Editors' Choice

Science  22 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6357, pp. 1251
  1. Climate

    Carbon capture from the industrial sector

    1. Julia Fahrenkamp-Uppenbrink

    Cement factories are prime targets for the installation of carbon capture technology.

    PHOTO: NICK GARBUTT/GETTY IMAGES

    Carbon capture aims to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being emitted into the atmosphere. This carbon dioxide can then be either stored or used (for example, as a chemical feedstock). Most studies have focused on carbon dioxide emissions from power generation. Psarras et al. instead estimate the cost of carbon capture from the industrial sector, which contributes almost a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions. By accounting for separation, compression, and transport costs and linking industrial sources to locations for current and potential future carbon dioxide use, they find that the overall cost of reducing carbon emission is lower for industrial sources than for power generation; costs are lowest for steel and cement manufacturing.

    Environ. Sci. Technol. 10.1021/acs.est.7b01723 (2017).

  2. Neuroscience

    Impulsivity and procrastination

    1. Emily Morris

    Impulsivity and procrastination are highly correlated. Both have been attributed to a lack of self-control resulting in difficulties in achieving long-term goals. Liu and Feng have discovered that these behaviors are both linked to an overlapping region of the brain called the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. During brain scanning, measures of impulsivity and procrastination were negatively correlated with gray matter volume in this region. The identification of this region confirms the close association between impulsivity and procrastination; however, a causal relationship has yet to be found.

    Neuroscience 360, 9 (2017).

  3. Molecular Materials

    Electrochemically driven box-weaving

    1. Phil Szuromi

    Woven textures within a molecular material can potentially affect strength and toughness. Champsaur et al. describe the electrochemical crystallization of polymer stands that adopt a box-weave structure through electrostatic assembly. Trans-substituted Co6Se8(PEt3)4(CNC6H4NC)2 (where Et is ethyl) oxidizes to form polymer strands through isonitrile-cobalt bond formation. These cationic strands assemble electrostatically with a Lundqvist dianion, Mo6O192−. The tetragonal symmetry of the dianion acts as a template to impose the box weave. Polymer strands cross above or below one another within each two-dimensional sheet, as shown by x-ray diffraction of a single crystal annealed to 150°C.

    J. Am. Chem. Soc. 10.1021/jacs.7b07279 (2017).

  4. Foraging Ecology

    Two of a kind

    1. Sacha Vignieri

    Kerguelen shag pairs forage in similar ways.

    PHOTO: ELODIE CAMPRASSE

    Mated pairs of birds could potentially compete with each other for food. Differences in foraging behavior between males and females tend to develop to avoid such competition. Kerguelen shags form lifelong pairs. Camprasse et al. found that the male and female shags have quite similar foraging behavior, despite their distinct size dimorphism. Using a combination of geodata loggers and isotope data, the authors found that pairs generally foraged in the same places and at the same trophic levels, with only time of day separating them. This concurrence may have arisen because pairs choose mates of similar quality or perhaps pass along information about prime foraging spots during babysitting handovers.

    Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser. 10.3354/meps12259 (2017).

  5. Immunology

    Neuroinflammation abetted by ILCs

    1. Seth Thomas Scanlon

    The transcription factor T-bet is critical for the establishment of immunopathology in mouse models of multiple sclerosis (MS). T-bet is known to intensify the inflammatory potential of T helper 17 (TH17) cells, which are central players in MS. However, Kwong et al. find that the activity of T-bet in T cells is insufficient for the development of disease. It turns out that T-bet–dependent NKp46+ innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) regulate the infiltration of TH17 cells into the central nervous system (CNS). The ILCs produce a cocktail of proinflammatory cytokines that induce various factors, which disrupt the blood-brain barrier and allow TH17 cells to migrate into the CNS parenchyma. Characterization of ILC subsets (ILC1 and ILC3) could lead to new treatments for neuroinflammation.

    Nat. Immunol. 10.1038/ni.3816 (2017).

  6. RNA Biology

    MicroRNA processing (phase) separated

    1. Steve Mao

    Paraspeckles are ribonucleoprotein structures inside mammalian cell nuclei. Despite their high abundance in multiple tissues and cell types, their cellular function is not completely clear. Jiang et al. show that paraspeckles enhance global microRNA maturation. RNA and protein components of paraspeckles recruit the microRNA precursors and processing machinery. This enrichment seems to help achieve the high concentrations required for efficient microRNA processing. Whether the compartmentalization reported here represents polymer condensation (phase separation) warrants future investigation.

    Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 10.1038/nsmb.3455 (2017).

  7. Technology Adoption

    Too many bad seeds

    1. Brad Wible

    Low usage rates of modern agricultural technology in sub-Saharan Africa may reflect poor quality of the tools, which provide little incentive for farmers to adopt them. Studying maize cultivation in Uganda, Bold et al. found through laboratory testing that 30% of nutrient was missing in common urea fertilizer and that common hybrid seed contained less than 50% authentic seeds. Based on agricultural field trials, those low-quality inputs provided a net return on investment close to 0%, compared with 80% for higher-quality inputs. But surveys suggest that farmers are also unable to adequately discern higher-quality inputs, limiting incentives for fertilizer and seed sellers to invest in providing such products.

    Quart. J. Econ. 10.1093/qje/qjx009 (2017).