Volume 435 Issue 7039, 12 May 2005


  • Editorial |

    Britain's research base is flourishing, and Tony Blair's last two governments can take much of the credit for it. But his third needs to focus on the troubled state of the universities.

  • Editorial |

    You have one more month to submit proposals for ESOF2006, a fledgling but important forum for European science.


News in Brief


  • News Feature |

    Companies and scientists in the West are keen to test their drugs in China, which is an important future market. But those running clinical trials need to be on their guard, says David Cyranoski.

    • David Cyranoski
  • News Feature |

    As construction on the world's largest optical telescope nears completion in Spain, the country's astronomers are gearing up for an expanded role on the global stage. Mark Peplow follows the preparations for first light.

    • Mark Peplow


Books and Arts



  • Essay |

    Directional inference: scientific convention applies conclusions from animal studies to humans but not the reverse, contradicting current evidence.

    • G. A. Bradshaw
    •  & Barbara L. Finlay

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Type I diabetes occurs when the immune system destroys crucial cells in the pancreas. But what prompts the body to turn against itself so disastrously? It seems that insulin is the key.

    • Matthias von Herrath
  • News & Views |

    Temperatures similar to those reached an instant after the Big Bang can be created in collisions of gold atoms. The resulting fireballs may allow us a glimpse of a world that is more symmetrical than our own.

    • Frank Wilczek
  • News & Views |

    The somites are embryonic elements that give rise to the muscles, skeleton and some skin layers of the trunk. They form in a symmetrical fashion, but to do so they must be shielded from asymmetrical cues.

    • Eran Hornstein
    •  & Clifford J. Tabin
  • News & Views |

    Aerial surveys of the Vredefort impact crater in South Africa suggest that it is only weakly magnetic. The rocks themselves tell a different story, but does this apply to giant impact basins on Mars?

    • David J. Dunlop
  • News & Views |

    The visual equipment of box jellyfish includes eight optically advanced eyes that operate with only a rudimentary nervous system. As they produce blurred images, their function remains an open question.

    • Rüdiger Wehner
  • News & Views |

    The transmission of force through granular matter such as sand is a crucial consideration in certain applications. The behaviour observed depends on the particle interactions as well as on the length scale involved.

    • Stefan Luding

Research Highlights

Brief Communications

  • Brief Communication |

    A set of modular robot cubes accomplish a feat fundamental to biological systems.

    • Victor Zykov
    • , Efstathios Mytilinaios
    • , Bryant Adams
    •  & Hod Lipson



Technology Features




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