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Indirect costs: Keeping the lights on
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/515326a
Author: Heidi Ledford
Every year, the US government gives research institutions billions of dollars towards infrastructure and administrative support. A Nature investigation reveals who is benefiting most.
Data-access practices strengthened
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515312a
In our continued drive for reproducibility, Nature and the Nature research journals are strengthening our editorial links with the journal Scientific Data and enhancing our data-availability practices. We believe that this initiative will improve support for authors looking for appropriate public repositories for
Openness in science is key to keeping public trust
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/515313a
Author: Mark Yarborough
Silence stifles progress, says Mark Yarborough. The scientific enterprise needs a transparent culture that actively finds and fixes problems.
Photonics: Twisty light sends images across Vienna
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515314a
Beams of light twisted into a corkscrew shape have carried data more than 3 kilometres over Vienna's skyline in an effort to increase the information-carrying capacity of electromagnetic waves.Adding orbital angular momentum (OAM) to laser beams — when fluctuations of light waves are staggered
Cancer genetics: Exploding DNA goes back together
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515314b
The mysterious giant chromosomes found in some cancers are formed when DNA shatters and recombines.Neochromosomes are made up of pieces of the 46 chromosomes that each human cell normally carries. To study how they form, a team led by Anthony Papenfuss at the Walter
Biotechnology: Mind manipulates gene expression
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515314c
Human brain activity has been harnessed to control gene expression in mice.Martin Fussenegger at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and his colleagues created a small, implantable cartridge containing human cells engineered to produce a protein called SEAP when exposed to light.
Animal behaviour: Eyespots shift predators' attack
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515314d
Eye-shaped markings at the edges of butterfly wings stop predators from striking vital body parts.Kathleen Prudic, now at Oregon State University in Corvallis, and her team let praying mantids (Tenodera sinensis) feed on Bicyclus anynana butterflies, which have small, drab eyespots
Materials: Molecular fan opens under light
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515314e
Researchers have constructed micrometre-sized, stacked layers that slide open like a folding fan when illuminated.Yanke Che and his colleagues at the Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences created thin, ribbon-like structures up to one micrometre wide.The ribbons are composed of multiple layers, each
Conservation genetics: Leopard-skin origins traced
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515315a
DNA analysis can reveal the origins of products from endangered species, which could help to curb illegal trade.Such goods are often seized far from their origins, making it hard to know where to focus enforcement. Samrat Mondol of the National Centre for Biological Sciences
Microbiology: Beware tainted microbe studies
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515315b
DNA contamination is ubiquitous in laboratory reagents commonly used to analyse the microbes that inhabit the human body.Susannah Salter at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK, Alan Walker at the University of Aberdeen, UK, and their colleagues used off-the-shelf DNA-extraction kits and
Astronomy: Merged stars dodge black hole
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515315c
A mysterious cloud-like object that survived a close encounter with a black hole might be a merged pair of stars.Andrea Ghez of the University of California in Los Angeles and her team used the Keck telescopes on Mauna Kea in Hawaii to observe the
Climate science: Water vapour predicts flooding
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515315d
Streams of concentrated water vapour in the atmosphere could be used to predict flooding in Europe more accurately than rainfall does.A team led by David Lavers of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts in Reading, UK, looked at forecasts from last winter, when
Unusual reference attracts notoriety
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515315e
An editorial oversight has turned a report on fish pigmentation into one of the year's most talked-about papers. The study of poeciliid fishes, first published online in July by the journal Ethology (Z. W. Culumber et al. Ethology120, 1090–1100; 2014),
Seven days: 14–20 November
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/515316a
The week in science: China and United States announce plans to cut emissions; European Commission scraps chief science adviser post; and pharma firm Actavis announces a US$66-billion takeover.
Crisis mappers turn to citizen scientists
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/515321a
Author: Mark Zastrow
Crowdsourced disaster surveys strive for more reliability in online collaboration.
Developing world: Far-flung physics
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/515330a
Author: Katia Moskvitch
The International Centre for Theoretical Physics was set up to seed science in the developing world; 100,000 researchers later, it is still growing.
Air pollution: Clean up our skies
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515335a
Authors: Julia Schmale, Drew Shindell, Erika von Schneidemesser, Ilan Chabay & Mark Lawrence
Improve air quality and mitigate climate-change simultaneously, urge Julia Schmale and colleagues.
Climate forecasting: Build high-resolution global climate models
Nature 515, 7527 (2014). doi:10.1038/515338a
Author: Tim Palmer
International supercomputing centres dedicated to climate prediction are needed to reduce uncertainties in global warming, says Tim Palmer.