Volume 499 Number 7459



Plastic fantastic p.379

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.

doi: 10.1038/499379a


Antibiotic threat p.379

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

doi: 10.1038/499379b



Monsanto drops GM in Europe p.387

Region abandoned owing to stalled approval process.

doi: 10.1038/499387a


Deadly pig virus slips through US borders p.388

Researchers race to track spread of coronavirus.

doi: 10.1038/499388a


Stricter standards sought to curb stem-cell confusion p.389

Initiative aims to clarify description of mesenchymal cells.

doi: 10.1038/499389a


Doubt cast over tiny stem cells p.390

Studies refute the existence of very small embryonic-like cells endorsed by the Vatican.

doi: 10.1038/499390a


Cyclotrons come full circle p.391

US physicists hope to rejuvenate a classic technology to support key neutrino experiments.

doi: 10.1038/499391a


China’s cordgrass plan is ‘overkill’ p.392

Experts say Shanghai sea wall will cripple wetland habitat.

doi: 10.1038/499392a

News Features


Antibiotic resistance: The last resort p.394


doi: 10.1038/499394a


MRSA: Farming up trouble p.398


doi: 10.1038/499398a

News & Views


Influenza: Pathways to human adaptation p.412


doi: 10.1038/nature12455


Condensed-matter physics: Dark and heavy p.413


doi: 10.1038/nature12454


Cell biology: Tumour stem cells in bone p.414


doi: 10.1038/nature12412


Astrophysics: How to catch a galactic wind p.416


doi: 10.1038/499416a


Structural biology: Meet the B family p.417


doi: 10.1038/nature12413



Van der Waals heterostructures p.419

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12385



Heavy solitons in a fermionic superfluid p.426

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12338


Insights into the phylogeny and coding potential of microbial dark matter OPEN p.431

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12352


Structure of class B GPCR corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 p.438

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12357


Structure of the human glucagon class B G-protein-coupled receptor p.444

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12393


宇宙:爆発的星形成に引き起こされる分子風による銀河NGC 253にける星形成の抑制

Suppression of star formation in the galaxy NGC 253 by a starburst-driven molecular wind p.450

Observations of the galaxy NGC 253 show that the cool molecular wind from the central starburst region limits star-formation activity and the final stellar content.

doi: 10.1038/nature12351


Solving the Martian meteorite age conundrum using micro-baddeleyite and launch-generated zircon p.454

The age of the representative Martian meteorite NWA 5298 is determined using spatially correlated electron-beam nanostructural and uranium–lead isotopic measurements of microminerals, resolving a paradox of different age interpretations for the evolution of Martian crust.

doi: 10.1038/nature12341


An ultra-lightweight design for imperceptible plastic electronics p.458

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

doi: 10.1038/nature12314


North Atlantic Ocean control on surface heat flux on multidecadal timescales p.464

Long-term time series of surface ocean-atmosphere heat fluxes show that the mid-latitude North Atlantic ocean may influence atmospheric variability on multidecadal timescales.

doi: 10.1038/nature12268


High frequency of functional extinctions in ecological networks p.468

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12277


Great ape genetic diversity and population history OPEN p.471

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

doi: 10.1038/nature12228


Attention enhances synaptic efficacy and the signal-to-noise ratio in neural circuits p.476

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12276


Vascularized and functional human liver from an iPSC-derived organ bud transplant p.481

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12271


mTORC1 couples immune signals and metabolic programming to establish Treg-cell function p.485

Here, mTORC1-dependent lipogenic programming is shown to be important for regulatory T-cell function, in part through the upregulation of the effector molecules CTLA4 and ICOS.

doi: 10.1038/nature12297


Ptpn11 deletion in a novel progenitor causes metachondromatosis by inducing hedgehog signalling p.491

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12396


Receptor binding by an H7N9 influenza virus from humans p.496

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12372


Biological features of novel avian influenza A (H7N9) virus p.500

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.

doi: 10.1038/nature12379

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