Nature Communications
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Researchers have developed tiny nanoparticles that help convert carbon dioxide into methane using only ultraviolet light as an energy source. Their work is described in Nature Communications this week.

Product selectivity in plasmonic photocatalysis for carbon dioxide hydrogenation
Nature Communications
02/23/2017 at 06:00. Facebook
Stress-response genes controlled by the circadian clock are shown to be up-regulated in old fruit flies in a study published in Nature Communications. The new finding sheds light on how the circadian clock might protect organisms during aging.

Circadian deep sequencing reveals stress-response genes that adopt robust rhythmic expression during aging
Problematic drug use at the age of 16 can be predicted by the way the brain responds to reward anticipation at the age of 14, shows a study published in Nature Communications.

Blunted ventral striatal responses to anticipated rewards foreshadow problematic drug use in novelty-seeking adolescents
Nature Communications
02/22/2017 at 17:00. Facebook
Genomic analyses of a complex prehistoric society from New Mexico suggest that elite status was passed down through the maternal line. The study, published in Nature Communications, infers ancient familial, hierarchical relationships from DNA and sheds light on the cultural origins of hereditary leadership.

Archaeogenomic evidence reveals prehistoric matrilineal dynasty
Nature Communications
02/22/2017 at 09:56. Facebook
Market integration and diversification, processes that increase the interaction between banks, may drive the financial system towards instability, reports a study in Nature Communications.

Pathways towards instability in financial networks
The 2015/16 El Niño event drove unprecedented levels of erosion along much of the west coast of the United States, making it one of the most powerful El Niño events of the past 145 years, according to a study published in Nature Communications.

Extreme oceanographic forcing and coastal response due to the 2015–2016 El Niño
The number of alien species is increasing globally, and does not show any sign of saturation, according to paper published in Nature Communications. The study highlights that past efforts to mitigate invasions have not been effective enough to keep up with increasing globalization.

No saturation in the accumulation of alien species worldwide
The correction of muscle defects in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy is demonstrated using novel applications of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene therapy system. The research, reported in Nature Communications, expands the gene therapy toolbox to target a wider range of genetic defects causing this disorder.

Muscle-specific CRISPR/Cas9 dystrophin gene editing ameliorates pathophysiology in a mouse model for Duchenne muscular dystrophy
A fossil of a pregnant reptile from approximately 245 million years ago is described in Nature Communications. This discovery indicates that this archosauromorph reptile, which belongs to the same group as dinosaurs, birds and crocodilians, gave birth to live young rather than laying eggs.

Live birth in an archosauromorph reptile
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Hepatocytes are highly specialized cells and their fate is determined by their position in the liver lobule as either periportal or pericentral hepatocytes, which display metabolic and functional heterogeneity. In this work the authors show through genetic lineage tracing with fluorescent reporter genes that periportal hepatocytes can proliferate and reprogram into...
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A series of unusually cold years in the New Zealand region is responsible for the country’s advancing glaciers, according to a Nature Communications study. Although this sequence of climate variability and its effect on New Zealand glaciers is unusual, it remains consistent with a climate system that is being modified by humans.

Regional cooling caused recent New Zealand glacier advances in a period of global warming
Humans generally acclimatize faster to high altitudes upon re-ascent, compared with the first ascent, because red blood cells “remember” the previous ascent and are able to adapt quickly, reports a study in Nature Communications this week.

Erythrocytes retain hypoxic adenosine response for faster acclimatization upon re-ascent
DNA and genealogical information from over 700,000 individuals paint a detailed picture of the patterns of migration and settlement in post-colonial USA. The analysis, published in Nature Communications, shows levels of population structure which have previously been difficult to determine.

Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America
Researchers have developed soft and flexible robots made of hydrogel - a material composed mostly of water - that can perform functions including swimming and catching a live fish. The robots are described in Nature Communications: [ Link ]
Evidence for the preservation of collagen within a 195-million-year-old dinosaur bone is presented in a study published in Nature Communications. This finding extends the record of protein preservation by over 100 million years from previous studies.

Evidence of preserved collagen in an Early Jurassic sauropodomorph dinosaur revealed by synchrotron FTIR microspectroscopy
The discovery of three-billion-year-old minerals from under the island of Mauritius is presented in Nature Communications. This finding provides evidence for the presence of ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius, which would have been part of the continent ‘Mauritia’.

Archaean zircons in Miocene oceanic hotspot rocks establish ancient continental crust beneath Mauritius
Biologists have identified a brain hormone that appears to trigger fat burning in the gut. Their findings in animal models, reported in Nature Communications, could have implications for future pharmaceutical development.

A tachykinin-like neuroendocrine signalling axis couples central serotonin action and nutrient sensing with peripheral lipid metabolism
Paper wasps invest less in helping the colony when other nest or colony options are available, finds a study in Nature Communications. Nests are a limiting resource for the wasps and form the basis of a biological market that resembles an economic market with forces of supply and demand acting upon certain commodities.

Market forces influence helping behaviour in cooperatively breeding paper wasps
A swarm of robots capable of studying detailed ocean dynamics are described in Nature Communications. The small, autonomous robots can record 3D movements of water that have been difficult to measure using traditional instruments. Read the paper here: [ Link ]
An asteroid bombardment that was previously thought to have triggered an explosion of marine animal diversity around 471 million years ago (the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event) has been ruled out as the cause in a new study published in Nature Communications.

Refined Ordovician timescale reveals no link between asteroid breakup and biodiversification