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Volume 480 Issue 7378, 22 December 2011

This week we identify Nature�s 10, ten newsmakers who have had a big influence on science in the past year. They are physicist Dario Autiero, seven-billionth baby Danica M. Comacho, US environment-agency head Lisa Jackson, radioisotope researcher Tatsuhiko Kodama, CERN engineer Mike Lamont, microbiologist and blogger Rosie Redfield, physics entrepreneur John Rogers, astronomer Sara Seager, former Egyptian prime minister Essam Sharaf and psychologist Diederik Stapel. Read about their contributions from page 437.


  • Editorial |

    President Barack Obama's stance on an emergency contraceptive betrays his promised principles of scientific integrity and sets a troubling precedent for political interference in 'inconvenient' science.

  • Editorial |

    Brazilian lawmakers should not weaken their stance on deforestation to appease landowners.

  • Editorial |

    As the year ends, Nature highlights individuals who rose to prominence — or fell from grace.

World View

  • World View |

    The discovery of the Higgs boson will complete the standard model — but it could also point the way to a deeper understanding, says Gordon Kane.

    • Gordon Kane

Research Highlights

Seven Days

  • Seven Days |

    The week in science: Cornell to build US$2-billion science campus in New York; Kepler finds a twin Earth; and Fukushima is declared to be in cold shutdown.




  • News |

    From neutrinos to stem cells: a round-up of the year in research and science policy.

    • Richard Van Noorden
  • News |

    Flying rhinos and furious rats vie with graphene knots and space technology in 2011’s most striking pictures.

    • Daniel Cressey

News Feature

  • News Feature |

    Ten people who mattered this year.

    • Declan Butler
    • Ewen Callaway
    • Mohammed Yahia


  • Comment |

    The past year has shown how prone a highly networked society is to abrupt change. The future of our complex world, says Philip Ball, depends on becoming resilient to shocks.

    • Philip Ball
  • Comment |

    Peer review continues long after a paper is published, and that analysis should become part of the scientific record, say Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky.

    • Adam Marcus
    • Ivan Oransky

Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    Carl Zimmer charts the boom in electronic publishing and what that spells for wood pulp and ink.

    • Carl Zimmer
  • Books & Arts |

    For the past decade, physicist Kenneth Libbrecht has been studying how ice crystals form, taking thousands of photographs of their intricate structures. He describes how he grows snowflakes in his lab at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, and never tires of tracking the real thing in the far north.

    • Jascha Hoffman



News & Views

  • News & Views |

    A planetary system has been found in a startlingly tight orbit around an evolved star. The finding challenges the idea that close-in planets are destroyed as their host star evolves. See Letter p.496

    • Eliza M. R. Kempton
  • News & Views |

    The major threats to amphibian species include pandemic disease and changes in climate and in land use. A study of the global distributions of these threats predicts that they will affect most amphibians by 2080. See Letter p.516

    • Ross A. Alford
  • News & Views |

    A technique for cooling ultracold atoms in optical lattices has been demonstrated. This advance should allow the physics of strongly correlated systems, including that of quantum magnetism, to be explored. See Letter p.500

    • Gretchen K. Campbell
  • News & Views |

    Unusual lattice vibrations have been discovered in scandium trifluoride — a simple compound that shrinks when heated. This finding may help to explain the phenomenon of negative thermal expansion.

    • J. Paul Attfield
  • News & Views |

    In mammals, molecular clocks regulate transcription and glucose homeostasis. One way they do so is by controlling glucocorticoid-receptor signalling, which suggests that clocks are embedded in liver metabolism. See Letter p.552

    • Joseph Bass
  • News & Views |

    Adapted extracts from selected News & Views articles published this year.

Review Article

  • Review Article |

    Recent advances in amide-bond-forming reactions are reviewed and summarized, highlighting the successful implementation of new synthetic methodologies and the limitations that need to be overcome to efficiently make the next generation of conventional small-molecule pharmaceuticals, therapeutic peptides, and natural and non-natural proteins.

    • Vijaya R. Pattabiraman
    • Jeffrey W. Bode





  • Column |

    Postdoc committees can give insight into industry career paths, argue Christopher Tsang and Michael Fisher.

    • Christopher Tsang
    • Michael Fisher



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