Volume 400 Issue 6743, 29 July 1999

Opinion

  • Opinion |

    Following damaging cuts in public spending last year, a new research policy in the Netherlands promises more freedom to researchers to set priorities. But national interests should not be forgotten.

  • Opinion |

    Talk of the demise of Big Science is premature. But its characteristics have changed significantly.

News

  • News |

    london

    Warnings from senior scientists in the late 1980s that vaccines might transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy to humans were not passed on by government.

    • Natasha Loder
  • News |

    washington

    Proposals for a 30-kilometer-long linear collider may not even reach design stage because of opposition in the US Senate.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News |

    san diegou

    sing one of the largest ever grants to a medical school, the University of Southern California is to found a new institute to research genetic diseases of the nervous system.

    • Rex Dalton
  • News |

    washington

    Divided Republicans in the US House of Representatives have postponed until September further efforts to craft a bill funding the National Institutes of Health in the fiscal year 2000.

    • Meredith Wadman
  • News |

    washington

    The US state of Michigan is to fund a $50 million-a-year programme of research in basic life sciences with tobacco industry money. The funds will come from last year's settlement between the industry and state governments.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News |

    washington

    A five-minute flight by a NASA spacecraft past a tiny, undistinguished asteroid could be key to future agency plans to explore the solar system.

    • Tony Reichhardt
  • News |

    washington

    Planetary scientist Richard Binzel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has devised a scale to quantify the likelihood and potential damage from an asteroid hitting Earth.

    • Tony Reichhardt
  • News |

    barcelona

    Spain plans to raise spending on research and development by up to 0.4 per cent of gross national product to 1.2 per cent over the next four years.

    • Xavier Bosch
  • News |

    new delhi

    A number of drug research projects have been halted in India following a conflict between a world class animal science laboratory and a government regulatory committee.

    • K. S. Jayaraman

News Analysis

  • News Analysis |

    After years of budget cuts and internal division, things are looking up for US fusion research. At a recent meeting,the community began work on a common agenda, and tried to present a united front to funding agencies.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News Analysis |

    washington

    The National Institutes of Health says it will put $18 million into improving two major synchrotron facilities whose base funding comes from the Department of Energy.

    • Meredith Wadman

News in Brief

Correction

Correspondence

Commentary

  • Commentary |

    It is time for environmental scientists and policy-makers to speak the same language, and to target the achievable, not simply the desirable. A framework is emerging from the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme.

    • Philip Newton

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    After more than 15 years of trying, researchers have managed to convert normal human cells into tumour cells in a culture dish. This achievement should help identify new players in tumour formation, and develop treatments that target them.

    • Jonathan B. Weitzman
    •  & Moshe Yaniv
  • News & Views |

    Halo stars from the outer parts of our Galaxy may have been there since the galaxy began, or they may be remnants of satellite galaxies that were captured by the Milky Way. A detailed chemical analysis of such distant stars finds that they are indistinguishable from inner halo stars, indicating that galaxy mergers are probably quite rare events.

    • Gerry Gilmore
  • News & Views |

    Over 20 years ago it was asserted that there should be an organism that can exploit the ‘anammox’ reaction which involves the anaerobic oxidation of ammonium by nitrite. The search has now succeeded, and the organism turns out to be relative of bacterial group called the planctomycetes. The finding is of practical as well as scientific interest, in that the bacterium might be used to tackle the environmental problem of high nitrogen content in waste water.

    • Gary J. Olsen
  • News & Views |

    Complex magnetic oxides are attractive to scientists and industrialists alike because of their interesting magnetic properties. Condensed-matter physicists and chemists investigating the ordering of complex magnetic oxides can now control their properties over a variety of length scales using both physical and chemical means.

    • Neil Mathur
  • News & Views |

    Female fruitflies are often inseminated by more than one male during any particular breeding cycle. Usually, sperm from the last male is successful in fertilizing the egg. Why? Several theories -- ranging from physical displacement of the previous male's sperm, to inactivation of that sperm -- could account for this. Using fluorescently labelled sperm, one group now narrows down these possibilities.

    • Tim Birkhead
  • News & Views |

    John Muir, icon of Americans, and of conservationists world-wide, is being reclaimed by his native Scotland from 31 July to 2 October, in the form of an exhibition in Edinburgh to celebrate his life and achievements.

    • Tim Lincoln
  • News & Views |

    Subduction zones are where one tectonic plate over-rides another, and they are very active seismically. New analyses show that in these zones shallower earthquakes atke longer to break than those that occur deeper at the plate interface -- that is, rupture lasts longer. The explanation centres on the relative rigidity of material at different depths, and should help our understanding of tsunami-causing earthquakes.

    • Heidi Houston
  • News & Views |

    When under attack from pathogens, the body expands its population of lymphoid cells. Once the pathogen has been destroyed, the excess cells must be eliminated, and this is done by cell suicide (apoptosis). People with a disease called type II ALPS cannot efficiently destroy the extra lymphoid cells, and it turns out that this is because they have mutations in a protein at the heart of apoptosis, caspase-10.

    • Timothy S. Zheng
    •  & Richard A. Flavell
  • News & Views |

    The discovery of that the growth dynamics of university research in the United States closely resembles that of business firms suggests that the peer review system may operate in the same way as market forces to ensure effective competition between scientists. This unexpected finding could mean that there is no need to make universities more business-like.

    • Henk F. Moed
    •  & Marc Luwel
  • News & Views |

    The chemiosmotic theory states that energy stored as a proton gradient across biological membranes is converted to useful chemical energy in the form of ATP. This process involves a series of reactions in which reduction of oxygen is coupled to proton translocation — the question is how. A study using two types of measurement now provides surprising results which indicate that a complete rethink of the accepted theory is needed.

    • Denis L. Rousseau
  • News & Views |

    Certain sex-linked behavioural traits in humans stem from fetal exposure to hormones in utero. Why not control that exposure, says Daedalus, with the aim of evening up the mental differences between males and females?

    • David Jones
  • News & Views |

    George Brown -- political champion of science in the United States

    • Daniel S. Greenberg

Millennium Essay

Scientific Correspondence

Book Review

Article

Letter

New on the Market

  • New on the Market |

    A culling of molecular modelling and other chemistry programs from commercial and.edu sources. Packages vary from the educational to the ‘professional’, with some with a foot in both camps. Compiled in the C i t Nature office from information provided by the manufacturers.

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