Table of Contents

Volume 497 Number 7451 pp535-658

30 May 2013

About the cover

An atomic model of the human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) capsid with hexameric (gold) and pentameric (green) assembly units, within a representation of the viral envelope. HIV-1, the predominant AIDS virus, contains a spheroidal capsid enclosing the viral RNA genome. As the retrovirus matures, the capsid forms through spontaneous oligomerization of the capsid protein CA. Using cryo-electron microscopy and cryo-electron tomography, combined with all-atom large-scale molecular dynamics simulations, Gongpu Zhao et al. have determined a complete atomic structure of the HIV-1 capsid. The resulting structural models reveal elements that are essential for capsid formation, stability and viral infectivity. Of special interest are the hydrophobic interactions evident in a novel three-fold interface between the carboxy-terminal domains of CA protein, a feature that appears to be unique to the mature capsid and which has previously been suggested as a potentially attractive therapeutic target. Credit: Juan R. Perilla, John Stone, Ilia A. Solov'yov, Olga Svinarski, Klaus Schulten and Peijun Zhang.

This Week


  • Overtaken by events

    Despite the small number of entries, the genomics X prize is to be commended for attempting to push the boundaries of DNA sequencing technology.

  • Still less equal

    Japan’s government must stick by its promise to help women’s careers to prosper.

  • Without borders

    Increasing scientific globalization is welcome, but could compromise national efforts.

World View


Seven Days

  • Seven days: 24–30 May 2013

    The week in science: Spanish scientists rise against budget cuts, US submersible returns to research, and Shaw prizes announced.

News in Focus


  • Galaxy formation: Cosmic dawn

    No Alt text available for this image

    The Hubble Space Telescope is giving astronomers a glimpse of the Universe's first, tumultuous era of galaxy formation.

    • Ron Cowen


Books and Arts

  • Physics: The mind electric

    Patrick McCray assesses a biography of Nikola Tesla, the Serbian wizard of the alternating current.

    • Review of Tesla: Inventor of the Electrical Age
      W. Bernard Carlson
  • Q&A: Star-map historian

    Marek Kukula is public astronomer at London's Royal Observatory in Greenwich and the curator of Visions of the Universe, an exhibition charting the trajectory of celestial imaging, with a focus on astrophotography. On the eve of its opening, Kukula talks about eighteenth-century star maps and the co-evolution of the telescope and camera.

    • Review of Visions of the Universe



  • Technologies: The right tool

    Research-tool developers must be creative, innovative and willing to collaborate with people from a variety of fields.

    • Kelly Rae Chi

Career Briefs


naturejobs job listings and advertising features



Brief Communications Arising



  • The Norway spruce genome sequence and conifer genome evolutionOpen

    • Björn Nystedt
    • Nathaniel R. Street
    • Anna Wetterbom
    • Andrea Zuccolo
    • Yao-Cheng Lin
    • Douglas G. Scofield
    • Francesco Vezzi
    • Nicolas Delhomme
    • Stefania Giacomello
    • Andrey Alexeyenko
    • Riccardo Vicedomini
    • Kristoffer Sahlin
    • Ellen Sherwood
    • Malin Elfstrand
    • Lydia Gramzow
    • Kristina Holmberg
    • Jimmie Hällman
    • Olivier Keech
    • Lisa Klasson
    • Maxim Koriabine
    • Melis Kucukoglu
    • Max Käller
    • Johannes Luthman
    • Fredrik Lysholm
    • Totte Niittylä
    • Åke Olson
    • Nemanja Rilakovic
    • Carol Ritland
    • Josep A. Rosselló
    • Juliana Sena
    • Thomas Svensson
    • Carlos Talavera-López
    • Günter Theißen
    • Hannele Tuominen
    • Kevin Vanneste
    • Zhi-Qiang Wu
    • Bo Zhang
    • Philipp Zerbe
    • Lars Arvestad
    • Rishikesh Bhalerao
    • Joerg Bohlmann
    • Jean Bousquet
    • Rosario Garcia Gil
    • Torgeir R. Hvidsten
    • Pieter de Jong
    • John MacKay
    • Michele Morgante
    • Kermit Ritland
    • Björn Sundberg
    • Stacey Lee Thompson
    • Yves Van de Peer
    • Björn Andersson
    • Ove Nilsson
    • Pär K. Ingvarsson
    • Joakim Lundeberg
    • Stefan Jansson

    The draft genome of the Norway spruce (P. abies) is presented; this is the first gymnosperm genome to be sequenced and reveals a large genome size (20 Gb) resulting from the accumulation of transposable elements, and comparative sequencing of five other gymnosperm genomes provides insights into conifer genome evolution.

    See also
  • The importance of mixed selectivity in complex cognitive tasks

    • Mattia Rigotti
    • Omri Barak
    • Melissa R. Warden
    • Xiao-Jing Wang
    • Nathaniel D. Daw
    • Earl K. Miller
    • Stefano Fusi

    When an animal is performing a cognitive task, individual neurons in the prefrontal cortex show a mixture of responses that is often difficult to decipher and interpret; here new computational methods to decode and extract rich sets of information from these neural responses are revealed and demonstrate how this mixed selectivity offers a computational advantage over specialized cells.


  • An anti-glitch in a magnetar

    • R. F. Archibald
    • V. M. Kaspi
    • C. -Y. Ng
    • K. N. Gourgouliatos
    • D. Tsang
    • P. Scholz
    • A. P. Beardmore
    • N. Gehrels
    • J. A. Kennea

    Magnetars sometimes exhibit mysterious ‘glitches’, during which angular momentum is transferred between the star’s outer and inner crusts, and involving a sudden spin-up of the star; here X-ray timing observations reveal a sudden spin-down, or ‘anti-glitch’ in a magnetar.

    See also
  • Cloning of Dirac fermions in graphene superlattices

    • L. A. Ponomarenko
    • R. V. Gorbachev
    • G. L. Yu
    • D. C. Elias
    • R. Jalil
    • A. A. Patel
    • A. Mishchenko
    • A. S. Mayorov
    • C. R. Woods
    • J. R. Wallbank
    • M. Mucha-Kruczynski
    • B. A. Piot
    • M. Potemski
    • I. V. Grigorieva
    • K. S. Novoselov
    • F. Guinea
    • V. I. Fal’ko
    • A. K. Geim

    Placing graphene on a boron nitride substrate and accurately aligning their crystallographic axes, to form a moiré superlattice, leads to profound changes in the graphene’s electronic spectrum.

  • Hofstadter’s butterfly and the fractal quantum Hall effect in moiré superlattices

    • C. R. Dean
    • L. Wang
    • P. Maher
    • C. Forsythe
    • F. Ghahari
    • Y. Gao
    • J. Katoch
    • M. Ishigami
    • P. Moon
    • M. Koshino
    • T. Taniguchi
    • K. Watanabe
    • K. L. Shepard
    • J. Hone
    • P. Kim

    Moiré superlattices arising in bilayer graphene coupled to hexagonal boron nitride provide a periodic potential modulation on a length scale ideally suited to studying the fractal features of the Hofstadter energy spectrum in large magnetic fields.

  • Emergence of two types of terrestrial planet on solidification of magma ocean

    • Keiko Hamano
    • Yutaka Abe
    • Hidenori Genda

    Terrestrial planets can be divided into two distinct types on the basis of their evolutionary history during solidification from their initial molten state: typeI planets (such as Earth) solidify within several million years and retain most of their water, and typeII planets (possibly such as Venus), formed inside a critical distance, are desiccated by hydrodynamic escape.

    See also
  • Palaeontological evidence for an Oligocene divergence between Old World monkeys and apes

    • Nancy J. Stevens
    • Erik R. Seiffert
    • Patrick M. O’Connor
    • Eric M. Roberts
    • Mark D. Schmitz
    • Cornelia Krause
    • Eric Gorscak
    • Sifa Ngasala
    • Tobin L. Hieronymus
    • Joseph Temu

    Molecular evidence suggests that the evolutionary split between hominoids and cercopithecoids occurred between 25 and 30 Myr ago, but fossil evidence for crown-group catarrhines (cercopithecoids and hominoids) before 20 Myr ago has been lacking; newly described fossils of a stem hominoid and a stem cercopithecoid precisely dated to 25.2 Myr ago help to fill this gap in the fossil record.

  • Long-term warming restructures Arctic tundra without changing net soil carbon storage

    • Seeta A. Sistla
    • John C. Moore
    • Rodney T. Simpson
    • Laura Gough
    • Gaius R. Shaver
    • Joshua P. Schimel

    Two decades of summer warming in an Alaskan tundra ecosystem increased plant biomass and woody dominance, indirectly increased winter soil temperature, homogenized the soil trophic structure and suppressed surface-soil-decomposer activity, but did not change net soil carbon or nitrogen storage.

  • BAF complexes facilitate decatenation of DNA by topoisomerase IIα

    • Emily C. Dykhuizen
    • Diana C. Hargreaves
    • Erik L. Miller
    • Kairong Cui
    • Andrey Korshunov
    • Marcel Kool
    • Stefan Pfister
    • Yoon-Jae Cho
    • Keji Zhao
    • Gerald R. Crabtree

    Mutations in the subunits of BAF chromatin-remodelling complexes are frequently found in human cancer; here deletion of BAF subunits or expression of mutants of the ATPase subunit BRG1 attenuates genome-wide binding of topoisomerase IIα, resulting in tangled chromosomes, anaphase bridges and G2/M arrest.

  • Specialized filopodia direct long-range transport of SHH during vertebrate tissue patterning

    • Timothy A. Sanders
    • Esther Llagostera
    • Maria Barna

    This study uses single-cell real-time imaging to show that sonic hedgehog (SHH) is produced in the form of a particle that is transported along a novel class of specialized actin-based filopodia spanning several cell diameters within the field of SHH cell signalling, thus expanding our knowledge of ligand movement during normal vertebrate development.

  • Macropinocytosis of protein is an amino acid supply route in Ras-transformed cells

    • Cosimo Commisso
    • Shawn M. Davidson
    • Rengin G. Soydaner-Azeloglu
    • Seth J. Parker
    • Jurre J. Kamphorst
    • Sean Hackett
    • Elda Grabocka
    • Michel Nofal
    • Jeffrey A. Drebin
    • Craig B. Thompson
    • Joshua D. Rabinowitz
    • Christian M. Metallo
    • Matthew G. Vander Heiden
    • Dafna Bar-Sagi

    Oncogenic Ras has previously been shown to promote macropinocytosis; here it is demonstrated that this process allows tumour cells to use extracellular proteins to generate amino acids necessary to support tumour growth.

  • Small molecule inhibition of the KRAS–PDEδ interaction impairs oncogenic KRAS signalling

    • Gunther Zimmermann
    • Björn Papke
    • Shehab Ismail
    • Nachiket Vartak
    • Anchal Chandra
    • Maike Hoffmann
    • Stephan A. Hahn
    • Gemma Triola
    • Alfred Wittinghofer
    • Philippe I. H. Bastiaens
    • Herbert Waldmann

    KRAS is one of the most frequently mutated oncogenes and a major target in anticancer drug discovery, but small molecule modulators that work in the clinic have been elusive; here a new approach to target KRAS is described, based on interfering with its binding to the prenyl-binding protein PDEδ.

    See also
  • Crystal structure of a nitrate/nitrite exchanger

    • Hongjin Zheng
    • Goragot Wisedchaisri
    • Tamir Gonen

    Cellular nitrite is rapidly removed from the cell to prevent formation of the cytotoxic nitric oxide; here the X-ray crystal structure of NarK, a bacterial nitrate/nitrite transport protein, is determined with and without substrate.