Table of Contents

Volume 502 Number 7473 pp593-716

31 October 2013

About the cover

‘Peak waste', the date when global production of solid waste reaches its maximum, is a useful pointer to the time that humankind will be having its greatest impact on the global environment. Precisely when it will happen is difficult to predict, but writing in a Comment piece in this issue, Daniel Hoornweg, Perinaz Bhada-Tata and Chris Kennedy calculate that on current socioeconomic trends, peak waste will not occur this century. This means that unless we reduce population growth and material consumption rates, the planet will have to bear an increasing waste burden. Hoornweg et al. prescribe population stabilization, better-managed cities consuming fewer resources and greater equity and use of technology as the means to bring peak waste forward. Cover: Nir Elias/Reuters

This Week


  • All together now

    Proposals to bring hydrofluorocarbons under the auspices of the Montreal Protocol provide a simple test of the international community’s commitment to tackling climate change.

  • Time to talk

    Online discussion is an essential aspect of the post-publication review of findings.

  • Playful paradoxes

    A half-century of Doctor Who has shown the dramatic possibilities of science in the arts.

World View


Seven Days

  • Seven days: 25–31 October 2013

    The week in science: PubMed pilots online commenting, NASA laser communications set speed record, and Greenland lifts ban on uranium mining.

    News in Focus


    • Ecology: Lady of the lakes

      No Alt text available for this image

      Diane Orihel set her PhD aside to lead a massive protest when Canada tried to shut down its unique Experimental Lakes Area.

      • Hannah Hoag


    Books and Arts

    • Psychology: The appetite for right

      John Whitfield explores two studies that take us from infant ethics to moral choices faced by adults in society.

      • Review of Just Babies: The Origins of Good and Evil & Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them
        Paul Bloom & Joshua Greene
    • Space science: Zero-gravity hero

      John Gilbey is gripped by the memoir of Chris Hadfield, a former International Space Station commander.

      • Review of An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared For Anything
        Chris Hadfield








    Career Briefs


    naturejobs job listings and advertising features




    • Arteriolar niches maintain haematopoietic stem cell quiescence

      • Yuya Kunisaki
      • Ingmar Bruns
      • Christoph Scheiermann
      • Jalal Ahmed
      • Sandra Pinho
      • Dachuan Zhang
      • Toshihide Mizoguchi
      • Qiaozhi Wei
      • Daniel Lucas
      • Keisuke Ito
      • Jessica C. Mar
      • Aviv Bergman
      • Paul S. Frenette

      Immunofluorescence imaging and computational modelling are used to study the spatial distribution of different cell types within the haematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche; findings show that quiescent HSCs associate specifically with small arterioles that are preferentially found in the endosteal bone marrow and are essential in maintaining this quiescence.

    • Crystal structure of the 14-subunit RNA polymerase I

      • Carlos Fernández-Tornero
      • María Moreno-Morcillo
      • Umar J. Rashid
      • Nicholas M. I. Taylor
      • Federico M. Ruiz
      • Tim Gruene
      • Pierre Legrand
      • Ulrich Steuerwald
      • Christoph W. Müller

      RNA polymerase (Pol) I transcribes ribosomal RNA that is critically required for ribosome assembly, and the enzyme is a major determinant of protein biosynthesis and cell growth; here the crystal structure of the complete 14-subunit Pol I from yeast is determined, providing insights into its unique architecture and the possible functional roles of its components.

      See also


    • Coupling a single electron to a Bose–Einstein condensate

      • Jonathan B. Balewski
      • Alexander T. Krupp
      • Anita Gaj
      • David Peter
      • Hans Peter Büchler
      • Robert Löw
      • Sebastian Hofferberth
      • Tilman Pfau

      A single electron in a defined orbital is found to interact with a quantum many-body system through electron–phonon coupling.

    • Gradual demise of a thin southern Laurentide ice sheet recorded by Mississippi drainage

      • Andrew D. Wickert
      • Jerry X. Mitrovica
      • Carlie Williams
      • Robert S. Anderson

      Four reconstructions of North American ice-sheet history are tested using oxygen isotope records from the Gulf of Mexico in a water-mixing model; the one based on ice physics is the best match to the isotopic data and to the observed Last Glacial Maximum fall in sea level due to melting of the Laurentide ice sheet.

    • Decoupling of soil nutrient cycles as a function of aridity in global drylands

      • Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo
      • Fernando T. Maestre
      • Antonio Gallardo
      • Matthew A. Bowker
      • Matthew D. Wallenstein
      • Jose Luis Quero
      • Victoria Ochoa
      • Beatriz Gozalo
      • Miguel García-Gómez
      • Santiago Soliveres
      • Pablo García-Palacios
      • Miguel Berdugo
      • Enrique Valencia
      • Cristina Escolar
      • Tulio Arredondo
      • Claudia Barraza-Zepeda
      • Donaldo Bran
      • José Antonio Carreira
      • Mohamed Chaieb
      • Abel A. Conceição
      • Mchich Derak
      • David J. Eldridge
      • Adrián Escudero
      • Carlos I. Espinosa
      • Juan Gaitán
      • M. Gabriel Gatica
      • Susana Gómez-González
      • Elizabeth Guzman
      • Julio R. Gutiérrez
      • Adriana Florentino
      • Estela Hepper
      • Rosa M. Hernández
      • Elisabeth Huber-Sannwald
      • Mohammad Jankju
      • Jushan Liu
      • Rebecca L. Mau
      • Maria Miriti
      • Jorge Monerris
      • Kamal Naseri
      • Zouhaier Noumi
      • Vicente Polo
      • Aníbal Prina
      • Eduardo Pucheta
      • Elizabeth Ramírez
      • David A. Ramírez-Collantes
      • Roberto Romão
      • Matthew Tighe
      • Duilio Torres
      • Cristian Torres-Díaz
      • Eugene D. Ungar
      • James Val
      • Wanyoike Wamiti
      • Deli Wang
      • Eli Zaady

      Soil samples collected from 224 dryland sites around the world show that aridity affects the concentration of organic carbon and total nitrogen differently from the concentration of inorganic phosphorus, suggesting that any predicted increase in aridity with climate change could uncouple the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles in drylands and negatively affect the services provided by these ecosystems.

      See also
    • DMSP biosynthesis by an animal and its role in coral thermal stress response

      • Jean-Baptiste Raina
      • Dianne M. Tapiolas
      • Sylvain Forêt
      • Adrian Lutz
      • David Abrego
      • Janja Ceh
      • François O. Seneca
      • Peta L. Clode
      • David G. Bourne
      • Bette L. Willis
      • Cherie A. Motti

      Until now, dimethylsulphoniopropionate (DMSP), an important component in the sulphur cycle, has been thought to be produced solely by algae and some plants; however, this study shows that the coral animal also produces DMSP, in addition to that produced by the coral’s algal symbiont, with potential implications for the sulphur cycle and its climatic consequences as corals and their symbionts are affected by global change.

      See also
    • Structural insight into magnetochrome-mediated magnetite biomineralization

      • Marina I. Siponen
      • Pierre Legrand
      • Marc Widdrat
      • Stephanie R. Jones
      • Wei-Jia Zhang
      • Michelle C. Y. Chang
      • Damien Faivre
      • Pascal Arnoux
      • David Pignol

      The magnetosome-associated protein mamP is an iron oxidase that reveals a unique arrangement of a self-plugged PDZ domain fused to two magnetochrome domains, defining a new class of c-type cytochrome exclusively found in magnetotactic bacteria.

    • Synthetic non-oxidative glycolysis enables complete carbon conservation

      • Igor W. Bogorad
      • Tzu-Shyang Lin
      • James C. Liao

      A non-oxidative, cyclic pathway—termed non-oxidative glycolysis—is designed and constructed that enables complete carbon conservation in sugar catabolism to acetyl-coenzyme A, and can be used to achieve a 100% carbon yield to fuels and chemicals.

    • Discovery of new enzymes and metabolic pathways by using structure and genome context

      • Suwen Zhao
      • Ritesh Kumar
      • Ayano Sakai
      • Matthew W. Vetting
      • B. McKay Wood
      • Shoshana Brown
      • Jeffery B. Bonanno
      • Brandan S. Hillerich
      • Ronald D. Seidel
      • Patricia C. Babbitt
      • Steven C. Almo
      • Jonathan V. Sweedler
      • John A. Gerlt
      • John E. Cronan
      • Matthew P. Jacobson

      Pathway docking (in silico docking of metabolites to several enzymes and binding proteins in a metabolic pathway) enables the discovery of a catabolic pathway for the osmolyte trans-4-hydroxy-l-proline betaine.

    • Visualizing virus assembly intermediates inside marine cyanobacteria

      • Wei Dai
      • Caroline Fu
      • Desislava Raytcheva
      • John Flanagan
      • Htet A. Khant
      • Xiangan Liu
      • Ryan H. Rochat
      • Cameron Haase-Pettingell
      • Jacqueline Piret
      • Steve J. Ludtke
      • Kuniaki Nagayama
      • Michael F. Schmid
      • Jonathan A. King
      • Wah Chiu

      This study reports the first application of Zernike phase contrast (ZPC) electron cryo-tomography to examine cellular processes without the need for labelling or sectioning; the technique is used to visualize the maturation of the cyanophage Syn5 inside its host cell, identifying subcellular compartments and five distinct Syn5 assembly intermediates.