Reviews & Analysis

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  • The size of a cell's nucleus is usually proportional to the size of the cell itself. How are the two linked? The answer lies, at least in part, in the import of one or more cytoplasmic cargoes into the nucleus.

    • Orna Cohen-Fix
    News & Views
  • The use of catch data to determine indicators of biodiversity such as 'mean trophic level' does not adequately measure ecosystem changes induced by fishing. Improved ways to assess those changes are required. See Letter p.431

    • Joseph E. Powers
    News & Views
  • In roundworms, age-related decline in egg quality is regulated by specific humoral signalling pathways. If similar mechanisms operate in mammals, these findings may suggest ways to delay reproductive ageing in women.

    • Kevin Flurkey
    • David E. Harrison
    News & Views
  • Many naturally occurring substances have a 'handedness' that enables them to interact highly specifically with matter or light. The helical features responsible for this can now be replicated in solid, porous films. See Letter p.422

    • Andreas Stein
    News & Views
  • An extension of synthetic biology to a medicinal plant involves the transfer of chlorination equipment from bacteria. This exercise adds implements to the enzymatic toolbox for generating natural products. See Letter p.461

    • Joseph P. Noel
    News & Views
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance is a versatile analytical technique, but acquiring well-resolved NMR spectra of chemical surfaces has been hard. The coming of age of a spectral enhancement method should change all that.

    • Robert G. Griffin
    News & Views
  • Mobile DNA sequences called L1 contribute to the brain's genetic heterogeneity and may affect neuron function. The protein MeCP2, which is mutated in Rett syndrome, seems to regulate the activity of these genomic elements. See Letter p.443

    • Lorenz Studer
    News & Views
  • Quantum physics is known for its counter-intuitive principles. One such principle — that a single photon can be in as many as four places at the same time — has now been demonstrated. See Letter p.412

    • Vladan Vuletic
    News & Views
  • We know that dark matter constitutes 85 per cent of all the matter in the Universe, but we do not know of what it is made. Among the many dark matter candidates proposed, WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles) occupy a special place. The moment of truth has now come for WIMPs: either we will discover them in the next five to ten years, or we will witness their inevitable decline.

    • Gianfranco Bertone
    Review Article
  • In both fruitflies and vertebrates, signals from photoreceptor cells are immediately split into two opposing channels in the downstream neurons. This might facilitate the computation of visual motion. See Letter p.300

    • Chi -Hon Lee
    News & Views
  • One might think that aneuploidy — having an abnormal number of chromosomes — would be harmful, and would reduce an organism's fitness. Not necessarily: it all depends on the type of aneuploidy and the associated conditions. See Letter p.321

    • Judith Berman
    News & Views
  • The discovery of predicted collective electronic behaviour in copper-oxide superconductors in the non-superconducting state provides clues to unlocking the 24-year-old mystery of high-temperature superconductivity. See Letter p.283

    • Chandra Varma
    News & Views
  • Measuring Newton's constant of gravitation is a difficult task, because gravity is the weakest of all the fundamental forces. An experiment involving two simple pendulums provides a seemingly accurate but surprising value.

    • Richard Davis
    News & Views
  • Once a blood vessel supplying the brain has been blocked, the opportunity to prevent brain damage is fleeting. An alternative strategy might be to guide the damaged area onto the path to recovery. See Letter p.305

    • Kevin Staley
    News & Views
  • An approach that entails printing compound-semiconductor ribbons on a silicon substrate offers the means to build nanoscale transistors that can be switched on and off much more effectively than their bulk analogues. See Letter page 286

    • John A. Rogers
    News & Views