Volume 407 Issue 6804, 5 October 2000


  • Opinion |

    The European Commission is embarking on plans for its next Framework programme of research and development. Linking it to a broader strategy is advisable, provided political goodwill is preserved.

  • Opinion |

    International agencies need to learn the lessons of the past about ill-advised secrecy.


  • News |


    Hopes are rising among US Department of Energy researchers that the draconian security measures imposed following spying allegations at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico, will soon be lifted.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News |

    Swiss drug company Novartis is set to sidestep mounting controversy over its xenotransplantation record in Britain by shutting its UK subsidiary Imutran.

    • Jessa Netting
  • News |


    In a stinging defeat for the biomedical research lobby, the US Department of Agriculture is about to settle a lawsuit bringing some 23 million laboratory animals under the Animal Welfare Act.

    • Meredith Wadman
  • News |


    The University of Tokyo is to extend the mandatory age of retirement from 60 to 65 despite sharp criticism from many of its professors.

    • David Cyranoski
  • News |

    European researchers are eagerly awaiting new samples from the bones, teeth and intestine of Özti, the Stone Age man whose body was defrosted last week.

    • Quirin Schiermeier
    •  & Katrin Stehle
  • News |

    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Opinion among scientists and lawyers remains divided over the definition and merits of the 'precautionary principle', a meeting at Harvard University last week showed.

    • Colin Macilwain
  • News |


    The College de France, Paris, is to set up a laboratory of 'molecular gastronomy' to investigate the science of cookery.

    • Declan Butler

News in Brief


  • News Feature |

    Neuroscientists at last have a molecular handle on how the brain controls our daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness. This is opening a rich avenue of study that could lead to new therapies for sleep disorders, says Marina Chicurel.

    • Marina Chicurel
  • News Feature |

    Covering a quarter of the sky, the Sloan Digital Sky Survey has a bright future as a key astronomical resource, says Govert Schilling.

    • Govert Schilling



  • Commentary |

    What future for science and technology after this autumn's US elections?

    • David M. Hart
    •  & Lewis M. Branscomb

Book Reviews

Millennium Essay

  • Millennium Essay |

    The Japanese invader that's good for you.

    • Vaclav Smil


  • Futures |

    How quantum wellstone ushered in our modern age.

    • Wil McCarthy

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Climate modelling has produced varying projections of possible global rises in temperature. A simple statistical method brings several such projections into closer agreement and includes an indication of potential accuracy.

    • Andrew J. Weaver
    •  & Francis W. Zwiers
  • News & Views |

    To make sense of the world, we humans divide it into categories. Some categories are ‘better’ - easier to learn - than others. It seems that there is a formal measure of complexity that determines how natural a category is, and how difficult it is to learn.

    • Nick Chater
  • News & Views |

    How is the material that reaches Earth as meteorites moved out of the asteroid belt and into Earth-crossing orbits? Although some details remain to be worked out, a quantitative model of the suite of processes involved provides a satisfying answer.

    • Clark R. Chapman
  • News & Views |

    In theory, a unique rubidium molecule (Rb2) can be made in a Bose-Einstein condensate. If this molecule is ever produced, it will be the largest (500-50,000 Å) and most polar diatomic molecule yet created.

    • Josette Chen
  • News & Views |

    Immune ‘memory’ is the body’s ability to remember a disease attack and respond swiftly to reinfection. One view is that such memory requires the intermittent re-stimulation of the cells concerned, B cells; another that it does not. New work supports the second possibility.

    • Stephen Martin
    •  & Chris Goodnow
  • News & Views |

    Little of the vast stock of methane buried beneath the oceans’ floors seems to escape into the overlying water. Marine sediments are low in oxygen, and it has been suspected that microbes can consume methane in such conditions. Two of the organisms concerned have now been identified.

    • Edward F. DeLong
  • News & Views |

    An optical clock is being developed that could possibly replace the standard caesium atomic clock. This new clock could one day tell time to a precision of 1 part in 1018; caesium clocks have a precision of ‘only’ 1 part in 1015.

    • Patrick Gill

Brief Communications




New on the Market

  • New on the Market |

    DNA sequencing kit, including gels, plates and matrixes — or is it matrices?

Careers and Recruitment



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