Table of Contents

Japanese Table of Contents

Volume 471 Number 7337 pp135-260

10 March 2011

About the cover

Connectivity forms the basis of functional computations performed by neural circuits, but it is notoriously difficult to follow the complex structural wiring between neurons to the function of individual cells. Now, using a combination of functional imaging and three-dimensional serial electron-microscopic reconstruction at an unprecedented scale, two groups present detailed representations of the connectivity of single cells in the mouse visual system. Davi Bock et al. in Clay Reid’s lab investigate connectivity in the primary visual cortex, and find that inhibitory neurons receive input from excitatory cells with widely varying functions (represented on the cover by spheres and lines of different colours), consistent with predictions from recent physiological studies of the mouse cortex. Kevin Briggman, Moritz Helmstaedter and Winfried Denk show that direction-selective ganglion cells receive more synapses from a starburst amacrine cell dendrite if their preferred directions are opposites, suggesting that the directional sensitivity of retinal ganglion cells arises from the asymmetry in their wiring with amacrine cells.

This Week


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    US biomedical scientists should support bold plans to transform the process of drug development. Now is not the time for disunity.

  • Notes on a scandal

    Events this month have shown that government stances on academic misbehaviour differ wildly.

  • Over the limit

    Evidence should be considered when setting policy, but not to the exclusion of other factors.

World View


Seven Days


News in Focus

  • Mourning Glory

    NASA satellite crash will hamper solar monitoring and aerosol measurements vital to improving climate models.

    • Jeff Tollefson




  • Vaccinate for the next H2N2 pandemic now

    An old influenza strain still circulating in birds and swine could easily jump back to humans now that immunity to it has dropped, warn Gary J. Nabel and his colleagues.

  • Biobanks need publicity

    Most Europeans haven't heard of their nation's repositories of human blood and tissue samples. Promote them, say George Gaskell and Herbert Gottweis, or they could fail.

Books and Arts

  • Biography: Canonical prophet

    Pedro Ferreira is inspired by a treasury of recollections of physicist Bryce DeWitt by his widow Cécile.

    • Review of The Pursuit of Quantum Gravity: Memoirs of Bryce DeWitt from 1946 to 2004 Cécile DeWitt-Morette
  • Geography: Islamic views of Earth

    A magisterial series revolutionizes our understanding of Arabic geography, finds Celâl Şengör.

    • Review of Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums, Band XIV. Anthropogeographie Teil I: Gesamt- und Ländergeographie; Stadt- und Regionalgeographie Geschichte des Arabischen Schrifttums, Band XV. Anthropogeographie Teil II: Topographie, Geographische Lexika, Kosmographie, Kosmologie, Reiseberichte Fuat Sezgin
  • Museums: Campus treasures

    Sally MacDonald and Jack Ashby explain how best to air the gems hidden within university science collections.

    • Review of Grant Museum of Zoology





  • Finance: Quantifiable prospects

    Despite market gyrations, banks can offer mathematicians and physicists a way to put their acumen to lucrative use.

    • David Lindley


  • Turning point: Andrew Dessler

    A Google fellowship will help atmospheric scientist Andrew Dessler spread the word about climate change.

    • Virginia Gewin

Career Briefs


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