Volume 400 Issue 6742, 22 July 1999

Opinion

  • Opinion |

    Against a background of progressive change in the running of Germany's research, the universities stand out as bastions of down-at-heel conservatism. Increased competition is the way forward.

  • Opinion |

    George Brown was science's best friend in Congress because he saw it as the only foundation for a just society.

News

  • News |

    montreal

    Canadian scientists keen to gain access to high performance computing facilities have welcomed an award of Can$23 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

    • David Spurgeon
  • News |

    washington

    US Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman moved last week to ease public worry over genetically modified crops by acknowledging the need for unbiased research that would assure their safety.

    • Tony Reichhardt
  • News |

    washington

    The jury is still out on whether expensive, genetically modified commercial crops will be cost-effective for farmers in the long run, according to a study released in Washington last week.

    • Tony Reichhardt
  • News |

    munich

    In an attempt to lower the age at which university researchers can become professors, German university have proposed the creation of short-term 'qualification professorships'.

    • Alison Abbott
  • News |

    paris

    Many British physics postdocs are waiting for a permanent faculty position that will never come, according to a report released last week from the Institute of Physics.

    • Heather McCabe
  • News |

    london

    British academics are reacting warily to the prospect of increased paperwork as a result of the introduction of a so-called 'transparency and accountability review' of research.

    • Natasha Loder
  • News |

    washington

    The Clinton administration has distanced itself from the impending recommendation by a presidential advisory commission that the government should fund both the derivation and the research use of human embryonic stem cells.

    • Meredith Wadman
  • News |

    são paulo

    Brazil's controversial science minister, Luiz Carlos Bresser Pereira, has lost his portfolio in favour of a safer candidate in the latest cabinet reshuffle.

    • Ricardo Bonalume Neto
  • News |

    long island

    Physicists at the Brookhaven National Laboratory last week succeeded in circulating gold ions around the first of the two underground rings of a $600 million facility built to study quark-gluon plasma.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News |

    long island

    John Marburger, former president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, is trying to steer the Brookhaven National Laboratory out of the tempest that consumed the laboratory in 1997.

    • Colin Macilwain

News in Brief

Correspondence

Commentary

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    There is abundant evidence that new species can arise when a population of organisms is split into isolated elements. The occurrence of sympatric speciation — speciation without isolation — is much more contentious but is now set on firmer theoretical ground.

    • Tom Tregenza
    •  & Roger K. Butlin
  • News & Views |

    Silicon nitride is an important structural ceramic because of its strength and hardness. A new cubic form of silicon nitride has been created that is more dense, more stiff and potentially considerably harder than existing forms, making it a desirable material for many applications, including cutting tools.

    • R. J. Brook
  • News & Views |

    In the developing mammalian brain, most neurons migrate from their origin to distant areas, where they establish permanent residence. Migration is thought to involve repulsion factors that keep the neurons out of certain areas and, by default, guide them into others. One such factor has now been identified, and it turns out to be a protein called Slit, which has already been implicated in axon guidance.

    • Pasko Rakic
  • News & Views |

    The discoveries of giant, extrasolar planets and cool, dwarf stars has blurred the distinction between these historically distinct objects. Scientists from the fields of planetary and stellar astronomy have met for the first time, to discuss how they can help each other.

    • James Liebert
    •  & William B. Hubbard
  • News & Views |

    Cocaine addicts often find themselves in a cycle of withdrawal and relapse, but a newly developed drug might break this cycle. The drug - known as BP 897 - is a partial agonist for the dopamine D3receptor subtype. In the absence of the neurotransmitter dopamine, BP 897 stimulates the D3receptor. But when cocaine has been taken and levels of dopamine are increased, BP 897 antagonizes the D3receptor.

    • Gary Aston-Jones
    •  & Jonathan Druhan
  • News & Views |

    The algorithmic randomness of many real numbers is unavoidable. This reinforces the idea arising from 'experimental mathematics' that randomness is as fundamental and as pervasive in pure mathematics as it is in theoretical physics.

    • C. S. Calude
    •  & G. J. Chaitin
  • News & Views |

    This week DREADCO's chemists are working on a firework with alternating layers of fast- and slow-burning composition. Why? The idea is that, as the combustion zone moves down through the layers, the gas-pressure generated by burning will be modulated, and the firework will howl out a predictable tone. This technology could be used to create a 'sound stick', ideal for public musical performances.

    • David Jones

Millennium Essay

Scientific Correspondence

Book Review

Article

Letter

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