Observations of binary stars containing an accreting black hole or neutron star often show x-ray emission extending to high energies (>10 kilo–electron volts), which is ascribed to an accretion disk corona of energetic particles akin to those seen in the solar corona. Despite their ubiquity, the physical conditions in accretion disk coronae remain poorly constrained.

Achieving universal, safely managed water and sanitation services by 2030, as envisioned by the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6, is projected to require capital expenditures of USD 114 billion per year (1). Investment on that scale, along with accompanying policy reforms, can be motivated by a growing appreciation of the value of water. Yet our ability to value water, and incorporate these values into water governance, is inadequate.

The seventh cholera pandemic has heavily affected Africa, although the origin and continental spread of the disease remain undefined. We used genomic data from 1070 Vibrio cholerae O1 isolates, across 45 African countries and over a 49-year period, to show that past epidemics were attributable to a single expanded lineage. This lineage was introduced at least 11 times since 1970, into two main regions, West Africa and East/Southern Africa, causing epidemics that lasted up to 28 years.

Climate change can influence ecosystems via both direct effects on individual organisms and indirect effects mediated by species interactions. However, we understand little about how these changes will ripple through ecosystems or whether there are particular ecological characteristics that might make ecosystems more susceptible— or more resistant—to warming. By combining in situ experimental warming with herbivore manipulations in a natural rocky intertidal community for over 16 months, we show that herbivory regulates the capacity of marine communities to resist warming.

River flood risks are expected to rise as climate change intensifies the global hydrological cycle and more people live in floodplains. Changing risk may be revealed by trends in flood frequency, magnitude, or seasonality, as well as by shifts in the mechanisms that generate inundations. However, detection and attribution of climate signals in flood records is often hampered by brief, incomplete, or poor-quality flood data. Additionally, it can be difficult to disentangle the effects of changing climate, land cover, channel morphology, and human activities.

We evaluated a program of payments for ecosystem services in Uganda that offered forestowning households annual payments of 70,000 Ugandan shillings per hectare if they conserved their forest. The program was implemented as a randomized controlled trial in 121 villages, 60 of which received the program for 2 years. The primary outcome was the change in land area covered by trees, measured by classifying high-resolution satellite imagery. We found that tree cover declined by 4.2% during the study period in treatment villages, compared to 9.1% in control villages.

Modern wheat, which underlies the diet of many across the globe, has a long history of selection and crosses among different species. Avni et al. used the Hi-C method of genome confirmation capture to assemble and annotate the wild allotetraploid wheat (Triticum turgidum). They then identified the putative causal mutations in genes controlling shattering (a key domestication trait among cereal crops). They also performed an exome capture–based analysis of domestication among wild and domesticated genotypes of emmer wheat.

To many, cannabis is a recreational drug; to some, it is a medicine. Now, it is increasingly seen as a crop, to be grown in quantity and engineered for better traits—not just pharmacological effects, but also fiber content and the rapid, efficient growth that makes a plant useful for biofuels. This month, in a special issue of Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, researchers delve into all aspects of cannabis biology and ecology. The work sheds light on how the plant has diversified since it was first grown 8500 years ago in Eurasia.

After decades of neglect, antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has captured the attention and concern of the public health community and global leaders. In September 2016, a high-level meeting of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will discuss how countries can cooperate to preserve global access to effective antimicrobials.

We sequenced Early Neolithic genomes from the Zagros region of Iran (eastern Fertile Crescent), where some of the earliest evidence for farming is found, and identify a previously uncharacterized population that is neither ancestral to the first European farmers nor has contributed significantly to the ancestry of modern Europeans. These people are estimated to have separated from Early Neolithic farmers in Anatolia some 46-77,000 years ago and show affinities to modern day Pakistani and Afghan populations, but particularly to Iranian Zoroastrians.