A new combo for chemo

Summaries of newsworthy papers: A new combo for chemo; Absorbing low-cost CO2 capture; Building an insect colony; Polo-like kinase 1 inhibitors safe in the mouse; Ranking information in a complex network

This press release contains:

Summaries of newsworthy papers:

A new combo for chemo
Absorbing low-cost CO2 capture
Building an insect colony
Polo-like kinase 1 inhibitors safe in the mouse
And finally…Ranking information in a complex network

Mention of papers to be published at the same time
Geographical listing of authors

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[1] A new combo for chemo
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1404

The combination of two chemotherapeutic agents reduces the growth of diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells in a mouse model and in patients’ cells in culture. These findings, reported in Nature Communications this week, suggest that this combination therapy may be useful in treating patients with this disease.

Ronald Gartenhaus and colleagues detected the elevated expression of the DNA damage associated protein Chk2 in human diffuse large B-cell lymphoma cells and found that this correlated with the expression of another protein, ERK1/2. Using inhibitors that target the two proteins, they found that the dual treatment of primary human cancer cells induced cell death and that these chemicals also blocked tumour growth in a mouse model. This suggested that the dual treatment of the cells was more effective than the single treatment.

These findings suggest that this may be a useful approach for targeting diffuse B-cell lymphoma in the clinic.


Ronald Gartenhaus (University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA)
Tel: +1 410 328 3691; E-mail: [email protected]

[2] Absorbing low-cost CO2 capture
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1405

A new porous material that may be useful for carbon dioxide capture is reported in Nature Communications this week. The relatively low-cost material shows high and reversible CO2 sorption capacities, and further development could lead to technologies for CO2 capture from the gases of coal-fired power plants.

Kai Landskron and co-workers used simple condensation reactions to produce porous electron-rich frameworks (PECONFs), which exhibit selective CO2 and methane sorption over nitrogen. Similar materials have been produced previously, but the porous frameworks reported by this team are prepared from inexpensive, commercially available materials.


Kai Landskron (Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA, USA)
Tel: +1 610 758 5788; E-mail: [email protected]

[3] Building an insect colony
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1410

Eusociality in insects – where an individual works for the benefit of the entire colony – evolved through a combination of monogamous mating by the queen and the birth of sterile worker individuals concludes a study in Nature Communications this week. This work helps explain the longstanding question of the role of ecological factors and genetics in the evolution of eusociality seen in many insects.

Lutz Fromhage and Hanna Kokko built a mathematical model to simulate the birth, growth and death of an insect colony, as is seen in ants and bees. They show that monogamy and the birth of sterile workers – a process known as haplodiploidy – facilitate the evolution of eusociality in a novel, mutually reinforcing way.


Lutz Fromhage (University of Hamburg, Germany)
Tel: +49 40 42838 3673; E-mail: [email protected]

Hanna Kokko (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)
E-mail: [email protected]

[4] Polo-like kinase 1 inhibitors safe in the mouse
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1395

Reduced levels of Polo-like kinase 1 do not cause any major impact on mouse physiology reports a study published in Nature Communications this week. These findings suggest that cancer drugs which target Polo-like kinase 1 may kill tumour cells whilst sparing normal cells.

Klaus Strebhardt and colleagues generated a genetically engineered mouse model to study the effects of reduced Polo-like kinase 1 on the physiology of the normal mouse. They found that although the mice showed a slightly iron deficiency there were no major effects on different organs of the mice. Not only do these findings suggest that drugs that are available and target Polo-like kinase 1 may selectively kill tumour cells, they also demonstrate the use of these types of genetically engineered mouse models to predict the toxicity of cancer drugs in mice.


Klaus Strebhardt (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University, Frankfurt, Germany)
Tel: +49 69 63016894; E-mail: [email protected]

[5] And finally…Ranking information in a complex network
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1396

The structure of a network has an effect on how well the information in the network can be ranked, finds a study in Nature Communications this week. The work uses a popular algorithm used to rank web content by search engines and could have implications for how the results of ranked information are used in science and marketing.

Pagerank is used to rank web content by search engines such as Google. The algorithm counts each link in a network as a vote and ranks the information. Gourab Ghoshal and Albert-László Barabási show that the structure of a network affects its performance. They also conclude that Pagerank may be inherently more accurate for some networks than for others. They find that exponential networks, such as a food web, are prone to perturbations. For scale-free networks, such as the web, the growth of information and content available improves the ranking by making the top ranks more obvious and stable.


Albert-László Barabási (Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA)
Tel: +1 617 373 2355; E-mail: [email protected]

Gourab Ghoshal (Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA)
E-mail: [email protected]

Papers to go live at the same time

[6] Gross violation of the Wiedemann–Franz law in a quasi-one-dimensional conductor
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1406

[7] Proximity of iron pnictide superconductors to a quantum tricritical point
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1407

[8] Arabidopsis nitrate reductase activity is stimulated by the E3 SUMO ligase AtSIZ1
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1408

[9] Outlines of the pore in open and closed conformations describe the gating mechanism of ASIC1
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1409


The following list of places refers to the whereabouts of authors on the papers numbered in this release. For example, London: 4 - this means that on paper number four, there will be at least one author affiliated to an institute or company in London. 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.

Canberra: 3

Vienna: 7

Hangzhou: 6

Berlin: 4
Dresden: 7
Frankfurt: 4
Freising-Weihenstephan: 4
Giessen: 4
Hamburg: 3, 4
Köln: 4
Munich: 4
Neuherberg: 4

Uttar Pradesh: 2

Roma: 7
Trieste: 7

Saitama: 6

Daegu: 8
Seoul: 8

Bristol: 6

New Haven: 9
Boston: 5
Cambridge: 5
Baltimore: 1
New Jersey
Piscataway: 6
Cincinnati: 1
Bethlehem: 2


From North America and Canada

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

From Japan, Korea, China, Singapore and Taiwan

Mika Nakano, Nature Tokyo
Tel: +81 3 3267 8751; E-mail: [email protected]

From the UK

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

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Published: 19 Jul 2011

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