Volume 390 Issue 6661, 18 December 1997

Opinion

  • Opinion |

    The Kyoto meeting on climate change was a small triumph for the international community and a benchmark in the process of consensus. But much bigger challenges lie ahead, for scientists and politicians alike.

  • Opinion |

    The Internet has aggravated a problem with youthful interest, but also provides a solution.

News

  • News |

    washington

    The Clinton administration will embark on the first stage of a prolonged and difficult struggle to implement the Kyoto Protocol when it presents its 1999 budget in February.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News |

    tokyo

    Japan's environment minister resigned towards the end of the Kyoto climate conference only to withdraw his resignation one hour later.

    • Asako Saegusa
  • News |

    washington

    A new, integrated strategy for high performance computing and simulation for the national laboratories funded by the Department of Energy is being proposed by the department's top scientific administrator.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News |

    sydney

    New Zealand's new government has launched a major effort to set priorities for public investments in science and technology based on the ‘technology foresight’ model developed in Britain, Australia and Finland.

    • Peter Pockley
  • News |

    munich

    The University of Düsseldorf has been taken to court by a researcher in its department of orthopaedics over a decision to remove his right to teach at the university.

    • Alison Abbott
  • News |

    munich

    An independent panel set up by Germany's science council has put forward a series of proposals for ensuring good scientific practice in Germany's universities and research institutes.

    • Alison Abbott
  • News |

    tokyo

    Despite a struggling economy, overall research spending in Japan grew by 3.4 per cent during the fiscal year 1996.

    • Robert Triendl
  • News |

    new delhi

    A committee is to investigate allegations that medical treatment was deliberately withheld from 1107 Indian women with uterine cervical dysplasias, even though it was known that some of these lesions could become cancerous.

    • K. S. Jayaraman

News in Brief

Correspondence

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Whether or not plant cells contain the growth factor cyclic AMP has been a source of controversy for over 25 years. Now, characterization of an enzyme that produces cAMP and mediates the action of the plant hormone auxin marks a decisive defeat for the majority view.

    • Anthony J. Trewavas
  • News & Views |

    When, where and why was the two-humped Bactrian camel first domesticated? A new analysis tackles these issues, drawing on a variety of archaeological evidence (and including discussion of a translation of a twelfth-century Chinese manual on camel husbandry). The answer to the first question remains pretty much a mystery. As to the second and third, the authors surmise that the likeliest answers are Kazakhstan, northern Mongolia or northern China, and for meat.

    • Adrian M. Lister
  • News & Views |

    Quantum chromodynamics describes the colour force, which binds quarks and gluons into neutrons and protons, and binds them together in the nuclei of atoms. The colour force is very strong, very short-range (less than 10-16 m) and very complicated — eight different fields respond to the presence and motion of three types of charge, each of which can be positive or negative. Remarkably, we can now observe coherent effects in the colour force, where the fields from two or more particles overlap and reinforce one another.

    • Frank Wilczek
  • News & Views |

    Quantum chromodynamics describes the colour force, which binds quarks and gluons into neutrons and protons, and binds them together in the nuclei of atoms. The colour force is very strong, very short-range (less than 10-16 m) and very complicated — eight different fields respond to the presence and motion of three types of charge, each of which can be positive or negative. Remarkably, we can now observe coherent effects in the colour force, where the fields from two or more particles overlap and reinforce one another.

    • Sajeev John
  • News & Views |

    How does consumption of meat products infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) lead to development of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)? Studies of the brain, spleen and marrow of many immunodeficient mouse lines indicate that differentiated B lymphocytes are important for neuroinvasion. This discovery has implications for therapies against CJD, and also for the broader public-health issue of screening blood products against possible infection.

    • Paul Brown
  • News & Views |

    George Orwell once said that the purpose of light music is to prevent you thinking. Daedalus agrees, and he is devising a way of filtering out unwanted background music. The idea is to create a circuit that can distinguish between speech and music. Music has regular peaks at the intervals of the musical scale, and it should be possible to generate a circuit that detects and responds to this pattern. Any sound with the tell-tale musical periodicity in its power spectrum could then be cut out.

    • David Jones

Art and Science

  • Art and Science |

    The Huguenot Bernard Palissy is known for decorated grottoes and dishes. But he also helped to lead the way towards the use of empirical methods in science and the debunking of mystic medieval metaphysics.

    • Martin Kemp

Scientific Correspondence

  • Scientific Correspondence |

    • R. P. Evershed
    • , P. F. van Bergen
    • , T. M. Peakman
    • , E. C. Leigh-Firbank
    • , M. C. Horton
    • , D. Edwards
    • , M. Biddle
    • , B. Kjølbye-Biddle
    •  & P. A. Rowley-Conwy
  • Scientific Correspondence |

    • Colin Dawson
    • , Julian F. V. Vincent
    •  & Anne-Marie Rocca

Book Review

Letter

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