Reviews & Analysis

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  • Disjunct distributions of closely related species are not necessarily the outcome of passive fragmentation of populations. Instead, they can be the consequence of speciation within a population.

    • Diethard Tautz
    News & Views
  • The interactions of sugars and proteins underlie many biological processes, and cataloguing them is a daunting task. A technique for attaching sugars to microarrays offers a promising, high-throughput solution.

    • Sabine L. Flitsch
    • Rein V Ulijn
    News & Views
  • When our bodies are injured or infected, inflammatory cells migrate to the damaged area to carry out rescue and repair work. Interactions between three types of protein may form the basis of a highway to guide these cells.

    • Steven D. Shapiro
    News & Views
  • Studies of worms have revealed hundreds of proteins that, when mutated, extend lifespan. Can this work tell us anything about mammalian ageing? A look at the effects of one such protein on lab mice suggests that it can.

    • Gordon J. Lithgow
    • Matthew S. Gill
    News & Views
  • Identification of the previously unknown larval forms of the sea lilies, a group of marine invertebrates, is a refreshing reminder of the value of descriptive science in evolutionary studies.

    • Thurston Lacalli
    News & Views
  • A method that circumvents the problems of correlating different data sets has allowed the sequence of events at the last great deglaciation to be seen in finer detail.

    • Robert B. Dunbar
    News & Views
  • It is impossible to describe biological diversity with traditional approaches. Molecular methods are the way forward — especially, perhaps, in the form of DNA barcodes.

    • Mark Blaxter
    News & Views
  • Today, the Moon has no magnetic field, but analyses of lunar rocks suggest that it did in the past. Did changes in the lunar interior create a magnetic dynamo billions of years ago?

    • Maria T. Zuber
    News & Views
  • When a low-viscosity fluid is injected into an elastic material, it forces its way through by making slender cracks, in a random, fractal pattern. The spreading of the cracks can be modelled through a series of 'bursts'.

    • Leo P. Kadanoff
    News & Views
  • It has been known for some years that Jupiter's satellite Io has sodium as a component of its atmosphere. The source, it now seems, is sodium chloride emitted by volcanoes on Io's surface.

    • Donald M. Hunten
    News & Views
  • When experimentally displaced in geomagnetic space, spiny lobsters act as if to make their way home. This is a fascinating case of navigation by an invertebrate using a magnetic map sense.

    • Thomas Alerstam
    News & Views
  • Duplicated genes are common in genomes, perhaps because they provide redundancy: if one copy is inactivated, the other can still work. A new study quantifies the effects of deleting 'singletons' and duplicated genes in yeast.

    • Axel Meyer
    News & Views
  • Will quantum information theory ever lead to practical quantum information technologies? At a conference reviewing the advances of the past two years, delegates looked to the future with cautious optimism.

    • Jonathan Jones
    News & Views
  • Single-molecule magnets can change their spin states through quantum tunnelling. A more complete picture of the interactions occurring in a system of such magnets must include two-body transitions.

    • Bernard Barbara
    News & Views
  • We, and other animals, can generally pinpoint the source of a sound in space regardless of how loud it is. A study involving experimentation and computer modelling reveals how our brains perform this clever task.

    • Charles F. Stevens
    News & Views