Science research news Return to previous page
Article Released Sun-27th-February-2011 22:31 GMT
Contact: Ruth Institution: Nature Publishing Group
 Neuroscience: I’m a quitter

Summaries of newsworthy papers - Chemical Biology: Biofuels by bugs; Geoscience: Weakness in the San Andreas Fault

NATURE AND THE NATURE RESEARCH JOURNALS PRESS RELEASE

For papers that will be published online on 27 February 2011

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


This press release contains:

Summaries of newsworthy papers:

Neuroscience: I’m a quitter
Chemical Biology: Biofuels by bugs
Geoscience: Weakness in the San Andreas Fault

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.

Warning: This document, and the Nature journal papers to which it refers, may contain information that is price sensitive (as legally defined, for example, in the UK Criminal Justice Act 1993 Part V) with respect to publicly quoted companies. Anyone dealing in securities using information contained in this document, or in advance copies of a Nature journal’s content, may be guilty of insider trading under the US Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

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/.

HYPE: We take great care not to hype the papers mentioned on our press releases, but are sometimes accused of doing so. If you ever consider that a story has been hyped, please do not hesitate to contact us at press@nature.com, citing the specific example.

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] Neuroscience: I’m a quitter
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2761

Brain responses to personalized messages about smoking-cessation predict how likely someone is to quit smoking four months later, reports a study published this week in Nature Neuroscience. The predictive responses were specifically located in areas of the brain that are activated by thinking about oneself.

Hannah Chua and colleagues studied smokers who participated in a smoking-cessation program. In this program, they were presented with tailored messages that encouraged quitting by making references to the individual’s life, needs, and interests, as well as, to specific obstacles to achieving behavioural change. Functional magnetic resonance imaging during the presentation of these messages showed that activation of the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, an area that is also activated by self-related thinking, was correlated with how likely participants were to have quit smoking four months after the scanning.

Author Contact:
Hannah Faye Chua (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA)
Tel: +1 734 926 1912; E-mail: hchua@umich.edu


[2] Chemical Biology: Biofuels by bugs
DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.537

A strategy to produce greater yield of butanol—a ‘green’ biofuel—using microbes is presented this in a paper published this week in Nature Chemical Biology.

Microbial production of biofuels is critically needed to reduce our dependence on oil. Butanol is produced by some bacteria naturally, but not in large amounts. Scientists have previously used synthetic construction of metabolic pathways through genetic manipulations, to create new routes to this gas alternative. However, the yields have remained low.

Michelle Chang and colleagues considered the role of individual enzymes in the process, and utilized proteins that would be most likely to perform the desired reaction rather than allowing the reverse, undesired reaction. The final process yielded 4.65 grams of butanol per liter, which is equal to a high conversion of 30% of the initial substrate, glucose, into the desired product.

Author contact:
Michelle Chang (University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA)
Tel: +1 510 642 8545; Email: mcchang@berkeley.edu


[3] Geoscience: Weakness in the San Andreas Fault
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1089

The central-California section of the San Andreas Fault creeps rather than generating large earthquakes in sudden slip events because minerals in the fault zone exert only weak friction, suggests a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience. The samples from the fault zone also revealed that, unlike in the surrounding rock, bonds in the material that fills the fault do not heal after rupture, adding to the fault’s weakness.

Brett Carpenter and colleagues analysed samples obtained at 2.7 km depth from an actively slipping part of the San Andreas Fault. The researchers found that both the frictional strength of the fault and the rate of healing varied systematically across the fault zone, and was lowest where the fault creeps at present.

Author contact:
Brett Carpenter (Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, USA)
Tel: +1 814 571 3601; E-mail: bmc245@psu.edu


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

NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY (http://www.nature.com/naturebiotechnology)

[4] Generation of anterior foregut endoderm from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells
DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1788


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

[5] Intrinsic disorder mediates the diverse regulatory functions of the Cdk inhibitor p21
DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.536


NATURE CHEMISTRY (http://www.nature.com/nchem)

[6] Iridium-catalysed direct C–C coupling of methanol and allenes
DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1001


[7] The Jekyll-and-Hyde chemistry of Phaeobacter gallaeciensis
DOI: 10.1038/nchem.1002



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

[8] Mutations in ORC1, encoding the largest subunit of the origin recognition complex, cause microcephalic primordial dwarfism resembling Meier-Gorlin syndrome
DOI: 10.1038/ng.776

[9] Mutations in the pre-replication complex cause Meier-Gorlin syndrome
DOI: 10.1038/ng.775

[10] Mutations in origin recognition complex gene ORC4 cause Meier-Gorlin syndrome
DOI: 10.1038/ng.777

[11] Multiple self-healing squamous epithelioma is caused by a disease-specific spectrum of mutations in TGFBR1
DOI: 10.1038/ng.780


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

[12] Transformation of tectonic and climatic signals from source to sedimentary archive
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1087


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

[13] The helminth product ES-62 protects against septic shock via Toll-like receptor 4–dependent autophagosomal degradation of the adaptor MyD88
DOI: 10.1038/ni.2004

[14] The kinase mTOR regulates the differentiation of helper T cells through the selective activation of signaling by mTORC1 and mTORC2
DOI: 10.1038/ni.2005


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

[15] Bottom-up realization of a porous metal–organic nanotubular assembly
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2963

[16] Nodeless superconducting gap in AxFe2Se2 (A = K, Cs) revealed by angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2981


NATURE MEDICINE (http://www.nature.com/naturemedicine)

[17] Genetic impact of vaccination on breakthrough HIV-1 sequences from the STEP trial
DOI: 10.1038/nm.2316


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

[18] A size-dependent nanoscale metal–insulator transition in random materials
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2011.21

[19] Atomic-scale magnetometry of distant nuclear spin clusters via nitrogen-vacancy spin in diamond
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2011.22


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

[20] Presynaptic HCN1 channels regulate CaV3.2 activity and neurotransmission at select cortical synapses
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2757

[21] MHCI negatively regulates synapse density during the establishment of cortical connections
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2764

[22] Temporally matched subpopulations of selectively interconnected principal neurons in the hippocampus
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2768

[23] Characterising the RNA targets and position-dependent splicing regulation by TDP-43; implications for neurodegenerative diseases
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2778

[24] Long pre-mRNA depletion and RNA missplicing contribute to neuronal vulnerability from loss of TDP-43
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2779


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

[25] Optofluidic modulator based on peristaltic nematogen microflows
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2011.18


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

[26] Heat capacity through the magnetic-field-induced resistive transition in an underdoped high-temperature superconductor
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1921

[27] Time-resolved measurement of spin-transfer-driven ferromagnetic resonance and spin torque in magnetic tunnel junctions
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1928

[28] Dimension of spatially embedded networks
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1932


NATURE STRUCTURAL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (http://www.nature.com/natstructmolbiol)

[29] Structure-function analysis of hRPC62 provides insights into RNA polymerase III transcription initiation
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1996

[30] Histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation and HP1g favor inclusion of alternative exons
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1995


***************************************************************************************************************
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.

CANADA:
Halifax: 10
Montreal: 10
Toronto: 4, 26
Vancouver: 10, 26

CHINA
Hefei: 16
Shanghai: 16

DENMARK
Copenhagen: 11
Odense: 11

FRANCE
Bordeaux: 30
Chalon-sure-Saone: 11
Montpellier: 9
Paris: 29
Pessac: 30
St Aubin: 30

GERMANY
Giessen: 28
Heidelberg: 30

GREECE
Thessaloniki: 28

HONG KONG
Hong Kong: 19

ISRAEL
Ramat Gan: 28

ITALY
Arcavacata di Rende: 25

JAPAN
Chiba: 15
Fukuoka: 15
Hokkaido: 15
Hyogo: 15
Kyoto: 15
Osaka: 15
Okazaki: 16
Sendai: 15
Tokyo: 15

KOREA
Icheon-Si: 18

NETHERLANDS
Nijmegen: 9
Utrecht: 9

NEW ZEALAND
Auckland: 9, 11

SINGAPORE
Singapore: 11, 13

SPAIN
Albacete: 20

SAUDI ARABIA
Dhahan: 8
Jeddah: 9

SWITZERLAND
Basel: 22
Lausanne: 25

UNITED KINGDOM
Aberdeen: 9
Brighton: 8
Cambridge: 11
Dundee: 11
Edinburgh: 8, 9
Glasgow: 13
Liverpool: 9, 13
London: 11, 12, 20
Newcastle: 9
Sheffield: 8

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

California
Berkeley: 2
Davis: 21
Los Angeles: 11
Petaluma: 21
San Francisco: 17
San Jose: 27

Delaware
Wilmington: 8, 9

Florida
Tallahassee: 26

Indiana
West Lafayette: 16

Kansas
Manhattan: 5

Louisiana
Baton Rouge: 10

Maryland
Baltimore: 14
Rockville: 17

Massachusetts
Boston: 7
Waltham: 9

Michigan
Ann Arbor: 1

New Mexico
Los Alamos: 26

New York
Ithaca: 27
New York: 4

Pennsylvania
Philadelphia: 18
University Park: 3
West Point: 17

Tennessee
Memphis: 5

Texas
Austin: 6
Dallas: 8, 9

Utah
Salt Lake City: 9

Washington
Seattle: 17


PRESS CONTACTS…

For media inquiries relating to embargo policy for all the Nature Research Journals:

Rachel Twinn (Nature London)
Tel: +44 20 7843 4658; E-mail: r.twinn@nature.com

Neda Afsarmanesh (Nature New York)
Tel: +1 212 726 9231; E-mail: n.afsarmanesh@us.nature.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 Biotechnology (New York)
Michael Francisco
Tel: +1 212 726 9288; E-mail: biotech@us.nature.com

Nature Cell Biology (London)
Sowmya Swaminathan
Tel: +44 20 7843 4656; E-mail: cellbio@nature.com

Nature Chemical Biology (Boston)
Carrie Meggs
Tel: +1 617 475 9241, E-mail: chembio@us.nature.com

Nature Chemistry (London)
Stuart Cantrill
Tel: +44 20 7014 4018; E-mail: s.cantrill@nature.com

Nature Genetics (New York)
Myles Axton
Tel: +1 212 726 9324; E-mail: natgen@us.nature.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@us.nature.com

Nature Materials (London)
Vincent Dusastre
Tel: +44 20 7843 4531; E-mail: materials@nature.com

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

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

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (New York)
Sabbi Lall
Tel: +1 212 726 9326; E-mail: nsmb@us.nature.com


About Nature Publishing Group (NPG):
Nature Publishing Group (NPG) is a publisher of high impact scientific and medical information in print and online. NPG publishes journals, online databases and services across the life, physical, chemical and applied sciences and clinical medicine.

Focusing on the needs of scientists, Nature (founded in 1869) is the leading weekly, international scientific journal. In addition, for this audience, NPG publishes a range of Nature research journals and Nature Reviews journals, plus a range of prestigious academic journals including society-owned publications. Online, nature.com provides over 5 million visitors per month with access to NPG publications and online databases and services, including Nature News and NatureJobs plus access to Nature Network and Nature Education’s Scitable.com.

Scientific American is at the heart of NPG’s newly-formed consumer media division, meeting the needs of the general public. Founded in 1845, Scientific American is the oldest continuously published magazine in the US and the leading authoritative publication for science in the general media. Together with scientificamerican.com and 15 local language editions around the world it reaches over 3 million consumers and scientists. Other titles include Scientific American Mind and Spektrum der Wissenschaft in Germany.

Throughout all its businesses NPG is dedicated to serving the scientific and medical communities and the wider scientifically interested general public. Part of Macmillan Publishers Limited, NPG is a global company with principal offices in London, New York and Tokyo, and offices in cities worldwide including Boston, Buenos Aires, Delhi, Hong Kong, Madrid, Barcelona, Munich, Heidelberg, Basingstoke, Melbourne, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul and Washington DC. For more information, please go to www.nature.com.

Associated links

Keywords associated to this article: Nature, NPG, neuroscience, smoking, biofuel, butanol, san andreas fault,
Create Account...