Volume 580 Issue 7802, 9 April 2020

Clearing the bottleneck

Plastic waste is a major environmental issue, with some 200 million tonnes accumulating in landfill or the natural environment each year. One significant contributor to the problem is poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), which is widely used to make plastic bottles and is not easy to recycle. In this week’s issue, Alain Marty and his colleagues report that they have engineered an enzyme that at a pilot scale can efficiently break PET down into its monomer constituents. After 10 hours, the team’s PET hydrolase can depolymerize PET by at least 90%. More importantly, the resulting purified monomers have the same properties as those freshly generated from petrochemical feedstocks and so can be reused to make bottles, thereby moving closer to the idea of a circular economy based on PET.

Cover image: Randy Olson/National Geographic

This Week

News in Focus

Books & Arts

Opinion

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Research

    News & Views

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    • Elham M. T. Fadaly
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    • , Marvin A. J. van Tilburg
    • , Chenyang Mao
    • , Yizhen Ren
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    • , Ksenia Korzun
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    • , Jürgen Furthmüller
    • , Friedhelm Bechstedt
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    • , Pengchao Zhang
    • , Jiajia Zhou
    • , Shuanhu Qi
    • , Yoshihiro Yamauchi
    • , Ruirui Shi
    • , Ruochen Fang
    • , Yasuhiro Ishida
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  • Article |

    Computer-aided engineering produces improvements to an enzyme that breaks down poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) into its constituent monomers, which are used to synthesize PET of near-petrochemical grade that can be further processed into bottles.

    • V. Tournier
    • , C. M. Topham
    • , A. Gilles
    • , B. David
    • , C. Folgoas
    • , E. Moya-Leclair
    • , E. Kamionka
    • , M.-L. Desrousseaux
    • , H. Texier
    • , S. Gavalda
    • , M. Cot
    • , E. Guémard
    • , M. Dalibey
    • , J. Nomme
    • , G. Cioci
    • , S. Barbe
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    • , I. André
    • , S. Duquesne
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    • Xiaheng Zhang
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    • Mingkai Jiang
    • , Belinda E. Medlyn
    • , John E. Drake
    • , Remko A. Duursma
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    • , Matthias M. Boer
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    • , Bruna M. dos Santos
    • , Kathryn M. Emmerson
    • , Sarah L. Facey
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    • , Teresa E. Gimeno
    • , Shun Hasegawa
    • , Scott N. Johnson
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    • , Elizabeth H. J. Neilson
    • , Uffe N. Nielsen
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    • , Nam Jin Noh
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    • , Varsha S. Pathare
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    • , Juan Piñeiro
    • , Jeff R. Powell
    • , Sally A. Power
    • , Peter B. Reich
    • , Alexandre A. Renchon
    • , Markus Riegler
    • , Riikka Rinnan
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    • , Roberto L. Salomón
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    • , Jonathan R. Rhodes
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    • Frido Welker
    • , Jazmín Ramos-Madrigal
    • , Petra Gutenbrunner
    • , Meaghan Mackie
    • , Shivani Tiwary
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    Collection:

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    • Jacob J. Chabon
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    • , David M. Kurtz
    • , Mohammad S. Esfahani
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    • , Neal Yuan
    • , Joseph Ebinger
    • , Curtis P. Langlotz
    • , Paul A. Heidenreich
    • , Robert A. Harrington
    • , David H. Liang
    • , Euan A. Ashley
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    • , Christie Chang
    • , Jessica LeBerichel
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    • , Laura Walker
    • , John P. Finnigan
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    • , Pedro Gaspar
    • , Lena van Giesen
    • , Tatiana Lopes
    • , Olena Riabinina
    • , Théodore Grenier
    • , Alexandra Milona
    • , Bhavna Chanana
    • , Jacob B. Swadling
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    • , Farah Dahalan
    • , Michaela Yuan
    • , Michaela Wilsch-Brauninger
    • , Wei-hsiang Lin
    • , Nathan Dennison
    • , Paolo Capriotti
    • , Mara K. N. Lawniczak
    • , Richard A. Baines
    • , Tobias Warnecke
    • , Nikolai Windbichler
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    • , Nicholas W. Bellono
    •  & Irene Miguel-Aliaga
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    Organoids derived from human intestinal cells that are co-cultured with bacteria carrying the genotoxic pks+ island develop a distinct mutational signature associated with colorectal cancer.

    • Cayetano Pleguezuelos-Manzano
    • , Jens Puschhof
    • , Axel Rosendahl Huber
    • , Arne van Hoeck
    • , Henry M. Wood
    • , Jason Nomburg
    • , Carino Gurjao
    • , Freek Manders
    • , Guillaume Dalmasso
    • , Paul B. Stege
    • , Fernanda L. Paganelli
    • , Maarten H. Geurts
    • , Joep Beumer
    • , Tomohiro Mizutani
    • , Yi Miao
    • , Reinier van der Linden
    • , Stefan van der Elst
    • , J. C. Ambrose
    • , P. Arumugam
    • , E. L. Baple
    • , M. Bleda
    • , F. Boardman-Pretty
    • , J. M. Boissiere
    • , C. R. Boustred
    • , H. Brittain
    • , M. J. Caulfield
    • , G. C. Chan
    • , C. E. H. Craig
    • , L. C. Daugherty
    • , A. de Burca
    • , A. Devereau
    • , G. Elgar
    • , R. E. Foulger
    • , T. Fowler
    • , P. Furió-Tarí
    • , J. M. Hackett
    • , D. Halai
    • , A. Hamblin
    • , S. Henderson
    • , J. E. Holman
    • , T. J. P. Hubbard
    • , K. Ibáñez
    • , R. Jackson
    • , L. J. Jones
    • , D. Kasperaviciute
    • , M. Kayikci
    • , L. Lahnstein
    • , L. Lawson
    • , S. E. A. Leigh
    • , I. U. S. Leong
    • , F. J. Lopez
    • , F. Maleady-Crowe
    • , J. Mason
    • , E. M. McDonagh
    • , L. Moutsianas
    • , M. Mueller
    • , N. Murugaesu
    • , A. C. Need
    • , C. A. Odhams
    • , C. Patch
    • , D. Perez-Gil
    • , D. Polychronopoulos
    • , J. Pullinger
    • , T. Rahim
    • , A. Rendon
    • , P. Riesgo-Ferreiro
    • , T. Rogers
    • , M. Ryten
    • , K. Savage
    • , K. Sawant
    • , R. H. Scott
    • , A. Siddiq
    • , A. Sieghart
    • , D. Smedley
    • , K. R. Smith
    • , A. Sosinsky
    • , W. Spooner
    • , H. E. Stevens
    • , A. Stuckey
    • , R. Sultana
    • , E. R. A. Thomas
    • , S. R. Thompson
    • , C. Tregidgo
    • , A. Tucci
    • , E. Walsh
    • , S. A. Watters
    • , M. J. Welland
    • , E. Williams
    • , K. Witkowska
    • , S. M. Wood
    • , M. Zarowiecki
    • , K. Christopher Garcia
    • , Janetta Top
    • , Rob J. L. Willems
    • , Marios Giannakis
    • , Richard Bonnet
    • , Phil Quirke
    • , Matthew Meyerson
    • , Edwin Cuppen
    • , Ruben van Boxtel
    •  & Hans Clevers
  • Article |

    A conserved satellite repeat in the mosquito Aedes aegypti encodes PIWI-interacting RNAs that promote sequence-specific gene silencing in trans and have an essential role in embryonic development.

    • Rebecca Halbach
    • , Pascal Miesen
    • , Joep Joosten
    • , Ezgi Taşköprü
    • , Inge Rondeel
    • , Bas Pennings
    • , Chantal B. F. Vogels
    • , Sarah H. Merkling
    • , Constantianus J. Koenraadt
    • , Louis Lambrechts
    •  & Ronald P. van Rij
  • Article |

    Cryo-EM structures of the FANCI–FANCD2 complex bound to DNA reveal that monoubiquitination triggers structural changes that enable the complex to function as a sliding DNA clamp and coordinate the repair of DNA interstrand crosslinks.

    • Renjing Wang
    • , Shengliu Wang
    • , Ankita Dhar
    • , Christopher Peralta
    •  & Nikola P. Pavletich
  • Article |

    Cyro-electron microscopy of tau filaments from people with corticobasal degeneration reveals a previously unseen four-layered fold, distinct from the filament structures seen in Alzheimer’s disease, Pick’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

    • Wenjuan Zhang
    • , Airi Tarutani
    • , Kathy L. Newell
    • , Alexey G. Murzin
    • , Tomoyasu Matsubara
    • , Benjamin Falcon
    • , Ruben Vidal
    • , Holly J. Garringer
    • , Yang Shi
    • , Takeshi Ikeuchi
    • , Shigeo Murayama
    • , Bernardino Ghetti
    • , Masato Hasegawa
    • , Michel Goedert
    •  & Sjors H. W. Scheres
  • Article |

    Cryo-electron microscopy structures and molecular dynamics simulations of the calcium-activated potassium channel MthK from Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum are used to show that gating of this channel involves a ball-and-chain inactivation mechanism mediated by a previously unresolved N-terminal peptide.

    • Chen Fan
    • , Nattakan Sukomon
    • , Emelie Flood
    • , Jan Rheinberger
    • , Toby W. Allen
    •  & Crina M. Nimigean

Amendments & Corrections

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