Reviews & Analysis

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  • Resistance to insulin predisposes people to diabetes; it is characterized by increased storage of fats and a failure to stop glucose synthesis. The molecular underpinnings of these effects have been uncovered.

    • Marc Montminy
    • Seung-Hoi Koo
    News & Views
  • One of the great uncertainties in projecting global warming is accounting for the effects of small particles in Earth's atmosphere. Progress is nonetheless being made with this fiendishly complex problem.

    • Joyce E. Penner
    News & Views
  • An antenna array that is metres high and wide can detect and transmit radio waves. This effect has now been demonstrated at much smaller electromagnetic wavelengths in a nanoscale array of carbon nanotubes.

    • M. S. Dresselhaus
    News & Views
  • Mammals face a problem just after birth: they are no longer nourished through the placenta, but suckling has not yet begun. How do they survive? Digestion of the animal's own cells could be the answer.

    • Nathaniel Heintz
    News & Views
  • What do changing colours in corn kernels, mutations in houseflies and the variability of antibodies and of a T cell's antigen receptors in the vertebrate immune system have in common? A great deal, it turns out.

    • Marjorie A. Oettinger
    News & Views
  • Red blood cells develop in the bone marrow in ‘islands’ nurtured by a central white blood cell. Work in mice shows that the retinoblastoma protein is crucial for these white cells to mature and form islands.

    • James Palis
    News & Views
  • New work shows how light might be used to cool a micrometre-size cantilevered mirror to the low temperatures required in physics experiments and applications.

    • Peter W. Milonni
    • Boris M. Chernobrod
    News & Views
  • The most vexing question in meteoritics is on the verge of being answered — what process led to the small droplets of primordial dust that are found throughout the most primitive meteorites?

    • Alan P. Boss
    News & Views
  • The platypus' sex chromosomes are as peculiar as its appearance. Five X and five Y chromosomes form a remarkable chain-like configuration in male reproductive cells that ensures appropriate sperm formation.

    • Laura Carrel
    News & Views
  • Sheep believed to be resistant to scrapie are succumbing to atypical infections and a newly identified strain of the disease. Eradication programmes based on selective breeding should be reappraised.

    • Matthew Baylis
    • K. Marie McIntyre
    News & Views
  • Bacteria have many ways of stealing iron from the organisms they infect. But this thievery is not one-sided, and a newly discovered device in the mammalian tool kit does a good job of keeping bacteria in check.

    • Jonathan Barasch
    • Kiyoshi Mori
    News & Views
  • A single electron cloud in molecular nitrogen has been photographed. The snapshot is recorded so rapidly that it might become possible to image electron clouds as they change during fundamental molecular processes.

    • Henrik Stapelfeldt
    News & Views
  • A thousand years ago, there was a shift in the fish diet in England from freshwater to marine species. The relevant case history, derived from picking through leftovers, has a contemporary resonance.

    • Daniel Pauly
    News & Views
  • Analyses of sediments retrieved from a drifting ice island suggest that the Arctic Ocean may have been ice free and as warm as 15 °C about 70 million years ago. Therein is a challenge for climate models.

    • Christopher J. Poulsen
    News & Views
  • Previous structural snapshots have provided insight into how proteins are imported into the cell nucleus. The structure of an export complex now completes the molecular picture of the nuclear transport cycle.

    • André Hoelz
    • Günter Blobel
    News & Views