Volume 435 Issue 7040, 19 May 2005


  • Editorial |

    Despite the hype, there's no sign that the Congress will produce an energy bill worthy of the formidable energy-policy challenges faced by the United States.

  • Editorial |

    Scientific excellence can re-emerge in Iran, unless there is political upheaval or further sanctions.

  • Editorial |

    Plagiarism allegations should serve as reminders that universities cannot police misconduct on their own.

Research Highlights


News in Brief


  • News Feature |

    An Islamic theocracy ravaged by economic sanctions isn't an obvious place to seek a vibrant cognitive-neuroscience research group. Yet that's what Alison Abbott found on a recent trip to Iran.

    • Alison Abbott
  • News Feature |

    A new generation of planetary radar aims to look deeper than ever into some of the Solar System's most enduring mysteries. Tony Reichhardt gets ready for a trip to the interior.

    • Tony Reichhardt
  • News Feature |

    Stem cells are engaged in constant crosstalk with their environment, biologists are fast realizing. So the emerging field of regenerative medicine is now wrestling with the ecological concept of the niche. Kendall Powell reports.

    • Kendall Powell



Books and Arts



  • Essay |

    Ergodicity: a fundamental assumption of statistical physics — anything that can happen will happen — was thrown into question 50 years ago. Now it looks solid after all.

    • Mark Buchanan

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Human skin comes in many different shades. Recent studies of geographical differences in skin colour open up the subject scientifically by offering sophisticated accounts of the basis of this variation.

    • Jared Diamond
  • News & Views |

    For California, probabilistic principles can be applied to the short-term forecasting of further ground-shaking following an earthquake. How such predictions will be used by the public remains to be seen.

    • Duncan Agnew
  • News & Views |

    Kinesin is a protein motor that ferries membrane-bound packages around cells — but only in one direction. Forcing it into reverse provides clues to its inner workings and to how molecular machines might be engineered.

    • Justin E. Molloy
    •  & Stephan Schmitz
  • News & Views |

    After a first inconclusive sighting, the search for exotic particles that consist of five quarks has been hotly pursued in the past few years. But the weight of evidence is now shifting against their existence.

    • Frank Close
  • News & Views |

    How much can the adult brain compensate for injury to the senses of touch or vision, for example? The answer from the latest results on the visual system, involving damage to the retina, seems to be ‘very little’.

    • Martin I. Sereno
  • News & Views |

    Interactions between trapped neutral atoms have prevented their use as the ultimate frequency standard in optical clocks. A clever trapping scheme circumvents this problem and may push timekeeping to new limits.

    • Thomas Udem

Brief Communications





  • Prospects |

    Senior scientists often say they haven't carefully planned their career pathway—but recommend that younger scientists still create some goals to follow.

    • Paul Smaglik
  • Career View

  • Career View |

    Physicist advances in spite of ‘two-body’ problem

    • Robert Rosner


  • Futures |

    What will happen in the cold light of day?

    • Michael Hanlon
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