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Nuclear test p387

Japan's response to an earthquake highlights both the promise and the pitfalls of nuclear power at a critical time for its future.


Storm brewing p387

It's the season of discord at US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


California dreaming p388

Universities should draw the line at certain types of support from the drug industry.



Research Highlights

Research highlights p390




Quake shuts world's largest nuclear plant p392

No one died as a result of Japan's latest nuclear incident and environmental damage seem have been mostly avoided. But is this testimony to successful plant design or a warning of impending disaster?

David Cyranoski


Darfur lake is a 'mirage' p394

Geologists dismiss claims for ancient water source.

Declan Butler


California campuses resist industry restrictions p394

Universities cling to links with drug firms.

Erika Check


Sidelines p396


Carbon sinks threatened by increasing ozone p396

Pollutant poisons plants and hampers photosynthesis.

Michael Hopkin


Diamonds 'melted' inside an onion p396

Crystals flicker under extreme conditions.

Philip Ball


Memory seen in the making p397

Synapses caught in the act of remembering.

Kerri Smith


Libyan ordeal ends: medics freed p398

Plane takes medical workers to a pardon in Bulgaria.

Declan Butler


Stem-cell researcher's move attracts funding p398

Part-time post could mean gains for California.

Erika Check


News in brief p399




The pain game p400

The safety problems that brought down Vioxx have tainted a whole class of drugs. Meredith Wadman examines their chances of a comeback.


In brief p401


Market watch p401

Quirin Schiermeier



News Features

Conservation: Mark of respect p402

A project that gives Congolese pygmies new ways to tell logging companies about the trees that are important to them, and their own radio station to discuss community issues, is really putting their interests on the map, says Michael Hopkin.


Science in comedy: Mmm... pi p404

Part of The Simpsons' greatness is a willingness to find the humour in absolutely everything — including science. Executive producer Al Jean, the show's head writer and a Harvard mathematics graduate, talks to Nature about how to get a laugh out of Euler's formula.


See also: Editor's summary

Research policy: The map man p406

Alan Krensky has been put in charge of a controversial new office responsible for charting the progress of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research. Meredith Wadman catches up with him in his first few days on the job.




Nobel laureates know what they're talking about p408

Burton Richter


Nobel: politicians need the insights scientists can give p408

Henry Kelly


How a naturalist found safe colours for soldiers p408

James T. Costa


See also: Editor's summary

Post-publication review could aid skills and quality p408

Todd A. Gibson


Correction p408




Driving a wedge into the Amazon p409

Things are heating up in the Amazon as the burning season begins. In Brazil, a 30-year-old study of forest fragments is itself threatened by farming, logging and hunting, say William Laurance and Regina Luizão.


See also: Editor's summary


Books and Arts

A man of peace p411

One scientist's journey from the Manhattan Project to the Nobel Peace Prize.

Malcolm Dando reviews Joseph Rotblat: Visionary for Peace and War and Peace: The Life and Work of Sir Joseph Rotblat


Too much information p412

Ann Blair reviews Glut: Mastering Information Through the Ages by Alex Wright


Introducing the extremophiles p413

Sean Nee reviews The Third Domain: The Untold Story of Archaea and the Future of Biotechnology by Tim Friend


Science in culture: Mind tricks p414

Cognitive scientists take a lesson from magicians.

Susana Martinez-Conde & Stephen L. Macknik



News and Views

Biochemistry: Uncharted route for antibiotics p415

In their battle for survival, soil microorganisms produce a vast arsenal of toxic molecules. One such toxin contains a unique sequence of atoms, and its biosynthesis includes some unexpected steps.

John P. Quinn


Immunology: Narcissistic helpers p416

T helper-17 cells, which are involved in immune responses, arise from a pool of precursor cells. It emerges that their differentiation is partly mediated by the IL-21 protein, which originates from the helper cells themselves.

Matthew T. Palmer & Casey T. Weaver


50 & 100 Years Ago p417


Astrobiology: Photosynthesis in watercolours p418

The spectrum of stellar radiation available to an organism is altered by the atmosphere and water on the planet it inhabits. Study of this relationship can outline the limits to photosynthesis.

John Raven


Mathematics: Some assembly needed p419

Origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper folding, is mathematically deeper than it looks. Delving into its complexities allows the construction of elaborate and useful structures from simple, flat templates.

Ian Stewart


See also: Editor's summary

Developmental biology: A ten per cent solution p420

In early embryos, a concentration gradient of the Bicoid protein affects pattern formation. Studies of living embryos reveal a surprising level of accuracy in the Bicoid gradient. But is it accurate enough?

John Reinitz


Inflammatory disease: Assault on the guardian p421

In multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks 'self' tissues. Ten years after the discovery of one target of this autoimmunity, work with mice identifies it as a guardian protein produced in response to inflammation.

Richard M. Ransohoff


See also: Editor's summary

Quantum computing: Powered by symmetry p422

Forces determine how particles move and behave. But so can symmetry, and exchange symmetry can be used to control the interactions of ultracold atoms. This could be a big step towards practical quantum computation.

Johannes Hecker Denschlag


See also: Editor's summary

Immunology: Sensing the enemy within p423

Damaged or foreign DNA stimulates immune responses by inducing the production of interferon proteins. New evidence indicates that this response is mediated by a cytosolic DNA sensor known as DAI.

Hongbo Chi & Richard A. Flavell


See also: Editor's summary

Obituary: Horst Tobias Witt (1922–2007) p425

Seminal research on photosynthesis.

Wolfgang Junge & A. William Rutherford




Unravelling the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease p427

R. J. Xavier & D. K. Podolsky


See also: Editor's summary



A lipid-based model for the creation of an escape hatch from the endoplasmic reticulum p435

Hidde L. Ploegh


See also: Editor's summary

A transforming mutation in the pleckstrin homology domain of AKT1 in cancer p439

John D. Carpten, Andrew L. Faber, Candice Horn, Gregory P. Donoho, Stephen L. Briggs, Christiane M. Robbins, Galen Hostetter, Sophie Boguslawski, Tracy Y. Moses, Stephanie Savage, Mark Uhlik, Aimin Lin, Jian Du, Yue-Wei Qian, Douglas J. Zeckner, Greg Tucker-Kellogg, Jeffrey Touchman, Ketan Patel, Spyro Mousses, Michael Bittner, Richard Schevitz, Mei-Huei T. Lai, Kerry L. Blanchard & James E. Thomas


See also: Editor's summary

Non-transcriptional control of DNA replication by c-Myc p445

David Dominguez-Sola, Carol Y. Ying, Carla Grandori, Luca Ruggiero, Brenden Chen, Muyang Li, Denise A. Galloway, Wei Gu, Jean Gautier & Riccardo Dalla-Favera


See also: Editor's summary



Controlled exchange interaction between pairs of neutral atoms in an optical lattice p452

Marco Anderlini, Patricia J. Lee, Benjamin L. Brown, Jennifer Sebby-Strabley, William D. Phillips & J. V. Porto


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

Preparation and characterization of graphene oxide paper p457

Dmitriy A. Dikin, Sasha Stankovich, Eric J. Zimney, Richard D. Piner, Geoffrey H. B. Dommett, Guennadi Evmenenko, SonBinh T. Nguyen & Rodney S. Ruoff


See also: Editor's summary

Detection of human influence on twentieth-century precipitation trends p461

Xuebin Zhang, Francis W. Zwiers, Gabriele C. Hegerl, F. Hugo Lambert, Nathan P. Gillett, Susan Solomon, Peter A. Stott & Toru Nozawa


See also: Editor's summary

Variation in styles of rifting in the Gulf of California p466

Daniel Lizarralde, Gary J. Axen, Hillary E. Brown, John M. Fletcher, Antonio González-Fernández, Alistair J. Harding, W. Steven Holbrook, Graham M. Kent, Pedro Paramo, Fiona Sutherland & Paul J. Umhoefer


See also: Editor's summary

Genetic variants regulating ORMDL3 expression contribute to the risk of childhood asthma p470

Miriam F. Moffatt, Michael Kabesch, Liming Liang, Anna L. Dixon, David Strachan, Simon Heath, Martin Depner, Andrea von Berg, Albrecht Bufe, Ernst Rietschel, Andrea Heinzmann, Burkard Simma, Thomas Frischer, Saffron A. G. Willis-Owen, Kenny C. C. Wong, Thomas Illig, Christian Vogelberg, Stephan K. Weiland, Erika von Mutius, Gonçalo R. Abecasis, Martin Farrall, Ivo G. Gut, G. Mark Lathrop & William O. C. Cookson


See also: Editor's summary

Protective and therapeutic role for alphaB-crystallin in autoimmune demyelination p474

Shalina S. Ousman, Beren H. Tomooka, Johannes M. van Noort, Eric F. Wawrousek, Kevin O'Conner, David A. Hafler, Raymond A. Sobel, William H. Robinson & Lawrence Steinman


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

Essential autocrine regulation by IL-21 in the generation of inflammatory T cells p480

Roza Nurieva, Xuexian O. Yang, Gustavo Martinez, Yongliang Zhang, Athanasia D. Panopoulos, Li Ma, Kimberly Schluns, Qiang Tian, Stephanie S. Watowich, Anton M. Jetten & Chen Dong


See also: News and Views by Palmer & Weaver

IL-21 initiates an alternative pathway to induce proinflammatory TH17 cells p484

Thomas Korn, Estelle Bettelli, Wenda Gao, Amit Awasthi, Anneli Jäger, Terry B. Strom, Mohamed Oukka & Vijay K. Kuchroo


See also: News and Views by Palmer & Weaver

Functional diversification of closely related ARF-GEFs in protein secretion and recycling p488

Sandra Richter, Niko Geldner, Jarmo Schrader, Hanno Wolters, York-Dieter Stierhof, Gabino Rios, Csaba Koncz, David G. Robinson & Gerd Jürgens


An ARF-GEF acting at the Golgi and in selective endocytosis in polarized plant cells p493

Ooi-kock Teh & Ian Moore


A flagellin-induced complex of the receptor FLS2 and BAK1 initiates plant defence p497

Delphine Chinchilla, Cyril Zipfel, Silke Robatzek, Birgit Kemmerling, Thorsten Nürnberger, Jonathan D. G. Jones, Georg Felix & Thomas Boller


See also: Editor's summary

DAI (DLM-1/ZBP1) is a cytosolic DNA sensor and an activator of innate immune response p501

Akinori Takaoka, ZhiChao Wang, Myoung Kwon Choi, Hideyuki Yanai, Hideo Negishi, Tatsuma Ban, Yan Lu, Makoto Miyagishi, Tatsuhiko Kodama, Kenya Honda, Yusuke Ohba & Tadatsugu Taniguchi


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Chi & Flavell




Prospect p507

Will new data suggest ways for PhD students to shorten their time to degree?

Gene Russo


Career Views

Gerd Kempermann, professor, Center for Regenerative Therapies, Dresden, Germany p508

Stem-cell scientist moves to new centre in Germany.

Virginia Gewin


Order of merit p508

There's a better way to determine authorship order.

Christine Beveridge & Suzanne Morris


Isolation p508

Maternity leave makes me miss the lab.

Moira Sheehan




And on gloomy Sunday... p510

There goes the neighbourhood.

Anthony S. Haines


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