Volume 398 Issue 6727, 8 April 1999


  • Opinion |

    Science, the US weapons laboratories, and a hard-working immigrant group are all losers in Washington's game of pinning blame for an alleged security leak at Los Alamos.

  • Opinion |

    Parody can be a powerful weapon — provided it is recognized as such.


  • News |

    washington Scientific societies in the United States are increasingly concerned at a new US policy to isolate scientists from countries, including India and China, which it wishes to deny access to new technologies.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News |

    new delhi Scientists are divided over an award of higher salaries and benefits to scientists working in India's departments of defense, atomic energy and space.

    • K. S. Jayaraman
  • News |

    tokyo Different attitudes towards intellectual property rights between Japan and the United States were highlighted last week when a Japanese researcher at a US medical research institute was charged for removing research data from the laboratory with proper authorization.

    • Asako Saegusa
  • News |

    san diego An interim research management team was sent last week from Washington to direct future research efforts at the troubled veteran's hospital system in Los Angeles, where all research has been suspended by federal officials who are concerned about failures to correct long-running deficiencies in compliance with federal ethics rules.

    • Rex Dalton
  • News |

    paris Dominique Dormont, a senior French government science adviser, is angry over the years lost in exploring the potential infectivity of BSE because of an apparent lack of political support for primate work.

    • Declan Butler
  • News |

    washington A newly-formed US industry group has announced a set of principles that, it says, should protect users of biometrics — recognition of hand geometry — against privacy abuses.

    • Meredith Wadman
  • News |

    MOSCOWRussia's science minister has put forward a package of measures which he believes will use its achievements in science to boost technological innovation.

    • Carl Levitin
  • News |

    washington A prominent Republican has described the management of the US Spallation Neutron Source at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee as "in turmoil".

    • Colin Macilwain

News in Brief



  • Commentary |

    How should universities account for the money they receive from governments? The answer is not as simple as it may at first appear. There are valuable lessons that other countries can learn from the US experience.

    • Robert M. May
    •  & Stuart C. Sarson

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Patterning a surface is the key to growing crystals on some areas of a substrate and not others. This can now be done, bringing the prospect of crystalline materials, patterned on nanometre scales, a step closer to reality.

    • Lia Addadi
    •  & Steve Weiner
  • News & Views |

    During development, some axons cross the midline of the central nervous system whereas others don't. Those that do not cross express high levels of a protein called Robo, and it has long been thought that Robo may be the receptor for a midline repellent. That repellent has now been identified, and it is the product of a previously identified gene.

    • W. A. Harris
    •  & C. E. Holt
  • News & Views |

    Molecular motors move along polymer tracks (such as actin filaments) in nanometre-scale steps corresponding to hydrolysis of single ATP molecules. But two studies on myosin — the motor protein in muscle — show that each interaction with actin can include two or more sub-steps per ATP hydrolysed.

    • Malcolm Irving
    •  & Yale E. Goldman
  • News & Views |

    powerful new technique, called aperture masking, has been used at the Keck telescope in Hawaii to produce unprecedented images of a spiral structure in the hot dust around a Wolf-Rayet star. The images show that the dust is rotating — seemingly as a consequence of the interacting stellar winds caused by a companion star.

    • Sarah Tomlin
  • News & Views |

    The generation of a pathological peptide called Aß is implicated in Alzheimer's disease. Equivalent molecular processes seem to be involved in the Notch signalling pathway that operates during development. New work, centring on molecules called presenilins, shows that the presenilins regulate both Aß production and Notch processing by influencing unusual protein-cleavage events.

    • John Hardy
    •  & Alain Israël
  • News & Views |

    The mysterious properties of supercooled water have long puzzled researchers. When supercooled below 0°C (273 K), by not allowing crystallization to occur, water forms an amorphous solid, or glass. Now there is evidence that water changes character, from being a highly 'fragile' liquid above 236 K to being a 'strong' liquid near 136 K, the glass-transition temperature.

    • Srikanth Sastry
  • News & Views |

    During endocytosis, dynamin forms a spiral collar around the neck of budding vesicles, which are then pinched off. The dynamin ring is thought to change shape, and constrict, in response to GTP hydrolysis. But a study of dynamin mutants that cannot hydrolyse GTP shows that this is not the case, and means that we need to rethink the previous model.

    • Tom Kirchhausen
  • News & Views |

    Short-sightedness is a common problem. Daedalus proposes two answers. First, a screen that appears at optical infinity, like the 'head-up' display in a fighter cockpit, for televison viewers and so on. Second, flexible spectacle lenses, made of a piezoelectric polymer, that will gradually adapt the wearer's vision to perfection.

    • David Jones

Scientific Correspondence

  • Scientific Correspondence |

    • Jorge Frank
    • , Claudio Pignata
    • , Andrei A. Panteleyev
    • , David M. Prowse
    • , Howard Baden
    • , Lorin Weiner
    • , Lucia Gaetaniello
    • , Wasim Ahmad
    • , Nicola Pozzi
    • , Peter B. Cserhalmi-Friedman
    • , Vincent M. Aita
    • , Hendrik Uyttendaele
    • , Derek Gordon
    • , Jurg Ott
    • , Janice L. Brissette
    •  & Angela M. Christiano

Book Reviews



New on the Market

  • New on the Market |

    This week's selection of lab equipment and services, recently introduced, repackaged or improved, includes Platinum that's blue and bulbous, and a product called RNase AWAY, no prizes for guessing what it does.Compiled in the Nature office from information provided by the manufacturers.

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