Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nature Magazine: Latest Issues

The latest two issues of Nature (some full-text is available)
15 May 2008; 453 (7193): 257 - 426

* Editorials
- The next big climate challenge p257
Governments should work together to build the supercomputers needed for future predictions that can capture the detail required to inform policy.

- Stuck in the mud p258
The Environmental Protection Agency must gather data on the toxicity of spreading sewage sludge.

- Negative results p258
Retracted papers require a thorough explanation of what went wrong in the experiments.

* Research Highlights
- Marine ecology: Deep-sea cheetahs p260
- Palaeoclimate: Methane didn't act alone p260
- Geoscience: The dust settles p260
- Ecology: Hand-me-down bacteria p261
* News
- German universities bow to public pressure over GM crops p263
Plug is pulled on maize research.

- Snapshot: Charged clouds p267
Lightning rages over Chilean volcano.

* News Features
- Chemistry: Designer Debacle p275
A high-profile scientist, a graduate student and two major retractions. Erika Check Hayden reports on a case that has rocked the chemistry community.

* Correspondance
- Deforestation: call for justice, not militarization p280
* Books and Arts
- Big problems, big decisions p282
Sustainable solutions to worldwide crises such as overpopulation and climate change need regulating by global bodies, but whose views should these organizations represent?
Michael Sargent reviews Fatal Misconception: The Struggle to Control World Population by Matthew Connelly and Common Wealth: Economics for a Crowded Planet by Jeffrey D. Sachs

- Enshrining the right to live or die p284
Emily Jackson reviews Understanding Bioethics and the Law: The Promises and Perils of the Brave New World of Biotechnology by Barry R. Schaller and Easeful Death: Is There a Case for Assisted Dying? by Mary Warnock & Elisabeth Macdonald

- Charting the water's edge p285
Deborah Jean Warner reviews Coast Lines: How Mapmakers Frame the World and Chart Environmental Change by Mark Monmonier

- 25 years of HIV p289
Reflecting on how far we have come scientifically since isolating HIV in 1983, Anthony S. Fauci urges a renewed commitment to the far greater challenges ahead, especially that of vaccine development.

* News and Views
- Palaeoclimate: Windows on the greenhouse p291
Data laboriously extracted from an Antarctic ice core provide an unprecedented view of temperature, and levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane, over the past 800,000 years of Earth's history.

- Quantum information: An integrated light circuit p294
There's a long wish list for a workable quantum computer: a viable system must be fast, compact and stable. The first integrated optical quantum logic circuits are a step in the right direction.

- Tuberculosis: Deadly combination p295
Many factors affect the severity of tuberculosis in infected individuals. Among these are the genetic make-up of the bacterial strain, that of the host, and the interplay between the two.

- Climate change: Attributing cause and effect p296
The climate is changing, and so are aspects of the world's physical and biological systems. It is no easy matter to link cause and effect — the latest attack on the problem brings the power of meta-analysis to bear.

- Solid-state physics: Polaritronics in view p297
Polaritons are an odd cross-breed of a particle, half-matter, half-light. They could offer an abundant crop of new and improved optoelectronic devices — a promise already being fulfilled.

- Plant biology: In their neighbour's shadow p298
They can't move away from shade, so plants resort to a molecular solution to find a place in the sun. The action they take is quite radical, and involves a reprogramming of their development.

* Articles
- Attributing physical and biological impacts to anthropogenic climate change p353
- Nucleosome organization in the Drosophila genome p358
- Crystal structure of squid rhodopsin p363

8 May 2008; 453 (7192): 132 - 256

* Research Highlights
- Climatic volcanoes p136
- Materials science: Carbon on display p136
- Developmental biology: Antler insight p136
- Nanotechnology: Tiny carbon workers p137
- Microbiology: Fuel cell p137
* News
- Top billing for platypus at end of evolution tree p138
Monotreme's genome shares features with mammals, birds and reptiles.

- Chemists spin a web of data p139
Chemspider website provides free information on millions of molecules.

* News Features
- Earth science: Harnessing the hum p146
A new way to analyse seismic vibrations is bringing order out of noise to help predict volcanic eruptions or create detailed images of Earth's interior.
- Cell biology: The cellular hullabaloo p150
The inner life of a cell is noisy. Helen Pearson discovers how the resulting randomness makes life more challenging — and richer.
* Correspondence
- Energy assumptions were reasonable at the time, but not now p154
- Future scenarios for emissions need continual adjustment p155
- Climate policies will stimulate technology development p155
- IPCC's climate-policy assumptions were justified p155
* Books and Arts
- Learning from climates past p158
Chris Turney reviews Fixing Climate: What Past Climate Changes Reveal About the Current Threat — and How to Counter It by Wallace S. Broecker & Robert Kunzig

* News and Views
- Computational biochemistry: Old enzymes, new tricks p164
Although enzymes are superb catalysts, their range of reactions is limited to those that support life. Their repertoire could be expanded by a method that allows artificial enzymes to be made from scratch.

- Quantum information: Stopping the rot p167
Uncontrollable outside influences undermine the whole enterprise of quantum computing. Nailing down the sources of this 'decoherence' in a solid-state system is a step towards solving the problem.

- Molecular biology: An HIV secret uncovered p169
With two catalytic activities and many substrates, how does HIV's reverse transcriptase enzyme know what to do to which substrate? Zooming in on the enzyme's molecular interactions provides tantalizing clues.

- Scale effects and human impact on the elevational species richness gradients p216

No comments: