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Volume 498 Issue 7452, 6 June 2013

Niels Bohr introduced what became known as the Bohr model of atomic structure in 1913. The model has since been superseded, but the familiar Solar-System-like structure was based on sound foundations and has served theorists and experiments well down the years. We mark this centenary with a special issue of Nature reflecting the past, present and future of the theory of atom structure. Cover: Thomas Porostocky


  • Editorial |

    Scientists must embrace funding-agency efforts to track research outputs and encourage open access to the literature.

  • Editorial |

    Research must be seen to be accountable, even if that means hanging on to redundant reviews.

World View

  • World View |

    An imminent rethink is required on the country’s approach to government-supported health and pharmaceutical studies, says Arthur J. Ammann.

    • Arthur J. Ammann

Research Highlights

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: Transgenic wheat escapes from US testing fields, H7N9 returns after lull in China, and Martian minerals get mapped.



News Feature

  • News Feature |

    One hundred years after Niels Bohr published his model of the atom, a special issue of Nature explores its legacy — and how much there is still to learn about atomic structure.

  • News Feature |

    Physicists are stretching, stripping and contorting atoms to new and bizarre limits.

    • Richard Van Noorden


  • Comment |

    John L. Heilbron describes the route that led Niels Bohr to quantize electron orbits a century ago.

    • John L. Heilbron
  • Comment |

    While we are still learning about the particle's true nature, says Frank Wilczek, let's celebrate its beauty.

    • Frank Wilczek

Books & Arts


News & Views Forum

  • News & Views Forum |

    Niels Bohr's model of the structure of the atom raised the question of how large an atom can be. One hundred years on, the issue is still unresolved. Two physicists discuss the theoretical limits of atomic and nuclear size.

    • Paul Indelicato
    • Alexander Karpov

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Ultrasound measurements in a copper oxide superconductor have revealed an exotic phase of matter, composed of loops of spontaneous quantum currents, that has hitherto excelled at evading observation. See Letter p.75

    • Jan Zaanen
  • News & Views |

    The finding that innate lymphoid cells can control the activity of CD4+ T cells reveals another potential form of immune-system regulation, and may help to explain how the body distinguishes resident from pathogenic bacteria. See Letter p.113

    • Marco Colonna
  • News & Views |

    Optical spectroscopic imaging has taken a leap into the intramolecular regime with an approach that achieves subnanometre spatial resolution. The technique should find applications in photochemistry and nanotechnology. See Letter p.82

    • Joanna M. Atkin
    • Markus B. Raschke
  • News & Views |

    The enzyme co-substrate SAM has long been known to have two chemically distinct roles. A study of the CmoA enzyme suggests that SAM has a third trick up its sleeve — it forms species known as ylides. See Letter p.123

    • Bradley J. Landgraf
    • Squire J. Booker
  • News & Views |

    Forests recovering from human disturbance act as a substantial sink that helps to absorb anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. Simulations suggest that nutrient limitation reduces that effect.

    • Julia Pongratz
  • News & Views |

    Characteristic profiles of gut microorganisms in people with type 2 diabetes could aid diagnostics and therapies, but differing signatures between ethnicities and genders highlight the need for further studies. See Letter p.99

    • Willem M. de Vos
    • Max Nieuwdorp

Review Article

  • Review Article |

    A review of the past six years of research on ice-sheet mass-balance change shows that accelerated loss from Greenland is a robust finding, but that loss from Antarctica is probably far lower than previously thought.

    • Edward Hanna
    • Francisco J. Navarro
    • H. Jay Zwally


  • Article |

    Understanding the earliest phases of primate evolution is obscured by gaps in the fossil record, but some light is shed by the discovery of a nearly complete and substantially articulated skeleton of a tiny primate from the early Eocene; the new primate lies near the pivotal evolutionary dichotomy separating the tarsier and anthropoid lineages and it possesses features that are characteristic of subsequent members of both lineages.

    • Xijun Ni
    • Daniel L. Gebo
    • K. Christopher Beard
  • Article |

    In freely moving rodents, eye movements serve to keep the visual fields of the two eyes continuously overlapping overhead at the expense of continuous alignment, a strategy that may have evolved to maintain constant overhead surveillance of predators.

    • Damian J. Wallace
    • David S. Greenberg
    • Jason N. D. Kerr
  • Article |

    KAT5 tyrosine phosphorylation, mediated by the tyrosine kinase c-Abl, increases after DNA damage, promoting KAT5 binding to histone H3K9me3, which triggers KAT5-mediated acetylation of the ATM kinase; this promotes the activation of the DNA damage checkpoint and cell survival.

    • Abderrahmane Kaidi
    • Stephen P. Jackson


  • Letter |

    Chemical mapping of a single molecule by optical means down to subnanometre resolution is achieved by spectrally matching the resonance of a nanocavity plasmon to the vibronic transitions of the molecules being studied, using tip-enhanced Raman scattering.

    • R. Zhang
    • Y. Zhang
    • J. G. Hou
  • Letter | | Open Access

    The genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant Utricularia gibba is described here; despite having undergone at least three rounds of whole-genome duplication, its genome is unusually small and virtually devoid of intergenic DNA.

    • Enrique Ibarra-Laclette
    • Eric Lyons
    • Luis Herrera-Estrella
  • Letter |

    The faecal metagenome of a cohort of 145 European women with normal, impaired or diabetic glucose control was characterized and discriminant metagenomic markers for type 2 diabetes were identified; the discriminant markers differed from those of a recent Chinese cohort, suggesting that metagenomic predictive tools may need to be specific for age and geographic location.

    • Fredrik H. Karlsson
    • Valentina Tremaroli
    • Fredrik Bäckhed
  • Letter |

    Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH) is identified as a crucial mediator of BRAFV600E-induced cellular senescence: PDH is activated by BRAF-mediated suppression of PDK1, enhancing oxidative glucose metabolism, and PDK1 depletion eradicates mutant BRAF melanomas, indicating that this relationship between cell senescence and metabolism might be exploited therapeutically.

    • Joanna Kaplon
    • Liang Zheng
    • Daniel S. Peeper
  • Letter |

    Gene-expression studies are used to elucidate the relationship between cholesterol regulation and angiogenesis: apolipoprotein A-1 binding protein (AIBP) is found to enhance cholesterol influx from endothelial cells to high-density lipoprotein, and the resulting cholesterol depletion alters membrane lipid order in the vasculature, leading to decreased vascular endothelial growth factor receptor signalling.

    • Longhou Fang
    • Soo-Ho Choi
    • Yury I. Miller
  • Letter |

    Members of the SAM-dependent methyltransferase superfamily are involved in the modification of wobble uridine to 5-oxacetyl uridine in Gram-negative bacteria; CmoA converts SAM to carboxy-SAM (Cx-SAM; a metabolite that was unknown previously), and CmoB uses Cx-SAM to convert 5-hydroxyuridine to 5-oxyacetyl uridine in tRNA.

    • Jungwook Kim
    • Hui Xiao
    • Steven C. Almo


  • Feature |

    A growing number of biotechnology companies employ a skeleton crew of managers and outsource hands-on science.

    • Heidi Ledford



  • Futures |

    In perfect harmony.

    • Tony Ballantyne

Brief Communications Arising

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