Table of contents




An electoral lecture p3

Paul Smaglik




Coping with a budget reversal p447

Last week's announcement by the German government of budget cuts in research are unwelcome but hardly surprising. The leaders of the research community need to focus on long-term restructuring to make the most of declining funds.


Promoting animal research p447

Researchers need to be more active in explaining the value and necessity of their work.




Surgeons struggle with ethical nightmare of face transplants p449

Natasha McDowell


Prion data suggest BSE link to sporadic CJD p450

Declan Butler


Europe urged to provide boost for bioterror research p450

Alison Abbott


US pushes fish farming into deep water p451

Rex Dalton


Pathogen-tracking questioned p451

Erika Check


Funding freeze leaves eastern Germany out in the cold p452

Quirin Schiermeier


Postdoc positions axed as economic crisis takes its toll p452

Quirin Schiermeier


Field trials excluded from UK crop appraisal p453

David Adam


Royal Institution's director blasts scientific sexism p453

David Adam


news in brief p454



news feature

Mouse genome: The real deal p456

The human genome fired the public's imagination. But for many geneticists, the genome of their main experimental mammal — the mouse — is even more exciting. Nature's reporters sample the buzz in three leading laboratories.

Kendall Powell, Alison Abbott and Erika Check


Mouse genome: The real deal p456

The human genome fired the public's imagination. But for many geneticists, the genome of their main experimental mammal — the mouse — is even more exciting. Nature's reporters sample the buzz in three leading laboratories.

Alison Abbott

Mouse genome: The real deal p457

The human genome fired the public's imagination. But for many geneticists, the genome of their main experimental mammal — the mouse — is even more exciting. Nature's reporters sample the buzz in three leading laboratories.

Erika Check


Mouse genome: A forage in the junkyard p458

One of the main differences between the mouse and human genomes lies in the activity of 'junk' DNA sequences called retrotransposons. Carina Dennis considers what these sequences might be doing.

Carina Dennis


Piecing it all together p460

The whole-genome shotgun method has assembled a high-quality draft mouse sequence. Future projects will wed the shotgun's speed and economy to established, map-based methods, says Declan Butler.

Declan Butler




Towards taxonomy's 'glorious revolution' p461

Taxonomy is a triumph of modern science — but its products could still be improved.

H. C. J. Godfray


US embryo rules support 'right-to-life' agenda p461

Gordon G. Cash


Would you give up your grant for sustainability? p461

John Wright


DNA committee is model for bioterrorism debate p462

Joseph G. Perpich


Modelling a new angle on understanding cancer p462

Robert A. Gatenby and Philip Maini


Deserted by our geographical sense p462

Gustavo Arteca



Book Reviews

The quiet man of physics p463

Who is the only physicist to have won two Nobel prizes?

P. W. Anderson reviews True Genius: The Life and Science of John Bardeen by Lillian Hoddeson and Vicki Daitch


Keeping your feet in a moving field p464

Gregory C. Beroza reviews Earthshaking Science: What We Know (and Don't Know) about Earthquakes by Susan Elizabeth Hough


Fertile ground for politics p464

Marco Finetti reviews Autarkie und Ostexpansion: Pflanzenzucht und Agrarforschung im Nationalsozialismus edited by Susanne Heim and Wissenschaften und Wissenschaftspolitik: Bestandsaufnahmen zu Formationen, Brüchen und Kontinuitäten im Deutschland des 20. Jahrhunderts edited by Rüdiger vom Bruch and Brigitte Kaderas


Mountains of fire p465



News and Views

Lazer technology: Ultraviolet upset p467

The free-electron laser will be a source of intense, short-wavelength radiation for a range of applications, including biological imaging. The first results from a prototype have already thrown up a surprise.

Henry C. Kapteyn and Todd Ditmire


Immunology: Education and promiscuity p468

Immune cells must be taught to distinguish between invading microbes and the body's own proteins. A new study re-emphasizes the importance of a thorough education in the thymus, and identifies an essential instructor.

William R. Heath and Hamish S. Scott


Condensed-matter physics: Rabi flopping sees the light p469

Ultrashort laser pulses are a valuable tool, but at these timescales a factor called the 'carrier–envelope phase' becomes important. A new technique to measure the evolution of this phase could advance laser spectroscopy.

Thomas Udem


100 and 50 years ago p471


Conservation biology: Lone wolf to the rescue p472

Genetic analysis has revealed how a small and isolated population of grey wolves found salvation in the form of the genetic variation offered by a single, immigrant male.

Pär K. Ingvarsson


Hydrodynamics: Bend and survive p473

The aim of aerodynamic design is to reduce the drag experienced by a body, such as a car, in a flowing medium, such as air. But what happens if the body is flexible and bends in response to the flow?

Victor Steinberg


correction p473



Brief Communications

Animal communication: Tree-hole frogs exploit resonance effects p475

These anurans know a trick or two when it comes to the romantic powers of song.

Björn Lardner and Maklarin bin Lakim


Mathematics: What is the best way to lace your shoes? p476

Burkard Polster


Laser–Raman spectroscopy (Communication arising): Images of the Earth's earliest fossils? p476

Jill Dill Pasteris and Brigitte Wopenka


Laser–Raman spectroscopy (Communication arising): Images of the Earth's earliest fossils? p477

J. William Schopf, Anatoliy B. Kudryavtsev, David G. Agresti, Thomas J. Wdowiak and Andrew D. Czaja


Palaeontology (Communication arising): Thermal alteration of the Earth's oldest fossils p477

Józef Kazmierczak and Barbara Kremer



Letters to Nature

Drag reduction through self-similar bending of a flexible body p479

Silas Alben, Michael Shelley and Jun Zhang


See also: News and Views by Steinberg

Multiple ionization of atom clusters by intense soft X-rays from a free-electron laser p482

H. Wabnitz, L. Bittner, A. R. B. de Castro, R. Döhrmann, P. Gürtler, T. Laarmann, W. Laasch, J. Schulz, A. Swiderski, K. von Haeften, T. Möller, B. Faatz, A. Fateev, J. Feldhaus, C. Gerth, U. Hahn, E. Saldin, E. Schneidmiller, K. Sytchev, K. Tiedtke, R. Treusch and M. Yurkov


See also: News and Views by Kapteyn & Ditmire

Non-framework cation migration and irreversible pressure-induced hydration in a zeolite p485

Yongjae Lee, Thomas Vogt, Joseph A. Hriljac, John B. Parise, Jonathan C. Hanson and Sun Jin Kim


A short-term sink for atmospheric CO2 in subtropical mode water of the North Atlantic Ocean p489

Nicholas R. Bates, A. Christine Pequignet, Rodney J. Johnson and Nicolas Gruber


The role of volatiles in magma chamber dynamics p493

Herbert E. Huppert and Andrew W. Woods


The role of parasites in sympatric and allopatric host diversification p496

Angus Buckling and Paul B. Rainey


Calcium activation of BKCa potassium channels lacking the calcium bowl and RCK domains p499

Rebecca Piskorowski and Richard W. Aldrich


CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells control Leishmania major persistence and immunity p502

Yasmine Belkaid, Ciriaco A. Piccirillo, Susana Mendez, Ethan M. Shevach and David L. Sacks



New on the Market

We've got mice... p508

A new zebrafish microchip — but this week it has to be mainly mice.



the mouse genome


Human biology by proxy p509

Chris Gunter and Ritu Dhand



the mouse genome p510

The house mouse, Mus musculus, has been inextricably linked with humans since the beginning of civilization — wherever farmed food was stored, mice would be found. Many of the advances in twentieth-century biology owe a huge debt to the mouse, which has become the favoured model animal in most spheres of research. With the completion of the draft sequence of its genome published in this issue, the mouse promises to continue to provide us with an essential resource for all aspects of biology. In this timeline, we chart the key events in the history of the mouse that led to this landmark achievement.



Mining the mouse genome p512

We have the draft sequence — but how do we unlock its secrets?

Allan Bradley


news and views

Comparative genomics: The mouse that roared p515

The laboratory mouse has become an indispensable tool for investigators in many areas of biomedical research. The availability of the full mouse genome sequence will immeasurably advance both the character and the pace of discovery.

Mark S. Boguski


Single nucleotide polymorphisms: Tackling complexity p517

Many traits, including susceptibilities to some diseases, are under complex genetic control. A new way of analysing the mouse genome will be a great help in understanding the interactions involved.

Joseph H. Nadeau


Functional genomics: A time and place for every gene p518

One benefit of studying mice is that most of their genes have counterparts in humans. Two groups have used this similarity to study when and where the genes found on human chromosome 21 are switched on.

Roger H. Reeves



Initial sequencing and comparative analysis of the mouse genome p520

and Mouse Genome Sequencing Consortium


See also: the mouse genome by Boguski

Analysis of the mouse transcriptome based on functional annotation of 60,770 full-length cDNAs p563

and The FANTOM Consortium and the RIKEN Genome Exploration Research Group Phase I & II Team*


letters to nature

The mosaic structure of variation in the laboratory mouse genome p574

Claire M. Wade, Edward J. Kulbokas, III, Andrew W. Kirby, Michael C. Zody, James C. Mullikin, Eric S. Lander, Kerstin Lindblad-Toh and Mark J. Daly


See also: the mouse genome by Nadeau

Numerous potentially functional but non-genic conserved sequences on human chromosome 21 p578

Emmanouil T. Dermitzakis, Alexandre Reymond, Robert Lyle, Nathalie Scamuffa, Catherine Ucla, Samuel Deutsch, Brian J. Stevenson, Volker Flegel, Philipp Bucher, C. Victor Jongeneel and Stylianos E. Antonarakis


Human chromosome 21 gene expression atlas in the mouse p582

Alexandre Reymond, Valeria Marigo, Murat B. Yaylaoglu, Antonio Leoni, Catherine Ucla, Nathalie Scamuffa, Cristina Caccioppoli, Emmanouil T. Dermitzakis, Robert Lyle, Sandro Banfi, Gregor Eichele, Stylianos E. Antonarakis and Andrea Ballabio


See also: the mouse genome by Reeves

A gene expression map of human chromosome 21 orthologues in the mouse p586

and The HSA21 expression map initiative


See also: the mouse genome by Reeves

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