Volume 412 Issue 6842, 5 July 2001


  • Opinion |

    The confirmation that neutrinos have mass and can switch identity is a triumph of careful experiment that opens doors for theoretical physicists. It is not a crisis for existing models, but a route to deeper ones.




Special Report

  • Special Report |

    After years of decline, non-profit consultancies — science shops — are starting to reinvent themselves, says Alexander Hellemans.

    • Alexander Hellemans


News in Brief

News Feature

  • News Feature |

    Chinese-Americans form a cornerstone of the US scientific workforce. Yet recent developments have led some to question whether they are fully accepted by their colleagues. Josette Chen reports.

    • Josette Chen
  • News Feature |

    A parasitic bacterium that uses an array of dastardly tricks to favour female hosts over males is holding evolutionary biologists in thrall. Jonathan Knight enters the strange world of Wolbachia.

    • Jonathan Knight


Book Review


  • Words |

    They're not what you think they are.

    • Lee M. Silver


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Theories predict that galaxies grow by swallowing smaller galaxies, which may then show up as galactic debris. Astronomers think they have found one such tell-tale structure in a nearby galaxy.

    • Amina Helmi
  • News & Views |

    At some time in life's history, microorganisms started to make metabolically usable nitrogen from N2 in the atmosphere. A provocative proposal accounts for the 'why and when' of that event.

    • James F. Kasting
    •  & Janet L. Siefert
  • News & Views |

    Proteins with quite mundane functions in healthy cells often behave very differently during cell suicide. One protein normally involved in copying mitochondrial DNA actually degrades nuclear DNA in dying cells.

    • Michael O. Hengartner
  • News & Views |

    The formation of new animal species often results from divergence in male sexual behaviours and female preferences. The genetic basis of this sexual isolation in fruitflies is gradually being revealed.

    • Roger Butlin
    •  & Michael G. Ritchie
  • News & Views |

    Quantum tunnelling breaks the rules of classical physics — and leads to ghost-like transfer of matter through barriers. Demonstrations of a new type of quantum tunnelling have the ghosts taking new liberties.

    • Eric J. Heller
  • News & Views |

    The greater the plant diversity in an ecosystem, the greater the ecosystem's productivity. A new analysis indicates that the higher productivity results from complementary patterns of species resource use.

    • Osvaldo E. Sala
  • News & Views |

    Earth's climate has changed significantly over the past several million years. New theoretical work suggests that the climate of our nearest neighbour, Venus, may have also changed on similar timescales.

    • Ronald G. Prinn
  • News & Views |

    Controlled memory loss using microwaves could have potential to do good and, in the wrong hands, great harm.

    • David Jones

Brief Communication






New on the Market

  • New on the Market |

    Thermocycling and PCR in general are the themes for this week's selection.

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