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Nature volume 441, page 7 (04 May 2006) | Download Citation


On the record

“Hedgehogs have been around for 20 million years — we want them around in the next century.”

Ecologist Paul Bright expresses concern for Britain's disappearing hedgehogs. They will now be tracked by the Internet-based ‘HogWatch’.

“Among the astronaut's needs are guidelines on performing prayers in space.”

A Malaysian government official discusses unique concerns faced by the country's first astronaut, a Muslim.

Source: Reuters


Space-age scavengers

NASA forms a ‘roadkill posse’ to deter vultures around the shuttle launch pad by removing the carrion on which they feed. The birds came under fire after one struck Discovery as it took off last year.

Clam confusion

Pollutants are sowing a gender crisis among Britain's bivalves, causing as many as 60% of male clams to make eggs.

Pie gobblers

Drug company Bayer, maker of the Alka-Seltzer heartburn remedy, drops its sponsorship of a worldwide speed-eating contest.

Number crunch

Biochemist Akira Endo has an obsession: “I love mushrooms and moulds.” In 1973, he isolated the chemical ML-236B from a fungus — it was to form the basis of the famed cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. The work wins him this year's Japan Prize for new therapies.

6,000 mushrooms and moulds were studied by Endo before he discovered ML-236B.

Nothing was earned by Endo for statins, because his patent expired before the drugs took off.

¥50 million or US$440,000 was awarded to Endo as a Japan Prize winner.

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