Volume 509 Number 7500



An accident waiting to happen p.259

The release of radioactive material at a US nuclear-waste repository reveals an all-too-common picture of complacency over safety and a gradual downgrading of regulations.

doi: 10.1038/509259a


Full support p.259

Germany should follow the United Kingdom’s lead and spell out the benefits of animal research.

doi: 10.1038/509259b


Hard data p.260

It has been no small feat for the Protein Data Bank to stay relevant for 100,000 structures.

doi: 10.1038/509260a



Call for better oversight of nuclear-waste storage p.267

Accident at US repository highlights need for tougher safety monitoring, say experts.

doi: 10.1038/509267a


Microbiome therapy gains market traction p.269

Wave of investment suggests drugs from body-dwelling bacteria are heading for the clinic.

doi: 10.1038/509269a


Atlantic current strength declines p.270

But more data are needed to indicate whether the slowing is a result of human-induced climate change.

doi: 10.1038/509270a


NASA plans Mars sample-return rover p.272

Agency to narrow down list of landing sites for 2020 mission.

doi: 10.1038/509272a

News Features


Homophobia and HIV research: Under siege p.274


doi: 10.1038/509274a


Cosmology: First light p.276


doi: 10.1038/509276a

News & Views


Climate science: Shifting storms p.290


doi: 10.1038/509290a


Synthetic biology: New letters for life's alphabet p.291


doi: 10.1038/nature13335


Organic chemistry: Collaborative synthesis p.293


doi: 10.1038/509293a


Neurobiology: To care or not to care p.294


doi: 10.1038/509294a


Sensory biology: Radio waves zap the biomagnetic compass p.296


doi: 10.1038/nature13334


Evolution: Geology and climate drive diversification p.297


doi: 10.1038/509297a



Recent advances in homogeneous nickel catalysis p.299

Some of the most recent and significant developments in homogeneous nickel catalysis are reviewed, including nickel-mediated cross-coupling reactions and carbon–hydrogen bond activation reactions.

doi: 10.1038/nature13274


Nucleotide signalling during inflammation p.310

Extracellular ATP released from cells during inflammatory responses predominantly functions as a signalling molecule through the activation of purinergic P2 receptors and contributes to both beneficial and detrimental inflammatory responses; this review examines P2 receptor signalling via ATP and its effect on the outcome of inflammatory and infectious diseases.

doi: 10.1038/nature13085



Total synthesis and isolation of citrinalin and cyclopiamine congeners p.318

Natural products citrinalin B and cyclopiamine B, which contain basic nitrogen atoms that are susceptible to oxidation during synthesis, can be synthesized by the selective introduction and removal of functional groups.

doi: 10.1038/nature13273


Galanin neurons in the medial preoptic area govern parental behaviour p.325

Sexual experience brings radical changes in how male mice behave with pups—virgin males attack them whereas mature fathers display parental care; here the authors identify a subset of hypothalamic neurons whose ablation leads to parental deficits in both males and females, and whose activation in virgin males suppresses aggression and induces pup grooming.

doi: 10.1038/nature13307


Space–time wiring specificity supports direction selectivity in the retina p.331

Motion detection by the retina is thought to rely largely on the biophysics of starburst amacrine cell dendrites; here machine learning is used with gamified crowdsourcing to draw the wiring diagram involving amacrine and bipolar cells to identify a plausible circuit mechanism for direction selectivity; the model suggests similarities between mammalian and insect vision.

doi: 10.1038/nature13240


c-kit+ cells minimally contribute cardiomyocytes to the heart p.337

Whether or not endogenous c-kit+ cells residing within the heart contribute cardiomyocytes during physiological ageing or after injury remains unknown; here, using an inducible lineage tracing system, the c-kit+ lineage is shown to generate cardiomyocytes at very low levels, and, by contrast, contributes substantially to cardiac endothelial cell generation.

doi: 10.1038/nature13309



Cepheid variables in the flared outer disk of our galaxy p.342

Five classical Cepheids have been detected in the outer parts of our Galaxy beyond the Galactic bulge; they are probably associated with the gas in the flared disk and, if so, they are the first stars to be identified in the flare.

doi: 10.1038/nature13246


Tracking excited-state charge and spin dynamics in iron coordination complexes p.345

Femtosecond resolution X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy is shown to track the charge and spin dynamics triggered when an iron coordination complex is excited by light, and establishes the critical role of intermediate spin states in the de-excitation process.

doi: 10.1038/nature13252


The poleward migration of the location of tropical cyclone maximum intensity p.349

Analysis of global historical data in the Northern and Southern hemispheres reveals a statistically significant, poleward migration of 1° per decade in the average latitude at which tropical cyclones have achieved their lifetime-maximum intensity over the past 30 years.

doi: 10.1038/nature13278


Anthropogenic electromagnetic noise disrupts magnetic compass orientation in a migratory bird p.353

For the first time under reproducible and fully double-blinded conditions, it is shown that anthropogenic electromagnetic noise below the WHO limits affects a biological system: night-migrating birds lose the ability to use the Earth’s magnetic field for orientation when exposed to anthropogenic electromagnetic noise at strengths routinely produced by commonly used electronic devices.

doi: 10.1038/nature13290


Dynamics and associations of microbial community types across the human body p.357

The microbiome composition of 300 individuals sampled over 12–18 months was partitioned into microbial community types, which could be associated with the type found at other body sites, as well as with whether individuals were breastfed as an infant, their gender and their level of education.

doi: 10.1038/nature13178


T-cell activation by transitory neo-antigens derived from distinct microbial pathways p.361

Activation of mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells is shown to require key genes encoding an early intermediate in bacterial riboflavin synthesis, 5-amino-6-d-ribitylaminouracil; this reacts non-enzymatically with metabolites to form short-lived antigens that are captured and stabilized by MR1 for presentation to MAIT cells.

doi: 10.1038/nature13160


Caspase-11 activation requires lysis of pathogen-containing vacuoles by IFN-induced GTPases p.366

Interferon-inducible GTPases are required for the release of vacuolar Gram-negative bacteria into the cytoplasm and subsequent inflammasome-mediated caspase-11 activation.

doi: 10.1038/nature13157


Reconstructing lineage hierarchies of the distal lung epithelium using single-cell RNA-seq p.371

Single-cell transcriptome analysis enables the direct measurement of cell types and lineage hierarchies of the developing distal lung epithelium and identifies a population of bipotential alveolar progenitor cells.

doi: 10.1038/nature13173


Disruption of Mediator rescues the stunted growth of a lignin-deficient Arabidopsis mutant p.376

Disruption of lignin biosynthesis has been proposed as a way to improve forage and bioenergy crops, but it can result in stunted growth and developmental abnormalities; here, the undesirable features of one such manipulation are shown to depend on the transcriptional co-regulatory complex Mediator.

doi: 10.1038/nature13084


Structure of the core ectodomain of the hepatitis C virus envelope glycoprotein 2 p.381

The crystal structure of the core domain of the hepatitis C virus surface glycoprotein E2 has been solved; the structure shows that, contrary to expectation, E2 is unlikely to be the viral fusion protein.

doi: 10.1038/nature13117


A semi-synthetic organism with an expanded genetic alphabet p.385

Triphosphates of hydrophobic nucleotides d5SICS and dNaM are imported into Escherichia coli by an exogenous algal nucleotide triphosphate transporter and then used by an endogenous polymerase to replicate, and faithfully maintain over many generations of growth, a plasmid containing the d5SICS–dNaM unnatural base pair.

doi: 10.1038/nature13314

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