rock. Scientists are now cooking up a plan for a major new research program: the Subduction Zone Observatory (SZO). Just where the SZO will be located, what instruments it will include, and what it might cost will come into focus during a National Science Foundation (NSF)–sponsored workshop next week. But many think the observatory could be NSF's next major investment in earth science research, following the $200 million EarthScope project, which began in 2003. Author: Julia Rosen

[Report] Surface uplift and time-dependent seismic hazard due to fluid injection in eastern Texas - 23 Sep 2016

Observations that unequivocally link seismicity and wastewater injection are scarce. Here we show that wastewater injection in eastern Texas causes uplift, detectable in radar interferometric data up to >8 kilometers from the wells. Using measurements of uplift, reported injection data, and a poroelastic model, we computed the crustal strain and pore pressure. We infer that an increase of >1 megapascal in pore pressure in rocks with low compressibility triggers earthquakes, including the 4.8–moment magnitude event that occurred on 17 May 2012, the largest earthquake recorded in eastern Texas. Seismic activity increased even while injection rates declined, owing to diffusion of pore pressure from earlier periods with higher injection rates. Induced seismicity potential is suppressed where tight confining formations prevent pore pressure from propagating into crystalline basement rocks. Authors: Manoochehr Shirzaei, William L. Ellsworth, Kristy F. Tiampo, Pablo J. González, Michael Manga

[In Depth] Using DNA, radiation therapy gets personal - 23 Sep 2016

At most cancer hospitals today, medical oncologists routinely order genetic tests that help guide their drug treatment decisions. But down the hallway in the radiation ward, cancer patients typically get a one-size-fits-all course of radiotherapy, regardless of their genetics or those of their cancer. A small but increasing number of radiation oncologists is hoping to change that. At the annual meeting of the American Society for Radiation Oncology next week in Boston, researchers will describe their hunt for gene activity profiles in tumors that can help determine how susceptible the cancer will be to radiation. Others are looking for variations in patients' normal DNA that explain why some people tolerate radiation well, whereas others experience severe and lasting side effects ranging from trouble swallowing and memory loss to impotence and incontinence. Author: Elie Dolgin

[Business Office Feature] Webinar | Combating the "garbage-in-garbage-out" paradigm: The importance of library prep in next-gen sequencing workflows - 23 Sep 2016

In the context of next-generation sequencing, the old saying "garbage in, garbage out" translates to "poor sample preparation results in poor data"—sometimes even unusable data. As those poor results often become apparent only after expensive, time-consuming sequencing, it behooves researchers to pay extra attention to the preparation of their DNA samples at every step, from isolation through library preparation to loading the samples onto their sequencer of choice. This webinar will focus particularly on best practices for library preparation, including whole-genome library prep and shearing methods for PCR-free vs. PCR-plus prep, which can substantially impact bias and coverage, among other variables. Attendees will also hear about best practices for quality control of the library preparation process, as well as the impact of library quality on downstream data quality.View the Webinar Authors: Maura Costello, Michael A. Quail

[In Depth] Neandertals made jewelry, proteins confirm - 23 Sep 2016

The "necklaces" are tiny: beads of animal teeth, shells, and ivory no more than a centimeter long. But they provoked an outsized debate that has raged for decades. Found in the Grotte du Renne cave at Arcy-sur-Cure in central France, they were reportedly found in the same layers as fossils from Neandertals. Some archaeologists credited the artifacts, described as part of the Châtelperronian culture, to our archaic cousins. But others argued that Neandertals were incapable of the kind of symbolic expression reflected in jewelry and insisted that modern humans must have been the creators. Now, a pioneering study uses ancient proteins to identify Neandertal bone fragments from Grotte du Renne for direct radiocarbon dating. The team finds that the link between the archaic humans and the artifacts is real. Author: Lizzie Wade

[This Week in Science] Unfolded in vivo - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Guy Riddihough

[In Depth] Paired stars sculpt nebulae into fanciful shapes - 23 Sep 2016

For decades, astronomers have suspected that planetary nebulae—dazzlingly colorful shrouds of gas cast off by dying stars—owe their weird but often symmetrical shapes to the sculpting magnetic forces of two stars orbiting each other at the nebula's center. Now, a study has helped confirm theorists' picture that many nebulae are the handiwork of binary stars in which the companions orbit each other so closely that they share the same atmosphere. There are more than a thousand known planetary nebulae, and few have the simple, spherical shape that would be expected from a solitary star expelling its outer layers in dying gasps. Instead, they often look like hourglasses or butterflies. The new study identifies eight star systems where the orbital axis for a binary pair lines up with the long axis of symmetry for the nebula—suggesting that theorists were right all along. Author: Joshua Sokol

[This Week in Science] Services for successful adaptation - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Julia Fahrenkamp-Uppenbrink

[In Depth] Aborigines and Eurasians rode one migration wave - 23 Sep 2016

A​ustralian Aborigines have long been cast as a people apart. Although Australia is halfway around the world from our species's accepted birthplace in Africa, the continent is nevertheless home to some of the earliest undisputed signs of modern humans outside Africa, and Aborigines have unique languages and cultural adaptations. Some researchers have posited that the ancestors of the Aborigines were the first modern humans to surge out of Africa, spreading swiftly eastward along the coasts of southern Asia thousands of years before a second wave of migrants populated Eurasia. Not so, according to a trio of genomic studies, the first to analyze many full genomes from Australia and New Guinea. They conclude that, like most other living Eurasians, Aborigines descend from a single group of modern humans who swept out of Africa 50,000 to 60,000 years ago and then spread in different directions. That means that most people outside of Africa today trace their ancestry back to a single great expansion. The study also reaffirms Aborigines' deep roots and long isolation in Australia, echoing Aboriginal views of their prehistory. Authors: Elizabeth Culotta, Ann Gibbons

[Editors' Choice] No touching, please - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Sacha Vignieri

[In Depth] China bets big on big facilities - 23 Sep 2016

As part of its new 13th 5-year plan, the Chinese Academy of Sciences this month unveiled plans for a national science center that will carry out mission-driven research along the lines of the U.S. Department of Energy's national laboratories. The first of China's multipurpose labs will rise in Huairou Science Park, a technology park planned for Beijing's northern outskirts. Forming the backbone of the center, slated for completion in 2023, will be a powerful synchrotron—the Beijing Advanced Photon Source—a supercomputer, and two other big-ticket facilities that will together cost $1.4 billion to build. More such laboratories are on the drawing board. Author: Jane Qiu

[Editors' Choice] Global change and tropical birds - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Andrew M. Sugden

[Feature] Tall timber - 23 Sep 2016

Scientists and architects across the globe are trying to adapt wood, one of the oldest building materials, for the demands of the modern city. Spurred by new ways to work with wood and concerns about the environmental toll of urban construction, they are trying to push the limits of height for wood construction and win wider acceptance for its use. Engineers have conceived designs for soaring wooden skyscrapers that, at up to 80 stories, would rival their steel-framed cousins. But wood's true potential for 21st century cities is likely to emerge in the lab, where scientists are conducting myriad torture tests on new designs for wooden walls, beams, ceilings, and floors. Their goal: to see whether wood can overcome concerns about fire safety and strength that, in the past, have consigned wood to low-rises and single family houses. Author: Warren Cornwall

[Research Article] Replication of human noroviruses in stem cell–derived human enteroids - 23 Sep 2016

The major barrier to research and development of effective interventions for human noroviruses (HuNoVs) has been the lack of a robust and reproducible in vitro cultivation system. HuNoVs are the leading cause of gastroenteritis worldwide. We report the successful cultivation of multiple HuNoV strains in enterocytes in stem cell–derived, nontransformed human intestinal enteroid monolayer cultures. Bile, a critical factor of the intestinal milieu, is required for strain-dependent HuNoV replication. Lack of appropriate histoblood group antigen expression in intestinal cells restricts virus replication, and infectivity is abrogated by inactivation (e.g., irradiation, heating) and serum neutralization. This culture system recapitulates the human intestinal epithelium, permits human host-pathogen studies of previously noncultivatable pathogens, and allows the assessment of methods to prevent and treat HuNoV infections. Authors: Khalil Ettayebi, Sue E. Crawford, Kosuke Murakami, James R. Broughman, Umesh Karandikar, Victoria R. Tenge, Frederick H. Neill, Sarah E. Blutt, Xi-Lei Zeng, Lin Qu, Baijun Kou, Antone R. Opekun, Douglas Burrin, David Y. Graham, Sasirekha Ramani, Robert L. Atmar, Mary K. Estes

[Feature] Solving Australia's language puzzle - 23 Sep 2016

According to Aboriginal myth, the first person to come to Australia was a woman named Warramurrungunji. She emerged from the sea and then headed inland, where she created children and put each one in a specific place on the landscape, giving each a specific language as she did so. That myth describes the complexities of Australia's linguistic landscape, which linguists have long struggled to unravel. In recent years they have begun to borrow methods used in biology to derive evolutionary trees to tease apart the history of language. This week the approach takes a major step forward with a combined genetic and linguistic study that paints a picture of how people entered and spread across Australia, giving birth to new languages as they went. It's a modern version of Warramurrungunji's story, and marks a milestone in collaboration between geneticists and linguists, offering a detailed vision of Australia's prehistory. Author: Michael Erard

[Report] Screening in crystalline liquids protects energetic carriers in hybrid perovskites - 23 Sep 2016

Hybrid lead halide perovskites exhibit carrier properties that resemble those of pristine nonpolar semiconductors despite static and dynamic disorder, but how carriers are protected from efficient scattering with charged defects and optical phonons is unknown. Here, we reveal the carrier protection mechanism by comparing three single-crystal lead bromide perovskites: CH3NH3PbBr3, CH(NH2)2PbBr3, and CsPbBr3. We observed hot fluorescence emission from energetic carriers with ~102-picosecond lifetimes in CH3NH3PbBr3 or CH(NH2)2PbBr3, but not in CsPbBr3. The hot fluorescence is correlated with liquid-like molecular reorientational motions, suggesting that dynamic screening protects energetic carriers via solvation or large polaron formation on time scales competitive with that of ultrafast cooling. Similar protections likely exist for band-edge carriers. The long-lived energetic carriers may enable hot-carrier solar cells with efficiencies exceeding the Shockley-Queisser limit. Authors: Haiming Zhu, Kiyoshi Miyata, Yongping Fu, Jue Wang, Prakriti P. Joshi, Daniel Niesner, Kristopher W. Williams, Song Jin, X.-Y. Zhu

[Perspective] Gathering lots of data on a small budget - 23 Sep 2016

Many science research projects rely on specialized electronic devices and software to gather data that often come with a high price tag. Advances in open-source hardware and software are occurring at an astounding rate, but scientists are often slow to take advantage of these for purposes beyond their original scope. Here, we advocate that open-source technology can be easily applied in science research to collect large data sets, at the same time reducing costs and increasing the repeatability of experiments. Authors: Aaron C. Greenville, Nathan J. Emery

[Report] An unexpected disruption of the atmospheric quasi-biennial oscillation - 23 Sep 2016

One of the most repeatable phenomena seen in the atmosphere, the quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) between prevailing eastward and westward wind jets in the equatorial stratosphere (approximately 16 to 50 kilometers altitude), was unexpectedly disrupted in February 2016. An unprecedented westward jet formed within the eastward phase in the lower stratosphere and cannot be accounted for by the standard QBO paradigm based on vertical momentum transport. Instead, the primary cause was waves transporting momentum from the Northern Hemisphere. Seasonal forecasts did not predict the disruption, but analogous QBO disruptions are seen very occasionally in some climate simulations. A return to more typical QBO behavior within the next year is forecast, although the possibility of more frequent occurrences of similar disruptions is projected for a warming climate. Authors: Scott M. Osprey, Neal Butchart, Jeff R. Knight, Adam A. Scaife, Kevin Hamilton, James A. Anstey, Verena Schenzinger, Chunxi Zhang

[Perspective] How conifers adapt to the cold - 23 Sep 2016

In convergent evolution, different species independently acquire similar traits. Knowing whether divergent species use the same or different genetic solutions to adapt to similar selection pressures can illuminate innate constraints on underlying molecular networks. Most cases of convergence that are understood at the genetic level are relatively simple, involving one or a few genes. On page 1431 of this issue, Yeaman et al. (1) report mapping of locally adaptive genes in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) and interior spruce (the species complex that includes Picea engelmannii and Picea glauca) (see the photo). The authors show that many genes implicated in local adaptation are shared among the two species. Author: Angela M. Hancock

[Association Affairs] Gordon Research Conferences - 23 Sep 2016

This issue of Science includes the program of the 2017 Gordon Research Conferences. 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

[Perspective] Cool by neuronal decision - 23 Sep 2016

Inside the well-protected and well-ventilated human skull, the temperature of a few hundred thousand neurons can deviate by several degrees centigrade from that of the surrounding 100 billion or so cells. These cells constitute around 15% of the neurons in the brain's preoptic area (POA) and can change their firing rate dramatically upon a 1° to 3°C change in local temperature (1). Astoundingly, this change in activity can alter the body's core temperature. Cellular and molecular details of the warm and cold sensitivity of these neurons are not well understood. Although the induction of fever has been well studied, the mechanisms that terminate fever are not yet clear. On page 1393 of this issue, Song et al. (2) report that a transient receptor potential (TRP) cation channel (3, 4) is key to the function of these neurons in thermoregulation, particularly in response to fever. Author: Tamas Bartfai

[Errata] Erratum for the Technical Comment “Comment on ‘Principles of connectivity among morphologically defined cell types in adult neocortex’” by A. L. Barth, A. Burkhalter, E. M. Callaway, B. W. Connors, B. Cauli, J. DeFelipe, D. Feldmeyer, T. Freund, Y. Kawaguchi, Z. Kisvarday, Y. Kubota, C. McBain, M. Oberlaender, J. Rossier, B. Rudy, J. F. Staiger, P. Somogyi, G. Tamas, R. Yuste - 23 Sep 2016

[Perspective] How hybrid perovskites get their groove - 23 Sep 2016

Polycrystalline thin films of hybrid organic-inorganic lead halide perovskites (HOIPs) show remarkable performance in semiconductor devices from light-emitting diodes to solar cells (1, 2). Despite modest charge carrier mobilities (3) and a known presence of defect sites (4), polycrystalline HOIP films prepared under comparatively crude conditions exhibit minority carrier lifetimes and diffusion lengths comparable with those of high-purity single-crystal GaAs (3). What makes HOIPs so special? On page 1409 of this issue, Zhu et al. (5) argue that the answer may lie in the rotational motion of the dipolar organic cations in the perovskite lattice. These motions seem to screen charge carriers from defects and other scattering potentials, much like ions screen electric fields in solution. Authors: Mark E. Ziffer, David S. Ginger

[This Week in Science] A global genetic interaction network - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Laura M. Zahn

[Perspective] From science to service - 23 Sep 2016

People rely on daily weather services to decide what to wear, make transport choices, prepare for rain, and more. Many societal decisions, however, need information not on time scales of days, but on climate time scales of months, years, or decades. New initiatives such as that of Copernicus in Europe provide a wealth of climate data, which is integral to climate services. However, data is only one aspect of climate services, which also involves translation and use of relevant information with the aim to help society manage the risks and opportunities of climate variability and change (1–5). To be successful, any climate service must have a clear problem focus, build on good-quality observations, and consider climate across different time scales. Author: Lisa Goddard

[This Week in Science] Protective liquid motions - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Phil Szuromi

[Policy Forum] Toward strategic, coherent, policy-relevant arctic science - 23 Sep 2016

Later this month, government science officials from the Arctic and other nations will be in Washington, D.C., invited by the White House to the first ever Arctic Science Ministerial meeting (1). The event is framed as a response to rapid climate-driven change in the Arctic and impacts of that change on the rest of the world. Although the White House has grasped the urgency of scientific responses to the unprecedented change gripping the Arctic, we think the ministerial delegates could aspire to address “What science needs to be done?” and “How is it done?” There are opportunities to better shape aspects of the science that should be focused on the needs of Arctic policy and management, in addition to fundamental curiosity-driven science. Also critical is the question of how decisions the ministers make should be actualized, whether through the Arctic Council (AC), the most formalized body for Arctic cooperation, or through other existing or new mechanisms. Authors: Clive Tesar, Marc-Andre Dubois, Alexander Shestakov

[This Week in Science] How brain neurons turn down the heat - 23 Sep 2016

Author: L. Bryan Ray

[Book Review] Mind the (health) gap - 23 Sep 2016

Health care workers, public health officials, and governments have long sought ways to improve the health of those in their charge. But identifying those factors most relevant to local and regional differences in health has been a formidable task. In her new book, Health Divides, Clare Bambra investigates three areas in high-income countries that are characterized by stark regional differences in health outcomes. These include poor health outcomes in the United States, referred to as the "US health disadvantage"; a North-South divide in the United Kingdom (the so-called "Scottish health effect"); and a local example of health disparity in the town of Stockton-on-Tees in the northeast of England. Author: Peter R. Reczek

[This Week in Science] Stemming MRSA-induced pneumonia - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Orla M. Smith

[Book Review] Strange bedfellows - 23 Sep 2016

In the late 1980s, Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev ushered in a new era of government transparency in the Soviet Union, a move that enabled the country's nuclear scientists to interact with their counterparts in the United States for the first time. Driven at first by curiosity, these interactions took on greater meaning when the Soviet Union fell apart and Russia's economy collapsed in 1991.This two-volume work, published by the Los Alamos Historical Society, is a comprehensive participants' account of the cooperation between U.S. and Russian nuclear-weapons laboratories that began during the Gorbachev period and ended in 2014 after Russia's annexation of Crimea. Siegfried Hecker, who was director of Los Alamos National Laboratory at the beginning of the period of cooperation, edited the work and provides lucid introductory and overview sections. The volumes contain essays by, and interviews with, key leaders who coordinated the efforts on both sides. Author: Frank von Hippel

[This Week in Science] A change in the wind - 23 Sep 2016

Author: H. Jesse Smith

[Letter] Compound hazards yield Louisiana flood - 23 Sep 2016

Authors: Farshid Vahedifard, Amir AghaKouchak, Navid H. Jafari

[Editors' Choice] An appetite for tolerance - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Kristen L. Mueller

[Letter] Addressing obesity in homeless children - 23 Sep 2016

Authors: James A. Levine, Shelly K. McCrady-Spitzer, Samantha M. Batko

[Editors' Choice] Toward quantum nanophotonics - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Ian S. Osborne

[Letter] Zika vaccine: Clinical trial and error? - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Dirk P. Dittmer

[Editors' Choice] Stabilized dyes as dense glasses - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Phil Szuromi

[This Week in Science] Less storage sinks soil models - 23 Sep 2016

Author: H. Jesse Smith

[Research Article] Plant diversity patterns in neotropical dry forests and their conservation implications - 23 Sep 2016

Seasonally dry tropical forests are distributed across Latin America and the Caribbean and are highly threatened, with less than 10% of their original extent remaining in many countries. Using 835 inventories covering 4660 species of woody plants, we show marked floristic turnover among inventories and regions, which may be higher than in other neotropical biomes, such as savanna. Such high floristic turnover indicates that numerous conservation areas across many countries will be needed to protect the full diversity of tropical dry forests. Our results provide a scientific framework within which national decision-makers can contextualize the floristic significance of their dry forest at a regional and continental scale. Authors: , Karina Banda-R, Alfonso Delgado-Salinas, Kyle G. Dexter, Reynaldo Linares-Palomino, Ary Oliveira-Filho, Darién Prado, Martin Pullan, Catalina Quintana, Ricarda Riina, Gina M. Rodríguez M., Julia Weintritt, Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez, Juan Adarve, Esteban Álvarez, Anairamiz Aranguren B., Julián Camilo Arteaga, Gerardo Aymard, Alejandro Castaño, Natalia Ceballos-Mago, Álvaro Cogollo, Hermes Cuadros, Freddy Delgado, Wilson Devia, Hilda Dueñas, Laurie Fajardo, Ángel Fernández, Miller Ángel Fernández, Janet Franklin, Ethan H. Freid, Luciano A. Galetti, Reina Gonto, Roy González-M., Roger Graveson, Eileen H. Helmer, Álvaro Idárraga, René López, Humfredo Marcano-Vega, Olga G. Martínez, Hernán M. Maturo, Morag McDonald, Kurt McLaren, Omar Melo, Francisco Mijares, Virginia Mogni, Diego Molina, Natalia del Pilar Moreno, Jafet M. Nassar, Danilo M. Neves, Luis J. Oakley, Michael Oatham, Alma Rosa Olvera-Luna, Flávia F. Pezzini, Orlando Joel Reyes Dominguez, María Elvira Ríos, Orlando Rivera, Nelly Rodríguez, Alicia Rojas, Tiina Särkinen, Roberto Sánchez, Melvin Smith, Carlos Vargas, Boris Villanueva, R. Toby Pennington

[This Week in Science] Keeping the spliceosome in check - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Valda Vinson

[Research Article] The TRPM2 channel is a hypothalamic heat sensor that limits fever and can drive hypothermia - 23 Sep 2016

Body temperature homeostasis is critical for survival and requires precise regulation by the nervous system. The hypothalamus serves as the principal thermostat that detects and regulates internal temperature. We demonstrate that the ion channel TRPM2 [of the transient receptor potential (TRP) channel family] is a temperature sensor in a subpopulation of hypothalamic neurons. TRPM2 limits the fever response and may detect increased temperatures to prevent overheating. Furthermore, chemogenetic activation and inhibition of hypothalamic TRPM2-expressing neurons in vivo decreased and increased body temperature, respectively. Such manipulation may allow analysis of the beneficial effects of altered body temperature on diverse disease states. Identification of a functional role for TRP channels in monitoring internal body temperature should promote further analysis of molecular mechanisms governing thermoregulation and foster the genetic dissection of hypothalamic circuits involved with temperature homeostasis. Authors: Kun Song, Hong Wang, Gretel B. Kamm, Jörg Pohle, Fernanda de Castro Reis, Paul Heppenstall, Hagen Wende, Jan Siemens

[This Week in Science] Diversity in neotropical dry forests - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Andrew M. Sugden

[Report] Tomography reveals buoyant asthenosphere accumulating beneath the Juan de Fuca plate - 23 Sep 2016

The boundary between Earth’s strong lithospheric plates and the underlying mantle asthenosphere corresponds to an abrupt seismic velocity decrease and electrical conductivity increase with depth, perhaps indicating a thin, weak layer that may strongly influence plate motion dynamics. The behavior of such a layer at subduction zones remains unexplored. We present a tomographic model, derived from on- and offshore seismic experiments, that reveals a strong low-velocity feature beneath the subducting Juan de Fuca slab along the entire Cascadia subduction zone. Through simple geodynamic arguments, we propose that this low-velocity feature is the accumulation of material from a thin, weak, buoyant layer present beneath the entire oceanic lithosphere. The presence of this feature could have major implications for our understanding of the asthenosphere and subduction zone dynamics. Authors: William B. Hawley, Richard M. Allen, Mark A. Richards

[This Week in Science] G proteins diverge and conquer - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Annalisa VanHook

[Report] High-quality graphene via microwave reduction of solution-exfoliated graphene oxide - 23 Sep 2016

Efficient exfoliation of graphite in solutions to obtain high-quality graphene flakes is desirable for printable electronics, catalysis, energy storage, and composites. Graphite oxide with large lateral dimensions has an exfoliation yield of ~100%, but it has not been possible to completely remove the oxygen functional groups so that the reduced form of graphene oxide (GO; reduced form: rGO) remains a highly disordered material. Here we report a simple, rapid method to reduce GO into pristine graphene using 1- to 2-second pulses of microwaves. The desirable structural properties are translated into mobility values of >1000 square centimeters per volt per second in field-effect transistors with microwave-reduced GO (MW-rGO) as the channel material and into particularly high activity for MW-rGO catalyst support toward oxygen evolution reactions. Authors: Damien Voiry, Jieun Yang, Jacob Kupferberg, Raymond Fullon, Calvin Lee, Hu Young Jeong, Hyeon Suk Shin, Manish Chhowalla

[This Week in Science] Catching earthquakes from the sky - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Brent Grocholski

[Report] Radiocarbon constraints imply reduced carbon uptake by soils during the 21st century - 23 Sep 2016

Soil is the largest terrestrial carbon reservoir and may influence the sign and magnitude of carbon cycle–climate feedbacks. Many Earth system models (ESMs) estimate a significant soil carbon sink by 2100, yet the underlying carbon dynamics determining this response have not been systematically tested against observations. We used 14C data from 157 globally distributed soil profiles sampled to 1-meter depth to show that ESMs underestimated the mean age of soil carbon by a factor of more than six (430 ± 50 years versus 3100 ± 1800 years). Consequently, ESMs overestimated the carbon sequestration potential of soils by a factor of nearly two (40 ± 27%). These inconsistencies suggest that ESMs must better represent carbon stabilization processes and the turnover time of slow and passive reservoirs when simulating future atmospheric carbon dioxide dynamics. Authors: Yujie He, Susan E. Trumbore, Margaret S. Torn, Jennifer W. Harden, Lydia J. S. Vaughn, Steven D. Allison, James T. Randerson

[This Week in Science] Microbes teach tolerance in the gut - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Kristen L. Mueller

[Report] A Pleistocene ice core record of atmospheric O2 concentrations - 23 Sep 2016

The history of atmospheric O2 partial pressures (Po2) is inextricably linked to the coevolution of life and Earth’s biogeochemical cycles. Reconstructions of past Po2 rely on models and proxies but often markedly disagree. We present a record of Po2 reconstructed using O2/N2 ratios from ancient air trapped in ice. This record indicates that Po2 declined by 7 per mil (0.7%) over the past 800,000 years, requiring that O2 sinks were ~2% larger than sources. This decline is consistent with changes in burial and weathering fluxes of organic carbon and pyrite driven by either Neogene cooling or increasing Pleistocene erosion rates. The 800,000-year record of steady average carbon dioxide partial pressures (Pco2) but declining Po2 provides distinctive evidence that a silicate weathering feedback stabilizes Pco2 on million-year time scales. Authors: D. A. Stolper, M. L. Bender, G. B. Dreyfus, Y. Yan, J. A. Higgins

[This Week in Science] Cultured guts combat gastroenteritis - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Caroline Ash

[Report] A secreted bacterial peptidoglycan hydrolase enhances tolerance to enteric pathogens - 23 Sep 2016

The intestinal microbiome modulates host susceptibility to enteric pathogens, but the specific protective factors and mechanisms of individual bacterial species are not fully characterized. We show that secreted antigen A (SagA) from Enterococcus faecium is sufficient to protect Caenorhabditis elegans against Salmonella pathogenesis by promoting pathogen tolerance. The NlpC/p60 peptidoglycan hydrolase activity of SagA is required and generates muramyl-peptide fragments that are sufficient to protect C. elegans against Salmonella pathogenesis in a tol-1–dependent manner. SagA can also be heterologously expressed and secreted to improve the protective activity of probiotics against Salmonella pathogenesis in C. elegans and mice. Our study highlights how protective intestinal bacteria can modify microbial-associated molecular patterns to enhance pathogen tolerance. Authors: Kavita J. Rangan, Virginia A. Pedicord, Yen-Chih Wang, Byungchul Kim, Yun Lu, Shai Shaham, Daniel Mucida, Howard C. Hang

[This Week in Science] Rapidly reducing graphene oxide - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Phil Szuromi

[New Products] New Products - 23 Sep 2016

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

[This Week in Science] Genetic convergence to the extreme - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Laura M. Zahn

[Working Life] Managing my fear of missing out - 23 Sep 2016

Author: Shane M. Hanlon

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