Table of contents



Uncomfortable truths p681

A thorough investigation of German scientists' actions under the Nazi regime reveals a more complex and ambiguous story than that implanted in the public mind at the end of the Second World War.




Warning system steps up a gear for fresh Indonesian earthquake p683

Alerts about risk of tsunami spread quickly.

Declan Butler


Pope praised for partial conciliation of science and religion p684

Scientists pay their respects to John Paul II.

Quirin Schiermeier


Nuclear chiefs scotch story on frailty of ageing warheads p684

Thirty-year-old nuclear bombs do not have a design flaw, say scientists.

Geoff Brumfiel


Job switch stymies Japan's abduction probe p685

Geneticist's new post could stop him testifying about DNA tests.

David Cyranoski


Image problems jeopardize comet mission's impact p685

NASA engineers struggle to focus their comet camera.

Rex Dalton


Global health agency split over potential anti-terrorism duties p686

Bioterror role could compromise World Health Organization, critics say.

Erika Check


Professors bristle as states act to mould lecture content p686

Academics are fighting right-wing 'bills of rights'.

Emma Marris


US abandons health study on Agent Orange p687

Cultural divide condemns Vietnam project.

Declan Butler


Postdocs slam zealous attitude of NIH ethics office p687

Ethical rules now defy common sense, researchers say.

Rex Dalton


news in brief p688



News Features

Tropical medicine:  Melioidosis? Never heard of it... p692

Deadly tropical infections that kill within 48 hours don't usually go unnoticed. But one killer has been largely ignored for decades. Now, thanks to worries about bioterror, it is being taken more seriously. Peter Aldhous reports.


Stem-cell research:  After the gold rush p694

California's voters have authorized the spending of $3 billion over the next decade on stem-cell research. But will this bonanza bring threats as well as opportunities? Peter Aldhous weighs the hopes and fears.




Arrogance imperils plans for change at Harvard p697

An abrasive president may find it counterproductive to alienate so much of the faculty.

Ben A. Barres


DNA barcoding is no substitute for taxonomy p697

Malte C. Ebach and Craig Holdrege


Don't mix radiocarbon and calendar years p697

Chris Tyler-Smith, Matthew E. Hurles and Mark A. Jobling




A global call for new polio vaccines p699

The end is near but eradication will not be as simple as once thought.


See also: Editor's summary


Books and Arts

Emerging physics p701

A fresh approach to viewing the complexity of the Universe.

Philip Anderson reviews A Different Universe: Reinventing Physics from the Bottom Down by Robert Laughlin


Don't talk to the animals p702

Neil Smith reviews Doctor Dolittle's Delusion: Animals and the Uniqueness of Human Language by Stephen R. Anderson


Exhibition:  Hirst's hobbit p702

Michael Hopkin


Aventis Science Book Prize shortlist announced p703





Stirring the primordial soup p705

RNA world: does changing the direction of replication make RNA life viable?

William R. Taylor



News and Views

Planetary science : A planet that blinks p707

Infrared radiation from two extrasolar planets has been measured from the dip in total light as the planets pass behind their parent stars — a milestone on the road to the direct imaging of such planets.

Karl Stapelfeldt


See also: Editor's summary

Pharmacology:  Marijuana and your heart p708

Marijuana smoke can have harmful effects on the heart. But one of its active components may ease inflammation and slow the progression of coronary artery disease.

Michael D. Roth


See also: Editor's summary

Tuberculosis:  The genetics of vulnerability p709

Susceptibility to tuberculosis is known to be under complex genetic control in humans, but what are the genes involved? A mouse strain that is unusually prone to the disease shows the way.

Nada Jabado and Philippe Gros


See also: Editor's summary

100 and 50 years ago p711


Technology:  Hydrogen and hydrates p712

It's a potentially explosive issue. How can hydrogen be stored cleanly, efficiently and, above all, safely? One answer would appear to be: take a cage made of water, and add just a little organic solvent.

Ferdi Schüth


See also: Editor's summary

Environmental science:  Germ theory for ailing corals p713

Human activities damage coral reef ecosystems. Application of the 'germ theory', proposed more than a century ago for human diseases, could foster action on global environmental ailments such as this.

Stephen R. Palumbi


Developmental biology:  Reproduction in clusters p715

Homeobox genes have some quirky features: they huddle together and tend to be expressed in the order that they appear in their cluster. A new cluster, specific to reproductive development, has now been discovered.

François Spitz and Denis Duboule


Evolutionary biology:  Channels of resistance p716

Rory Howlett



Brief Communications

History of science:  Dante's insight into galilean invariance p717

The poet's vividly imagined flight unwittingly captures a physical law of motion.

Leonardo Ricci


See also: Editor's summary

Anthropology:  The earliest toothless hominin skull p717

David Lordkipanidze, Abesalom Vekua, Reid Ferring, G. Philip Rightmire, Jordi Agusti, Gocha Kiladze, Alexander Mouskhelishvili, Medea Nioradze, Marcia S. Ponce de León, Martha Tappen and Christoph P. E. Zollikofer




Modes of faulting at mid-ocean ridges p719

W. Roger Buck, Luc L. Lavier and Alexei N. B. Poliakov


Generation and annotation of the DNA sequences of human chromosomes 2 and 4 p724

LaDeana W. Hillier, Tina A. Graves, Robert S. Fulton, Lucinda A. Fulton, Kymberlie H. Pepin, Patrick Minx, Caryn Wagner-McPherson, Dan Layman, Kristine Wylie, Mandeep Sekhon, Michael C. Becker, Ginger A. Fewell, Kimberly D. Delehaunty, Tracie L. Miner, William E. Nash, Colin Kremitzki, Lachlan Oddy, Hui Du, Hui Sun, Holland Bradshaw-Cordum, Johar Ali, Jason Carter, Matt Cordes, Anthony Harris, Amber Isak, Andrew van Brunt, Christine Nguyen, Feiyu Du, Laura Courtney, Joelle Kalicki, Philip Ozersky, Scott Abbott, Jon Armstrong, Edward A. Belter, Lauren Caruso, Maria Cedroni, Marc Cotton, Teresa Davidson, Anu Desai, Glendoria Elliott, Thomas Erb, Catrina Fronick, Tony Gaige, William Haakenson, Krista Haglund, Andrea Holmes, Richard Harkins, Kyung Kim, Scott S. Kruchowski, Cynthia Madsen Strong, Neenu Grewal, Ernest Goyea, Shunfang Hou, Andrew Levy, Scott Martinka, Kelly Mead, Michael D. McLellan, Rick Meyer, Jennifer Randall-Maher, Chad Tomlinson, Sara Dauphin-Kohlberg, Amy Kozlowicz-Reilly, Neha Shah, Sharhonda Swearengen-Shahid, Jacqueline Snider, Joseph T. Strong, Johanna Thompson, Martin Yoakum, Shawn Leonard, Charlene Pearman, Lee Trani, Maxim Radionenko, Jason E. Waligorski, Chunyan Wang, Susan M. Rock, Aye-Mon Tin-Wollam, Rachel Maupin, Phil Latreille, Michael C. Wendl, Shiaw-Pyng Yang, Craig Pohl, John W. Wallis, John Spieth, Tamberlyn A. Bieri, Nicolas Berkowicz, Joanne O. Nelson, John Osborne, Li Ding, Rekha Meyer, Aniko Sabo, Yoram Shotland, Prashant Sinha, Patricia E. Wohldmann, Lisa L. Cook, Matthew T. Hickenbotham, James Eldred, Donald Williams, Thomas A. Jones, Xinwei She, Francesca D. Ciccarelli, Elisa Izaurralde, James Taylor, Jeremy Schmutz, Richard M. Myers, David R. Cox, Xiaoqiu Huang, John D. McPherson, Elaine R. Mardis, Sandra W. Clifton, Wesley C. Warren, Asif T. Chinwalla, Sean R. Eddy, Marco A. Marra, Ivan Ovcharenko, Terrence S. Furey, Webb Miller, Evan E. Eichler, Peer Bork, Mikita Suyama, David Torrents, Robert H. Waterston and Richard K. Wilson


See also: Editor's summary

Recruitment of entomopathogenic nematodes by insect-damaged maize roots p732

Sergio Rasmann, Tobias G. Köllner, Jörg Degenhardt, Ivan Hiltpold, Stefan Toepfer, Ulrich Kuhlmann, Jonathan Gershenzon and Ted C. J. Turlings


See also: Editor's summary


Letters to Nature

Rapid growth of black holes in massive star-forming galaxies p738

D. M. Alexander, I. Smail, F. E. Bauer, S. C. Chapman, A. W. Blain, W. N. Brandt and R. J. Ivison


See also: Editor's summary

Infrared radiation from an extrasolar planet p740

Drake Deming, Sara Seager, L. Jeremy Richardson and Joseph Harrington


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Stapelfeldt

Tuning clathrate hydrates for hydrogen storage p743

Huen Lee, Jong-won Lee, Do Youn Kim, Jeasung Park, Yu-Taek Seo, Huang Zeng, Igor L. Moudrakovski, Christopher I. Ratcliffe and John A. Ripmeester


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Schüth

Water content in the transition zone from electrical conductivity of wadsleyite and ringwoodite p746

Xiaoge Huang, Yousheng Xu and Shun-ichiro Karato


Particle size and energetics of gouge from earthquake rupture zones p749

Brent Wilson, Thomas Dewers, Ze'ev Reches and James Brune


See also: Editor's summary

New material of the earliest hominid from the Upper Miocene of Chad p752

Michel Brunet, Franck Guy, David Pilbeam, Daniel E. Lieberman, Andossa Likius, Hassane T. Mackaye, Marcia S. Ponce de León, Christoph P. E. Zollikofer and Patrick Vignaud


See also: Editor's summary

Virtual cranial reconstruction of Sahelanthropus tchadensis p755

Christoph P. E. Zollikofer, Marcia S. Ponce de León, Daniel E. Lieberman, Franck Guy, David Pilbeam, Andossa Likius, Hassane T. Mackaye, Patrick Vignaud and Michel Brunet


See also: Editor's summary

Evolutionary diversification of TTX-resistant sodium channels in a predator–prey interaction p759

Shana L. Geffeney, Esther Fujimoto, Edmund D. Brodie, III, Edmund D. Brodie, Jr and Peter C. Ruben


Sodium channel mutation leading to saxitoxin resistance in clams increases risk of PSP p763

V. Monica Bricelj, Laurie Connell, Keiichi Konoki, Scott P. MacQuarrie, Todd Scheuer, William A. Catterall and Vera L. Trainer


Ipr1 gene mediates innate immunity to tuberculosis p767

Hui Pan, Bo-Shiun Yan, Mauricio Rojas, Yuriy V. Shebzukhov, Hongwei Zhou, Lester Kobzik, Darren E. Higgins, Mark J. Daly, Barry R. Bloom and Igor Kramnik


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Jabado & Gros

IRF-7 is the master regulator of type-I interferon-dependent immune responses p772

Kenya Honda, Hideyuki Yanai, Hideo Negishi, Masataka Asagiri, Mitsuharu Sato, Tatsuaki Mizutani, Naoya Shimada, Yusuke Ohba, Akinori Takaoka, Nobuaki Yoshida and Tadatsugu Taniguchi


Self-organized patchiness in asthma as a prelude to catastrophic shifts p777

Jose G. Venegas, Tilo Winkler, Guido Musch, Marcos F. Vidal Melo, Dominick Layfield, Nora Tgavalekos, Alan J. Fischman, Ronald J. Callahan, Giacomo Bellani and R. Scott Harris


See also: Editor's summary

Low dose oral cannabinoid therapy reduces progression of atherosclerosis in mice p782

Sabine Steffens, Niels R. Veillard, Claire Arnaud, Graziano Pelli, Fabienne Burger, Christian Staub, Andreas Zimmer, Jean-Louis Frossard and François Mach


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Roth

Impairment of angiogenesis and cell migration by targeted aquaporin-1 gene disruption p786

Samira Saadoun, Marios C. Papadopoulos, Mariko Hara-Chikuma and A. S. Verkman


Addendum: Strong polarization enhancement in asymmetric three-component ferroelectric superlattices p792

Ho Nyung Lee, Hans M. Christen, Matthew F. Chisholm, Christopher M. Rouleau and Douglas H. Lowndes


Erratum : Mesozoic Alpine facies deposition as a result of past latitudinal plate motion p792

Giovanni Muttoni, Elisabetta Erba, Dennis V. Kent and Valerian Bachtadse



Technology Features

Protein purification:  Pure but not simple p795

Protein purification is stepping into the limelight, as proteomics researchers demand faster ways to purify more proteins. Tim Chapman looks at what is around to help them.

Tim Chapman


Small-scale separation p795


Attracting attention p796


Automation in two dimensions p797


Table of suppliers p799





Guiding hands p801

Paul Smaglik


Special report

Model mentors p802

We all know a special person who has inspired us. Paul Smaglik learns from the winners of the first UK award for excellent mentoring in science.

Paul Smaglik


Career View

Graduate Journal:  Goodbye to romance p804

Tobias Langenhan


Nuts & Bolts p804

Deb Koen


Movers p804




Ivory Tower p806

A place to call our own.

Bruce Sterling


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