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July 15, 2018 07:13 AM
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July 13, 2018

Nature

Ancient coral testifies to the Sahara’s brutal past

Ancient coral testifies to the Sahara’s brutal past

Ancient coral testifies to the Sahara’s brutal past, Published online: 13 July 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05691-z

The deserts of Arabia and northern Africa grew more arid as Europe shivered in the nineteenth century.

July 13, 2018 12:00 AM

South Africa celebrates completion of gigantic, super-sensitive telescope

South Africa celebrates completion of gigantic, super-sensitive telescope

South Africa celebrates completion of gigantic, super-sensitive telescope, Published online: 13 July 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05730-9

MeerKAT has drawn astronomers, engineers and data scientists from around the world.

by Sarah Wild at July 13, 2018 12:00 AM

High-quality genomes reveal new differences between the great apes

High-quality genomes reveal new differences between the great apes

High-quality genomes reveal new differences between the great apes , Published online: 13 July 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05679-9

High-quality genome sequences for some of the great apes have been assembled using state-of-the-art sequencing tools. The assemblies provide an unbiased comparison between humans and their closest evolutionary relatives.

by Aylwyn Scally at July 13, 2018 12:00 AM

<i>Science</i> journals end open-access trial with Gates Foundation

Science journals end open-access trial with Gates Foundation

<i>Science</i> journals end open-access trial with Gates Foundation, Published online: 13 July 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05729-2

Pilot experiment has seen 26 papers published under open-access terms so far and should yield a report by the end of the year.

by Richard Van Noorden at July 13, 2018 12:00 AM

July 12, 2018

Updates from ...

Retinal isomerization in bacteriorhodopsin captured by a femtosecond x-ray laser

Ultrafast isomerization of retinal is the primary step in photoresponsive biological functions including vision in humans and ion transport across bacterial membranes. We used an x-ray laser to study the subpicosecond structural dynamics of retinal isomerization in the light-driven proton pump bacteriorhodopsin. A series of structural snapshots with near-atomic spatial resolution and temporal resolution in the femtosecond regime show how the excited all-trans retinal samples conformational states within the protein binding pocket before passing through a twisted geometry and emerging in the 13-cis conformation. Our findings suggest ultrafast collective motions of aspartic acid residues and functional water molecules in the proximity of the retinal Schiff base as a key facet of this stereoselective and efficient photochemical reaction.

by Nogly, P., Weinert, T., James, D., Carbajo, S., Ozerov, D., Furrer, A., Gashi, D., Borin, V., Skopintsev, P., Jaeger, K., Nass, K., Bath, P., Bosman, R., Koglin, J., Seaberg, M., Lane, T., Kekilli, D., Brünle, S., Tanaka, T., Wu, W., Milne, C., White, T., Barty, A., Weierstall, U., Panneels, V., Nango, E., Iwata, S., Hunter, M., Schapiro, I., Schertler, G., Neutze, R., Standfuss, J. at July 12, 2018 05:39 PM