Table of Contents

Volume 499 Number 7459 pp379-514

25 July 2013

About the cover

This three-dimensional isosurface rendering of the distribution of carbon monoxide emission in the nearby starburst galaxy NGC 253, imaged by the ALMA radio telescope, shows the filaments of a cool molecular wind in position-position-velocity space. Colour corresponds to the intensity of emission from red (faint) to blue-purple (bright). New interferometric observations that reveal the central two kiloparsec region of NGC 253 in unprecedented detail make it possible to measure the mass-outflow rate of the starburst system for the first time. By ejecting around nine solar masses per year (three times the mass converted to stars in the same period), the starburst-driven ‘superwind‘ limits the star formation rate and the number of stars produced in this galaxy. Cover: Erik Rosolowsky

This Week


  • Plastic fantastic

    A resurgence in organic technology is set to transform the world of electronic devices, offering a way to give the very fabric of life enhanced functionality.

  • Antibiotic threat

    In the fight to combat antibiotic resistance, researchers should strengthen their advocacy.

World View


Seven Days

  • Seven days: 19–25 July 2013

    The week in science: Elusive tar drop caught on film, Alan Turing set for UK pardon, and plan for Antarctic reserves fails.

News in Focus


  • Antibiotic resistance: The last resort

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    Health officials are watching in horror as bacteria become resistant to powerful carbapenem antibiotics — one of the last drugs on the shelf.

    • Maryn McKenna
  • MRSA: Farming up trouble

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    Microbiologists are trying to work out whether use of antibiotics on farms is fuelling the human epidemic of drug-resistant bacteria.

    • Beth Mole


Books and Arts

  • Evolutionary biology: Rare bird of evolution

    Ben Sheldon applauds a life of the schoolmaster who broke new ground on Darwin's finches and speciation.

    • Review of The Life of David Lack: Father of Evolutionary Ecology
      Ted R. Anderson
  • Cryptozoology: Beastly fakes

    Daniel Cressey delves into a sceptics' history of monster hunters and their mythical quarry.

    • Review of Abominable Science! Origins of the Yeti, Nessie, and Other Famous Cryptids
      Daniel Loxton & Donald R. Prothero
  • Q&A: Mountain guardian

    Dane Maxwell is the specialist in Hawaiian traditional culture advising the US National Solar Observatory and its partners as they build the world's largest solar observatory atop Haleakala on the island of Maui. He talks about the sacred mountain, known as the house of the Sun, and local responses to the Advanced Technology Solar Telescope (ATST).






Career Briefs


naturejobs job listings and advertising features



Technology Feature



Brief Communications Arising



  • Van der Waals heterostructures

    • A. K. Geim
    • I. V. Grigorieva

    Fabrication techniques developed for graphene research allow the disassembly of many layered crystals (so-called van der Waals materials) into individual atomic planes and their reassembly into designer heterostructures, which reveal new properties and phenomena.


  • Heavy solitons in a fermionic superfluid

    • Tarik Yefsah
    • Ariel T. Sommer
    • Mark J. H. Ku
    • Lawrence W. Cheuk
    • Wenjie Ji
    • Waseem S. Bakr
    • Martin W. Zwierlein

    Solitons — solitary waves that maintain their shape as they propagate — in a strongly interacting superfluid of fermionic lithium atoms are found to have an effective mass more than 50 times larger than the theoretically predicted value, a sign of strong quantum fluctuations.

    See also
  • Insights into the phylogeny and coding potential of microbial dark matterOpen

    • Christian Rinke
    • Patrick Schwientek
    • Alexander Sczyrba
    • Natalia N. Ivanova
    • Iain J. Anderson
    • Jan-Fang Cheng
    • Aaron Darling
    • Stephanie Malfatti
    • Brandon K. Swan
    • Esther A. Gies
    • Jeremy A. Dodsworth
    • Brian P. Hedlund
    • George Tsiamis
    • Stefan M. Sievert
    • Wen-Tso Liu
    • Jonathan A. Eisen
    • Steven J. Hallam
    • Nikos C. Kyrpides
    • Ramunas Stepanauskas
    • Edward M. Rubin
    • Philip Hugenholtz
    • Tanja Woyke

    Uncultivated archaeal and bacterial cells of major uncharted branches of the tree of life are targeted and sequenced using single-cell genomics; this enables resolution of many intra- and inter-phylum-level relationships, uncovers unexpected metabolic features that challenge established boundaries between the three domains of life, and leads to the proposal of two new superphyla.

  • Structure of class B GPCR corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1

    • Kaspar Hollenstein
    • James Kean
    • Andrea Bortolato
    • Robert K. Y. Cheng
    • Andrew S. Doré
    • Ali Jazayeri
    • Robert M. Cooke
    • Malcolm Weir
    • Fiona H. Marshall

    Approximately 30% of known drugs target G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but all the published structures of GPCRs to date are from the class A family of GPCRs; here the first X-ray crystal structure of a member of the class B family of GPCRs, the human corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1, is determined.

    See also
  • Structure of the human glucagon class B G-protein-coupled receptor

    • Fai Yiu Siu
    • Min He
    • Chris de Graaf
    • Gye Won Han
    • Dehua Yang
    • Zhiyun Zhang
    • Caihong Zhou
    • Qingping Xu
    • Daniel Wacker
    • Jeremiah S. Joseph
    • Wei Liu
    • Jesper Lau
    • Vadim Cherezov
    • Vsevolod Katritch
    • Ming-Wei Wang
    • Raymond C. Stevens

    The X-ray crystal structure of the human glucagon receptor, a potential drug target for type 2 diabetes, offers a structural basis for molecular recognition by class B G-protein-coupled receptors.

    See also


  • An ultra-lightweight design for imperceptible plastic electronics

    • Martin Kaltenbrunner
    • Tsuyoshi Sekitani
    • Jonathan Reeder
    • Tomoyuki Yokota
    • Kazunori Kuribara
    • Takeyoshi Tokuhara
    • Michael Drack
    • Reinhard Schwödiauer
    • Ingrid Graz
    • Simona Bauer-Gogonea
    • Siegfried Bauer
    • Takao Someya

    Electronic sensor foils only 2μm thick are extremely light, 27-fold lighter than office paper, durable and flexible and conform to curvilinear surfaces for many innovative applications.

  • High frequency of functional extinctions in ecological networks

    • Torbjörn Säterberg
    • Stefan Sellman
    • Bo Ebenman

    A modelling study of the mechanisms of extinction within ecological networks reveals how even a small reduction in the population size of a species may lead to the loss of its ecological functionality—that is, to its functional extinction—by causing extinction of other organisms in the food web, often only indirectly connected to the focal species, revealing the value of conservation strategies that target a broader ecological network.

  • Great ape genetic diversity and population historyOpen

    • Javier Prado-Martinez
    • Peter H. Sudmant
    • Jeffrey M. Kidd
    • Heng Li
    • Joanna L. Kelley
    • Belen Lorente-Galdos
    • Krishna R. Veeramah
    • August E. Woerner
    • Timothy D. O’Connor
    • Gabriel Santpere
    • Alexander Cagan
    • Christoph Theunert
    • Ferran Casals
    • Hafid Laayouni
    • Kasper Munch
    • Asger Hobolth
    • Anders E. Halager
    • Maika Malig
    • Jessica Hernandez-Rodriguez
    • Irene Hernando-Herraez
    • Kay Prüfer
    • Marc Pybus
    • Laurel Johnstone
    • Michael Lachmann
    • Can Alkan
    • Dorina Twigg
    • Natalia Petit
    • Carl Baker
    • Fereydoun Hormozdiari
    • Marcos Fernandez-Callejo
    • Marc Dabad
    • Michael L. Wilson
    • Laurie Stevison
    • Cristina Camprubí
    • Tiago Carvalho
    • Aurora Ruiz-Herrera
    • Laura Vives
    • Marta Mele
    • Teresa Abello
    • Ivanela Kondova
    • Ronald E. Bontrop
    • Anne Pusey
    • Felix Lankester
    • John A. Kiyang
    • Richard A. Bergl
    • Elizabeth Lonsdorf
    • Simon Myers
    • Mario Ventura
    • Pascal Gagneux
    • David Comas
    • Hans Siegismund
    • Julie Blanc
    • Lidia Agueda-Calpena
    • Marta Gut
    • Lucinda Fulton
    • Sarah A. Tishkoff
    • James C. Mullikin
    • Richard K. Wilson
    • Ivo G. Gut
    • Mary Katherine Gonder
    • Oliver A. Ryder
    • Beatrice H. Hahn
    • Arcadi Navarro
    • Joshua M. Akey
    • Jaume Bertranpetit
    • David Reich
    • Thomas Mailund
    • Mikkel H. Schierup
    • Christina Hvilsom
    • Aida M. Andrés
    • Jeffrey D. Wall
    • Carlos D. Bustamante
    • Michael F. Hammer
    • Evan E. Eichler
    • Tomas Marques-Bonet

    High-coverage sequencing of 79 (wild and captive) individuals representing all six non-human great ape species has identified over 88million single nucleotide polymorphisms providing insight into ape genetic variation and evolutionary history and enabling comparison with human genetic diversity.

  • Attention enhances synaptic efficacy and the signal-to-noise ratio in neural circuits

    • Farran Briggs
    • George R. Mangun
    • W. Martin Usrey

    In monkeys performing a visual spatial attention task, stimulation of neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus and recording of shock-evoked responses from monosynaptically connected primary-visual-cortex neurons shows that attention enhances neuronal communication by increasing the efficacy of presynaptic input, increasing synchronous responses, and by decreasing redundant signals.

  • Vascularized and functional human liver from an iPSC-derived organ bud transplant

    • Takanori Takebe
    • Keisuke Sekine
    • Masahiro Enomura
    • Hiroyuki Koike
    • Masaki Kimura
    • Takunori Ogaeri
    • Ran-Ran Zhang
    • Yasuharu Ueno
    • Yun-Wen Zheng
    • Naoto Koike
    • Shinsuke Aoyama
    • Yasuhisa Adachi
    • Hideki Taniguchi

    Vascularized, functional human liver is generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by transplantation of liver buds created in vitro (iPSC-LBs); hepatic cells self-organized into three-dimensional iPSC-LBs, and human vasculatures in iPSC-LB transplants became functional by connecting to host vessels, stimulating maturation of iPSC-LBs into tissue resembling adult liver and performing liver-specific functions.

  • Ptpn11 deletion in a novel progenitor causes metachondromatosis by inducing hedgehog signalling

    • Wentian Yang
    • Jianguo Wang
    • Douglas C. Moore
    • Haipei Liang
    • Mark Dooner
    • Qian Wu
    • Richard Terek
    • Qian Chen
    • Michael G. Ehrlich
    • Peter J. Quesenberry
    • Benjamin G. Neel

    Deletion of Ptpn11 in a newly defined mesenchymal progenitor population in the perichondral groove of Ranvier leads to metachondromatosis by increasing Indian hedgehog expression and activating hedgehog signalling, a process that can be reversed with the use of hedgehog pathway inhibitors.

    See also
  • Receptor binding by an H7N9 influenza virus from humans

    • Xiaoli Xiong
    • Stephen R. Martin
    • Lesley F. Haire
    • Stephen A. Wharton
    • Rodney S. Daniels
    • Michael S. Bennett
    • John W. McCauley
    • Patrick J. Collins
    • Philip A. Walker
    • John J. Skehel
    • Steven J. Gamblin

    An examination of the receptor-binding properties of the H7N9 virus, which has recently emerged in China, shows that the virus has acquired the ability to bind the human α-2,6-linked sialic acid receptor while retaining binding to the avian α-2,3-linked receptor, and therefore does not have the preference for human versus avian receptors characteristic of pandemic viruses.

    See also
  • Biological features of novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus

    • Jianfang Zhou
    • Dayan Wang
    • Rongbao Gao
    • Baihui Zhao
    • Jingdong Song
    • Xian Qi
    • Yanjun Zhang
    • Yonglin Shi
    • Lei Yang
    • Wenfei Zhu
    • Tian Bai
    • Kun Qin
    • Yu Lan
    • Shumei Zou
    • Junfeng Guo
    • Jie Dong
    • Libo Dong
    • Ye Zhang
    • Hejiang Wei
    • Xiaodan Li
    • Jian Lu
    • Liqi Liu
    • Xiang Zhao
    • Xiyan Li
    • Weijuan Huang
    • Leying Wen
    • Hong Bo
    • Li Xin
    • Yongkun Chen
    • Cuilin Xu
    • Yuquan Pei
    • Yue Yang
    • Xiaodong Zhang
    • Shiwen Wang
    • Zijian Feng
    • Jun Han
    • Weizhong Yang
    • George F. Gao
    • Guizhen Wu
    • Dexin Li
    • Yu Wang
    • Yuelong Shu

    An initial characterization of the receptor-binding properties of the novel avian influenza A (H7N9) shows that the virus has acquired the ability to bind human receptors while retaining the ability to bind avian receptors; the virus infects epithelial cells in the human lower respiratory tract and type II pneumocytes in the alveoli, and hypercytokinaemia was seen in infected patients.

    See also