Table of contents



Time for Japan to shine? p763

Talks last weekend on choosing a site for ITER, the fusion project, ended in stalemate. But ITER deserves to proceed, and Japan's commitment to it is strongest.




Media attack prompts editorial backlash against MMR study p765

Jim Giles


Poor communication blamed for delays to US visas p766

Geoff Brumfiel


Mad cow's standing puts downer on testing strategy p766

Erika Check


Labs urged to pre-empt bioterrorism threat p767

Erika Check


Electron movements pinned down to the split second p767

Mark Peplow


Treaty calls time on long-term pollutants p768

Jim Giles


Closure threat propels astronomers to institute's aid p768

Quirin Schiermeier


Gulf Stream probed for early warnings of system failure p769

Quirin Schiermeier


Bioprospectors edge towards deal with developing countries p769

Rex Dalton


News in brief p770



News Features

Opinion polling:  Taking the voters' pulse p772

Political strategies and careers are built and broken on the results of opinion polls. But polls' apparently small margins of error can hide large uncertainties. Tony Reichhardt surveys the issues.

Disease control:  Virtual plagues get real p774

Mathematical models incorporating ecological data are starting to be deployed on the front line in the battle against infectious disease. Virginia Gewin talks to the number-crunchers who are spearheading the assault.




Intelligent plagiarists are the most dangerous p777

How should we tackle the increasing problem of researchers rewriting others' results?

Lennart Stenflo

Overseas scientists still welcome in United States p777

Warren M. Washington

HIV denialists will exploit any journal's tolerance p777

John P. Moore



The future of gene therapy p779

Balancing the risks and benefits of clinical trial.



Books and Arts

From spears to speech p783

Could throwing spears have laid the foundations for language acquisition?

Robin Dunbar reviews A Brief History of the Mind: From Apes to Intellect and Beyond by William H. Calvin

Trying to beat the clock p784

Till Roenneberg reviews Rhythms of Life: The Biological Clocks that Control the Daily Lives of Every Living Thing by Russell Foster and Leon Kreitzman

New in paperback p784

Science in culture p785

The first images from the Mars Express orbiter highlight the universal beauty of the wilderness.

Martin Kemp reviews




Cancer without disease p787

Do inhibitors of blood-vessel growth found naturally in our bodies defend most of us against progression of cancer to a lethal stage?

Judah Folkman and Raghu Kalluri


News and Views

Turning the key on p53 p789

The p53 protein is among the most effective of the body's natural defences against cancer. News comes of a promising way of releasing the protein from its inhibitions to carry out its anti-tumour duties.

David P. Lane and Peter M. Fischer

Astronomy:  Out of the Dark Ages p790

Light from the most distant sources known, emitted when the Universe was only a billion years old, hints at a complex history of star and galaxy formation, and at their effect on the primordial gas around them.

S. George Djorgovski

HIV:  Replication trimmed back p791

A long-standing point of intrigue has been how certain non-human primates are resistant to HIV-1. The discovery in macaque monkeys of a protein that resides in mysterious cytoplasmic bodies holds the key.

Stephen P. Goff

Earth science:  Through thick and thin p793

The sea floor around the Hawaiian island chain is unusually shallow. New seismic evidence suggests that this up-raised 'swell' is partly due to heating and thinning of the lithosphere beneath.

Neil M. Ribe

Ion transport:  Spot the difference p795

Common wisdom holds that ion channels and ion pumps, with their obvious functional differences, should have visibly dissimilar structures. It seems that's not necessarily so.

David C. Gadsby

100 and 50 years ago p795

Neurobiology:  A move to sort life from death p798

Nerve growth factor determines neuronal cell fate during development or after injury. A newly identified 'death factor', an unprocessed form of this protein, induces cell death by activating two receptors in concert.

David R. Kaplan and Freda D. Miller

Superconductivity:  Symmetry not required p799

Superconductivity is a complex phenomenon. And now there's something else to think about: a magnetic material whose structure is not mirror symmetric and yet, unexpectedly, superconducts.

S. S. Saxena and P. Monthoux

News and views in brief p800


Brief Communications

Glutamate receptors:  RNA editing and death of motor neurons p801

There is a glutamate-receptor defect in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Yukio Kawahara, Kyoko Ito, Hui Sun, Hitoshi Aizawa, Ichiro Kanazawa and Shin Kwak

Electron-spin domains (communication arising):  Magnetic enhancement of superconductivity p802

Roman Movshovich, Andrea Bianchi, Cigdem Capan, Marcelo Jaime and R.G. Goodrich

Electron-spin domains (communication arising):  Magnetic enhancement of superconductivity p802

H. A. Radovan, N. A. Fortune, T. P. Murphy, S. T. Hannahs, E. C. Palm, S. W. Tozer and D. Hall



Secondary active transport mediated by a prokaryotic homologue of ClC Cl- channels p803

Alessio Accardi and Christopher Miller


Structure of the signal recognition particle interacting with the elongation-arrested ribosome p808

Mario Halic, Thomas Becker, Martin R. Pool, Christian M. T. Spahn, Robert A. Grassucci, Joachim Frank and Roland Beckmann



Letters to Nature

A large neutral fraction of cosmic hydrogen a billion years after the Big Bang p815

J. Stuart B. Wyithe and Abraham Loeb


See also: News and Views by Djorgovski

Atomic transient recorder p817

R. Kienberger, E. Goulielmakis, M. Uiberacker, A. Baltuska, V. Yakovlev, F. Bammer, A. Scrinzi, Th. Westerwalbesloh, U. Kleineberg, U. Heinzmann, M. Drescher and F. Krausz


Giant magnetoresistance in organic spin-valves p821

Z. H. Xiong, Di Wu, Z. Valy Vardeny and Jing Shi


Bottom water warming in the North Pacific Ocean p825

Masao Fukasawa, Howard Freeland, Ron Perkin, Tomowo Watanabe, Hiroshi Uchida and Ayako Nishina


Rejuvenation of the lithosphere by the Hawaiian plume p827

Xueqing Li, Rainer Kind, Xiaohui Yuan, Ingo Wölbern and Winfried Hanka


See also: News and Views by Ribe

Iron corrosion by novel anaerobic microorganisms p829

Hang T. Dinh, Jan Kuever, Marc Mus zligmann, Achim W. Hassel, Martin Stratmann and Friedrich Widdel


Conventional taxonomy obscures deep divergence between Pacific and Atlantic corals p832

Hironobu Fukami, Ann F. Budd, Gustav Paulay, Antonio Solé-Cava, Chaolun Allen Chen, Kenji Iwao and Nancy Knowlton


Phylogenetic constraints and adaptation explain food-web structure p835

Marie-France Cattin, Louis-Félix Bersier, Carolin Banas caronek-Richter, Richard Baltensperger and Jean-Pierre Gabriel


Global organization of metabolic fluxes in the bacterium Escherichia coli p839

E. Almaas, B. Kovács, T. Vicsek, Z. N. Oltvai and A.-L. Barabási


Sortilin is essential for proNGF-induced neuronal cell death p843

Anders Nykjaer, Ramee Lee, Kenneth K. Teng, Pernille Jansen, Peder Madsen, Morten S. Nielsen, Christian Jacobsen, Marco Kliemannel, Elisabeth Schwarz, Thomas E. Willnow, Barbara L. Hempstead and Claus M. Petersen


See also: News and Views by Kaplan & Miller

The cytoplasmic body component TRIM5alpha restricts HIV-1 infection in Old World monkeys p848

Matthew Stremlau, Christopher M. Owens, Michel J. Perron, Michael Kiessling, Patrick Autissier and Joseph Sodroski


See also: News and Views by Goff

The large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel is essential for innate immunity p853

Jatinder Ahluwalia, Andrew Tinker, Lucie H. Clapp, Michael R. Duchen, Andrey Y. Abramov, Simon Pope, Muriel Nobles and Anthony W. Segal


OXI1 kinase is necessary for oxidative burst-mediated signalling in Arabidopsis p858

Maike C. Rentel, David Lecourieux, Fatma Ouaked, Sarah L. Usher, Lindsay Petersen, Haruko Okamoto, Heather Knight, Scott C. Peck, Claire S. Grierson, Heribert Hirt and Marc R. Knight


Visualization of release factor 3 on the ribosome during termination of protein synthesis p862

Bruno P. Klaholz, Alexander G. Myasnikov and Marin van Heel





Ghosts in the machine p867

Paul Smaglik


Getting mobile in Europe p868

Young scientists studying abroad often hit roadblocks when heading home. Some of these are now being cleared away, says Sally Goodman.

Sally Goodman

Career View

Graduate Journal:  One of those days p870

Amber Jenkins

Scientists & Societies p870

Sylwia Gorlach and Mikolaj Slabicki

Movers p870

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