Signals that make waves. Reichardt, L. F. Nature 6 November (2003) This News and Views article reviews new evidence that neurons use neurotrophins to communicate with glia.

Breaking the pain barrier. Machelska, H. et al. Nature Medicine November (2003) This News and Views article describes how artemin — a member of the glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor family — might be used to treat neuropathic pain.

Neuropeptide gene polymorphisms and human behavioural disorders. Inui, A. Nature Reviews Drug Discovery December (2003)

The Centennial of the Cajal body. Gall, J. G. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology December (2003) Exactly 100 years ago, the Spanish neurobiologist Santiago Ramón y Cajal described a new organelle in nuclei of vertebrate neurons. The Cajal body occurs in many cell types, and it has numerous roles in the assembly and modification of the nucleartranscription and RNAprocessing machinery.

States of mind. Ringach, D. L. Nature 30 October (2003) In the brains of anaesthetized animals, neurons create spontaneous patterns of activity that resemble representations of visual stimuli. This News and Views article discusses the implications of this discovery for our understanding of visual perception

Muscles flex, axons die. Wrathall, J. R. Nature Medicine November (2003) This News and Views article discusses the finding that a molecule that regulates contraction in skeletal muscle also exacerbates axonal damage in response to injury.

Sensory-motor control: a long-awaited behavioural correlate of presynaptic inhibition (News and Views). Rose, K. P. & Scott, S. H.Nature Neuroscience December (2003)

Glia: a novel drug discovery target for clinical pain. Watkins, L. R. & Maier, S. F.Nature Reviews Drug Discovery December (2003)

The pathogenesis of streptococcal infections: from tooth decay to meningitis. Mitchell, T. J. Nature Reviews Microbiology December (2003)

Specifying motor neurons: up and down and back to front. Harris, W. Nature Neuroscience December (2003) A News and Views article on the role of Hox proteins in specifying motor neuron columnar fate.