An extensive piece of investigative journalism has highlighted conflicts of interest that cast a pall over the National Institutes of Health. The agency will lose its well-earned public trust if it does not radically increase its transparency.
Volume 426 Issue 6968, 18 December 2003
News in Brief
2003 In Context
Books & Arts
Ken Chien is the director of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and a professor in the university's department of medicine and at the Salk Institute (adjunct). His hobbies include wine tasting, oriental art and losing to his daughters at tennis.
News & Views
Of the 325 News and Views articles published this year, seven are singled out for special attention. They illustrate the great job that scientists can do in communicating and commenting on new research.
One might imagine that the first examples of art would be simple and crude. New finds bolster the evidence that modern humans were astonishingly quick in developing their artistic skills.
Lipids can hop between cellular compartments without using the transport vesicles that carry proteins. A key molecule involved in conveying the lipid ceramide has at last been uncovered.
For nearly 40 years, organic chemists have been fascinated by the idea of aromatic molecules that have the topology of a Möbius strip. No such molecule has been isolated — until now.
Even before they can fly, some young birds can run up vertical surfaces by using their wingbeats to add traction to their legs. Such behaviour may be relevant to understanding the origin of avian flight.
Both Mars and Earth have experienced ice ages in geologically recent times. Coincidence of the phenomenon on two planets will further the scientific quest to answer the question of how ice ages originate.
Gravitational lenses produce multiple images of single astronomical objects. The most widely separated images of a quasar ever found reveal the dark-matter content of the lensing galaxies.
Large-scale field trials have been under way to assess how effective badger culls are in stemming the incidence of tuberculosis in cattle. One culling tactic, it seems, increases occurrence of the disease.
At school it all sounded so simple - transcription turns DNA into RNA, and translation of RNA gives you protein. But the often forgotten third step in this process, the folding of the translated linear strand of amino acids into a fully functional three-dimensional protein, is one of the most complex challenges facing the cellular protein factory.