Volume 458

  • No. 7242 30 April 2009

    The climate situation may be even worse than you think — this is the theme running through this week’s issue. Three News Features explore the difficulty of cutting back on carbon dioxide emissions and the potential to physically extract carbon dioxide from the atmosphere or cool the planet artificially. Two Letters address the big question of just how quickly greenhouse-gas emissions need to be reduced if we are to avoid dangerous climate change, and a variety of opinion pieces look at policies for managing the climate crisis and coping with climate deterioration. See the Editorial for a full ‘climate special’ contents list. Cover graphic: Jonathan Burton/ www.jonathanburton.net.

  • No. 7241 23 April 2009

    In this issue we celebrate the life of Sir John Maddox, Nature's influential two-time editor, who died last week. The cover picture shows him in typical pose in the Nature office. During his tenure, in 1966–1973 and 1980–1995, he laid the foundations for Nature as it is today, establishing a system of peer review and instituting a strong tradition of journalism. In an Obituary section, Walter Gratzer, Nicholas Byam Shaw and Philip Campbell recall his career and his influence on those who knew and worked with him. An online tribute features a selection of John Maddox's journalism covering four decades at Nature.

  • No. 7240 16 April 2009

    Graphene nanoribbons, elongated strips of graphite an atom thick, could be even more effective than carbon nanotubes in some future electronic devices. The cover illustrates one of two new ways of making nanoribbons in bulk quantities from carbon nanotubes, reported in this issue by James Tour and colleagues and Hongjie Dai and colleagues. [Cover image: D. Kosynkin/Rice Univ.]

  • No. 7239 9 April 2009

    This issue includes a clutch of research papers and review material on recent advances in cancer research, beginning with a review by Michael Stratton and colleagues, who look back at the achievements of cancer genetics since the 1980s, and forward to what genomics might achieve in future. On the cover, a colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph of a breast cancer cell. [Anne Weston/Wellcome Images.]

  • No. 7238 2 April 2009

    Burial of emissions from power stations and other industrial sources is one option available to mitigate the effects of anthropogenic CO2 on climate, but how safe and how efficient is burial? This week, Chris Ballentine and colleagues present a study using noble gas and carbon isotope tracers to characterize the processes involved in removal of the CO2 phase in nine natural gas fields. The cover shows Chaffin Ranch CO2 geyser, Utah, which began erupting when a water-well was drilled into a CO2-saturated aquifer in the 1930s; the 2-cm Jubilee clip, centre right, gives the scale. [Picture credit: Jason Heath/ New Mexico Tech.]

  • No. 7237 26 March 2009

    A fragment of asteroid 2008 TC3 as found in the desert in northern Sudan in March 2009. The asteroid disintegrated at an altitude of 37 km in October 2008 but, remarkably, 47 fragments with a total mass of 3.95 kg have been recovered, and Jenniskens et al. have identified the material as surface matter from a class ‘F’ asteroid, a type not previously represented in meteorite collections. [Credit: Peter Jenniskens/ SETI Institute.]

  • No. 7236 19 March 2009

    On the cover, a pollen tube has been lured into growth in an ‘N-like’ pattern, following a trail of the newly discovered chemical attractant LURE1. The elusive secreted guidance factors, critical for the successful fertilization of flowering plants, have now been identified by Okuda et al. as cysteine-rich polypeptides belonging to the sub group of defensin-like proteins. [Cover image: Satohiro Okuda]

  • No. 7235 12 March 2009

    The age of Homo erectus, known familiarly as Peking Man, has been hotly debated. This week Shen et al. use a recently developed dating technique that computes deposits to be about 770,000 years old — about 300,000 years earlier than usually thought. The cover shows a replica skull reconstructed from several H. erectus fossils from Zhoukoudian. [Image: Skulls Unlimited International, Inc.] There has been a correction associated with this cover.

  • No. 7234 5 March 2009

    During infection, vaccinia virus enhances its cell-to-cell spread by stimulating ARP2/3-complex-dependent actin polymerization, and this week Weisswange et al. provide insights into the signalling networks that regulate this. The cover is a composite of fluorescence image stills from a movie of the paths taken by vaccinia virus-induced actin tails over a 5-minute period in infected cells.