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Net gains p307

The Moon landing was not the only world-changing event in the summer of '69.


Nowhere to hide p307

The G8 has laid down a marker by promising to restrict the rise of global temperatures.



Research Highlights

Animal behaviour: Smothered by a swarm p308


Palaeoclimatology: Tropical ice p308


Nanotechnology: Penned in protein p308


Chemical biology: A glowing report p308


Evolution: Nice guys finish last p308


Organic chemistry: Cockroach cruncher p309


Immunology: Themis in the thymus p309


Developmental biology: The turtle fold p309


Neurology: New neurons show the way p309



Journal Club

Journal club p309

Friedhelm von Blanckenburg




NIH nominee draws scrutiny p310

Francis Collins is likely to face funding challenges — and criticism of his Christian evangelism.

Meredith Wadman


Malaria drug-makers ignore WHO ban p310

Health agency calls for clampdown on artemisinin monotherapy.

Declan Butler


Flu furore hits Argentina p311

Refusal to declare national emergency restricts pandemic measures.

Anna Petherick


Medical isotope shortage reaches crisis level p312

Robust solutions sought urgently to shore up fragile supply chain.

Paula Gould


G8 climate target questioned p313

Is a commitment to prevent global temperatures from rising more than 2 °C enough?

Quirin Schiermeier


Shooting for the Moon p314

The Apollo programme inspired thousands of people to pursue careers in science. Today, they still support human spacefaring — but baulk at the price. Richard Monastersky reports on the results of a Nature poll.

Richard Monastersky


Arms pact could boost US-Russian science p316

Commitment to cut nuclear stockpiles may improve collaboration.

Geoff Brumfiel


Europe attacks tactics that delay generic drugs p317


Obama names next head of US Geological Survey p317


El Niño arrives in the Pacific Ocean p317


German molecular biologist to head EMBO p317


US renewable energy gets cash boost p317


Mars Science Laboratory devours budgets p317


Correction p317



News Features

Cell biology: Ahead of the curve p318

Cellular life is all slopes, arcs and circles — but there is much debate about how these curves are built. Kendall Powell reports.


Earth science: A lakeful of trouble p321

Africa's Lake Kivu contains vast quantities of gas, which makes it both dangerous and valuable. Anjali Nayar asks whether it is possible to tap the gas without causing a disaster.




Sharing different mouse strains is not always so simple p324

Richard Behringer


Invasion biology is a discipline that's too young to die p324

Petr Pys caronek & Philip E. Hulme


For cancer, seek and destroy or live and let live? p324

Nicolas André & Eddy Pasquier




Why we need space travel p325

Giovanni Bignami reflects on the people who persuaded him that we must send humans beyond Earth's orbit to inspire public and political support for science.

Giovanni Bignami



Books and Arts

The slow slide towards a new battlefield? p326

The cold war saw governments develop international policies to regulate outer space for military and civil uses. Loopholes in those policies must now be closed, writes Roald Sagdeev.

Roald Sagdeev


The return path to the Moon p327

Jeff Kanipe reviews The Seventh Landing: Going Back to the Moon, This Time to Stay by Michael Carroll


Apollo books p328


In Retrospect: Calvino's Cosmicomics p329

The soaring imagination of the Italian author abounds in a new compilation of his cosmic fables. Mostly written in the age of the space race, they are heavily informed by science, finds Alan Lightman.

Alan Lightman



News and Views

Ageing: A midlife longevity drug? p331

The small molecule rapamycin, already approved for clinical use for various human disorders, has been found to significantly increase lifespan in mice. Is this a step towards an anti-ageing drug for people?

Matt Kaeberlein & Brian K. Kennedy


See also: Editor's summary

Atmospheric physics: Cosmic rays, clouds and climate p332

Galactic cosmic rays could influence Earth's cloudiness by creating aerosol particles that prompt cloud formation. That possible effect looks to be smaller than thought, but the story won't end there.

Ken Carslaw


Galaxy formation: Anatomy of elliptical galaxies p333

The family of elliptical galaxies is remarkable for the structural regularity of its members. Inspecting irregularities in this regularity could help in understanding how these galaxies form.

Luca Ciotti


Ecology: Towards a theory of biodiversity p334

Models of ecological communities that incorporate mutation and spatial dispersal can yield results that go some way to explaining observations. A further step is to add sexual reproduction to the mix.

Jayanth R. Banavar & Amos Maritan


See also: Editor's summary

Climate change: Beyond the CO2 connection p335

At times in the past, mobile ocean fronts in the subtropics have exercised an influence on the magnitude of climate change by decoupling temperature from levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Rainer Zahn


See also: Editor's summary

Photonics: Light control at will p337

Microchips that make use of light instead of electrons could outperform their electronic counterparts if light flow can be controlled at will. Photonic crystals are instrumental in achieving such a manoeuvre.

Sajeev John


See also: Editor's summary

Obituary: Jean Dausset (1916–2009) p338

'Father' of the human leukocyte antigen system.

Dominique J. Charron




Primate archaeology p339

Michael Haslam, Adriana Hernandez-Aguilar, Victoria Ling, Susana Carvalho, Ignacio de la Torre, April DeStefano, Andrew Du, Bruce Hardy, Jack Harris, Linda Marchant, Tetsuro Matsuzawa, William McGrew, Julio Mercader, Rafael Mora, Michael Petraglia, Hélène Roche, Elisabetta Visalberghi & Rebecca Warren


See also: Editor's summary



The Schistosoma japonicum genome reveals features of host–parasite interplay p345

Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum are the pathogenic agents that cause the tropical disease schistosomiasis. Here, and in an accompanying paper, the genomes of these two flatworms are sequenced and analysed. The results provide insights into the molecular architecture and host interactions of the flatworms, as well as avenues for future development of targeted interventions for schistosomiasis.

The Schistosoma japonicum Genome Sequencing and Functional Analysis Consortium


See also: Editor's summary

The genome of the blood fluke Schistosoma mansoni p352

Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma japonicum are the pathogenic agents that cause the tropical disease schistosomiasis. Here, and in an accompanying paper, the genomes of these two flatworms are sequenced and analysed. The results provide insights into the molecular architecture and host interactions of the flatworms, as well as avenues for future development of targeted interventions for schistosomiasis.

Matthew Berriman, Brian J. Haas, Philip T. LoVerde, R. Alan Wilson, Gary P. Dillon, Gustavo C. Cerqueira, Susan T. Mashiyama, Bissan Al-Lazikani, Luiza F. Andrade, Peter D. Ashton, Martin A. Aslett, Daniella C. Bartholomeu, Gaelle Blandin, Conor R. Caffrey, Avril Coghlan, Richard Coulson, Tim A. Day, Art Delcher, Ricardo DeMarco, Appolinaire Djikeng, Tina Eyre, John A. Gamble, Elodie Ghedin, Yong Gu, Christiane Hertz-Fowler, Hirohisha Hirai, Yuriko Hirai, Robin Houston, Alasdair Ivens, David A. Johnston, Daniela Lacerda, Camila D. Macedo, Paul McVeigh, Zemin Ning, Guilherme Oliveira, John P. Overington, Julian Parkhill, Mihaela Pertea, Raymond J. Pierce, Anna V. Protasio, Michael A. Quail, Marie-Adèle Rajandream, Jane Rogers, Mohammed Sajid, Steven L. Salzberg, Mario Stanke, Adrian R. Tivey, Owen White, David L. Williams, Jennifer Wortman, Wenjie Wu, Mostafa Zamanian, Adhemar Zerlotini, Claire M. Fraser-Liggett, Barclay G. Barrell & Najib M. El-Sayed


See also: Editor's summary

The active form of DNA polymerase V is UmuD'2C–RecA–ATP p359

Escherichia coli DNA polymerase (pol) V is involved in the mutagenic process of limited DNA synthesis across a DNA lesion, but the molecular composition of mutagenically active pol V and the importance of the RecA nucleoprotein filament RecA* have remained unclear. The biochemical role of RecA* is now defined.

Qingfei Jiang, Kiyonobu Karata, Roger Woodgate, Michael M. Cox & Myron F. Goodman


See also: Editor's summary



Contamination of the asteroid belt by primordial trans-Neptunian objects p364

The main asteroid belt contains a surprising diversity of objects, ranging from primitive ice-rock mixtures to igneous rocks. The standard model used to explain this assumes the violent dynamical evolution of the giant-planet orbits. Here, this evolution is shown to lead to the insertion of primitive trans-Neptunian objects into the outer belt, implying that the observed diversity of the asteroid belt is not a direct reflection of the intrinsic compositional variation of the proto-planetary disk, but rather of dynamical evolution.

Harold F. Levison, William F. Bottke, Matthieu Gounelle, Alessandro Morbidelli, David Nesvorný & Kleomenis Tsiganis


See also: Editor's summary

Manipulation of photons at the surface of three-dimensional photonic crystals p367

Photonic bandgap materials are envisioned to provide the necessary tools for guiding and manipulating photons in optical circuits. So far, basic approaches for photonic control have been based on embedding artificial defects and light emitters inside three-dimensional materials. Here it is demonstrated that three-dimensional photonic crystals possess two-dimensional surface states that can easily be manipulated to control photons, providing an alternative approach.

Kenji Ishizaki & Susumu Noda


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

Photoconductance and inverse photoconductance in films of functionalized metal nanoparticles p371

A photoconductor is a material in which electrical conductivity changes when it is illuminated — invariably increasing in response to impinging light. However, here it is shown that nanoparticle-based materials can be engineered, through the careful choice of the molecules used to stabilize the nanoparticles, to exhibit negative photoconductance: conductivity in these materials decreases in the presence of light.

Hideyuki Nakanishi, Kyle J. M. Bishop, Bartlomiej Kowalczyk, Abraham Nitzan, Emily A. Weiss, Konstantin V. Tretiakov, Mario M. Apodaca, Rafal Klajn, J. Fraser Stoddart & Bartosz A. Grzybowski


See also: Editor's summary

Evidence for middle Eocene Arctic sea ice from diatoms and ice-rafted debris p376

The presence of ice-rafted debris (IRD) in middle Eocene ocean sediments has previously been demonstrated, but it has been unclear whether the source of IRD was land-based glacial ice or sea ice, a distinction with important climate implications. The analysis of a sediment core from the ACEX project now reveals evidence that sea ice was the dominant source for IRD from 47.5 to 45.5 million years ago.

Catherine E. Stickley, Kristen St John, Nalân Koç, Richard W. Jordan, Sandra Passchier, Richard B. Pearce & Lance E. Kearns


See also: Editor's summary

Migration of the subtropical front as a modulator of glacial climate p380

Ice cores extracted from the Antarctic ice sheet suggest that glacial conditions and the relationship between temperatures and atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations have been constant over the last 800,000 years, but there is some evidence for a fluctuating severity of glacial periods mediated by previously unidentified mechanisms. Variable migration of the subtropical front is now shown to modulate the severity of glacial periods, partially decoupling global climate from atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations.

Edouard Bard & Rosalind E. M. Rickaby


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

Global patterns of speciation and diversity p384

The question of why biological diversity is spread in characteristic patterns is perhaps the biggest problem in ecology. In recent years, the 'neutral theory' of biodiversity has modelled the distribution of species in a very simple way, without reference to species interactions or history. Sexual reproduction, mutation and dispersal are now introduced to the simulation of populations; the resulting predictions correlate well with real data sets.

M. A. M. de Aguiar, M. Baranger, E. M. Baptestini, L. Kaufman & Y. Bar-Yam


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Banavar & Maritan

Evolution of a malaria resistance gene in wild primates p388

The study of a population of yellow baboons in Amboseli National Park in Kenya reveals the first reported association and functional characterization linking genetic variation and a complex trait — susceptibility to malaria — in a natural population of nonhuman primates.

Jenny Tung, Alexander Primus, Andrew J. Bouley, Tonya F. Severson, Susan C. Alberts & Gregory A. Wray


See also: Editor's summary

Rapamycin fed late in life extends lifespan in genetically heterogeneous mice p392

Although inhibition of the TOR signalling pathway extends lifespan in invertebrates, it was unknown whether mTOR signalling inhibition has similar effects in mammalian species. Here, feeding mice the drug rapamycin — an inhibitor of the mTOR pathway — late in life is shown to extend lifespan by 9–14%; currently, the only way to extend lifespan in rodents is by severe dietary restriction.

David E. Harrison, Randy Strong, Zelton Dave Sharp, James F. Nelson, Clinton M. Astle, Kevin Flurkey, Nancy L. Nadon, J. Erby Wilkinson, Krystyna Frenkel, Christy S. Carter, Marco Pahor, Martin A. Javors, Elizabeth Fernandez & Richard A. Miller


See also: Editor's summary | News and Views by Kaeberlein & Kennedy

A conserved ubiquitination pathway determines longevity in response to diet restriction p396

The fact that dietary restriction increases longevity in diverse species suggests that there is a conserved mechanism for nutrient regulation and prosurvival responses. The E3 ubiquitin ligase WWP-1 and the E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme UBC-18 are now shown to be essential for such lifespan extension in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans.

Andrea C. Carrano, Zheng Liu, Andrew Dillin & Tony Hunter


See also: Editor's summary

A reevaluation of X-irradiation-induced phocomelia and proximodistal limb patterning p400

The condition of phocomelia, a human birth defect in which the long bones are shorter than normal, is mimicked in developing chick limb buds exposed to X-rays. Studies of X-irradiation-induced phocomelia have served as evidence supporting the 'progress zone' model of limb patterning. Here, X-irradiation-induced phocomelia is shown not to be a patterning defect at all; rather, it results from a time-dependent loss of skeletal progenitors.

Jenna L. Galloway, Irene Delgado, Maria A. Ros & Clifford J. Tabin


See also: Editor's summary

The AP-1 transcription factor Batf controls TH17 differentiation p405

TH17 cells comprise a subset of CD4+ T cells that coordinate the inflammatory response in host defence but are pathogenic in autoimmunity. Here, the AP-1 transcription factor BATF is shown to have a critical role in TH17 cell differentiation, with Batf-/- mice displaying a defect in TH17 differentiation and resistance to experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

Barbara U. Schraml, Kai Hildner, Wataru Ise, Wan-Ling Lee, Whitney A.-E. Smith, Ben Solomon, Gurmukh Sahota, Julia Sim, Ryuta Mukasa, Saso Cemerski, Robin D. Hatton, Gary D. Stormo, Casey T. Weaver, John H. Russell, Theresa L. Murphy & Kenneth M. Murphy


See also: Editor's summary

Cohesins form chromosomal cis-interactions at the developmentally regulated IFNG locus p410

As well as its role in sister chromatid cohesion, cohesin is thought to have a role in the control of gene expression. Here, cohesin is shown to form the topological and mechanistic basis for cell-type-specific long-range chromosomal interactions at the developmentally regulated cytokine locus IFNG.

Suzana Hadjur, Luke M. Williams, Natalie K. Ryan, Bradley S. Cobb, Tom Sexton, Peter Fraser, Amanda G. Fisher & Matthias Merkenschlager


See also: Editor's summary


Technology Features

Systems biology: Untangling the protein web p415

Researchers have identified thousands of macromolecular interactions within cells. But, as Nathan Blow finds out, joining them up in networks and figuring out how they work still poses a big challenge.

Nathan Blow


Systems biology: Playing by the rules p417


Systems biology: Table of suppliers p419




Careers Q&A

Douglas Yanega p423

Entomologist is appointed to international taxonomy board.

Douglas Yanega


Postdoc journal

Wealth of knowledge? p423

Life as a scientist nomad.

Sam Walcott


In Brief

Energy bill to create jobs? p423

US Senate weighs in on jobs implications of energy bill.


Californian budget woes p423

Eminent faculy members from the University of California warn of budget-cut consequences.


Physicists wanted p423

New posts at SLAC National Acceleratory Laboratory.


Careers and Recruitment

Down but not out p424

Indian outsourcing has been hit badly by the global downturn, but signs of growth remain. K. S. Jayaraman investigates.

K. S. Jayaraman




Makeover p428

Off on the wrong track.

James L. Cambias


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