Table of contents



Tea but no cake p921

As Japan strives to encourage academics to work more closely with industry, progress is hindered by strict government regulations, researchers' fear of criticism and industry's reluctance to fund research that may not bring profits.


Awkward inconsistencies of a stem-cell rule p921

The US government's clever interpretation of the law lets stem-cell research proceed, but leaves it exposed to challenges.




Wellcome discusses structural genomics effort with industry... p923

Declan Butler


...but data release remains an open question p923

Declan Butler


Cambridge seeks £1.6 million to buy Newton's papers p924

Natasha Loder


Novartis pins hopes for GM seeds on new marker system p924

Quirin Schiermeier


Embryo stem-cell work gets NIH go-ahead p925

Paul Smaglik


Japan seeks science entrepreneurs p925

David Cyranoski


Ecologists back blueprint to save biodiversity hotspots p926

Rex Dalton


North Carolina reflects on ammonia controls p928

Jessa Netting


News in brief p929



News Feature

Chasing the dragons p930

Stunning fossils from Liaoning province have created a boom for Chinese palaeontologists and local farmers alike. Rex Dalton reports from the wild frontier where researchers do battle with the black market.

Rex Dalton




Sequencing solution: use volunteer annotators organized via Internet p933

Fiona S. L. Brinkman, Robert E. W. Hancock and C. Kendal Stover


Let's get the right man in the right job p933

David M. Wilkinson


Model already exists for fair use of gene data p933

Andrew C. R. Martin



Book Reviews

The tree of ignorance p935

Evolution emerges unscathed from the battle of creation.

Robert W. Cahn reviews The Triumph of Evolution and the Failure of Creationism by Niles Eldredge


Martian chronicles p936

Kenneth Nealson reviews In Search of Life on Mars by Malcolm Walter and Dead Mars, Dying Earth by John E. Brandenburg and Monica Rix Paxson


Down to Earth p936


Bad eggs p937

Robert C. Fleischer reviews Cuckoos, Cowbirds and Other Cheats by N. B. Davies


Time to deal with the legacy of secrecy p938

Arthur C. Upton reviews Undue Risk: Secret State Experiments on Humans by Jonathan D. Moreno


New in paperback p938



Millennium Essay

The tube worm turns p939

Science needs a new breed of Renaissance man and woman.

Roel Snieder




The flaw is human p941

The end of the Human Genome Reclamation Project

Jim Kling



News and Views

Chemistry: Crystals that breathe p943

A non-porous crystal that can inhale and exhale sulphur dioxide gas without imploding offers a new way to make nanostructures. Microscopic gas sensors and switches could soon be created using this simple chemistry.

Jonathan W. Steed


Cancer: Sheep, lilies and human genetics p944

Allen E. Bale


Artificial life: From robot dreams to reality p945

Rodney Brooks


Bacterial genomics: Pump up the versatility p947

E. Peter Greenberg


Mathematics: The Lorenz attractor exists p948

Ian Stewart


Malaria: Channelling nutrients p949

Kiaran Kirk


Geology: Probing the memory of mud p951

Alan Kemp


100 and 50 years ago p952


Developmental biology: Giving limbs a hand p953

Martin J. Cohn


Daedalus: Power in the dust p954

David Jones



Brief Communications

Oceanic respite for wandering albatrosses p955

Birds taking time off from breeding head for their favourite long-haul destinations.

Henri Weimerskirch and Rory P. Wilson


Plant biotechnology: Caffeine synthase gene from tea leaves p956

Misako Kato, Kouichi Mizuno, Alan Crozier, Tatsuhito Fujimura and Hiroshi Ashihara


Neurobiology: Kainate receptors and synaptic plasticity p957

R. A. Nicoll, J. Mellor, M. Frerking and D. Schmitz


reply: Kainate receptors and synaptic plasticity p957

Zuner A. Bortolotto, Vernon R. J. Clarke, Caroline M. Delany, Michel Vignes and Graham L. Collingridge




Complete genome sequence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1, an opportunistic pathogen p959

C. K. Stover, X. Q. Pham, A. L. Erwin, S. D. Mizoguchi, P. Warrener, M. J. Hickey, F.S. L. Brinkman, W. O. Hufnagle, D. J. Kowalik, M. Lagrou, R. L. Garber, L. Goltry, E. Tolentino, S. Westbrock-Wadman, Y. Yuan, L. L. Brody, S. N. Coulter, K. R. Folger, A. Kas, K. Larbig, R. Lim, K. Smith, D. Spencer, G. K.-S. Wong, Z. Wu, I. T. Paulsen, J. Reizer, M. H. Saier, R. E. W. Hancock, S. Lory and M. V. Olson


See also: News and Views by Greenberg


Letters to Nature

Resonance as a measure of pairing correlations in the high-T c superconductor YBa2Cu3O6.6 p965

Pengcheng Dai, H. A. Mook, G. Aeppli, S. M. Hayden and F. Dog brevean


Quantum correlation among photons from a single quantum dot at room temperature p968

P. Michler, A. Imamog brevelu, M. D. Mason, P. J. Carson, G. F. Strouse and S. K. Buratto


Organoplatinum crystals for gas-triggered switches p970

Martin Albrecht, Martin Lutz, Anthony L. Spek and Gerard van Koten


See also: News and Views by Steed

Automatic design and manufacture of robotic lifeforms p974

Hod Lipson and Jordan B. Pollack


See also: News and Views by Brooks

Acclimation of ecosystem CO2 exchange in the Alaskan Arctic in response to decadal climate warming p978

Walter C. Oechel, George L. Vourlitis, Steven J. Hastings, Rommel C. Zulueta, Larry Hinzman and Douglas Kane


Diagenetic origin of quartz silt in mudstones and implications for silica cycling p981

Jürgen Schieber, Dave Krinsley and Lee Riciputi


See also: News and Views by Kemp

Density cycles and an offspring quantity and quality game driven by natural selection p985

Barry Sinervo, Erik Svensson and Tosha Comendant


The role of microbes in accretion, lamination and early lithification of modern marine stromatolites p989

R. P. Reid, P. T. Visscher, A. W. Decho, J. F. Stolz, B. M. Bebout, C. Dupraz, I. G. Macintyre, H. W. Paerl, J. L. Pinckney, L. Prufert-Bebout, T. F. Steppe and D. J. DesMarais


Ant-like task allocation and recruitment in cooperative robots p992

Michael J. B. Krieger, Jean-Bernard Billeter and Laurent Keller


The relative metabolic demand of inhibition and excitation p995

Daniel Waldvogel, Peter van Gelderen, Wolf Muellbacher, Ulf Ziemann, Ilka Immisch and Mark Hallett


A role for the C3a anaphylatoxin receptor in the effector phase of asthma p998

Alison A. Humbles, Bao Lu, Christy A. Nilsson, Craig Lilly, Elliot Israel, Yuko Fujiwara, Norma P. Gerard and Craig Gerard


A voltage-dependent channel involved in nutrient uptake by red blood cells infected with the malaria parasite p1001

Sanjay A. Desai, Sergey M. Bezrukov and Joshua Zimmerberg


See also: News and Views by Kirk

Effects of oncogenic mutations in Smoothened and Patched can be reversed by cyclopamine p1005

Jussi Taipale, James K. Chen, Michael K. Cooper, Baolin Wang, Randall K. Mann, Ljiljana Milenkovic, Matthew P. Scott and Philip A. Beachy


The APC tumour suppressor has a nuclear export function p1009

Rina Rosin-Arbesfeld, Fiona Townsley and Mariann Bienz


Myosin V orientates the mitotic spindle in yeast p1013

Hongwei Yin, David Pruyne, Tim C. Huffaker and Anthony Bretscher


Eukaryotic polymerases iota and zeta act sequentially to bypass DNA lesions p1015

Robert E. Johnson, M. Todd Washington, Lajos Haracska, Satya Prakash and Louise Prakash





The future of microelectronics p1021



The drive to miniaturization p1023

Following the introduction of silicon-based integrated circuitry over three decades ago, the integration density of such circuits has doubled every 12 to 18 months: this observation is known as Moore's law. For this historical trend to continue, significant challenges need to be overcome in several key technological areas. But for many of these challenges, there are at present no known solutions.

Paul S. Peercy


review article

Pushing the limits of lithography p1027

The phenomenal rate of increase in the integration density of silicon chips has been sustained in large part by advances in optical lithography — the process that patterns and guides the fabrication of the component semiconductor devices and circuitry. Although the introduction of shorter-wavelength light sources and resolution-enhancement techniques should help maintain the current rate of device miniaturization for several more years, a point will be reached where optical lithography can no longer attain the required feature sizes. Several alternative lithographic techniques under development have the capability to overcome these resolution limits but, at present, no obvious successor to optical lithography has emerged.

Takashi Ito and Shinji Okazaki


Alternative dielectrics to silicon dioxide for memory and logic devices p1032

The silicon-based microelectronics industry is rapidly approaching a point where device fabrication can no longer be simply scaled to progressively smaller sizes. Technological decisions must now be made that will substantially alter the directions along which silicon devices continue to develop. One such challenge is the need for higher permittivity dielectrics to replace silicon dioxide, the properties of which have hitherto been instrumental to the industry's success. Considerable efforts have already been made to develop replacement dielectrics for dynamic random-access memories. These developments serve to illustrate the magnitude of the now urgent problem of identifying alternatives to silicon dioxide for the gate dielectric in logic devices, such as the ubiquitous field-effect transistor.

Angus I. Kingon, Jon-Paul Maria and S. K. Streiffer


Amplifying quantum signals with the single-electron transistor p1039

Transistors have continuously reduced in size and increased in switching speed since their invention in 1947. The exponential pace of transistor evolution has led to a revolution in information acquisition, processing and communication technologies. And reigning over most digital applications is a single device structure — the field-effect transistor (FET). But as device dimensions approach the nanometre scale, quantum effects become increasingly important for device operation, and conceptually new transistor structures may need to be adopted. A notable example of such a structure is the single-electron transistor, or SET1, 2, 3, 4. Although it is unlikely that SETs will replace FETs in conventional electronics, they should prove useful in ultra-low-noise analog applications. Moreover, because it is not affected by the same technological limitations as the FET, the SET can approach closely the quantum limit of sensitivity. It might also be a useful read-out device for a solid-state quantum computer.

Michel H. Devoret and Robert J. Schoelkopf


Ultimate physical limits to computation p1047

Computers are physical systems: the laws of physics dictate what they can and cannot do. In particular, the speed with which a physical device can process information is limited by its energy and the amount of information that it can process is limited by the number of degrees of freedom it possesses. Here I explore the physical limits of computation as determined by the speed of light c, the quantum scale planck and the gravitational constant G. As an example, I put quantitative bounds to the computational power of an 'ultimate laptop' with a mass of one kilogram confined to a volume of one litre.

Seth Lloyd



New on the Market

Biotechnology selection p1055

New ways of handling slurry, rats in transit, and DNA.


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