Volume 407 Issue 6801, 14 September 2000



Book Review

Brief Communication


  • Addendum |

    • P. G. Fernandes
    • , A. S. Brierley
    • , E. J. Simmonds
    • , N. W. Millard
    • , S. D. McPhail
    • , F. Armstrong
    • , P. Stevenson
    •  & M. Squires

New on the Market

  • New on the Market |

    A selection of reagents and reagent-handling devices.

Millennium Essay

  • Millennium Essay |

    What links Aristotle, William Blake, Darwin and GM crops?

    • Keith G. Davies


  • Futures |

    Once upon a time, fiction required the suspension of disbelief.

    • Dan Simmons

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Following the discovery of superconductivity at liquid-nitrogen temperatures, the idea of making ‘superwires’ soon ran into problems. Structural impurities remain the main obstacle, but a high dose of calcium may be the answer.

    • Paul M. Grant
  • News & Views |

    A study of atmospheric transport shows that, at certain times of the year, a large part of the air arriving in Asia has passed over Europe, perhaps carrying pollution from one continent to the other. Analyses of atmospheric composition will be needed to confirm or disprove the possibility.

    • Heike Langenberg
  • News & Views |

    Most nerve cells release glutamate as a neurotransmitter, and the protein that packages it into synaptic vesicles has now been identified. This knowledge may one day allow treatment of a variety of diseases that are characterized by aberrant regulation of glutamate.

    • Jeffrey D. Rothstein
  • News & Views |

    At the Palaeocene/Eocene boundary, 55 million years ago, temperatures and atmospheric concentrations of CO2were especially high. New data, which track the response of the oceans' biosphere, point to a plausible mechanism by which such an episode of greenhouse warming may end.

    • Birger Schmitz
  • News & Views |

    Tiny, membrane-clad vesicles transport substances between intracellular compartments. But how does the cell ensure that the vesicle gets its cargo to the right place? SNARE proteins are involved in the recognition process, and new experiments tackle the question of this specificity.

    • Suzie J. Scales
    • , Jason B. Bock
    •  & Richard H. Scheller
  • News & Views |

    There is only indirect evidence of the existence of black holes. A laboratory demonstration of an X-ray interferometer is a step towards achieving the angular resolution necessary to obtain a direct, X-ray image of a black hole.

    • Nicholas White
  • News & Views |

    Insulin works by encouraging muscle and fat cells to take up glucose from blood. One intracellular signalling pathway that is stimulated by insulin is known. Another has now been identified.

    • Michael P. Czech
  • News & Views |

    Bottled mineral water, says Daedalus, would have added scientific credibility and true health value with the addition of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and vitamin C. He plans to market the resulting product as ‘Reinforced Water’.

    • David Jones



Review Article

Corporate Support


  • Opinion |

    Antidoping scientists are failing in their efforts to rid sport of performance-enhancing drugs. But there are no inherent technical obstacles — the problem is simply one of resources.

  • Opinion |

    Public bickering over a controversial theory on the origins of AIDS is generating more heat than light.


  • News |


    Analysis by three separate laboratories of samples of polio vaccine used in the late 1950s have revealed no evidence of contamination with a virus of chimpanzee origin that may have been at the origin of the AIDS epidemic.

    • David Dickson
  • News |

    San Diego

    A prominent neuroscientist, Richard Murphy, has been named the new president and chief executive of the Salk Institute in La Jolla.

    • Rex Dalton
  • News |


    Multidrug resistance in new cases of HIV has risen steeply over 20% over the past five years in the UK, says a researcher calling for wider use of genotypic HIV resistance testing.

    • Natasha Loder
  • News |


    An expert committee of the Institute of Medicine has concluded there is not enough published evidence to resolve the issue of the origins of chronic symptoms reported by US Gulf War veterans.

    • Meredith Wadman
  • News |


    Rapid rates of global warming are likely to increase species loss radically and reduce biodiversity, particularly at the higher latitudes of the northern hemisphere, says a report for the World Wildlife Fund.

    • David Spurgeon
  • News |


    Physicists at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) are locked in debate over whether to keep their largest accelerator running to look for evidence of the Higgs boson.

    • Alison Abbott
  • News |


    The Democratic presidential candidate, Al Gore, says he will double cancer research spending over five years and build a new bioengineering institute at the National Institutes of Health.

    • Meredith Wadman

News in Brief

News Feature

  • News Feature |

    Without more money for their research, antidoping scientists will continue to be beaten into second place by pharmaceutically assisted athletes. Alison Abbott reports from the front line of sport's drugs war.

    • Alison Abbott



  • Commentary |

    Problems with a giant laser project.

    • Stephen Bodner
    •  & Christopher Paine


  • Insight |

    Vascular biology

    Cardiovascular diseases are on the increase in both developed and developing countries and are a major cause of mortality worldwide. This Collection of reviews reveals the current research developments that are relevant to understanding the complex nature of vascular biology, highlighting the recent advances in the treatment not only of pulmonary vascular diseases but also diabetes and tumour development.

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