Volume 412 Issue 6847, 9 August 2001


Special Report

  • Special Report |

    Mathematicians are in short supply in the United States. Potter Wickware examines how the federal agencies plan to boost the numbers.

    • Potter Wickware


  • Opinion |

    If genetic modification is to yield benefits in socially acceptable ways, governments need to ensure that there is broad but well-focused consultation. A New Zealand commission provides an excellent example.


News in Brief

News Feature

  • News Feature |

    The name Bell Labs is a byword for technological creativity. But its future is now clouded by the financial woes of its parent company, Lucent Technologies. Irwin Goodwin reports.

    • Irwin Goodwin
  • News Feature |

    Scanning the genome for subtle genetic variations across thousands of individuals may help researchers find genes that underpin susceptibility to common diseases. Marina Chicurel considers the technological requirements.

    • Marina Chicurel


Book Review


  • Words |

    Scientists sometimes use mathematics to give the illusion of certainty.

    • Sunetra Gupta


News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The nitrogen cycle in the oceans may need a rethink. It seems that the ability to transform N2 gas to a biologically available form may be much more widespread than has been assumed.

    • Jed A. Fuhrman
    •  & Douglas G. Capone
  • News & Views |

    When conductors are reduced to molecular dimensions they can develop exotic properties. Physicists have now directly confirmed unusual electron behaviour in carbon nanotubes.

    • David Goldhaber-Gordon
    •  & Ilana Goldhaber-Gordon
  • News & Views |

    The latest bacterial genome to be completely sequenced has three separate parts and as many genes as yeast. The bacterium needs these genes for its complex life in and around its legume plant partner.

    • J. Allan Downie
    •  & J. Peter W. Young
  • News & Views |

    Carbenes are short-lived compounds containing a highly reactive carbon atom, which makes them difficult to study. A stabilized derivative may lead to new magnetic materials.

    • Heinz D. Roth
  • News & Views |

    A protein known as erythropoietin might be useful in preventing the death of nerve cells in acute brain injury. But how does it work? Crosstalk between two signalling pathways could be the answer.

    • Ulrich Siebenlist
  • News & Views |

    A 'fractal' foam could be immensely strong for its weight, so it would make a great thermal insulator or sound absorber. A carbonized version could even provide an efficient way of storing hydrogen fuel.

    • David Jones

Brief Communication





New on the Market

  • New on the Market |

    Lab equipment aimed at drug discovery and other high-throughput tasks.

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