Table of Contents

Japanese Table of Contents

Volume 478 Number 7370 pp427-552

27 October 2011

About the cover

The latest DNA recovery and sequencing technologies have been used to reconstruct the genome of the Yersinia pestis bacterium responsible for the Black Death pandemic of bubonic plague that spread across Europe in the fourteenth century. The genome was pieced together from total DNA extracted from the skeletal remains of four individuals excavated from a large cemetery on the site of the Royal Mint in East Smithfield in London, where more than 2,000 plague victims were buried in 1348 and 1349. The draft genome sequence does not differ substantially from modern Y. pestis strains, providing no answer to the question of why the Black Death was more deadly than modern bubonic plague outbreaks. On the cover, the excavation at the site of the old Royal Mint, 1987 (Rex Features).

This Week


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  • Animal talk

    Germany must do more to encourage dialogue on animal experimentation.

  • Scientific climate

    Results confirming climate change are welcome, even when released before peer review.

World View


Seven Days

  • Seven days: 21–27 October 2011

    The week in science: Earthquake hits Turkey; global warming verified; and promising trial results from a new multiple sclerosis drug.

News in Focus




Books and Arts

  • Psychology: A farewell to arms

    Martin Daly explores Steven Pinker's treatise on the taming of human aggression.

    • Review of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined/The Decline of Violence in History and Its Causes
      Steven Pinker
  • Sociology: The illustrated scientist

    Margo DeMello is fascinated by the evocative tattoo culture among different 'tribes' of scientists.

    • Review of Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed
      Carl Zimmer
  • Biotechnology: DNA dollars

    Linnaea Ostroff examines a history of Genentech, the US company that first made biology a business.

    • Review of Genentech: The Beginnings of Biotech
      Sally Smith Hughes
  • Q&A: The mathemagician

    Mathematician Persi Diaconis of Stanford University in California ran away from home in his teens to perform card tricks. As he publishes a book on the mathematics of magic, co-authored with juggler and fellow mathematician Ron Graham, he explains what makes a good trick.

    • Review of Magical Mathematics: The Mathematical Ideas that Animate Great Magic Tricks
      Persi Diaconis & Ron Graham





  • France: Peak of potential

    Once known mostly for its natural beauty, Grenoble is becoming a centre of innovation for academia and industry.

    • Katharine Sanderson



Career Briefs


naturejobs job listings and advertising features




  • Unprecedented Arctic ozone loss in 2011

    • Gloria L. Manney
    • Michelle L. Santee
    • Markus Rex
    • Nathaniel J. Livesey
    • Michael C. Pitts
    • Pepijn Veefkind
    • Eric R. Nash
    • Ingo Wohltmann
    • Ralph Lehmann
    • Lucien Froidevaux
    • Lamont R. Poole
    • Mark R. Schoeberl
    • David P. Haffner
    • Jonathan Davies
    • Valery Dorokhov
    • Hartwig Gernandt
    • Bryan Johnson
    • Rigel Kivi
    • Esko Kyrö
    • Niels Larsen
    • Pieternel F. Levelt
    • Alexander Makshtas
    • C. Thomas McElroy
    • Hideaki Nakajima
    • Maria Concepción Parrondo
    • David W. Tarasick
    • Peter von der Gathen
    • Kaley A. Walker
    • Nikita S. Zinoviev
    See also
  • A high-resolution map of human evolutionary constraint using 29 mammals

    • Kerstin Lindblad-Toh
    • Manuel Garber
    • Or Zuk
    • Michael F. Lin
    • Brian J. Parker
    • Stefan Washietl
    • Pouya Kheradpour
    • Jason Ernst
    • Gregory Jordan
    • Evan Mauceli
    • Lucas D. Ward
    • Craig B. Lowe
    • Alisha K. Holloway
    • Michele Clamp
    • Sante Gnerre
    • Jessica Alföldi
    • Kathryn Beal
    • Jean Chang
    • Hiram Clawson
    • James Cuff
    • Federica Di Palma
    • Stephen Fitzgerald
    • Paul Flicek
    • Mitchell Guttman
    • Melissa J. Hubisz
    • David B. Jaffe
    • Irwin Jungreis
    • W. James Kent
    • Dennis Kostka
    • Marcia Lara
    • Andre L. Martins
    • Tim Massingham
    • Ida Moltke
    • Brian J. Raney
    • Matthew D. Rasmussen
    • Jim Robinson
    • Alexander Stark
    • Albert J. Vilella
    • Jiayu Wen
    • Xiaohui Xie
    • Michael C. Zody
    • Broad Institute Sequencing Platform and Whole Genome Assembly Team
    • Kim C. Worley
    • Christie L. Kovar
    • Donna M. Muzny
    • Richard A. Gibbs
    • Baylor College of Medicine Human Genome Sequencing Center Sequencing Team
    • Wesley C. Warren
    • Elaine R. Mardis
    • George M. Weinstock
    • Richard K. Wilson
    • Genome Institute at Washington University
    • Ewan Birney
    • Elliott H. Margulies
    • Javier Herrero
    • Eric D. Green
    • David Haussler
    • Adam Siepel
    • Nick Goldman
    • Katherine S. Pollard
    • Jakob S. Pedersen
    • Eric S. Lander
    • Manolis Kellis
  • Spatio-temporal transcriptome of the human brain

    • Hyo Jung Kang
    • Yuka Imamura Kawasawa
    • Feng Cheng
    • Ying Zhu
    • Xuming Xu
    • Mingfeng Li
    • André M. M. Sousa
    • Mihovil Pletikos
    • Kyle A. Meyer
    • Goran Sedmak
    • Tobias Guennel
    • Yurae Shin
    • Matthew B. Johnson
    • Željka Krsnik
    • Simone Mayer
    • Sofia Fertuzinhos
    • Sheila Umlauf
    • Steven N. Lisgo
    • Alexander Vortmeyer
    • Daniel R. Weinberger
    • Shrikant Mane
    • Thomas M. Hyde
    • Anita Huttner
    • Mark Reimers
    • Joel E. Kleinman
    • Nenad Šestan