Oceanic uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide depends on climatically sensitive physical factors, such as winds and ocean currents, reports a study published online in Nature Geoscience this week.
This press release contains:
· Summaries of newsworthy papers:
Medicine: Therapeutic vaccine for renal cell cancer
Climate Change: Increased arctic wetting
Immunology: Devious DNA diversion in tumor immunity
Geoscience: Marine carbon capture
Geoscience: Long landslides on Saturn’s moon
Genetics: New cause of childhood blindness
Geoscience: Sink suppression
And finally…Materials: Hairy sensors
· Geographical listing of authors
 Medicine: Therapeutic vaccine for renal cell cancer
Patients with advanced renal cell cancer (RCC), expressing a specific type of antigen, respond favorably to IMA901, which is the first therapeutic multipeptide vaccine for the disease, reports a study published in Nature Medicine this week.
Therapeutic vaccines differ from traditional preventative vaccines in that they are not administered prior to the disease, but as a means of delivering medication to those suffering from a disease. The development of therapeutic cancer vaccines has remained a challenge as there are gaps in our knowledge on several crucial issues, such as appropriate tumor antigens to target or biomarkers to predict patient’s response to therapy.
Using tissue samples from RCC patients expressing the human leukocyte antigen HLA-A on their cancer cells, Harpreet Singh-Jasuja and colleagues identified multiple specific peptides from which they developed a vaccine. The vaccine, IMA901, elicits an immune response specifically in RCC patients who express these antigens. In a phase 1 study, IMA901 vaccine induced multiple T cell immune responses that were associated with low numbers of T regulatory cells, which normally suppress immune responses. The authors also found that patients who were given a single-dose of cyclophosphamide—a drug presently used to treat various types of cancer—prior to IMA901 vaccination, had even fewer regulatory T cells, which resulted in prolonged survival of patients. Further clinical testing is needed to assess its benefit in a larger population.
Harpreet Singh-Jasuja (Immatics Biotechnologies GmbH, Tübingen, Germany)
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 Climate Change: Increased arctic wetting
Atmospheric moisture transport may be a key driver behind increased precipitation and an enhanced hydrological cycle trend in northern high latitudes in coming years, reports a study published online in Nature Climate Change this week. Previously these trends—which are indicated by increasing Eurasian Arctic river discharges and climate model projections—had been attributed to various factors as a result of local warming effects.
Xiangdong Zhang and colleagues find that the increase in river discharge has accelerated over the past decade, and that enhancement of poleward atmospheric moisture transport decisively contributes to this increase.
This knowledge will help understanding of hydrological interactions with climate systems, such as the contribution of water vapour to polar amplification, as well as implications for density-driven ocean circulation.
Xiangdong Zhang (University of Alaska, Fairbanks, AL, USA)
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 Immunology: Devious DNA diversion in tumor immunity
A mechanism by which tumor cells are able to stay one step ahead of the immune response is revealed in a report published online in Nature Immunology this week.
Masahisa Jinushi and colleagues looked at dendritic cells (DCs) associated with tumors and found that they possess high amounts of a molecule called Tim-3. DCs normally play important roles in activating immune responses and are thereby involved in destroying tumors; however the authors note that when they express Tim-3, the DCs instead dampen immune responses. Chemotherapeutic drugs can work in conjunction with the immune system by killing tumor cells which then release their DNA to activate DCs and trigger an anti-tumor response. However, Tim-3 is able to bind immunostimulatory DNA, sequester it and thereby prevent DCs from becoming activated. The team found that preventing DC-associated Tim-3 from binding DNA boosted anti-tumor responses in a mouse model of cancer.
This study suggests new avenues by which effective immune responses in cancer might be generated.
Masahisa Jinushi (Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan)
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 Geoscience: Marine carbon capture
Oceanic uptake of atmospheric carbon dioxide depends on climatically sensitive physical factors, such as winds and ocean currents, reports a study published online in Nature Geoscience this week. The oceans slow the rate of climate change by absorbing around 25% of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities each year, but the exact mechanism of uptake has remained unclear. The current findings suggest that this uptake could potentially be sensitive to climate variability and change.
Jean-Baptiste Sallee and colleagues examined the physical processes governing the sequestration of carbon dioxide in the Southern Ocean, using observation-based estimates of water mass movements and carbon dioxide concentrations. They show that human-derived carbon dioxide is transported into the ocean interior at specific locations in the Southern Ocean, due to the interplay between currents, winds and local mixing.
Jean-Baptiste Sallee (British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, UK)
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 Geoscience: Long landslides on Saturn’s moon
Saturn’s icy moon Iapetus displays an abundance of unusually long landslides, reports a study published online in Nature Geoscience this week. Understanding the cause of long landslides on Iapetus could aid in the understanding of unusually long landslides on Earth, which are potentially destructive natural hazards.
Kelsi Singer and colleagues analysed the dimensions of landslides on the surface of Iapetus, using images from the Cassini mission. They detected numerous long landslides, in some cases extending up to 80 km in length. According to their calculations, these long landslides travel farther than expected under normal frictional conditions. They suggest that the sliding of material heats the underlying icy surface, rendering the ground temporarily slippery and allowing the landslide to travel an unusually long distance.
Kelsi Singer (Washington University, Saint Louis, MO, USA)
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, , , &  Genetics: New cause of childhood blindness
A genetic defect that causes some cases of an inherited form of childhood blindness is reported by four independent studies published online this week in Nature Genetics.
Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) is a severe form of inherited blindness with an early age of onset. Approximately 70% of cases have a known genetic cause, but the underlying genetic basis of the remaining 30% of cases is unknown.
Rui Chen, Josseline Kaplan, Jean-Michel Rozet, Eric Pierce and Ming Qi, and their respective colleagues sequenced all of the protein-coding regions from subjects with LCA of unknown cause and identified mutations in a gene called NMNAT1 as a common cause of this inherited retinal disease.
NMNAT1 encodes an enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of a molecule called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which is required for cell survival. The new findings suggest that the NMNAT1 protein acts to protect photoreceptor cells in the retina from degeneration in response to damage or stress.
Rui Chen (Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA) Author paper 
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Josseline Kaplan (INSERM, Paris, France) Author paper 
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Jean-Michel Rozet (INSERM, Paris, France) Author paper 
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Eric Pierce (Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Boston, MA, USA) Author paper 
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Ming Qi (Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China) Author paper 
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 Geoscience: Sink suppression
The turn of the century drought in western North America significantly reduced carbon uptake in the region, reports a study published online in Nature Geoscience this week. Fossil fuel emissions aside, temperate North America currently serves as a net sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide.
Christopher Schwalm and colleagues used satellite and observational data to assess the impact of the 2000–2004 drought in western North America on carbon uptake in the region. They show that carbon uptake declined by around 50% during the drought. Based on projected changes in rainfall and drought severity, they suggest that the present-day carbon sink in western North America could disappear by the end of the century.
Christopher Schwalm (Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ, USA)
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 And finally…Materials: Hairy sensors
The concerted response of thousands of nanoscale polymer hairs to pressure, shear or torsion can be exploited to build flexible touch sensors, reports a paper online this week in Nature Materials. Such sensors are one of the key elements in the development of electronic skin, which mimics the properties of human skin for applications in robotics or prosthetics.
Flexible sensors for the detection of mechanical loads are generally complex to fabricate. In contrast, the sensors created by Kahp-Yang Suh and colleagues can be assembled by simply interlocking two supported arrays of platinum-coated polymer hairs. The contact between the hairs allows electrical current to flow through the device, with an electrical resistance that depends on the degree of interconnection. Under external loads such as pressure, shear and torsion, the polymer hairs twist and bend, increasing the contact area and leading to a discernible decrease in resistance. The devices are extraordinarily sensitive to small loads and their utility has already been demonstrated in a number of applications including heart-rate monitoring.
Kahp-Yang Suh (Seoul National University, Korea)
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 Protocadherins mediate dendritic self-avoidance in the mammalian nervous system
 Neuronal circuitry mechanism regulating adult quiescent neural stem-cell fate decision
 A selective jumonji H3K27 demethylase inhibitor modulates the proinflammatory macrophage response
 Structure of a RING E3 ligase and ubiquitin-loaded E2 primed for catalysis
 Structural plasticity and dynamic selectivity of acid-sensing ion channel–toxin complexes
NATURE CELL BIOLOGY
 Dissecting DNA damage response pathways by analysing protein localization and abundance changes during DNA replication stress
NATURE CHEMICAL BIOLOGY
 Peroxidasin forms sulfilimine chemical bonds using hypohalous acids in tissue genesis
 Highly enantioselective trapping of zwitterionic intermediates by imines
 A switching cascade of hydrazone-based rotary switches through coordination-coupled proton relays
 In situ surface coverage analysis of RuO2-catalysed HCl oxidation reveals the entropic origin of compensation in heterogeneous catalysis
NATURE CLIMATE CHANGE
 Anthropogenic influence on multidecadal changes in reconstructed global evapotranspiration
 Climate change impacts on glaciers and runoff in Tien Shan (Central Asia)
 De novo mutations in ATP1A3 cause alternating hemiplegia of childhood
 Exome sequencing identifies recurrent somatic RAC1 mutations in melanoma
 Possible links between long-term geomagnetic variations and whole-mantle convection processes
 Nitrogen loss from soil through anaerobic ammonium oxidation coupled to iron reduction
 A voltage-gated sodium channel is essential for the positive selection of CD4+ T cells
 OX40 signaling favors the induction of TH9 cells and airway inflammation
 Unification of trap-limited electron transport in semiconducting polymers
 Cross-sectional imaging of individual layers and buried interfaces of graphene-based heterostructures and superlattices
 Asic3 is a neuronal mechanosensor for pressure-induced vasodilation that protects against pressure ulcers
 Lineage tracing and genetic ablation of ADAM12+ perivascular cells identify a major source of profibrotic cells during acute tissue injury
 Fetuin-A acts as an endogenous ligand of TLR4 to promote lipid-induced insulin resistance
 Hybrid passivated colloidal quantum dot solids
 Co-activation of multiple tightly-coupled voltage-activated calcium channels triggers spontaneous release of GABA
 The brain imaging signal is linearly separable into stimulus-evoked and task-related components with distinct neural underpinnings
 Paradoxical contribution of SK3 and GIRK channels to the activation of mouse vomeronasal organ
 DOCK7 interacts with TACC3 to regulate interkinetic nuclear migration and genesis of neurons from cortical neural progenitors
 Direct gating and mechanical integrity of Drosophila auditory transducers require TRPN1
 Superfluid behaviour of a two-dimensional Bose gas
 Experimental free-energy measurements of kinetic molecular states using fluctuation theorems
 Mapping Dirac quasiparticles near a single Coulomb impurity on graphene
Nature STRUCTURAL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY
 Mili and Miwi target RNA repertoire reveals piRNA biogenesis and function of Miwi in spermiogenesis
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.
Sao Paula: 9
Toronto: 9, 17, 35
Shanghai: 6, 19
Lille: 7, 27
Lyon: 24, 32
Paris: 7, 8, 24, 26, 33, 41
St Germain les Arpajon: 25
Toulouse: 7, 22
Heidelberg: 14, 24
New Delhi: 34
West Bengal: 34
San Michele all’Adige: 10
Barcelona: 24, 42
Zurich: 21, 23, 41
Liverpool: 26, 31
London: 6, 8, 24, 40
St Andrews: 15
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Berkeley: 10, 27
Los Angeles: 18, 44
Moffett Field: 5
San Diego: 10
San Francisco: 24
Stanford: 13, 40
Chicago: 6, 24, 29
Iowa City: 3
Kansas City: 38
Salisbury Cover: 18
Boston: 8, 29
Cambridge: 12, 14, 41
Kansas City: 38
St Louis: 5, 28
Cold Spring Harbor: 13, 39
New York: 12, 14, 37, 38
Stony Brook: 13, 39
Portland: 9, 16, 36, 38
Philadelphia: 8, 29, 44
University Park: 13
Houston: 5, 6
Salt Lake City: 24
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