Table of contents

indicates content that is available online only



Science and the Islamists p1

Muslim countries stand to gain much from science but will fail to do so if fundamentalists repress openness. Chronic neglect by Arab leaders doesn't help either.


See also: Editor's summary

A global call to arms p2

A seminal report on climate change deserves the world's attention.


Enough biodefence p2

Who wants a bioweapons lab next door?



Research Highlights

Research highlights p04


Correction p05




How much will it cost to save the world? p6

The Stern Review won't be the last word on the cost of global warming. But it has upped the stakes in the debate. Jim Giles reports.


Sidelines p8


Ethiopian plan for Lucy tour splits museums p8

Palaeontologists say fossil bones should stay in Africa.

Rex Dalton


Search for alien signals stalls for want of cash p9

Microsoft co-founder withholds millions from radio telescope.


A votre santé: now in pill form? p11

'Life-enhancing' effects of resveratrol cause a stir.

Erika Check


Hwang takes the stand at fraud trial p12

Korea's fallen star begins his defence.

David Cyranoski


Safer embryo tests could boost IVF pregnancy rates p12

Health of cells may be revealed by tell-tale molecules.

Helen Pearson


News in brief p14


Correction p15




Drilling for nanotech gold p16

One US nanotechnology start-up has hit the jackpot — but for others the prospect of such overnight success seems remote. Colin Macilwain reports.


In brief p17


Market watch p17

Colin Macilwain



News Features

Islam and Science: Ambition & neglect p19


See also: Editor's summary

Islam and Science: The Islamic world p20

The 57 countries in the Organization of the Islamic Conference are home to 1.3 billion people. The attendant diversity in culture, geography, economics and politics can be seen in these snapshots of five different approaches to science.


Islam and Science: An Islamist revolution p22

Islamist political parties are taking over from secular ones across the Muslim world. What does this mean for science at home and scientific cooperation with the West? Ehsan Masood investigates.


Islam and Science: The data gap p26

Statistics on scientific investment and performance are lacking across the Muslim world. Declan Butler analyses the best of what is available.


Islam and Science: Oil rich, science poor p28

The wealthy Arab states offer scant support for science and technology. Jim Giles finds out whether this indifference to research is likely to change.


Islam and Science: Q&A The reformer p29

Mostafa Moin is a paediatrician and medical researcher who has served as Iran's minister for higher education and for science. He was a reformist candidate in Iran's presidential election last year, which was won by religious conservative Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Declan Butler asks Moin about the prospects for science in Iran.




Dishing a modern myth about microbes p31

Tom Fenchel, Genoveva F. Esteban and Bland J. Finlay


The daunting process of MIAME p31

David W. Galbraith


No room for complacency on drug resistance in Africa p31

Ian M. Hastings, David G. Lalloo and Saye H. Khoo


Brief: goodbye to a quirky perspective on science p31

Alex Small


Brief Communications (RIP) and the soul of wit p31

Jeremy Wolfe




Islam and Science: Steps towards reform p33

Building a knowledge-based society in today's Arab world depends on overcoming primarily political obstacles to progress. Nader Fergany analyses the reforms required for an Arab renaissance.


See also: Editor's summary

Islam and science: Where are the new patrons of science? p35

Muslim nations must take a big leap forward in developing science and technology to catch up with the rest of the world, argues Herwig Schopper, or they risk falling behind in the global economy.



Books and Arts

Beautiful models p37

The dynamics of evolutionary processes creates a remarkable picture of life.

Sean Nee reviews Evolutionary Dynamics: Exploring the Equations of Life by Martin Nowak


The pork-barrel diet p38

Tim Lang reviews What to Eat: An Aisle-by-Aisle Guide to Savvy Food Choices and Good Eating by Marion Nestle


A precise past p39


Having faith p39

Ann Cale Kruger and Melvin Konner review Minds and Gods: The Cognitive Foundations of Religion by Todd Tremlin


Science in culture: Creativity on the wings of a dove p40

Violet Fire, an opera about the life of physicist Nikola Tesla, fails to spark.

Horace Freeland Judson


See also: Editor's summary


News and Views

Photonics: A cooling light breeze p41

Mirrors confine light, and light exerts pressure on mirrors. The combination of these effects can be exploited to cool tiny, flexible mirrors to low temperatures purely through the influence of incident light.

Khaled Karrai


See also: Editor's summary

Evolutionary biology: To work or not to work p42

Coercion, not kinship, often determines who acts altruistically in an insect colony. But underlying affinities for kin emerge when coercion is removed: kin selection is what turns suppressed individuals into altruists.

David C. Queller


See also: Editor's summary

Geophysics: Same old magnetism p43

Latitudes at which ancient salt deposits occur show that Earth's magnetic field has always aligned along its rotation axis. One possible implication is that ancient global glaciations were not caused by a realignment of this axis.

Edward Irving


See also: Editor's summary

50 & 100 Years Ago p44


Cancer biology: Second step to retinal tumours p45

The mutations that cause retinoblastoma are well known, but how they enable the cancer to evade controls on cell division was unclear. Secondary mutations affecting a growth-regulatory pathway have now been identified.

Valerie A. Wallace


See also: Editor's summary

Physical chemistry: Porous solids get organized p46

A powerful combination of analytical techniques is used to shed light on the complex crystallizations of porous solids. Molecular recognition creates the seeds of order from which complex lattices grow.

Rutger A. van Santen


Neurobiology: Crossed circuits p47

Can the brain be induced to reroute neural information? Such an achievement is crucial if the function of damaged brain areas is to be taken on elsewhere. A study in monkeys explores this prospect.

Andrew B. Schwartz


See also: Editor's summary

Materials science: Qubits in the pink p49

Crystal imperfections known as nitrogen–vacancy defects give some diamonds a characteristic pink colour. Appropriately manipulated, these defects might have rosy prospects as the 'qubits' of a quantum computer.

Pieter Kok and Brendon W. Lovett



Brief Communications

Enforced altruism in insect societies p50

Tom Wenseleers and Francis L. W. Ratnieks


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


Brief Communications Arising

Geochemistry: Does U–Pb date Earth's core formation? pE1

Qing-zhu Yin and Stein B. Jacobsen


Geochemistry: How well can Pb isotopes date core formation? pE1

Balz S. Kamber and Jan D. Kramers


Geochemistry: Does U–Pb date Earth's core formation?; How well can Pb isotopes date core formation? (Reply) pE2

B. J. Wood and A. N. Halliday




Proterozoic low orbital obliquity and axial-dipolar geomagnetic field from evaporite palaeolatitudes p51

David A. D. Evans


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

Long-term motor cortex plasticity induced by an electronic neural implant p56

Andrew Jackson, Jaideep Mavoori and Eberhard E. Fetz


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

Inactivation of the p53 pathway in retinoblastoma p61

Nikia A. Laurie, Stacy L. Donovan, Chie-Schin Shih, Jiakun Zhang, Nicholas Mills, Christine Fuller, Amina Teunisse, Suzanne Lam, Yolande Ramos, Adithi Mohan, Dianna Johnson, Matthew Wilson, Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo, Micaela Quarto, Sarah Francoz, Susan M. Mendrysa, R. Kiplin Guy, Jean-Christophe Marine, Aart G. Jochemsen and Michael A. Dyer


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



Self-cooling of a micromirror by radiation pressure p67

S. Gigan, H. R. Böhm, M. Paternostro, F. Blaser, G. Langer, J. B. Hertzberg, K. C. Schwab, D. Bäuerle, M. Aspelmeyer and A. Zeilinger


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

Radiation-pressure cooling and optomechanical instability of a micromirror p71

O. Arcizet, P.-F. Cohadon, T. Briant, M. Pinard and A. Heidmann


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

Sub-kelvin optical cooling of a micromechanical resonator p75

Dustin Kleckner and Dirk Bouwmeester


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

Complex zeolite structure solved by combining powder diffraction and electron microscopy p79

Fabian Gramm, Christian Baerlocher, Lynne B. McCusker, Stewart J. Warrender, Paul A. Wright, Bada Han, Suk Bong Hong, Zheng Liu, Tetsu Ohsuna and Osamu Terasaki


See also: Editor's summary

10Be evidence for the Matuyama–Brunhes geomagnetic reversal in the EPICA Dome C ice core p82

G. M. Raisbeck, F. Yiou, O. Cattani and J. Jouzel


See also: Editor's summary

Deuterostome phylogeny reveals monophyletic chordates and the new phylum Xenoturbellida p85

Sarah J. Bourlat, Thorhildur Juliusdottir, Christopher J. Lowe, Robert Freeman, Jochanan Aronowicz, Mark Kirschner, Eric S. Lander, Michael Thorndyke, Hiroaki Nakano, Andrea B. Kohn, Andreas Heyland, Leonid L. Moroz, Richard R. Copley and Maximilian J. Telford


See also: Editor's summary

Post-mating sexual selection increases lifetime fitness of polyandrous females in the wild p89

Diana O. Fisher, Michael C. Double, Simon P. Blomberg, Michael D. Jennions and Andrew Cockburn


See also: Editor's summary

Global distribution and conservation of rare and threatened vertebrates p93

Richard Grenyer, C. David L. Orme, Sarah F. Jackson, Gavin H. Thomas, Richard G. Davies, T. Jonathan Davies, Kate E. Jones, Valerie A. Olson, Robert S. Ridgely, Pamela C. Rasmussen, Tzung-Su Ding, Peter M. Bennett, Tim M. Blackburn, Kevin J. Gaston, John L. Gittleman and Ian P. F. Owens


See also: Editor's summary

Insights from the genome of the biotrophic fungal plant pathogen Ustilago maydis p97

Jörg Kämper, Regine Kahmann, Michael Bölker, Li-Jun Ma, Thomas Brefort, Barry J. Saville, Flora Banuett, James W. Kronstad, Scott E. Gold, Olaf Müller, Michael H. Perlin, Han A. B. Wösten, Ronald de Vries, José Ruiz-Herrera, Cristina G. Reynaga-Peña, Karen Snetselaar, Michael McCann, José Pérez-Martín, Michael Feldbrügge, Christoph W. Basse, Gero Steinberg, Jose I. Ibeas, William Holloman, Plinio Guzman, Mark Farman, Jason E. Stajich, Rafael Sentandreu, Juan M. González-Prieto, John C. Kennell, Lazaro Molina, Jan Schirawski, Artemio Mendoza-Mendoza, Doris Greilinger, Karin Münch, Nicole Rössel, Mario Scherer, Miroslav Vranes caron, Oliver Ladendorf, Volker Vincon, Uta Fuchs, Björn Sandrock, Shaowu Meng, Eric C. H. Ho, Matt J. Cahill, Kylie J. Boyce, Jana Klose, Steven J. Klosterman, Heine J. Deelstra, Lucila Ortiz-Castellanos, Weixi Li, Patricia Sanchez-Alonso, Peter H. Schreier, Isolde Häuser-Hahn, Martin Vaupel, Edda Koopmann, Gabi Friedrich, Hartmut Voss, Thomas Schlüter, Jonathan Margolis, Darren Platt, Candace Swimmer, Andreas Gnirke, Feng Chen, Valentina Vysotskaia, Gertrud Mannhaupt, Ulrich Güldener, Martin Münsterkötter, Dirk Haase, Matthias Oesterheld, Hans-Werner Mewes, Evan W. Mauceli, David DeCaprio, Claire M. Wade, Jonathan Butler, Sarah Young, David B. Jaffe, Sarah Calvo, Chad Nusbaum, James Galagan and Bruce W. Birren


See also: Editor's summary

Two modes of fusion pore opening revealed by cell-attached recordings at a synapse p102

Liming He, Xin-Sheng Wu, Raja Mohan and Ling-Gang Wu


Movement of 'gating charge' is coupled to ligand binding in a G-protein-coupled receptor p106

Yair Ben-Chaim, Baron Chanda, Nathan Dascal, Francisco Bezanilla, Itzchak Parnas and Hanna Parnas


See also: Editor's summary

XIAP deficiency in humans causes an X-linked lymphoproliferative syndrome p110

Stéphanie Rigaud, Marie-Claude Fondanèche, Nathalie Lambert, Benoit Pasquier, Véronique Mateo, Pauline Soulas, Lionel Galicier, Françoise Le Deist, Frédéric Rieux-Laucat, Patrick Revy, Alain Fischer, Geneviève de Saint Basile and Sylvain Latour


Surface expression of MHC class II in dendritic cells is controlled by regulated ubiquitination p115

Jeoung-Sook Shin, Melanie Ebersold, Marc Pypaert, Lelia Delamarre, Adam Hartley and Ira Mellman





Prospects p119

Young Japanese scientists must deal with career trends similar to those of their US counterparts.

Paul Smaglik


Career Views

Hans-Olov Adami, Chair, Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health p120

Hans-Olov Adami lays plans to emphasize international collaborations in epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Virginia Gewin


A bench to call your own p120

The University of California, San Francisco, opens a special brand of incubator.

Monya Baker


The joys of communication p120

Communicating science has its perks.

Katja Bargum



Highlight: The Netherlands


Special Feature: NIH




A concrete example p122

When the cracks begin to show.

The Artistic Forms and Complexity Group:, J. -P. Boon, J. Casti, C. Djerassi, J. Johnson, A. Lovett, T. Norretranders, V. Patera, C. Sommerer, R. Taylor and S. Thurner


Extra navigation

  • Japanese table of contents