Geonomics & Science News

Geonomics & Science News


For the Cavendish - 25 Oct 2016

Beyond Sequencing - 25 Oct 2016

Take Them Away in Bulk - 25 Oct 2016

This Week in PNAS - 25 Oct 2016

Slow Report - 24 Oct 2016

Together, Forever - 24 Oct 2016

CRISPR for Longer Cashmere Fibers - 24 Oct 2016

This Week in PLOS - 24 Oct 2016

Kuwaiti DNA Law to Be Amended - 21 Oct 2016

Flashy Variants - 21 Oct 2016


[Report] Physiological and ecological drivers of early spring blooms of a coastal phytoplankter - 21 Oct 2016

Climate affects the timing and magnitude of phytoplankton blooms that fuel marine food webs and influence global biogeochemical cycles. Changes in bloom timing have been detected in some cases, but the underlying mechanisms remain elusive, contributing to uncertainty in long-term predictions of climate change impacts. Here we describe a 13-year hourly time series from the New England shelf of data on the coastal phytoplankter Synechococcus, during which the timing of its spring bloom varied by 4 weeks. We show that multiyear trends are due to temperature-induced changes in cell division rate, with earlier blooms driven by warmer spring water temperatures. Synechococcus loss rates shift in tandem with division rates, suggesting a balance between growth and loss that has persisted despite phenological shifts and environmental change. Authors: Kristen R. Hunter-Cevera, Michael G. Neubert, Robert J. Olson, Andrew R. Solow, Alexi Shalapyonok, Heidi M. Sosik

[This Week in Science] Treating Ebola with a Trojan horse - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Kristen L. Mueller

[Research Article] Structural basis for the gating mechanism of the type 2 ryanodine receptor RyR2 - 21 Oct 2016

RyR2 is a high-conductance intracellular calcium (Ca2+) channel that controls the release of Ca2+ from the sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum of a variety of cells. Here, we report the structures of RyR2 from porcine heart in both the open and closed states at near-atomic resolutions determined using single-particle electron cryomicroscopy. Structural comparison reveals a breathing motion of the overall cytoplasmic region resulted from the interdomain movements of amino-terminal domains (NTDs), Helical domains, and Handle domains, whereas almost no intradomain shifts are observed in these armadillo repeats–containing domains. Outward rotations of the Central domains, which integrate the conformational changes of the cytoplasmic region, lead to the dilation of the cytoplasmic gate through coupled motions. Our structural and mutational characterizations provide important insights into the gating and disease mechanism of RyRs. Authors: Wei Peng, Huaizong Shen, Jianping Wu, Wenting Guo, Xiaojing Pan, Ruiwu Wang, S. R. Wayne Chen, Nieng Yan

[This Week in Science] Relating interactions and nematicity - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Jelena Stajic

[Editorial] A short presidential reading list - 21 Oct 2016

A new U.S. president will be sworn into office in less than 3 months. Because scientific issues cut across many aspects of modern life, in both the public and private sectors, the president has several challenges. He or she must ensure that the government has access to robust advice about scientific issues to guide policy development. The president must select, and the U.S. Senate must confirm, the leaders for agencies with a substantial science focus. Finally, the new president must set the tone regarding the importance of science in the nation's progress. Two short, 70-year-old documents outline many central issues that are still relevant today. Author: Jeremy Berg

[Editors' Choice] A hat trick for differentiation therapy? - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Paula A. Kiberstis

[In Brief] News at a glance - 21 Oct 2016

In science news around the world, a new study finds that hundreds of mammals around the world are now being hunted to extinction, the U.S. Department of the Treasury authorizes U.S. biomedical and public health scientists to freely collaborate with their Cuban counterparts, U.K. scientists debate a controversial bill that would set up an organization to oversee the country's research funding, Brazilian scientists worry over how a pending constitutional amendment capping public spending will affect science research, and world leaders meet in Rwanda and agree to curb the use of hydrofluorocarbons. Also, a silica-rich ocean may have helped fossilize the enigmatic Ediacara biota. And an experiment in the Bolivian Andes suggests that blood cells change shape at high altitude to cope with low-oxygen conditions.

[Report] A large fraction of HLA class I ligands are proteasome-generated spliced peptides - 21 Oct 2016

The proteasome generates the epitopes presented on human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules that elicit CD8+ T cell responses. Reports of proteasome-generated spliced epitopes exist, but they have been regarded as rare events. Here, however, we show that the proteasome-generated spliced peptide pool accounts for one-third of the entire HLA class I immunopeptidome in terms of diversity and one-fourth in terms of abundance. This pool also represents a unique set of antigens, possessing particular and distinguishing features. We validated this observation using a range of complementary experimental and bioinformatics approaches, as well as multiple cell types. The widespread appearance and abundance of proteasome-catalyzed peptide splicing events has implications for immunobiology and autoimmunity theories and may provide a previously untapped source of epitopes for use in vaccines and cancer immunotherapy. Authors: Juliane Liepe, Fabio Marino, John Sidney, Anita Jeko, Daniel E. Bunting, Alessandro Sette, Peter M. Kloetzel, Michael P. H. Stumpf, Albert J. R. Heck, Michele Mishto

[In Depth] ‘Green hell’ has long been home for humans - 21 Oct 2016

For centuries, tropical rainforests were seen as the very definition of wilderness, largely untouched by humans. As late as the 1970s, anthropologists described rainforests as a "counterfeit paradise," arguing that their soil lacked the nutrients to sustain agriculture or complex human societies. It's now becoming clear, however, that human ancestors not only lived in the rainforest but transformed it over tens of thousands of years. Archaeologists have found clever ways to uncover ancient humans' impact on today's jungles, from ancient collagen in bones to laser scanning by aircraft. At a recent conference on the topic, organized by the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, presentation after presentation highlighted how prehistoric people burned the forest, cleared it, farmed it, nurtured certain of its tree species, and even built cities in it, leaving lasting, if subtle, marks. Author: Andrew Curry

[This Week in Science] Drivers of phytoplankton blooms - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Caroline Ash

[In Depth] Odd computer zips through knotty tasks - 21 Oct 2016

A century-old theoretical model of magnetism is giving rise to a hybrid computer, part classical and part quantum, that may capable of solving problems that overwhelm conventional computers. The so-called Ising machine, described in 100-bit and 2000-bit versions in two reports this week in Science, could tackle optimization problems that require finding the best solution among myriad possibilities, such as predicting how a protein will fold or allotting bandwidth in cellular communications networks. The machines take their name from the Ising model, which was developed in 1920 in an attempt to explain magnetism. Curiously, many optimization problems can be mapped onto the Ising model. Now, two overlapping groups at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, and at NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Atsugi, Japan, have developed optical machines specifically designed to solve the model, at least approximately. Developers hope Ising machines may soon replace or aid conventional computers for some applications, although some researchers note it is not yet clear that the new machines can best ordinary computers. Author: Adrian Cho

[Editors' Choice] Priming for T cell memory in tissues - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Kristen L. Mueller

[In Depth] Colombia peace deal blow dismays ecologists - 21 Oct 2016

For decades, Colombia's most interesting and diverse ecosystems have been occupied by guerrilla fighters and other armed groups, forcing scientists to stay away. But for a hopeful week, the threat finally seemed to have lifted. On 26 September, Colombia's government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia signed an agreement ending 52 years of conflict. As the fighters pledged to lay down their weapons, scientists made plans to return to the field—sometimes to research stations they had been forced to abandon years earlier. But on 2 October, Colombians in a referendum narrowly rejected the peace accord, leaving researchers wondering when it will truly be safe for fieldwork, and whether Colombia will ever be able to direct its resources away from war and toward research. Author: Lizzie Wade

[Report] Ultrafast electron diffraction imaging of bond breaking in di-ionized acetylene - 21 Oct 2016

Visualizing chemical reactions as they occur requires atomic spatial and femtosecond temporal resolution. Here, we report imaging of the molecular structure of acetylene (C2H2) 9 femtoseconds after ionization. Using mid-infrared laser–induced electron diffraction (LIED), we obtained snapshots as a proton departs the [C2H2]2+ ion. By introducing an additional laser field, we also demonstrate control over the ultrafast dissociation process and resolve different bond dynamics for molecules oriented parallel versus perpendicular to the LIED field. These measurements are in excellent agreement with a quantum chemical description of field-dressed molecular dynamics. Authors: B. Wolter, M. G. Pullen, A.-T. Le, M. Baudisch, K. Doblhoff-Dier, A. Senftleben, M. Hemmer, C. D. Schröter, J. Ullrich, T. Pfeifer, R. Moshammer, S. Gräfe, O. Vendrell, C. D. Lin, J. Biegert

[In Depth] Are labmade human eggs coming soon? - 21 Oct 2016

There's no need to start rereading Brave New World just yet. But this week's announcement that biologists in Japan have grown mouse egg cells entirely in a lab dish gave new meaning to the term "test tube babies." The eggs, generated in a dish from two kinds of stem cells, gave rise to pups after being fertilized and implanted into rodent foster mothers. Beyond offering researchers a new way to study egg development, the feat suggests that scientists could someday make human eggs in the lab from almost any type of cell, including genetically altered ones. That may spark hope of new infertility treatments, but will also likely revive fears among those opposed to designer babies. But for now the method, which sometimes produced defective eggs and rarely generated healthy pups, is far from making an impact in the clinic. Author: Gretchen Vogel

[Report] The biosynthetic pathway of coenzyme F430 in methanogenic and methanotrophic archaea - 21 Oct 2016

Methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) is the key enzyme of methanogenesis and anaerobic methane oxidation. The activity of MCR is dependent on the unique nickel-containing tetrapyrrole known as coenzyme F430. We used comparative genomics to identify the coenzyme F430 biosynthesis (cfb) genes and characterized the encoded enzymes from Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A. The pathway involves nickelochelation by a nickel-specific chelatase, followed by amidation to form Ni-sirohydrochlorin a,c-diamide. Next, a primitive homolog of nitrogenase mediates a six-electron reduction and γ-lactamization reaction before a Mur ligase homolog forms the six-membered carbocyclic ring in the final step of the pathway. These data show that coenzyme F430 can be synthesized from sirohydrochlorin using Cfb enzymes produced heterologously in a nonmethanogen host and identify several targets for inhibitors of biological methane formation. Authors: Kaiyuan Zheng, Phong D. Ngo, Victoria L. Owens, Xue-peng Yang, Steven O. Mansoorabadi

[In Depth] Alien fungus blights Hawaii's native trees - 21 Oct 2016

An ecological disaster is unfolding on Hawaii's largest island. Rapid 'Ōhi'a Death, caused by an imported fungus, is causing Hawaii's iconic native 'ōhi'a tree to perish in droves. Some 20,000 hectares are now affected, according to a recent survey. Abundant across the archipelago, 'ōhi'a are the only native tree in Hawaii that colonizes lava flows, and they provide habitat for several rare species of native birds and insects. The outbreak exploded in 2014, in dense 'ōhi'a groves in Hilo Forest Reserve on Big Island, and has worsened ever since. Characterizing the fungus, Ceratocystis fimbriata, might help researchers mount a defense for 'ōhi'a, as well as determine whether other native plants or crops are vulnerable. Scientists are also trying to unravel precisely how the fungus spreads. Author: Inga Vesper

[Business Office Feature] Webinar | Immune response monitoring: What can we learn about immunotherapy, pathogen response, and autoimmunity? - 21 Oct 2016

It has recently been recognized that the role of the immune system in health and well-being is perhaps more far-reaching than previously imagined. An insufficient or overactive immune response is at the heart of countless pathologies including cancer, autoimmune diseases, and infectious diseases. Monitoring immune responses by measuring cytokine levels has become an integral part of disease-related research, providing clues to the state of the immune system and how it could be targeted therapeutically. Understanding which cytokines are best for monitoring inflammation and immunosuppression, and knowing which are secreted by different immune cell types at each stage of maturation and activation, will provide essential insights into disease treatment options. Importantly, we need to ask whether the use of common biomarkers is good enough, or if a larger number of cytokines needs to be routinely measured to better understand the complexity of immune responses.View the Webinar Authors: Abul K. Abbas, Adrian Bot, Sacha Gnjatic

[Feature] Science lessons for the next president - 21 Oct 2016

New presidents typically move into the White House neither expecting to spend much time on scientific issues, nor prepared to. But history shows that, ready or not, every president ends up grappling with a host of science-related policy issues or crises. What technical issues will the next president face? Climate change is sure to loom large, as will the annual debates over how much the government should spend on basic research and help industry commercialize new discoveries. Technological advances, from self-driving cars to new genetic-engineering techniques, will pose new regulatory challenges. And there are likely to be unplanned events, such as disease outbreaks, oil spills, and natural disasters. In each case, a little science savvy might help a president better understand how best to respond. With that in mind, we offer crash courses in six areas of science that are likely to demand attention in the Oval Office over the next 4 or 8 years. On our list: sea level rise, brain health, pathogen evolution, risk perception, artificial intelligence, and new genome-editing tools. And we provide a timeline that highlights major science-related policy decisions and events faced by presidents since Franklin Roosevelt.

[This Week in Science] Acetylene's scission visualized by selfie - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Jake Yeston

[Perspective] The first jaws - 21 Oct 2016

Dinosaurs were once widely considered an evolutionary dead end without much bearing on the evolution of living animals. Yet, today it is clear that theropod dinosaurs gave rise to birds, and that dinosaurs are therefore still alive today. Similarly, placoderms, a group of extinct armored fishes, long held little or no interest to evolutionary biologists. However, discoveries from China are changing that by showing how important placoderms are to understanding the early assembly of the vertebrate body plan. On page 334 of this issue, Zhu et al. (1) report the discovery of a placoderm from Qujing in Yunnan, China, that fills a big gap in our understanding of how vertebrate jaws evolved. Author: John A. Long

[This Week in Science] Turning off the blue-light response - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Pamela J. Hines

[Perspective] A photoreceptor's on-off switch - 21 Oct 2016

Photoreceptors are present in all kingdoms of life. They fulfill a broad range of functions, including vision, photoprotection, and regulating growth and development (1). To maintain photosensitivity, photoreceptor-mediated signaling must be turned on and off in a timely fashion. For example, the signaling state of human visual rhodopsins is very short-lived, and patients with defective rhodopsin inactivation suffer from severe dark adaptation problems, illustrating the importance of inactivation mechanisms (2). On page 343 of this issue, Wang et al. (3) report a mechanism of controlling the signaling activity of a family of photoreceptors in plants. They show that cryptochromes are activated through blue light–induced homodimerization. This dimerization and all subsequent signaling events are blocked by the interaction between light-activated cryptochrome and a protein coined BLUE-LIGHT INHIBITOR OF CRYPTOCHROMES 1 (BIC1) (3). This system is proposed to control the fraction of cryptochrome photoreceptors engaged in cellular signaling, contributing to the maintenance of photosensitivity. Authors: Christian Fankhauser, Roman Ulm

[This Week in Science] Persistent infections “interfere” with B cells - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Anand Balasubramani

[Perspective] Molecular imaging at 1-femtosecond resolution - 21 Oct 2016

We cannot yet watch all the steps of a gas-phase chemical reaction as it occurs, but we can come close. On page 308 of this issue, Wolter et al. (1) use an electron-imaging technique to capture the predissociated state of acetylene molecule just 9 fs after its ionization. On this time scale, the departing hydrogen atom and the remaining molecular fragment form an aloof complex in which the electronic coherence required to form bonds between the two is not yet fully lost. Imaging such transient states under different optical excitation conditions with high spatiotemporal resolution holds key information on selective photochemistry that may enable control of chemical reactions. Author: Chong-Yu Ruan

[Editors' Choice] Breaking the strongest of bonds - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Brent Grocholski

[Perspective] Hitting Ebola, to the power of two - 21 Oct 2016

Passive immunotherapy with therapeutic antibodies is one of the most promising treatments for Ebola virus infection. Despite disappointing initial results using single monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) (1), successful post-exposure protection in nonhuman primate models of Ebola virus infection was eventually achieved using “designer polyclonals” that mixed individual mAbs (2). The efficacy of an optimized three-mAb cocktail (ZMapp) in protecting nonhuman primates (3) was the basis of its compassionate use and clinical evaluation during the 2014 to 2015 West African Ebola virus outbreaks. The limited protective breadth of available antibodies against specific ebolavirus species, however, raises concerns with respect to a general preparedness for filovirus outbreaks (4). On page 350 of this issue, Wec et al. (5) describe exploiting the powerful nature of bispecific antibodies (bsAbs)—the ability to recognize two different proteins or epitopes with a single antibody—to block entry of multiple ebolavirus species into cells. This may lead to the development of antiviral immunotherapy with cross-filovirus activity. Authors: Aran F. Labrijn, Paul W. H. I. Parren

[Report] Subthreshold Schottky-barrier thin-film transistors with ultralow power and high intrinsic gain - 21 Oct 2016

The quest for low power becomes highly compelling in newly emerging application areas related to wearable devices in the Internet of Things. Here, we report on a Schottky-barrier indium-gallium-zinc-oxide thin-film transistor operating in the deep subthreshold regime (i.e., near the OFF state) at low supply voltages (<1 volt) and ultralow power (<1 nanowatt). By using a Schottky-barrier at the source and drain contacts, the current-voltage characteristics of the transistor were virtually channel-length independent with an infinite output resistance. It exhibited high intrinsic gain (>400) that was both bias and geometry independent. The transistor reported here is useful for sensor interface circuits in wearable devices where high current sensitivity and ultralow power are vital for battery-less operation. Authors: Sungsik Lee, Arokia Nathan

[Perspective] Why I know but don't believe - 21 Oct 2016

Despite extensive efforts at public science education, polling over the past 30 years has consistently shown that about 40 to 45% of Americans believe that humans were supernaturally created in the past 10,000 years (1). A natural interpretation of this finding is that U.S. science education is failing to reach nearly half of the population, and that widespread belief in recent human origins reflects basic scientific illiteracy. However, the reality is more complex (2): Many of those who reject evolutionary theory are aware of the scientific consensus on the subject, and such rejection is not always associated with low scientific literacy. Similar results have been found for beliefs regarding anthropogenic climate change (3). On page 321 of this issue, Friedkin et al. (4) provide a key step toward understanding this phenomenon by introducing a simple family of models for social influence among individuals with multiple, interdependent beliefs. Author: Carter T. Butts

[Report] Observation of a nematic quantum Hall liquid on the surface of bismuth - 21 Oct 2016

Nematic quantum fluids with wave functions that break the underlying crystalline symmetry can form in interacting electronic systems. We examined the quantum Hall states that arise in high magnetic fields from anisotropic hole pockets on the Bi(111) surface. Spectroscopy performed with a scanning tunneling microscope showed that a combination of single-particle effects and many-body Coulomb interactions lift the six-fold Landau level (LL) degeneracy to form three valley-polarized quantum Hall states. We imaged the resulting anisotropic LL wave functions and found that they have a different orientation for each broken-symmetry state. The wave functions correspond to those expected from pairs of hole valleys and provide a direct spatial signature of a nematic electronic phase. Authors: Benjamin E. Feldman, Mallika T. Randeria, András Gyenis, Fengcheng Wu, Huiwen Ji, R. J. Cava, Allan H. MacDonald, Ali Yazdani

[Perspective] A plankton bloom shifts as the ocean warms - 21 Oct 2016

Recent advances in sequencing technology have highlighted the extreme diversity of marine microbes and provided insights into their evolution (1–3). It remains unclear, however, how ocean microbial communities are responding to ongoing climate change. This is because pinpointing change with statistical rigor requires long-term studies that sample the same location or water mass repeatedly. On page 326 of this issue, Hunter-Cevera et al. (4) present a highly resolved long-term study of a widespread cyanobacterial phytoplankton group, Synechococcus. They show that the timing of the annual spring Synechococcus bloom has shifted in association with ocean warming. Authors: Alexandra Z. Worden, Susanne Wilken

[Report] A Silurian maxillate placoderm illuminates jaw evolution - 21 Oct 2016

The discovery of Entelognathus revealed the presence of maxilla, premaxilla, and dentary, supposedly diagnostic osteichthyan bones, in a Silurian placoderm. However, the relationship between these marginal jaw bones and the gnathal plates of conventional placoderms, thought to represent the inner dental arcade, remains uncertain. Here we report a second Silurian maxillate placoderm, which bridges the gnathal and maxillate conditions. We propose that the maxilla, premaxilla, and dentary are homologous to the gnathal plates of placoderms and that all belong to the same dental arcade. The gnathal-maxillate transformation occurred concurrently in upper and lower jaws, predating the addition of infradentary bones to the lower jaw. Authors: Min Zhu, Per E. Ahlberg, Zhaohui Pan, Youan Zhu, Tuo Qiao, Wenjin Zhao, Liantao Jia, Jing Lu

[Perspective] Predicting the basis of convergent evolution - 21 Oct 2016

Repeated evolution of similar traits in organisms facing the same ecological challenges has long captured the interest of evolutionary biologists (1–4). Naturally occurring examples of “convergent evolution” offer new opportunities to ask about predictability in evolution. Do complex genomes mean that there are endless possibilities for adapting to an ecological challenge? Or must evolution target the same genes, or even the same amino acids in the same proteins, in order to increase the fitness and therefore survival of different species facing similar challenges? Natarajan et al. (5), on page 336 of this issue, provide an example of an integrated approach to answer these questions. By using a combination of genetic data with experimental tests, they show that evolution of a new protein function in response to low-oxygen, high-altitude conditions can occur through different genetic mechanisms across a wide diversity of avian species living at high and low elevations. Author: Jamie T. Bridgham

[Report] Intercellular communication and conjugation are mediated by ESX secretion systems in mycobacteria - 21 Oct 2016

Communal bacterial processes require intercellular communication mediated by secretion systems to coordinate appropriate molecular responses. Intercellular communication has not been described previously in mycobacteria. Here we show that the ESX secretion-system family member ESX-4 is essential for conjugal recipient activity in Mycobacterium smegmatis. Transcription of esx4 genes in the recipient requires coculture with a donor strain and a functional ESX-1 apparatus in the recipient. Conversely, mutation of the donor ESX-1 apparatus amplifies the esx4 transcriptional response in the recipient. The effect of ESX-1 on esx4 transcription correlates with conjugal DNA transfer efficiencies. Our data show that intercellular communication via ESX-1 controls the expression of its evolutionary progenitor, ESX-4, to promote conjugation between mycobacteria. Authors: Todd A. Gray, Ryan R. Clark, Nathalie Boucher, Pascal Lapierre, Carol Smith, Keith M. Derbyshire

[Policy Forum] Identifying the policy space for climate loss and damage - 21 Oct 2016

Currently planned greenhouse gas mitigation efforts would not prevent climate warming from going beyond 2°C as aspired to in the 2015 Paris Agreement (1), adding to climate-related impacts already under way (2). Although climate adaptation has been strengthened in the Paris Agreement, climate-related risks may exceed adaptation possibilities of communities and countries. To this effect, an important decision in the Paris Agreement was the endorsement of the Warsaw International Mechanism (WIM) for Loss and Damage (L&D) (3). This established L&D as a distinct pillar of climate negotiations, yet with an unclearly defined remit. With a policy framework yet to emerge, the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) in November in Marrakesh will review the structure, mandate, and effectiveness of the WIM, first institutionalized in 2013. Risk science can provide a rationale and delineate a policy space for L&D, composed of curative measures for unavoided and unavoidable impacts, and transformative measures for avoiding and managing increasingly intolerable risks. Authors: Reinhard Mechler, Thomas Schinko

[Association Affairs] AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting Program - 21 Oct 2016

This issue of Science includes the program of the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting. The theme of the AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston, 16 to 20 February 2017, is Serving Society Through Science Policy.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

[Book Review] Street smart - 21 Oct 2016

A physicist reveals the engineering marvels that underlie the modern metropolis Author: Sybil Derrible

[Review] Metal-catalyzed reductive coupling of olefin-derived nucleophiles: Reinventing carbonyl addition - 21 Oct 2016

α-Olefins are the most abundant petrochemical feedstock beyond alkanes, yet their use in commodity chemical manufacture is largely focused on polymerization and hydroformylation. The development of byproduct-free catalytic C–C bond–forming reactions that convert olefins to value-added products remains an important objective. Here, we review catalytic intermolecular reductive couplings of unactivated and activated olefin-derived nucleophiles with carbonyl partners. These processes represent an alternative to the longstanding use of stoichiometric organometallic reagents in carbonyl addition. Authors: Khoa D. Nguyen, Boyoung Y. Park, Tom Luong, Hiroki Sato, Victoria J. Garza, Michael J. Krische

[Book Review] The business of doing good - 21 Oct 2016

A guide for aspiring entrepreneurs offers a data-driven approach to making a difference Author: Omar Bagasra

[This Week in Science] Almost-off transistors - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Phil Szuromi

[Letter] Premature downgrade of panda's status - 21 Oct 2016

Authors: Dongwei Kang, Junqing Li

[This Week in Science] Conseting mycobacteria - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Caroline Ash

[Letter] Stop Pakistan's polio vaccination tax - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Sultan Ayoub Meo

[This Week in Science] Jaws from the jawless - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Sacha Vignieri

[Letter] Creating a culture of ethics in Iran - 21 Oct 2016

Authors: Mohammad Saeid Rezaee-Zavareh, Zohrehsadat Naji, Payman Salamati

[This Week in Science] Enzymes for making (or breaking) methane - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Nicholas S. Wigginton

[Letter] Nextgen Voices: Submit Now Diverse Experience - 21 Oct 2016

[This Week in Science] Directing the movement of a pathogen - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Wei Wong

[Technical Comment] Comment on “Reconciliation of the Devils Hole climate record with orbital forcing” - 21 Oct 2016

Moseley et al. (Reports, 8 January 2016, p. 165) postulate an increase in dissolved thorium isotope 230Th with depth below the water table as the explanation for the differing ages of Termination II. Flow of geothermal water through the Devils Hole caverns precludes this explanation. Deposition of younger secondary calcite into the initial porosity of the calcite comprising their cores is a plausible alternate explanation. Author: Isaac J. Winograd

[Editors' Choice] Somatic cells raise sperm barriers - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Sarah E. Harrison

[Technical Comment] Comment on “Reconciliation of the Devils Hole climate record with orbital forcing” - 21 Oct 2016

Moseley et al.’s (Reports, 8 January 2016, p. 165) preferred-Termination-II age is subjective, as evidenced by variation in their Termination-II ages of 2500 years per meter. Termination-II-age bias decreases to zero at ~1.5 meters below the present-day water table, if one assumes linear variation with core-sample height. Maintaining the required gradient of thorium isotope 230Th over 3.6 meters for 1000 years, much less 10,000 years, seems exceedingly unlikely. Author: Tyler B. Coplen

[Editors' Choice] Better buildings' appetites for energy - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Brad Wible

[Technical Response] Response to Comments on “Reconciliation of the Devils Hole climate record with orbital forcing” - 21 Oct 2016

Winograd and Coplen question the thorium-230 distribution model proposed to explain the age bias observed with increasing depth during Termination II. We have evaluated both criticisms and find that all samples display virtually identical fabrics, argue that the modern setting is not analogous to the conditions during Termination II, and reiterate the robustness of our age models. Our conclusions remain unchanged. Authors: Gina E. Moseley, Yuri V. Dublyansky, R. Lawrence Edwards, Kathleen A. Wendt, Mathieu Pythoud, Pu Zhang, Hai Cheng, Yanbin Lu, Ronny Boch, Christoph Spötl

[Editors' Choice] Creating a polybenzene network - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Phil Szuromi

[This Week in Science] Expect the unexpected - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Sacha Vignieri

[Editors' Choice] Explaining gender differences in anxiety - 21 Oct 2016

Author: L. Bryan Ray

[This Week in Science] New players in the repertoire - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Kristen L. Mueller

[Report] Molecular force spectroscopy with a DNA origami–based nanoscopic force clamp - 21 Oct 2016

Forces in biological systems are typically investigated at the single-molecule level with atomic force microscopy or optical and magnetic tweezers, but these techniques suffer from limited data throughput and their requirement for a physical connection to the macroscopic world. We introduce a self-assembled nanoscopic force clamp built from DNA that operates autonomously and allows massive parallelization. Single-stranded DNA sections of an origami structure acted as entropic springs and exerted controlled tension in the low piconewton range on a molecular system, whose conformational transitions were monitored by single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer. We used the conformer switching of a Holliday junction as a benchmark and studied the TATA-binding protein–induced bending of a DNA duplex under tension. The observed suppression of bending above 10 piconewtons provides further evidence of mechanosensitivity in gene regulation. Authors: Philipp C. Nickels, Bettina Wünsch, Phil Holzmeister, Wooli Bae, Luisa M. Kneer, Dina Grohmann, Philip Tinnefeld, Tim Liedl

[This Week in Science] Social transfer of pain in mice - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Philip Yeagle

[Report] Dynamic creation and evolution of gradient nanostructure in single-crystal metallic microcubes - 21 Oct 2016

We demonstrate the dynamic creation and subsequent static evolution of extreme gradient nanograined structures in initially near–defect-free single-crystal silver microcubes. Extreme nanostructural transformations are imposed by high strain rates, strain gradients, and recrystallization in high-velocity impacts of the microcubes against an impenetrable substrate. We synthesized the silver microcubes in a bottom-up seed-growth process and use an advanced laser-induced projectile impact testing apparatus to selectively launch them at supersonic velocities (~400 meters per second). Our study provides new insights into the fundamental deformation mechanisms and the effects of crystal and sample-shape symmetries resulting from high-velocity impacts. The nanostructural transformations produced in our experiments show promising pathways to developing gradient nanograined metals for engineering applications requiring both high strength and high toughness—for example, in structural components of aircraft and spacecraft. Authors: Ramathasan Thevamaran, Olawale Lawal, Sadegh Yazdi, Seog-Jin Jeon, Jae-Hwang Lee, Edwin L. Thomas

[This Week in Science] Belief system dynamics - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Barbara R. Jasny

[Report] Network science on belief system dynamics under logic constraints - 21 Oct 2016

Breakthroughs have been made in algorithmic approaches to understanding how individuals in a group influence each other to reach a consensus. However, what happens to the group consensus if it depends on several statements, one of which is proven false? Here, we show how the existence of logical constraints on beliefs affect the collective convergence to a shared belief system and, in contrast, how an idiosyncratic set of arbitrarily linked beliefs held by a few may become held by many. Authors: Noah E. Friedkin, Anton V. Proskurnikov, Roberto Tempo, Sergey E. Parsegov

[This Week in Science] A shocking transformation for silver - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Brent Grocholski

[Report] Formaldehyde stabilization facilitates lignin monomer production during biomass depolymerization - 21 Oct 2016

Practical, high-yield lignin depolymerization methods could greatly increase biorefinery productivity and profitability. However, development of these methods is limited by the presence of interunit carbon-carbon bonds within native lignin, and further by formation of such linkages during lignin extraction. We report that adding formaldehyde during biomass pretreatment produces a soluble lignin fraction that can be converted to guaiacyl and syringyl monomers at near theoretical yields during subsequent hydrogenolysis (47 mole % of Klason lignin for beech and 78 mole % for a high-syringyl transgenic poplar). These yields were three to seven times those obtained without formaldehyde, which prevented lignin condensation by forming 1,3-dioxane structures with lignin side-chain hydroxyl groups. By depolymerizing cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin separately, monomer yields were between 76 and 90 mole % for these three major biomass fractions. Authors: Li Shuai, Masoud Talebi Amiri, Ydna M. Questell-Santiago, Florent Héroguel, Yanding Li, Hoon Kim, Richard Meilan, Clint Chapple, John Ralph, Jeremy S. Luterbacher

[This Week in Science] Sopping up IL-22 drives intestinal disease - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Kristen L. Mueller

[Report] Predictable convergence in hemoglobin function has unpredictable molecular underpinnings - 21 Oct 2016

To investigate the predictability of genetic adaptation, we examined the molecular basis of convergence in hemoglobin function in comparisons involving 56 avian taxa that have contrasting altitudinal range limits. Convergent increases in hemoglobin-oxygen affinity were pervasive among high-altitude taxa, but few such changes were attributable to parallel amino acid substitutions at key residues. Thus, predictable changes in biochemical phenotype do not have a predictable molecular basis. Experiments involving resurrected ancestral proteins revealed that historical substitutions have context-dependent effects, indicating that possible adaptive solutions are contingent on prior history. Mutations that produce an adaptive change in one species may represent precluded possibilities in other species because of differences in genetic background. Authors: Chandrasekhar Natarajan, Federico G. Hoffmann, Roy E. Weber, Angela Fago, Christopher C. Witt, Jay F. Storz

[This Week in Science] Many tiny force sensors - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Phil Szuromi

[Report] Photoactivation and inactivation of Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 - 21 Oct 2016

Cryptochromes are blue-light receptors that regulate development and the circadian clock in plants and animals. We found that Arabidopsis cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) undergoes blue light–dependent homodimerization to become physiologically active. We identified BIC1 (blue-light inhibitor of cryptochromes 1) as an inhibitor of plant cryptochromes that binds to CRY2 to suppress the blue light–dependent dimerization, photobody formation, phosphorylation, degradation, and physiological activities of CRY2. We hypothesize that regulated dimerization governs homeostasis of the active cryptochromes in plants and other evolutionary lineages. Authors: Qin Wang, Zecheng Zuo, Xu Wang, Lianfeng Gu, Takeshi Yoshizumi, Zhaohe Yang, Liang Yang, Qing Liu, Wei Liu, Yun-Jeong Han, Jeong-Il Kim, Bin Liu, James A. Wohlschlegel, Minami Matsui, Yoshito Oka, Chentao Lin

[This Week in Science] Metastasis casts a NET - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Yevgeniya Nusinovich

[Report] A “Trojan horse” bispecific-antibody strategy for broad protection against ebolaviruses - 21 Oct 2016

There is an urgent need for monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies that broadly protect against Ebola virus and other filoviruses. The conserved, essential interaction between the filovirus glycoprotein, GP, and its entry receptor Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) provides an attractive target for such mAbs but is shielded by multiple mechanisms, including physical sequestration in late endosomes. Here, we describe a bispecific-antibody strategy to target this interaction, in which mAbs specific for NPC1 or the GP receptor–binding site are coupled to a mAb against a conserved, surface-exposed GP epitope. Bispecific antibodies, but not parent mAbs, neutralized all known ebolaviruses by coopting viral particles themselves for endosomal delivery and conferred postexposure protection against multiple ebolaviruses in mice. Such “Trojan horse” bispecific antibodies have potential as broad antifilovirus immunotherapeutics. Authors: Anna Z. Wec, Elisabeth K. Nyakatura, Andrew S. Herbert, Katie A. Howell, Frederick W. Holtsberg, Russell R. Bakken, Eva Mittler, John R. Christin, Sergey Shulenin, Rohit K. Jangra, Sushma Bharrhan, Ana I. Kuehne, Zachary A. Bornholdt, Andrew I. Flyak, Erica Ollmann Saphire, James E. Crowe, M. Javad Aman, John M. Dye, Jonathan R. Lai, Kartik Chandran

[This Week in Science] Formaldehyde protects and serves - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Nicholas S. Wigginton

[Report] A pathogenic role for T cell–derived IL-22BP in inflammatory bowel disease - 21 Oct 2016

Intestinal inflammation can impair mucosal healing, thereby establishing a vicious cycle leading to chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the signaling networks driving chronic inflammation remain unclear. Here we report that CD4+ T cells isolated from patients with IBD produce high levels of interleukin-22 binding protein (IL-22BP), the endogenous inhibitor of the tissue-protective cytokine IL-22. Using mouse models, we demonstrate that IBD development requires T cell–derived IL-22BP. Lastly, intestinal CD4+ T cells isolated from IBD patients responsive to treatment with antibodies against tumor necrosis factor–α (anti–TNF-α), the most effective known IBD therapy, exhibited reduced amounts of IL-22BP expression but still expressed IL-22. Our findings suggest that anti–TNF-α therapy may act at least in part by suppressing IL-22BP and point toward a more specific potential therapy for IBD. Authors: Penelope Pelczar, Mario Witkowski, Laura Garcia Perez, Jan Kempski, Anna G. Hammel, Leonie Brockmann, Dörte Kleinschmidt, Sandra Wende, Cathleen Haueis, Tanja Bedke, Marco Witkowski, Susanne Krasemann, Stefan Steurer, Carmen J. Booth, Philipp Busch, Alexandra König, Ursula Rauch, Daniel Benten, Jakob R. Izbicki, Thomas Rösch, Ansgar W. Lohse, Till Strowig, Nicola Gagliani, Richard A. Flavell, Samuel Huber

[This Week in Science] How to turn olefins into nucleophiles - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Jake Yeston

[New Products] New Products - 21 Oct 2016

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

[This Week in Science] Gating a calcium channel - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Valda Vinson

[Working Life] Knocking on opportunity's door - 21 Oct 2016

Author: Diane Shao

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