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Article Released Sun-3rd-August-2008 22:21 GMT
Contact: Ruth Institution: Nature Publishing Group
 Timing rapid climate change

Summaries of newsworthy papers include Immunology: Avoiding attack when not stressed and Methods: Sex in bacteria for genome-wide interaction screens

NATURE RESEARCH JOURNALS PRESS RELEASE

For papers that will be published online on 01 August 2008

This press release is copyrighted to the Nature journals mentioned below.

This press release contains:

· Summaries of newsworthy papers:

Geoscience: Timing rapid climate change

Immunology: Avoiding attack when not stressed

Methods: Sex in bacteria for genome-wide interaction screens

· Mention of papers to be published at the same time with the same embargo

· Geographical listing of authors

PDFs of all the papers mentioned on this release can be found in the relevant journal’s section of http://press.nature.com. Press contacts for the Nature journals are listed at the end of this release.

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PICTURES: To obtain artwork from any of the journals, you must first obtain permission from the copyright holder (if named) or author of the research paper in question (if not).

NOTE: Once a paper is published, the digital object identifier (DOI) number can be used to retrieve the abstract and full text from the journal web site (abstracts are available to everyone, full text is available only to subscribers). To do this, add the DOI to the following URL: http://dx.doi.org/ (For example, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng730). For more information about DOIs and Advance Online Publication, see http://www.nature.com/ng/aop/.

PLEASE CITE THE SPECIFIC NATURE JOURNAL AND WEBSITE AS THE SOURCE OF THE FOLLOWING ITEMS. IF PUBLISHING ONLINE, PLEASE CARRY A HYPERLINK TO THE APPROPRIATE JOURNAL’S WEBSITE.

[1] Geoscience: Timing rapid climate change
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo263

The onset of the Younger Dryas, a brief cold period in Western Europe 12,700 years ago, occurred over the course of a single year, reports a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience. The study suggests that the cold, stormy conditions were the result of an abrupt shift in atmospheric circulation over Europe.

Achim Brauer and colleagues studied varved sediments from a German crater lake. Each varve records a single year, allowing annual climate records from the region surrounding the lake to be reconstructed. The team found that from one year to the next, formation of an iron mineral in the sediments abruptly stopped. They link this to an increase in wind strength and storminess across Europe.

Today, westerly winds bring relatively warm moist air, heating Western Europe. The researchers conclude that during the Younger Dryas the westerlies instead brought cold air from the north, freezing the continent.

Author contact:
Achim Brauer (GeoForschungs Zentrum, Potsdam, Germany)
Tel: +49 331 288 1334; E-mail: brau@gfz-potsdam.de


[2] Immunology: Avoiding attack when not stressed
DOI: 10.1038/ni.1642

Healthy cells express a panel of microRNAs that help avoid unwanted recognition and attack from the immune system. A study online in Nature Immunology this week explains this process, and suggests the same mechanism may also help tumours to go undetected.

MICA and MICB proteins—upregulated in times of stress such as a viral infection—are recognized by the receptor NKG2D expressed on immune cells. Detection of these stress-induced proteins by these cells triggers an immune response that clears the source of stress. Viruses can evade this immune response using short stretches of RNA called microRNAs that suppress MICA and MICB expression.

Ofer Mandelboim and colleagues show that, like viruses, healthy non-stressed human cells also express microRNAs designed to dampen MICA and MICB expression. This allows healthy cells to escape detection by the immune system. Compared to healthy tissues, many human tumours express excessive amounts of these microRNAs. Importantly, this might also help tumours escape recognition by the immune system.

Author contact:
Ofer Mandelboim (The Hebrew University Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem, Israel)
Tel: +972 2 6757 515/6; E-mail: oferm@ekmd.huji.ac.il


[3] & [4] Methods: Sex in bacteria for genome-wide interaction screens
DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1239
DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1240

Two papers describing techniques for genome-wide genetic interaction screens in bacteria are published online this week in Nature Methods.

Genes do not function in isolation— the extent to which the function of one gene depends on that of another can be very informative, and is typically studied by examining double mutants for any two genes. When carried out at genome-wide scale, with many combinations of double mutants, such an approach can yield immense insight into the biology of the organism under study.

Two independent groups present, for the first time, methods to make genome-wide double mutants in the classical model bacterium E. coli. The methods, presented by Andrew Emili, Jack Greenblatt and colleagues, and Carol Gross, Nevan Krogan and colleagues, are conceptually very similar. They both make use of perhaps the most classic method of all, bacterial sex or conjugation, in which genetic material is physically transferred between bacteria. Using robotics to allow mating of multiple mutant strains in parallel, both research groups demonstrate that precise and informative combinations of double mutants can reliably be generated genome-wide.

These methods set the stage for rapid progress in understanding the function of all genes and gene networks in E. coli as well as in other bacterial species.

Author contacts:
Andrew Emili (University of Toronto, ON, Canada) Author paper [3]
Tel: +1 416 946 7281, E-mail: andrew.emili@utoronto.ca

Jack Greenblatt (University of Toronto, ON, Canada) Co-author paper [3]
Tel: +1 416 978 5863, E-mail: jack.Greenblatt@utoronto.ca

Carol Gross (University of California at San Francisco, CA, USA) Author paper [4]
Tel: +1 415 476 4161, E-mail: cgross@cgl.ucsf.edu

Nevan Krogan (University of California at San Francisco, CA, USA) Co-author paper [4]
Tel: +1 415 476 3068, E-mail: krogan@cmp.ucsf.edu

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Items from other Nature journals to be published online at the same time and with the same embargo:

NATURE CELL BIOLOGY (http://www.nature.com/naturecellbiology)

[5] A ribosomal protein L23-nucleophosmin circuit coordinates Miz-1 function with cell growth
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1764

[6] Epigenetic control of polyamines by the prion [PSI+]
DOI: 10.1038/ncb1766

NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY (http://www.nature.com/nchembio)

[7] Biomimetic synthesis of the IDO inhibitors exiguamine A and B
DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.107

NATURE GENETICS (http://www.nature.com/naturegenetics)

[8] Genetic variants near TNFAIP3 on 6q23 are associated with systemic lupus erythematosus
DOI: 10.1038/ng.200

[9] Multiple polymorphisms in the TNFAIP3 region are independently associated with systemic lupus erythematosus
DOI: 10.1038/ng.202

[10] Pathological responses to oncogenic Hedgehog signaling in skin are dependent on canonical Wnt/beta-catenin signaling
DOI: 10.1038/ng.192

[11] ADAMTSL2 mutations in geleophysic dysplasia demonstrate a role for ADAMTS-like proteins in TGF-beta bioavailability regulation
DOI: 10.1038/ng.199

[12] Max-independent functions of Myc in Drosophila melanogaster
DOI: 10.1038/ng.178

NATURE GEOSCIENCE (http://www.nature.com/ngeo)

[13] Large heat and fluid fluxes driven through mid-plate outcrops on ocean crust
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo264

NATURE IMMUNOLOGY (http://www.nature.com/natureimmunology)

[14] The kinase p38alpha serves cell type–specific inflammatory functions in skin injury and coordinates pro- and anti-inflammatory gene expression
DOI 10.1038/ni.1640

NATURE MATERIALS (http://www.nature.com/naturematerials)

[15] Direct fabrication of metavanadate phosphor films on organic substrates for white-light-emitting devices
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2244

NATURE METHODS (http://www.nature.com/nmeth)

[16] Image dynamic cell-cell junctional coupling in vivo using Trojan-LAMP
DOI:10.1038/nmeth.1238

NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY (http://www.nature.com/nnano)

[17] Highly conducting graphene sheets and Langmuir–Blodgett films
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2008.210

Nature NEUROSCIENCE (http://www.nature.com/natureneuroscience)

[18] Psychophysical and neurometric detection performance under stimulus uncertainty
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2162

[19] Neural repetition suppression reflects fulfilled perceptual expectations
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2163

[20] A subset of octopaminergic neurons are important for Drosophila aggression
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2164

[21] Prefrontal cortex AMPA receptor plasticity is critical for cue-induced relapse to heroin seeking
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2165

NATURE PHOTONICS (http://www.nature.com/nphoton)

[22] Massively parallel X-ray holography
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2008.154

Nature PHYSICS (http://www.nature.com/naturephysics)

[23] Observation of Bogoliubov excitations in exciton-polariton condensates
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1034

[24] Dynamic light diffusion, three-dimensional Anderson localization and lasing in inverted opals
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1035

***************************************************************************************************************
GEOGRAPHICAL LISTING OF AUTHORS

The following list of places refers to the whereabouts of authors on the papers numbered in this release. The listing may be for an author's main affiliation, or for a place where they are working temporarily. Please see the PDF of the paper for full details.

AUSTRALIA
Waterloo: 3

CANADA:
Montreal: 8
Sydney: 13
Toronto: 3, 8
Vancouver: 7

CHINA
Beijing: 17, 20

DENMARK
Copenhagen: 5

FRANCE
Bobigny: 11
Paris: 6, 11, 19
Strasbourg: 11

GERMANY
Bremen: 13
Hamburg: 22
Hannover: 13
Marburg: 5
Munich: 7
Potsdam: 1
Tubingen: 18
Wurzburg: 23

ISRAEL
Jerusalem: 2
Ramat Gan: 2

ITALY
Milan: 5
Rome: 24

JAPAN
Chiba: 15
Kanagawa: 23
Nara: 3, 4
Osaka: 14
Tokyo: 6, 23
Tsukuba: 15

NETHERLANDS
Amsterdam: 21

SPAIN
Barcelona: 14

SWEDEN
Uppsala: 22

SWITZERLAND
Zurich: 1, 12

TAHITI
Papeete: 11

UNITED KINGDOM
Dundee: 14
London: 8, 14

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

Arizona
Tempe: 22

California
Berkeley: 3, 7, 22
Davis: 9
Livermore: 22
Los Angeles: 11
Menlo Park: 22
San Francisco: 4, 8, 9
Santa Cruz: 13
Stanford: 17, 23

Illinois
Chicago: 13, 19

Indiana
West Lafayette: 3, 4

Maryland
Baltimore: 9
Bethesda: 14

Massachusetts
Boston: 8
Cambridge: 8
Charlestown: 14

Michigan
Ann Arbor: 10

Minnesota
Minneapolis: 8

New Jersey
Princeton: 1, 22

New Mexico
Socorro: 13

New York
Buffalo: 10
Manhasset: 9

Ohio
Cleveland: 11

Oklahoma
Oklahoma City: 8

Oregon
Corvallis: 13

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia: 10
Pittsburgh: 9
University Park: 10

Tennessee
Nashville: 10

Texas
College Station: 4
Dallas: 16

Wisconsin
Madison: 11

PRESS CONTACTS…

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Tel: +44 20 7843 4658; E-mail: r.twinn@nature.com

Katherine Anderson (Nature New York)
Tel: +1 212 726 9231; E-mail: k.anderson@natureny.com

Ruth Francis (Head of Press, Nature, London)
Tel: +44 20 7843 4562; E-mail: r.francis@nature.com

For media inquiries relating to editorial content/policy for the Nature Research Journals, please contact the journals individually:

Nature Cell Biology (London)
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Nature Chemical Biology (Boston)
Andrea Garvey
Tel: +1 617 475 9241, E-mail: chembio@boston.nature.com

Nature Genetics (New York)
Orli Bahcall
Tel: +1 212 726 9311; E-mail: natgen@natureny.com

Nature Geoscience (London)
Heike Langenberg
Tel: +44 20 7843 4042; E-mail: h.langenberg@nature.com

Nature Immunology (New York)
Laurie Dempsey
Tel: +1 212 726 9372; E-mail: immunology@natureny.com

Nature Materials (London)
Alison Stoddart
Tel: +44 20 7843 4593; E-mail: materials@nature.com

Nature Medicine (New York)
Juan Carlos Lopez
Tel: +1 212 726 9325; E-mail: medicine@natureny.com

Nature Methods (New York)
Hugh Ash
Tel: +1 212 726 9627; E-mail: methods@natureny.com

Nature Nanotechnology (London)
Peter Rodgers
Tel: +44 20 7014 4019; Email: p.rodgers@nature.com

Nature Neuroscience (New York)
Kalyani Narasimhan
Tel: +1 212 726 9319; E-mail: neurosci@natureny.com

Nature Photonics (Tokyo)
Oliver Graydon
Tel: +81 3 3267 8776; E-mail: o.graydon@natureasia.com

Nature Physics (London)
Alison Wright
Tel: +44 20 7843 4555; E-mail: a.wright@nature.com

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Keywords associated to this article: geoscience, immunology, methods
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