Volume 430 Issue 6998, 22 July 2004


  • Editorial |

    We are witnessing a catastrophic loss of species that is the direct result of human activities. Yet we remain scandalously ill informed about the processes that give rise to biodiversity, and the consequences of its loss.

  • Editorial |

    Political pressures threaten to undermine a key agency involved in tackling the problems posed by drugs.


News in Brief


  • News Feature |

    The US National Institute on Drug Abuse has frequently been accused of bowing to the political agenda of its paymasters. But, as Helen Pearson finds out, its new director swears that the agency is being led by science.

    • Helen Pearson
  • News Feature |

    Peter Ng is a man with a mission: to catalogue the huge diversity of life dwelling in habitats long dismissed as uninteresting. It's a race against time, he tells Carina Dennis and Peter Aldhous.

    • Carina Dennis
    •  & Peter Aldhous



  • Commentary |

    How safe are the medicines that are prescribed to children?

    • Paul Ramchandani

Books and Arts


    Turning points

  • Turning Points |

    How an annotated book transformed a theoretician into an historian.

    • Owen Gingerich

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    The boundary between the core and mantle is one of the most enigmatic regions of Earth's interior. Analyses of a newly discovered crystalline phase should yield a fuller understanding of this region.

    • Thomas S. Duffy
  • News & Views |

    A linguistic contrast between English and Korean provides a telling test of different ideas about whether thought precedes the acquisition of language, or whether certain concepts are language-specific.

    • Paul Bloom
  • News & Views |

    A bold claim about the origins of the echinoderms is based on newly discovered fossils from China. But many pieces are still missing from this part of the fragmented puzzle of life's evolutionary history.

    • Andrew B. Smith
  • News & Views |

    Molecules that form liquid crystals are usually rod-like, but bend them and a new liquid-crystal phase — a biaxial nematic — should form. Strong evidence for the existence of this phase has only now emerged.

    • Geoffrey R. Luckhurst
  • News & Views |

    An indicator of animal intelligence is thought to be the ability to judge relationships between members of the same species. This talent, previously seen only in primates, seems to be evident in a bird.

    • Christopher B. Sturdy

Research Highlights

Brief Communications

  • Brief Communication |

    Seeing off a neighbour's intruder may be easier than negotiating with a larger usurper.

    • Patricia R. Y. Backwell
    •  & Michael. D. Jennions
  • Brief Communications Arising

  • Brief Communications Arising |

    • Stephen J. Elvin
    • , E. Diane Williamson
    • , Joanne C. Scott
    • , Jeremy N. Smith
    • , Guillermo Pérez de Lema
    • , Silvia Chilla
    • , Paul Clapham
    • , Klaus Pfeffer
    • , Detlef Schlöndorff
    •  & Bruno Luckow


  • Hypothesis |

    • Patrick Bateson
    • , David Barker
    • , Timothy Clutton-Brock
    • , Debal Deb
    • , Bruno D'Udine
    • , Robert A. Foley
    • , Peter Gluckman
    • , Keith Godfrey
    • , Tom Kirkwood
    • , Marta Mirazón Lahr
    • , John McNamara
    • , Neil B. Metcalfe
    • , Patricia Monaghan
    • , Hamish G. Spencer
    •  & Sonia E. Sultan






  • Special Report

  • Special Report |

    Ever more scientists are joining drug companies' sales departments. Are they happy there? Marika Willerroider investigates.

    • Marika Willerroider
  • Career View

  • Career View |

    • Amber Jenkins
  • Career View |



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