Volume 430 Issue 7000, 5 August 2004


  • Editorial |

    The use and abuse of science is emerging as an issue in the US presidential election. Researchers should seize an opportunity to make their voices heard, whatever their political persuasion.

  • Editorial |

    Germany's obsessive federalism has become an anachronism that is holding back the nation's science.


News in Brief


  • News Feature |

    Olympic athletes are on the edge of normal physiology, finds Alison Abbott.

    • Alison Abbott
  • News Feature |

    Athletes' punishing schedules push their bodies to the limit. But what happens if they go too far? Jim Giles finds out.

    • Jim Giles
  • News Feature |

    Some athletes diagnosed with a genetic heart condition are banned from competitive sport. Laura Spinney discovers how they are fighting for the right to run the risk of death.

    • Laura Spinney
  • News Feature |

    This year's Olympics will take place in Athens, a city renowned for its hot, humid summers and stifling air pollution. Martin Leeb discovers how the athletes plan to overcome the hurdle of these tough conditions.

    • Martin Leeb


Books and Arts


    Turning points

  • Turning Points |

    How an Italian visitor rekindled the joy of science in a war veteran.

    • Leon Lederman

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Did Archaeopteryx, the most primitive known bird, have ‘the right stuff’? Looking into its skull with advanced technology provides insight into the dinosaurian transition to birds, and the evolution of flight.

    • Lawrence M. Witmer
  • News & Views |

    Adding atoms to a semiconductor can improve its electronic properties. In an oxide, taking atoms away can have a similar electronic effect — one that could, it seems, be exploited in device applications.

    • Jochen Mannhart
    •  & Darrell G. Schlom
  • News & Views |

    Fish population growth depends on older mothers, which in some species produce more and ‘better’ offspring than younger fish. When fisheries remove the most productive females, the whole population suffers.

    • Stephen R. Palumbi
  • News & Views |

    An unusual γ-ray burst has been detected, much less energetic than expected. But its similarity to an earlier anomalous event suggests that lower-energy bursts might be more plentiful than had been thought.

    • Stan Woosley
  • News & Views |

    Laser pulses can be generated such that their shape and state of polarization change on the scale of a few femtoseconds, adding a new twist to the control and manipulation of molecules.

    • Yaron Silberberg
  • News & Views |

    A study of roundworms shows that genomic mutations occur surprisingly frequently, and that the kinds of changes involved differ from those predicted. Are genomes inherently less stable than previously suspected?

    • Susan M. Rosenberg
    •  & P. J. Hastings

Research Highlights

Brief Communications






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