On the Record

    “It is not enough to be a corpse any more. Now you have to be a politically correct corpse.”

    Michigan funeral director Thomas Lynch on ‘green’ cemeteries, which use biodegradable coffins.

    “It could potentially be a showstopper if somebody gets suicidal on the way to Mars.”

    Psychiatrist Nick Kanas tells NASA it should worry about astronaut stress.

    “We realized that using a cruise liner makes it impossible for many participants to rightfully cover their expenses.”

    A meeting organizer explains why the First International Symposium on Nanotoxicology has shifted venue from a Caribbean cruise ship.


    White bread

    After eight years and millions of dollars spent on research, US scientists figure out a way to sneak whole grains into white loaves.


    Singaporean physicists have developed a paper battery that generates power from pee. They say it could be used in cheap biological home-testing kits, but will consumers go for it?

    Lab safety

    An employee at Los Alamos National Laboratory accidentally brings americium-241 to family homes, and ships some to Pennsylvania, triggering a four-state sweep for radiological material.


    Percentage of scientists who say they don't believe in God.

    Biologists 41%

    Physicists 41%

    Chemists 27%

    Source: Elaine Ecklund and Christopher Scheitle, unpublished work presented at the 2005 meeting of the Association for the Sociology of Religion.

    Rights and permissions

    Reprints and Permissions

    About this article

    Cite this article

    Sidelines. Nature 436, 898 (2005).

    Download citation

    Further reading


    By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.