News in Brief

Nature 449, 514 (4 October 2007) | doi:10.1038/449514a; Published online 3 October 2007

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Scribbles on the margins of science.

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F. PINI

Colleagues of the late Steve Irwin (The Crocodile Hunter) were stunned when one of the saltwater crocs in their satellite-tracking study showed an amazing homing instinct ? navigating more than 400 kilometres in less than 3 weeks to return to where it was captured.

Scorecard

GOING UP Ireland's smoking ban

It's not just Irish people's lungs that are benefiting ? the smoking ban is music to their ears, too. Instrument repairers have noticed a boost in the health of accordions, concertinas and bagpipes played in smoke-free pubs.

GOING DOWN Greece's smoking trees

Environmental group the WWF reports that vegetation will take 20 years to bounce back from the fires that raged across Greece during August, and that the fir forests will take more than a generation to recover.

Number crunch

460 kilograms of illegal black caviar were seized by Russian police in a raid last week.

90% is the amount that beluga sturgeon stocks have declined in the past 20 years.

US$7,500 is the price fetched by a kilogram of caviar in London, making it a tasty temptation for black-marketeers.

On the record

?I think I could have been an art dealer. I have pretty good taste. I've always liked portraits. For me, faces dominate my life. It's not about big boobs. It's about the face. Always.?

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James Watson tells us what he might have done had he not turned his mind to unlocking the structure of DNA.

Sources: BMJ, Reuters, PLoS ONE, San Diego Union-Tribune

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