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Patching together a world view p761

Data sets encapsulating the behaviour of the Earth system are one of the greatest technological achievements of our age — and one of the most deserving of future investment.


See also: Editor's summary

Africa's academies p762

Robust scientific institutions won't be built in a day.


Shared genomes p762

Nature's publishers are expanding the licence for reuse of genome papers.



Research Highlights

Research highlights p764



Journal Club

Journal club p765

Sarah E. Hitchcock-DeGregori




Columbus begins voyage of discovery p766

Europe's space lab finally reaches the launch pad.

Geoff Brumfiel


UN talks only one part of the negotiations needed on climate p767

Parallel discussions have important role to play.

Jeff Tollefson


Solar power: California's latest gold rush p768

Green-energy companies are enjoying a boom in investment. But will they live up to expectation, asks Declan Butler.

Declan Butler


Model predicts structure of crystals p771

Software solves long-standing chemical frustration.

Katharine Sanderson


Sidelines p772

Scribbles on the margins of science.


Saudi–Italian biomedical institute gets go-ahead p772

Hospital and cancer-research centre will form part of Red Sea development.

Alison Abbott


Asia plans first cancer network p772

Regional initiative will coordinate data sharing and epidemiology.

David Cyranoski


Fund boost for German science p773

Coalition government ploughs cash into research.

Quirin Schiermeier


Safer way to make human stem-like cells revealed p775


Risk analysis for Boston lab slammed as 'shoddy' p775


AIDS worker's misconduct ban belatedly comes to light p775


European satellite system is back on the launch pad p775


Californian stem-cell directors to be investigated p775


Endangered species cling on as rulings are overturned p775




Clarification p775




Smart networking p777

Theoreticians have combined their expertise to form a network to help other scientists design materials or understand biological pathways. Katharine Sanderson reports.

Katharine Sanderson



News Features

Earth Monitoring: The planetary panopticon p778

Technology will soon allow the world to be mapped in near-real time and at high resolution. Declan Butler investigates the potential for operational monitoring of the planet.


Earth Monitoring: Observing the ocean from within p780


Earth Observation: Not enough eyes on the prize p782

The capacity of the United States to monitor Earth's vital signs is being stymied by tight budgets and poor coordination. Alexandra Witze reports.


Earth Monitoring: The crucial measurement p785




Thought: a different perspective p788

Marc D. Hauser


Thought: book review has my ideas back to front p788

Steven Pinker


Chance to learn and teach in the developing world p788

Tim Caro & Monique Borgerhoff Mulder


Few women join ranks of Germany's academic élite p788

Laura Niven




Earth monitoring: Cinderella science p789

On-the-ground monitoring is unglamorous work, seldom rewarded by funding agencies or the science community. But we neglect it at our peril, warns Euan Nisbet.


See also: Editor's summary

Earth monitoring: Vigilance is not enough p791

Global surveillance is key to tracking potential pandemic viruses such as H5N1. But we need to share samples more rapidly, increase testing in endemic areas and track more than one virus, argues Walter Boyce.


See also: Editor's summary


Books and Arts

The ultimate Romantic adventure p793

Napoleon's invasion of the Middle East enhanced rather than diminished the world's intellectual heritage.

Andrew Robinson reviews Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt by Nina Burleigh


Size matters, sometimes p794

Steven Murawski reviews Body Size: The Structure and Function of Aquatic Ecosystems


The importance of nothing p795

Lawrence Rudnick reviews The Void by Frank Close


Earth observation: A fresh perspective p795

Jennifer Meyer reviews Earth From Space by Andrew K. Johnston and Star Maps: History, Artistry, and Cartography by Nick Kanas and Spies in the Sky by Pat Norris


See also: Editor's summary

History of medicine: Ageing of plastic surgery p796


Science in culture p796

Cartography and power have long gone hand in hand, as this pilgrimage plan illustrates.

Martin Kemp




Earth Monitoring: Whole Earth comes into focus p797

To understand how our planet uses energy, we must integrate genetic data from microbial studies with satellite views of our planet.

Stewart Brand


See also: Editor's summary


News and Views

Diabetes: Missing links p799

Researchers have now probably pinpointed all the genes in the MHC genomic region that are risk factors in type 1 diabetes. As the MHC is unusually rich in genes involved in immunity, this is truly exciting.

Bart O. Roep


See also: Editor's summary

Condensed-matter physics: Shear madness p800

Cooled to temperatures just above absolute zero, solid helium starts to behave very oddly. But its 'supersolid' behaviour might just be the result of imperfections that change the bulk properties of the crystal.

Alan T. Dorsey & David A. Huse


Relativity: Still special p801

Is special relativity a clapped-out classical theory, to be replaced by a shiny new quantum model as soon as possible? On the contrary, it would seem: the theory still has a youthful ability to surprise us.

Giovanni Amelino-Camelia


Cancer: Immune pact with the enemy p803

Progress comes from the latest investigations into a long-standing question in immunology — the role of the immune system in maintaining small, potentially cancerous lesions in a state of dormancy.

Cornelis J. M. Melief


50 & 100 Years Ago p804


Microbiology: Bilingual bacteria p805

Many bacteria use chemical signals to coordinate group behaviour. A signal that suppresses virulence has been identified in the bacterium that causes cholera, and could be a new therapeutic target.

Matthew R. Parsek


See also: Editor's summary

Palaeoclimate: Slush find p807

A coupled model of palaeoclimate and carbon cycling turns up the heat on the idea that Earth once became a giant snowball. It supports instead a milder 'slushball Earth' history — but piquant questions remain.

Alan J. Kaufman


See also: Editor's summary

Oceanography: Siberian salt in the cellar p808

Richard Webb


Obituary: Arthur Kornberg (1918–2007) p809

Passionate biochemist with a love for enzymes.

Tania A. Baker



News and Views Q&A

Sustainable technology: Green chemistry p810

Modern life depends on the petrochemical industry — most drugs, paints and plastics derive from oil. But current processes for making chemical products are not sustainable in terms of resources and environmental impact. Green chemistry aims to tackle this problem, and real progress is being made.

Martyn Poliakoff & Pete Licence


See also: Editor's summary


Brief Communications Arising

Effective global conservation strategies pE19

Ana S. L. Rodrigues


Grenyer et al. reply pE20

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




Snowball Earth prevention by dissolved organic carbon remineralization p813

W. Richard Peltier, Yonggang Liu & John W. Crowley


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

Engraftment of connexin 43-expressing cells prevents post-infarct arrhythmia p819

Wilhelm Roell, Thorsten Lewalter, Philipp Sasse, Yvonne N. Tallini, Bum-Rak Choi, Martin Breitbach, Robert Doran, Ulrich M. Becher, Seong-Min Hwang, Toktam Bostani, Julia von Maltzahn, Andreas Hofmann, Shaun Reining, Britta Eiberger, Bethann Gabris, Alexander Pfeifer, Armin Welz, Klaus Willecke, Guy Salama, Jan W. Schrickel, Michael I. Kotlikoff & Bernd K. Fleischmann


See also: Editor's summary

Bv8 regulates myeloid-cell-dependent tumour angiogenesis p825

Farbod Shojaei, Xiumin Wu, Cuiling Zhong, Lanlan Yu, Xiao-Huan Liang, Jenny Yao, Dominique Blanchard, Carlos Bais, Franklin V. Peale, Nicholas van Bruggen, Calvin Ho, Jed Ross, Martha Tan, Richard A. D. Carano, Y. Gloria Meng & Napoleone Ferrara


See also: Editor's summary

The molecular architecture of cadherins in native epidermal desmosomes p832

Ashraf Al-Amoudi, Daniel Castaño Díez, Matthew J. Betts & Achilleas S. Frangakis


Intrinsic motions along an enzymatic reaction trajectory p838

Katherine A. Henzler-Wildman, Vu Thai, Ming Lei, Maria Ott, Magnus Wolf-Watz, Tim Fenn, Ed Pozharski, Mark A. Wilson, Gregory A. Petsko, Martin Karplus, Christian G. Hübner & Dorothee Kern




A stability limit for the atmospheres of giant extrasolar planets p845

Tommi T. Koskinen, Alan D. Aylward & Steve Miller


See also: Editor's summary

Cryptomare magmatism 4.35 Gyr ago recorded in lunar meteorite Kalahari 009 p849

Kentaro Terada, Mahesh Anand, Anna K. Sokol, Addi Bischoff & Yuji Sano


See also: Editor's summary

Low-temperature shear modulus changes in solid 4He and connection to supersolidity p853

James Day & John Beamish


See also: News and Views by Dorsey & Huse

Controlling cavity reflectivity with a single quantum dot p857

Dirk Englund, Andrei Faraon, Ilya Fushman, Nick Stoltz, Pierre Petroff & Jelena Vuc caronkovic acute


Linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopy of a strongly coupled microdisk–quantum dot system p862

Kartik Srinivasan & Oskar Painter


A crystallizing dense magma ocean at the base of the Earth's mantle p866

S. Labrosse, J. W. Hernlund & N. Coltice


Host–parasite 'Red Queen' dynamics archived in pond sediment p870

Ellen Decaestecker, Sabrina Gaba, Joost A. M. Raeymaekers, Robby Stoks, Liesbeth Van Kerckhoven, Dieter Ebert & Luc De Meester


See also: Editor's summary

Methanotrophy below pH 1 by a new Verrucomicrobia species p874

Arjan Pol, Klaas Heijmans, Harry R. Harhangi, Dario Tedesco, Mike S. M. Jetten & Huub J. M. Op den Camp


See also: Editor's summary

Methane oxidation by an extremely acidophilic bacterium of the phylum Verrucomicrobia p879

Peter F. Dunfield, Anton Yuryev, Pavel Senin, Angela V. Smirnova, Matthew B. Stott, Shaobin Hou, Binh Ly, Jimmy H. Saw, Zhemin Zhou, Yan Ren, Jianmei Wang, Bruce W. Mountain, Michelle A. Crowe, Tina M. Weatherby, Paul L. E. Bodelier, Werner Liesack, Lu Feng, Lei Wang & Maqsudul Alam


See also: Editor's summary

The major Vibrio cholerae autoinducer and its role in virulence factor production p883

Douglas A. Higgins, Megan E. Pomianek, Christina M. Kraml, Ronald K. Taylor, Martin F. Semmelhack & Bonnie L. Bassler


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

Localization of type 1 diabetes susceptibility to the MHC class I genes HLA-B and HLA-A p887

Sergey Nejentsev, Joanna M. M. Howson, Neil M. Walker, Jeffrey Szeszko, Sarah F. Field, Helen E. Stevens, Pamela Reynolds, Matthew Hardy, Erna King, Jennifer Masters, John Hulme, Lisa M. Maier, Deborah Smyth, Rebecca Bailey, Jason D. Cooper, Gloria Ribas, R. Duncan Campbell, David G. Clayton, John A. Todd & The Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium


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

Characterizing the cancer genome in lung adenocarcinoma p893

Barbara A. Weir, Michele S. Woo, Gad Getz, Sven Perner, Li Ding, Rameen Beroukhim, William M. Lin, Michael A. Province, Aldi Kraja, Laura A. Johnson, Kinjal Shah, Mitsuo Sato, Roman K. Thomas, Justine A. Barletta, Ingrid B. Borecki, Stephen Broderick, Andrew C. Chang, Derek Y. Chiang, Lucian R. Chirieac, Jeonghee Cho, Yoshitaka Fujii, Adi F. Gazdar, Thomas Giordano, Heidi Greulich, Megan Hanna, Bruce E. Johnson, Mark G. Kris, Alex Lash, Ling Lin, Neal Lindeman, Elaine R. Mardis, John D. McPherson, John D. Minna, Margaret B. Morgan, Mark Nadel, Mark B. Orringer, John R. Osborne, Brad Ozenberger, Alex H. Ramos, James Robinson, Jack A. Roth, Valerie Rusch, Hidefumi Sasaki, Frances Shepherd, Carrie Sougnez, Margaret R. Spitz, Ming-Sound Tsao, David Twomey, Roel G. W. Verhaak, George M. Weinstock, David A. Wheeler, Wendy Winckler, Akihiko Yoshizawa, Soyoung Yu, Maureen F. Zakowski, Qunyuan Zhang, David G. Beer, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Mark A. Watson, Levi A. Garraway, Marc Ladanyi, William D. Travis, William Pao, Mark A. Rubin, Stacey B. Gabriel, Richard A. Gibbs, Harold E. Varmus, Richard K. Wilson, Eric S. Lander & Matthew Meyerson


See also: Editor's summary

Identification of protein pheromones that promote aggressive behaviour p899

Pablo Chamero, Tobias F. Marton, Darren W. Logan, Kelly Flanagan, Jason R. Cruz, Alan Saghatelian, Benjamin F. Cravatt & Lisa Stowers


See also: Editor's summary

Adaptive immunity maintains occult cancer in an equilibrium state p903

Catherine M. Koebel, William Vermi, Jeremy B. Swann, Nadeen Zerafa, Scott J. Rodig, Lloyd J. Old, Mark J. Smyth & Robert D. Schreiber


See also: News and Views by Melief

The SRA protein Np95 mediates epigenetic inheritance by recruiting Dnmt1 to methylated DNA p908

Jafar Sharif, Masahiro Muto, Shin-ichiro Takebayashi, Isao Suetake, Akihiro Iwamatsu, Takaho A. Endo, Jun Shinga, Yoko Mizutani-Koseki, Tetsuro Toyoda, Kunihiro Okamura, Shoji Tajima, Kohzoh Mitsuya, Masaki Okano & Haruhiko Koseki


A hierarchy of timescales in protein dynamics is linked to enzyme catalysis p913

Katherine A. Henzler-Wildman, Ming Lei, Vu Thai, S. Jordan Kerns, Martin Karplus & Dorothee Kern





Prospects p917

Salaries for scientists and engineers remain healthy — but differ by field, sector and country.

Gene Russo


Career View

Jose Alonso, director, Sanford Underground Science and Engineering Laboratory, Homestake, South Dakota p918

Richard Myers leaves Stanford genome centre for Huntsville.

Virginia Gewin


How to handle drug withdrawal p918

Pfizer's move out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has left a hole that local institutions are attempting to fill — with mixed success.

Paul Smaglik


A conference too soon p918

I like going to meetings. But I've got to bide my time and mind my budget.

Chris Rowan




Life, abundant and with simple joy p920

Found in translation.

Sarah K. Castle


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