There are rumblings from the White House about a grandiose vision for human space flight, ahead of President Bush's re-election campaign. If precedent is anything to go by, the results will be discomforting for NASA and for science.
Volume 426 Issue 6967, 11 December 2003
News in Brief
Hundreds of millions of dollars are pouring into US biodefence research. You might expect scientists working on infectious diseases to be unequivocally delighted. But things aren't that simple, says Erika Check.
Books & Arts
News & Views
Could the next SARS-like virus reach epidemic proportions? Quantifying the likely threat of emerging diseases isn't easy, but evolution is a crucial factor that may tip the balance in favour of such human parasites.
Nothing travels faster than light, but how slow can light go? Pulses of light have already been slowed to speeds of just a few metres per second, but now they have been brought to a complete halt.
The long chains of cellulose pack laterally into microfibrils of two crystalline forms. Comparison of the structures of these two forms reveals unexpected patterns of bonding that tie the chains together.
Those studying erosion in mountain regions wrestle with factors such as what builds mountains, and how climate affects erosive forces. Yet perhaps a physically based theory is what is most needed.
The interactions between cellular proteins must be highly specific, or cells will stop functioning. Some clever protein-manipulation experiments have revealed how this specificity has evolved in yeast.
Left- and right-handed helical molecules form mirror-image chiral crystals on a copper substrate. It seems that the substrate and the molecules work in concert to determine the handedness of the crystal domains.
New on the Market
Careers and Recruitment
San Diego: Rise of a high-tech cluster. Natureis pleased to present a supplement on the San Diego region. The features in this supplement examine the evolution of San Diego from a small military town to a high-tech juggernaut.