Letter on Starting Gain-of-Function Mutation Experiments for H7N9

The journals Science and Nature have jointly published Correspondence, signed by numerous researchers, setting out plans to undertake gain-of-function (GOF) research on the avian influenza H7N9 viruses. Gain-of-function experiments introduce changes into a virus in order to understand, for example, whether certain mutations would affect the ability of a vaccine to work or make a virus more transmissible. This is done in an effort to understand how likely it is for such mutations to evolve naturally and cause a human pandemic.

Read more about this research from the 7 August issue of Science Express here.

[Image courtesy of Takeshi Noda/University of Tokyo. Click the image for more information.]

© 2013 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

ScienceShot: X-rays Reveal New Black Hole in Andromeda

Credit: Adam Evans

On 15 January, the XMM-Newton satellite detected a bright source of x-rays in the Andromeda galaxy, 2.5 million light-years from Earth. As astronomers reported online this week in Nature, the x-rays arise from hot gas swirling around a black hole that tears the material from an orbiting star. The object is roughly 10 times as massive as our sun and gobbles matter at nearly the maximum possible rate.

For more information visit ScienceNow.

Plants Follow Nature Over Nurture During Sex

What determines a cell’s fate — nature or nurture? According to a new study, it is the environment rather than a cell’s lineage that turns the cells of a plant’s anther, or male reproductive organ, into germ cells necessary for reproduction. Timothy Kelliher and Virginia Walbot show that, unlike animals, which establish and maintain a lineage of germ cells during their development, plants take cues from the oxygen levels in their anthers in order to create germ cells after they’ve matured.

Read more about this research from the 20 July issue of Science here.

[Image courtesy of Virginia Walbot. Click the image for more information.]

© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

Science Cover Flashback: 8 June 2007

Flowers of monkshood, Aconitum napellus, extend laterally from a main stem and open successively toward the apex. This arrangement is one of only three basic flowering structures observed in nature, reflecting the way developmental mechanisms and natural selection interact to constrain biological form, as described on page 1452. Photo: Karen Lee

Anyone wishing to use the cover of Science must contact AAAS to request permission to do so.

© 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

An interactive PDF showing the screw joint of the left hind leg of Trigonopterus oblongus with coxa (green), trochanter (yellow) and femur (truncated; red).

Follow the link and download the PDF, then click on the image for an interactive 3D view (Adobe Reader 8.1 or higher required). You may select different aspects from the Views menu.

This image relates to an article that appeared in the 1 July 2011 issue of  Science, published by AAAS. The study, by Thomas van de Kamp of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany, and colleagues was titled, “A Biological Screw in a Beetle’s Leg.”

You can read more about this article here.

[PDF © Science/AAAS]

© 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.

© 2014 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved.