Volume 441 Issue 7094, 8 June 2006

Volume 441 Issue 7094



  • Editorial |

    Economics and physics are two disciplines that, contrary to widespread perceptions, have significant common agendas. Shame, then, that the professionals don't do more to recognize the fact.

  • Editorial |

    Clinical microbiologists should catch up with their colleagues and use metagenomics.

Research Highlights


News in Brief


  • News Feature |

    Viruses are often thought of as simple creatures. But their staggering diversity and genetic promiscuity could make them the most creative force in evolution, says Garry Hamilton.

    • Garry Hamilton
  • News Feature |

    Some economists had hoped that physicists might shake up the rigid theories typical of mainstream economics. But so far, they're unimpressed by physicists' handling of the markets. Philip Ball reports.

    • Philip Ball


  • Business |

    Merck is tapping into academic research in its hunt for drug candidates. Meredith Wadman reports on the company's latest deal with Harvard.

    • Meredith Wadman



  • Commentary |

    Europe's contribution to the global advancement of science and the promotion of learning is in decline. Better funding of universities and research institutions is needed to reverse this trend, argues Christopher Patten.

    • Lord Patten

Books and Arts

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Amide bonds underpin protein stability, but distortion from their preferred geometry makes them reactive. An archetypal twisted amide has at last been made, and its chemistry will be revelatory.

    • Harry H. Wasserman
  • News & Views |

    Is it time to stop worrying over whether the ancient structures called stromatolites are of microbial origin? ‘Yes’ is the answer to emerge from field and lab work on a 3,430-million-year-old marine ecosystem.

    • Stanley M. Awramik
  • News & Views |

    A two-laser trick that renders opaque media transparent can be achieved in systems of tiny optical resonators — with potentially profound consequences for optical communication and information processing.

    • Robert W. Boyd
    •  & Daniel J. Gauthier
  • News & Views |

    Rather than merely firing in a digital on–off fashion, vertebrate neurons may have an analogue aspect to their signalling too — a finding that will not surprise many who have worked on invertebrate neurons.

    • Eve Marder
  • News & Views |

    Received wisdom relates that static stress change associated with an earthquake mainshock is the prime mover of its aftershocks. But a fresh look at the data points the finger at wave-surfing dynamic stress.

    • Ian Main
  • News & Views |

    A method that combines techniques for performing chemical synthesis, separation and measurement on a single device illustrates the considerable potential of integrated lab-on-a-chip technology.

    • Stephen J. Haswell


  • Article |

    • C. Elachi
    • , S. Wall
    • , M. Janssen
    • , E. Stofan
    • , R. Lopes
    • , R. Kirk
    • , R. Lorenz
    • , J. Lunine
    • , F. Paganelli
    • , L. Soderblom
    • , C. Wood
    • , L. Wye
    • , H. Zebker
    • , Y. Anderson
    • , S. Ostro
    • , M. Allison
    • , R. Boehmer
    • , P. Callahan
    • , P. Encrenaz
    • , E. Flamini
    • , G. Francescetti
    • , Y. Gim
    • , G. Hamilton
    • , S. Hensley
    • , W. Johnson
    • , K. Kelleher
    • , D. Muhleman
    • , G. Picardi
    • , F. Posa
    • , L. Roth
    • , R. Seu
    • , S. Shaffer
    • , B. Stiles
    • , S. Vetrella
    •  & R. West
  • Article |

    A combination of computer modelling and in vivo transplants demonstrates that the Notch signalling pathway maintains coherent oscillations in gene transcription — silencing the ‘noisy’ gene expression present in the early embryo.

    • Kazuki Horikawa
    • , Kana Ishimatsu
    • , Eiichi Yoshimoto
    • , Shigeru Kondo
    •  & Hiroyuki Takeda





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