CO2 emissions update

Summaries of newsworthy papers in Nature and NAture Research Journals including Medicine: Identity theft, Structural & Molecular Biology: Switching BRCA1, Genetics: Variants associated with age at menarche, Genetics: Variants associated with Crohn’s disease and Nature: From brain cancer to blood vessel


For papers that will be published online on 21 November 2010

This press release is copyrighted to the Nature journals mentioned below. Its use is granted only for journalists and news media receiving it directly from the Nature journals.

This press release contains:

· Summaries of newsworthy papers:
Geoscience: CO2 emissions update
Medicine: Identity theft
Structural & Molecular Biology: Switching BRCA1
Genetics: Variants associated with age at menarche
Genetics: Variants associated with Crohn’s disease
And finally…Nature: From brain cancer to blood vessel
· 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 Press contacts for the Nature journals are listed at the end of this release.

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: (For example, For more information about DOIs and Advance Online Publication, see

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 [email protected], citing the specific example.


[1] Geoscience: CO2 emissions update

DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1022

Global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels declined by 1.3% between 2008 and 2009 as a result of the financial crisis, concludes a correspondence online this week in Nature Geoscience. The decrease is only half as large as the figure predicted in a 2009 Nature Geoscience paper* partly because reductions in carbon intensity - the amount of fossil fuel emissions per unit of gross domestic product — were smaller than assumed.

Pierre Friedlingstein and colleagues analysed statistics on energy consumption at the country level, and converted those to carbon dioxide emissions. They found that the change in carbon dioxide emissions between 2008 and 2009 varies significantly by country, with decreases between about 7 and 12 % in Europe, Japan and North America, and substantial increases in emerging economies such as China.

Author contact:
Pierre Friedlingstein (University of Exeter, UK)
Tel: +44 1173 317 269 (Mon-Weds); +44 1392 725 279 (Thurs-Fri)
Email: [email protected]

*Nature Geosci. 2, 831–836; 2009

[2] Medicine: Identity theft

DOI: 10.1038/nm.2252

Cells within the blood vessels can be turned into stem cells, according an article published online this week in Nature Medicine.

Stem cells can give rise to several cell types, but their usefulness in clinical medicine is still in question. Damian Medici and his colleagues show that cells from the lining of blood vessels can transform into multipotent stem-like cells by a mechanism dependent on the activity of a molecule termed ALK2. ALK2 is a protein mutated in people with fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a disease in which bone forms in inappropriate parts of the body, particularly after injury.

The team found that the presence of an activated form of ALK2 in cells from the blood vessels led these cells to acquire stem cell–like properties. These stem-like cells could be converted into bone, cartilage or fat cells, highlighting their potential in tissue engineering.

Author contact:

Damian Medici (Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA)
Tel: +1 617 735 4603; E-mail: [email protected]

[3] Structural & Molecular Biology: Switching BRCA1

DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1941

A central role for the metabolic sensor CtBP in controlling the expression of the tumour suppressor BRCA1, in response to oestrogen and the ratio of particular metabolites, is revealed in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology. CtBP1’s control of BRCA1 may help to explain the association between high caloric intake and obesity and increased risk of breast cancer in post-menopausal women.

While BRCA1 mutations are associated with breast cancer, alterations in BRCA1 expression independent of mutations can contribute to sporadic, noninherited forms of the disease. Kevin Gardner and colleagues show that CtBP, involved in repressing gene expression, assembles at the BRCA1 promoter as part of a large complex, where it contributes to turning off BRCA1 expression in response to metabolic status. These findings also indicate that the high levels of CtBP found in some tumours may contribute to malignancies and tumour progression.

Author contact:
Kevin Gardner (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, USA)
Tel: +1 301 496 1055; E-mail: [email protected]

[4] Genetics: Variants associated with age at menarche

DOI: 10.1038/ng.714

Genetic variants associated with age at the onset of first menstruation are reported this week in Nature Genetics. The age of onset, or menarche, varies widely between women and has been associated with risk for diseases including breast and endometrial cancer.

Ken Ong and colleagues report a meta-analysis of 32 genome-wide association studies for age at menarche in 87,802 women, with replication of the results in an additional 14,731 women. They identify 30 genomic regions newly associated with age at menarche. This includes four regions previously associated with body mass index, three involved in energy homeostasis, and three implicated in hormonal regulation.

Author contact:
Ken Ong (Medical Research Council, Cambridge, UK)
Tel: +44 1223 769207; E-mail: [email protected]

[5] Genetics: Variants associated with Crohn’s disease

DOI: 10.1038/ng.717

Genetic variants associated with Crohn’s disease are reported this week in Nature Genetics. Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, which causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Miles Parkes and colleagues report results of a meta-analysis of six genome-wide association studies for Crohn’s disease, with follow-up validation in a large independent sample collection. They identify 30 genomic regions newly associated with Crohn’s disease. Together with previous studies, this brings the total number of identified susceptibility loci for Crohn’s disease up to 71.

Author contact:
Miles Parkes (University of Cambridge, UK)
Tel: +44 1223 216 389; E-mail: [email protected]

[6] & [7] Nature: From brain cancer to blood vessel

DOI: 10.1038/nature09624
DOI: 10.1038/nature09557

Brain cancer cells can turn into blood vessel cells that form part of the tumour vasculature, two Nature studies indicate. The papers, which offer insight into a new mechanism of tumour angiogenesis, may help explain the failure of certain anti-angiogenic cancer drugs and aid the design of new therapies.

Glioblastomas are aggressive brain cancers that are nourished by an extensive network of blood vessels. But groups led by Viviane Tabar and Ruggero De Maria now show that many of the endothelial cells that line these blood vessels are derived from the cancer itself.

The endothelial cells carry the same genetic alterations as the glioblastoma cells, and are thought to be derived from glioblastoma stem-like cells. So the studies hint that some cancer stem cells may fuel cancer growth directly and indirectly — by differentiating into cancer cells and into the blood vessel cells that supply them. Strategies that prevent this differentiation of glioblastoma stem-like cells into endothelial cells could prove useful therapeutically.

Author contacts:

Viviane Tabar (Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY, USA), Author paper [6]
Tel: +1 212 636 3006; E-mail: [email protected]

Ruggero De Maria (Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy), Author paper [7]
Tel: +39 06499 03393; E-mail: [email protected]

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


[8] A robust system for production of minicircle DNA vectors
DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1708

[9] Large-scale modeling of metabolic interactions between cell types in the human brain
DOI: 10.1038/nbt.1711


[10] Human IRGM regulates autophagy and cell-autonomous immunity functions through mitochondria
DOI: 10.1038/ncb2119

[11] Tissue elongation requires oscillating contractions of a basal actomyosin network
DOI: 10.1038/ncb2124

[12] MicroRNA-199b targets the nuclear kinase Dyrk1a in an auto-amplification loop promoting calcineurin/NFAT signaling
DOI: 10.1038/ncb2126

[13] A cytoplasmic dynein tail mutation impairs motor processivity
DOI: 10.1038/ncb2127

[14] A small GTPase molecular switch regulates epigenetic centromere maintenance by stabilizing newly incorporated CENP-A
DOI: 10.1038/ncb2129

[15] AKAP-Lbc enhances cyclic AMP control of the ERK1/ERK2 cascade
DOI: 10.1038/ncb2130


[16] Prephenate aminotransferase directs plant phenylalanine biosynthesis via arogenate

[17] Signalling diversity of PKA via a Ca2+-cAMP-PKA oscillatory circuit


[18] Guest-induced growth of a surface-based supramolecular bilayer
D0I: 10.1038/nchem.901


[19] RNA sequencing shows no dosage compensation of the active X-chromosome
DOI: 10.1038/ng.711


[20] Sea level as a stabilizing factor for marine-ice-sheet grounding lines
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1012

[21] Rapid carbon sequestration at the termination of the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1014

[22] Miocene drainage reversal of the Amazon River driven by plate–mantle interaction
DOI: 10.1038/ngeo1017


[23] ZAPS is a potent stimulator of signaling mediated by the RNA helicase RIG-I during antiviral responses
D0I: 10.1038/ni.1963


[24] Direct observation of local atomic order in a metallic glass
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2897


[25] Graft-versus-host disease is enhanced by extracellular ATP activating P2X7R
DOI: 10.1038/nm.2242

[26] Treatment of cerebral ischemia by disrupting ischemia-induced interaction of nNOS with PSD-95
DOI: 10.1038/nm.2245

[27] STAT3-induced S1PR1 expression is crucial for persistent Stat3 activation in tumors
DOI: 10.1038/nm.2250

[28] Invasive three-dimensional organotypic neoplasia from multiple normal human epithelia
DOI: 10.1038/nm.2265


[29] Protein localization in electron micrographs using fluorescence nanoscopy
DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.1537


[30] Length scaling of carbon nanotube transistors
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2010.220

[31] Towards full-structure determination of bimetallic nanoparticles with an aberration-corrected electron microscope
DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2010.234

[32] The emerging field of RNA nanotechnology


[33] The same synaptic vesicles drive active and spontaneous release
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2690

[34] A common origin of synaptic vesicles undergoing evoked and spontaneous fusion
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2695

[35] Thalamic synchrony and the adaptive gating of information flow to cortex
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2670

[36] Sortilin associates with Trk receptors to enhance anterograde transport and signaling by neurotrophins
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2689

[37] Hippocampal brain-network coordination during volitional exploratory behavior enhances learning
DOI: 10.1038/nn.2693


[38] Coherent terahertz control of antiferromagnetic spin Q1 waves
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.259

[39] An array of integrated atom–photon junctions
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.255

[40] A high-fidelity noiseless amplifier for quantum light states
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.260

[41] Temporal solitons and pulse compression in photonic crystal waveguides
DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2010.261


[42] Topological origin of subgap conductance in insulating bilayer graphene
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1822

[43] Strong interactions of single atoms and photons near a dielectric boundary
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1837

[44] Atom-molecule coherence for ultralong-range Rydberg dimers
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1828

[45] Two-dimensional Dirac fermions in a topological insulator: transport in the quantum limit
DOI: 10.1038/nphys1861


[46] Initiation complex dynamics direct the transitions between distinct phases of early HIV reverse transcription
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1937

[47] Mre11–Rad50–Xrs2 and Sae2 promote 5' strand resection of DNA double-strand breaks
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1957

[48] Dissection of Dom34–Hbs1 reveals independent functions in two cytoplasmic RNA quality control pathways
DOI: 10.1038/nsmb.1963


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.

Buenos Aires: 3

Brisbane: 4, 5
Canberra: 1
Crawley: 4
New South Wales: 22

Brussels: 5
Ghent: 5
Leuven: 5
Liege: 5

Hamilton: 4
Montreal: 5, 14
Toronto: 5, 15

Guangzhou: 19
Kunming: 19
Nanjing: 26

Zagreb: 4

Olomouc: 40

Aarhus: 36
Copenhagen: 4

Tartu: 4

Helsinki: 4

Gif-sur-Yvette: 1, 48
Illkirch: 48
Lille: 5
Marcoussis: 41
Orsay: 48
Palaiseau: 41
Paris: 5, 12
Saint-Martin-d’Heres: 24
Strasbourg: 48

Aachen: 5
Berlin: 5, 36, 38
Bonn: 38
Erlangen: 33
Freiburg: 25
Goettingen: 29, 33, 34
Hamburg: 12
Heidelberg: 9
Kiel: 5
Konstanz: 38
Munich: 4, 5
Munster: 34
Neuherberg: 4
Regensburg: 38
Stuttgart: 44
Wurzburg: 25

Kopavogur: 4
Reykjavik: 4

Tel-Aviv: 5

Cagliari: 4
Catania: 7
Ferrara: 25
Florence: 4, 5, 40
Milan: 4, 7, 12
Padua: 5
Palermo: 5, 7
Pavia: 7
Rome: 4, 5, 7
Trieste: 4

Kyoto: 43
Osaka: 24
Sapporo: 23
Sendai: 24
Tokyo: 10

Amsterdam: 4, 5, 38
Groningen: 5
Leiden: 5
Maastricht: 12
Rotterdam: 4
Utrecht: 12

Christchurch: 5

Singapore: 4

Barcelona: 5, 12

Orebro: 5
Stockholm: 4, 5

Bern: 5
Geneva: 42
Lausanne: 4
Zurich: 5

Bangkok: 10

Bristol: 4
Cambridge: 1, 4, 9
Devon: 5
Dundee: 5
Edinburgh: 4, 5
Exeter: 1, 4, 5
Glasgow: 5
London: 4, 5, 39
Manchester: 5
Newcastle: 5
Norwich: 1
Nottingham: 18

Davis: 31
Duarte: 27
Irvine: 13
La Jolla: 4, 9, 22
Livermore: 31
Los Angeles: 5
Menlo Park: 45
Palo Alto: 28
Pasadena: 22, 43
Santa Cruz: 21
Stanford: 8, 25, 28, 45
Boulder: 1
New Haven: 5
Tallahassee: 45
Atlanta: 5, 35
Chicago: 5
Urbana: 37
Indianapolis: 4
West Lafayette: 16, 21
Iowa City: 4, 37
New Orleans: 4
Baltimore: 3, 4, 5, 11, 17
Bethesda: 3, 4
Frederick: 15, 36, 46
Boston: 2, 4, 5, 35
Cambridge: 4, 5, 20, 35, 46
Falmouth: 1
Framingham: 4
Worcester: 15
Ann Arbor: 19
Minneapolis: 4
St Louis: 4
New Jersey
Piscataway: 10
Rahway: 4
New Mexico
Albuquerque: 10
Los Alamos: 42, 45
New York
New York: 6, 13, 30, 36, 41
North Carolina
Chapel Hill: 4
Cincinnati: 5, 32
Corvallis: 20
King of Prussia: 4
Philadelphia: 2, 5
Pittsburgh: 5
Oak Ridge: 1
Austin: 47
Houston: 4
San Antonio: 47
Salt Lake City: 5, 29
Seattle: 5, 15


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

Rachel Twinn (Nature London)
Tel: +44 20 7843 4658; E-mail: [email protected]

Neda Afsarmanesh (Nature New York)
Tel: +1 212 726 9231; E-mail: [email protected]

Ruth Francis (Head of Press, Nature, London)
Tel: +44 20 7843 4562; E-mail: [email protected]

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: [email protected]

Nature Cell Biology (London)
Sowmya Swaminathan
Tel: +44 20 7843 4656; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Chemical Biology (Boston)
Carrie Meggs
Tel: +1 617 475 9241, E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Chemistry (London)
Stuart Cantrill
Tel: +44 20 7014 4018; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Genetics (New York)
Myles Axton
Tel: +1 212 726 9324; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Geoscience (London)
Heike Langenberg
Tel: +44 20 7843 4042; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Immunology (New York)
Laurie Dempsey
Tel: +1 212 726 9372; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Materials (London)
Vincent Dusastre
Tel: +44 20 7843 4531; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Medicine (New York)
Juan Carlos Lopez
Tel: +1 212 726 9325; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Methods (New York)
Hugh Ash
Tel: +1 212 726 9627; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Nanotechnology (London)
Peter Rodgers
Tel: +44 20 7014 4019; Email: [email protected]

Nature Neuroscience (New York)
Kalyani Narasimhan
Tel: +1 212 726 9319; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Photonics (Tokyo)
Oliver Graydon
Tel: +81 3 3267 8776; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Physics (London)
Alison Wright
Tel: +44 20 7843 4555; E-mail: [email protected]

Nature Structural & Molecular Biology (New York)
Sabbi Lall
Tel: +1 212 726 9326; E-mail: [email protected]

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, 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

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 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

Published: 21 Nov 2010

Contact details:

The Macmillan Building, 4 Crinan Street
N1 9XW
United Kingdom

+44 20 7833 4000
News topics: 
Content type: