Volume 425 Issue 6959, 16 October 2003


  • Editorial |

    Accounts of rejected Nobel-winning discoveries highlight the conservatism in science. Despite their historical misjudgements, journal editors can help, but above all, visionaries will need sheer persistence.


News in Brief


  • News Feature |

    In some countries, transgenic plants are already a part of mainstream farming. Will the rest of the world soon follow suit?

    • Peter Aldhous
  • News Feature |

    It's crunch time for agribiotech in Britain, as politicians rule on the planting of commercial transgenic crops. The world is watching, says Jim Giles.

    • Jim Giles
  • News Feature |

    Today, just four countries account for 99% of the world's commercially grown transgenic crops. But that is all changing: policies are being thrashed out, laws drawn up and seeds sown. We present an interactive graphic showing how GM is taking root.


Books and Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    How the complexities of science suffer in the arena of public policy.

    • Paul M. Grant


  • Concepts |

    Materials that expand laterally when stretched can act as molecular-scale strain amplifiers. This amplification might be exploited in nature and in future technologies.

    • Ray H. Baughman

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    A frog that lives in the mountains of southern India is a rare breed indeed: it is a new species that merits the establishment of a new family. Moreover, this is a discovery with considerable biogeographical significance.

    • S. Blair Hedges
  • News & Views |

    Tidal stresses in the Earth's crust don't seem to influence earthquakes. Water wells, on the other hand, seem strangely sensitive to seismic activity. Explanations are now proposed.

    • Christopher H. Scholz
  • News & Views |

    Research in yeast provides the tools and benchmarks for a wide sweep of biology. The latest results reveal the most complete picture yet of the levels and locations of protein production in the organism.

    • James A. Wohlschlegel
    •  & John R. Yates
  • News & Views |

    The outermost layers of the Sun are hotter than expected. Observation and analysis now confirm that magnetic fields are involved in the heating process, and also signal the existence of a long-sought 'current sheet'.

    • Robert Rosner
  • News & Views |

    Prion proteins that trigger a cascade of protein misfolding in the brain are suspected of being the sole transmissible cause of some brain-destroying diseases. But nucleic acids could be their partner in crime.

    • Byron Caughey
    •  & David A. Kocisko
  • News & Views |

    Some materials don't expand or contract as they are heated. A new example is a metallic compound, for which the movement of electrons between atoms is the likely explanation for its 'zero thermal expansion'.

    • Arthur Sleight
  • News & Views |

    Why have some evolutionary lineages produced many more species than others? As far as one large group of birds is concerned, being in the right place at the right time is a plausible answer.

    • Paul H. Harvey
    •  & Andy Purvis
  • News & Views |

    • Alison Wright

Brief Communications


  • Review Article |

    • Neil M. Ferguson
    • , Matt J. Keeling
    • , W. John Edmunds
    • , Raymond Gani
    • , Bryan T. Grenfell
    • , Roy M. Anderson
    •  & Steve Leach



New on the Market

  • New on the Market |

    A mouse model, high-throughput assays and more for drug research.



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