Volume 414 Issue 6865, 13 December 2001
Instead of helplessly pondering a new trove of data for guidance on how to improve science education, researchers should better exploit existing mechanisms for helping out at their local schools.
News in Brief
The vehicles of the future will almost certainly be powered by hydrogen. But no one is sure exactly how to get drivers to kick their fossil-fuel habit. Mark Schrope weighs up the options.
Theatre seemed the ideal way for US bioprospectors working in Mexico to tell local people about their work. But did the plays distract attention from the involvement of commercial interests? Rex Dalton reports.
News & Views
An innovative way of analysing statistics on measles incidence in England and Wales since 1944 reveals recurring waves of infection originating in large cities. The information can guide strategies for preventing the disease.
Good conductors of heat are usually good at conducting electricity. So the discovery that electrons in a superconductor can carry an unauthorized amount of heat at low temperatures raises many questions.
The toughness of bone is usually attributed to its collagen, but how does it work? New evidence shows that molecular bonds can temporarily sacrifice themselves to absorb impacts.
Earlier this year, the four satellites of the Cluster mission passed through part of the electric circuit that causes aurorae. Their observations support the view that intense aurorae form in regions largely devoid of electrons.
Insects and mammals are thought to have similar 'innate' immune responses to infectious microorganisms. But there are differences, and even more now emerge from studies of how insects detect bacteria.
To modify a specific site on a molecule that has several similar sites, organic chemists have had to use cumbersome 'protecting groups'. New peptide catalysts with remarkable selectivities offer a protection-free alternative.
There are thousands of inherited human diseases. For the most part, the genes that are mutated in these diseases are unknown. But a new approach could save time and effort in identifying the genes responsible.
The human eye slides around a visual scene, making several jumps per second in the process. Daedalus wants to take advantage of these 'saccades' to develop computer-transmitted videos that need fewer frames per second.
Diabetes is predicted to double in incidence in the next two decades, fuelled predominantly by modern lifestyles and an increasing incidence of obesity. Leading researchers discuss the spectrum of disorders that comprise diabetes, the biochemical causes of the complications that arise, and the best ways to treat and prevent this complex and potentially debilitating condition.