You are hereFeed aggregator

Feed aggregator


Brexit vote highlights lack of leaving plan

Nature - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 00:00

Brexit vote highlights lack of leaving plan

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/534589a

Scientists — just like everybody else — have little idea what will happen now that the United Kingdom has voted to exit the European Union.

Categories: Literature

Gene-therapy trials must proceed with caution

Nature - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 00:00

Gene-therapy trials must proceed with caution

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/534590a

The perils of the past must not be allowed to happen again

Categories: Literature

Stop teaching Indians to copy and paste

Nature - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 00:00

Stop teaching Indians to copy and paste

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/534591a

Author: Anurag Chaurasia

Major reform of education in India should encourage original thinking to boost the nation's research, argues Anurag Chaurasia.

Categories: Literature

UK scientists in limbo after Brexit shock

Nature - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 00:00

UK scientists in limbo after Brexit shock

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/534597a

Authors: Alison Abbott, Daniel Cressey & Richard Van Noorden

Researchers organize to lobby for science as country prepares for life outside the EU.

Categories: Literature

NASA’s Juno spacecraft prepares to probe Jupiter’s mysteries

Nature - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 00:00

NASA’s Juno spacecraft prepares to probe Jupiter’s mysteries

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/534599a

Author: Alexandra Witze

The mission will peek through the gas giant’s swirling clouds in search of a planetary core.

Categories: Literature

Why ultra-powerful radio bursts are the most perplexing mystery in astronomy

Nature - Tue, 06/28/2016 - 00:00

Why ultra-powerful radio bursts are the most perplexing mystery in astronomy

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). http://www.nature.com/doifinder/10.1038/534610a

Author: Elizabeth Gibney

Strange signals are bombarding Earth. But where are they coming from?

Categories: Literature

Abandoned Coal Mines Emit As Much CO2 as a Small Power Plant

Yale Environment 360 - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 11:02

Thousands of abandoned coal mines dot the U.S. landscape, vestiges of old fossil fuel boomtowns and industrial hubs.

An abandoned coal mine in Ashland, Penn. But despite no longer producing coal, these sites are still contributing to climate change by leaking carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to a recent study by scientists at West Virginia University. The total amount of CO2 released annually by 140 abandoned sites in Pennsylvania is equal to that “of a small coal-fired power plant,” says the study, published in Environmental Earth Sciences. CO2 is created when sulfuric acid generated during the mining process interacts with carbonate rocks. It is then carried to the surface in runoff water. “Although considerable research has been conducted regarding the environmental legacy of abandoned mine lands, their role in carbon cycling is poorly [understood],” wrote the scientists. The findings “suggest that these waters may be important to carbon cycling on a regional scale.”

Categories: Environmental News

Can Virtual Reality Emerge As a Tool for Conservation?

Yale Environment 360 - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 07:30

New advances in technology are sparking efforts to use virtual reality to help people gain a deeper appreciation of environmental challenges. VR experiences, researchers say, can be especially useful in conveying key issues that are slow to develop, such as climate change and extinction. BY HEATHER MILLAR

Categories: Environmental News

Make climate-change assessments more relevant

Nature - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 00:00

Make climate-change assessments more relevant

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/534613a

Authors: Stéphane Hallegatte & Katharine J. Mach

Stéphane Hallegatte, Katharine J. Mach and colleagues urge researchers to gear their studies, and the way they present their results, to the needs of policymakers.

Categories: Literature

Policy: Social-progress panel seeks public comment

Nature - Mon, 06/27/2016 - 00:00

Policy: Social-progress panel seeks public comment

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/534616a

Authors: Marc Fleurbaey, Olivier Bouin, Marie-Laure Djelic, Ravi Kanbur, Cécile Laborde, Helga Nowotny, Elisa Reis, Elke Weber, Michel Wieviorka & Xiaobo Zhang

Marc Fleurbaey and colleagues explain why and how 300 scholars in the social sciences and humanities are collaborating to synthesize knowledge for policymakers.

Categories: Literature

Cities on Six Continents Join Forces to Combat Climate Change

Yale Environment 360 - Fri, 06/24/2016 - 10:32

Mayors from more than 7,100 cities on six continents announced this week that they are creating a new alliance to fight climate change at the local level.

New York City The new group — a merger of the European Union-based Covenant of Mayors and the United Nations-backed Compact of Mayors — represents a combined 600 million people in 119 countries. The initiative aims to set city-based CO2 emissions cuts, build sustainable communities, and foster the sharing of resiliency policies and technologies. “Cities are key to solving the climate change challenge,” former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Maroš Šefčovič, vice-president of the European Commission, wrote in The Guardian. “They account for most of the world’s carbon emissions, and mayors often have control over the largest sources. Cities can also act quickly to confront climate change, without the political and bureaucratic hurdles that often hold back national governments.”

Categories: Environmental News

Unable to Endure Rising Seas, Alaskan Villages Stuck in Limbo

Yale Environment 360 - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:30

A number of Alaska Native villages have been impacted so severely by sea-level rise and other climate-induced threats, they have decided to relocate.

Robin Bronen But there is no U.S. agency designated to help pay for and implement an entire community’s move. Robin Bronen, a senior scientist with The Institute of Arctic Biology at the University of Alaska, says that’s a huge problem. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she explains that because there is no government process to facilitate such relocations, none of these villages have been able to move, despite their resolve to do so. And in a bureaucratic Catch-22, these communities no longer receive the infrastructure repair funds they were once entitled to. Pointing to future sea level rise along U.S. coasts, Bronen says that “if we don't figure out how to create this relocation institutional framework, we're talking about humanitarian crises for millions of people living in the United States.”
Read the interview.

Categories: Environmental News

Unable to Endure Rising Seas, Alaskan Villages Stuck in Limbo

Yale Environment 360 - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 07:28

As an advocate for Alaska’s Native communities, Robin Bronen points to a bureaucratic Catch-22 — villages cannot get government support to relocate in the face of climate-induced threats, but they are no longer receiving funds to repair their crumbling infrastructure. BY DIANE TOOMEY

Categories: Environmental News

Scientists Discover Contagious Cancer in More Species of Shellfish

Yale Environment 360 - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 01:30

Last year, scientists discovered a type of contagious cancer in soft-shell clams in which free-floating cells transmitted the disease from one animal to another.

Mussels Now, a team of Columbia University researchers is reporting that contagious cancers in the ocean may be more common than previously thought and can not only jump from animal to animal, but across species. According to the new study published in Nature, the leukemia-like cancer, known as disseminated neoplasia, has been found in three more species of bivalves: mussels, cockles, and golden carpet shell clams. The cancer cells were genetically distinct from their hosts, indicating they originated elsewhere. Transmissible cancer had previously been found in Tasmanian devils and dogs, but there’s no indication that humans are at risk. “I would only worry deeply if I was a mollusk,” Stephen P. Goff, a molecular biologist at Columbia University and co-author of the study, told The New York Times.

Categories: Environmental News

New NASA Visualization <br > Illustrates Severity of Recent Texas Floods

Yale Environment 360 - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 11:16

Texas experienced record flooding earlier this month after two weeks of near-constant storms dumped heavy rain on the eastern part of the state.

Rainfall accumulation during recent Texas floods. As much as 30 inches of rain fell, causing thousands of residents from Dallas to Houston to evacuate, 15 deaths, and billions of dollars in damage. Now, NASA’s Scientific Visualization Studio has released a video illustrating rainfall accumulation in the U.S. from May 27 to June 9, highlighting just how severe and protracted the Texas storms were. Warmer air holds more moisture, so as temperatures have risen in recent decades, Texas has experienced more severe flooding. Houston, for example, has seen a 167 percent increase in the heaviest downpours since the 1950s. Five major floods have occurred in the Houston area in the past year.

Categories: Environmental News

Cancer: Transmissible tumours under the sea

Nature - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 00:00

Cancer: Transmissible tumours under the sea

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/nature18455

Authors: Elizabeth P. Murchison

In some species, cancer cells can be directly transmitted between individuals. An analysis in shellfish now shows that some transmissible cancers can even cross the species barrier. See Letter p.705

Categories: Literature

A combinatorial strategy for treating KRAS-mutant lung cancer

Nature - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 00:00

A combinatorial strategy for treating KRAS-mutant lung cancer

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/nature18600

Authors: Eusebio Manchado, Susann Weissmueller, John P. Morris, Chi-Chao Chen, Ramona Wullenkord, Amaia Lujambio, Elisa de Stanchina, John T. Poirier, Justin F. Gainor, Ryan B. Corcoran, Jeffrey A. Engelman, Charles M. Rudin, Neal Rosen & Scott W. Lowe

Therapeutic targeting of KRAS-mutant lung adenocarcinoma represents a major goal of clinical oncology. KRAS itself has proved difficult to inhibit, and the effectiveness of agents that target key KRAS effectors has been thwarted by activation of compensatory or parallel pathways that limit their efficacy as

Categories: Literature

Rates and mechanisms of bacterial mutagenesis from maximum-depth sequencing

Nature - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 00:00

Rates and mechanisms of bacterial mutagenesis from maximum-depth sequencing

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/nature18313

Authors: Justin Jee, Aviram Rasouly, Ilya Shamovsky, Yonatan Akivis, Susan R. Steinman, Bud Mishra & Evgeny Nudler

In 1943, Luria and Delbrück used a phage-resistance assay to establish spontaneous mutation as a driving force of microbial diversity. Mutation rates are still studied using such assays, but these can only be used to examine the small minority of mutations conferring survival in a particular condition. Newer approaches, such as long-term evolution followed by whole-genome sequencing, may be skewed by mutational ‘hot’ or ‘cold’ spots. Both approaches are affected by numerous caveats. Here we devise a method, maximum-depth sequencing (MDS), to detect extremely rare variants in a population of cells through error-corrected, high-throughput sequencing. We directly measure locus-specific mutation rates in Escherichia coli and show that they vary across the genome by at least an order of magnitude. Our data suggest that certain types of nucleotide misincorporation occur 104-fold more frequently than the basal rate of mutations, but are repaired in vivo. Our data also suggest specific mechanisms of antibiotic-induced mutagenesis, including downregulation of mismatch repair via oxidative stress, transcription–replication conflicts, and, in the case of fluoroquinolones, direct damage to DNA.

Categories: Literature

Widespread transmission of independent cancer lineages within multiple bivalve species

Nature - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 00:00

Widespread transmission of independent cancer lineages within multiple bivalve species

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/nature18599

Authors: Michael J. Metzger, Antonio Villalba, María J. Carballal, David Iglesias, James Sherry, Carol Reinisch, Annette F. Muttray, Susan A. Baldwin & Stephen P. Goff

Most cancers arise from oncogenic changes in the genomes of somatic cells, and while the cells may migrate by metastasis, they remain within that single individual. Natural transmission of cancer cells from one individual to another has been observed in two distinct cases in mammals (Tasmanian devils and dogs), but these are generally considered to be rare exceptions in nature. The discovery of transmissible cancer in soft-shell clams (Mya arenaria) suggested that this phenomenon might be more widespread. Here we analyse disseminated neoplasia in mussels (Mytilus trossulus), cockles (Cerastoderma edule), and golden carpet shell clams (Polititapes aureus) and find that neoplasias in all three species are attributable to independent transmissible cancer lineages. In mussels and cockles, the cancer lineages are derived from their respective host species; however, unexpectedly, cancer cells in P. aureus are all derived from Venerupis corrugata, a different species living in the same geographical area. No cases of disseminated neoplasia have thus far been found in V. corrugata from the same region. These findings show that transmission of cancer cells in the marine environment is common in multiple species, that it has originated many times, and that while most transmissible cancers are found spreading within the species of origin, cross-species transmission of cancer cells can occur.

Categories: Literature

Mitochondrial unfolded protein response controls matrix pre-RNA processing and translation

Nature - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 00:00

Mitochondrial unfolded protein response controls matrix pre-RNA processing and translation

Nature 534, 7609 (2016). doi:10.1038/nature18302

Authors: Christian Münch & J. Wade Harper

The mitochondrial matrix is unique in that it must integrate the folding and assembly of proteins derived from the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. In Caenorhabditis elegans, the mitochondrial unfolded protein response (UPRmt) senses matrix protein misfolding and induces a program of nuclear gene expression, including mitochondrial chaperonins, to promote mitochondrial proteostasis. While misfolded mitochondrial-matrix-localized ornithine transcarbamylase induces chaperonin expression, our understanding of mammalian UPRmt is rudimentary, reflecting a lack of acute triggers for UPRmt activation. This limitation has prevented analysis of the cellular responses to matrix protein misfolding and the effects of UPRmt on mitochondrial translation to control protein folding loads. Here we combine pharmacological inhibitors of matrix-localized HSP90/TRAP1 (ref. 8) or LON protease, which promote chaperonin expression, with global transcriptional and proteomic analysis to reveal an extensive and acute response of human cells to UPRmt. This response encompasses widespread induction of nuclear genes, including matrix-localized proteins involved in folding, pre-RNA processing and translation. Functional studies revealed rapid but reversible translation inhibition in mitochondria occurring concurrently with defects in pre-RNA processing caused by transcriptional repression and LON-dependent turnover of the mitochondrial pre-RNA processing nuclease MRPP3 (ref. 10). This study reveals that acute mitochondrial protein folding stress activates both increased chaperone availability within the matrix and reduced matrix-localized protein synthesis through translational inhibition, and provides a framework for further dissection of mammalian UPRmt.

Categories: Literature

Secondary Links