Vol 320, Issue 5884
This Week in Science
Products & Materials
News of the Week
Isotopic studies of teeth from six cattle found at a nearby earthen henge, coming on the heels of new dates for human remains at Stonehenge, are fueling ongoing debates about whether the 5000-year-old monument served chiefly as a "place of the dead" or whether its stones were valued for their healing properties.
Researchers and science labor unions last week stopped a proposed reform of one of Europe's biggest research agencies with their bodies. But their victory may be short-lived, as France's science ministry says the makeover of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) will proceed.
Environmentalists are welcoming the U.S. government's first-ever annual catch limits on fish. But experts caution that it will be difficult--and hugely expensive--for the agency to regulate the many marine species about which little is known.
The $186 billion supplemental spending bill to continue funding the U.S. war effort in Iraq and Afghanistan approved by the House of Representatives last week includes a welcome bump-up of $400 million for four agencies whose research budgets were flattened late last year by legislators.
Last week, ITER scientists revealed a new cost estimate for the multibillion-dollar fusion reactor that was 30% higher than earlier calculations. Now the project's seven international partners must decide whether they can afford it.
In the wake of an ongoing Senate investigation, universities are scrambling to tighten procedures to track financial conflicts of interest among their faculty members, hoping to reassure the public and stave off more stringent measures that they say could stifle cooperation with industry.
Introducing hundreds of seemingly inconsequential mutations into a poliovirus can cripple the virus enough to make it work as a live vaccine in mice, scientists report on page 1784 of this week's issue of Science. The technology might lead to safer polio vaccines and perhaps to so-called live attenuated vaccines against other diseases.
Crippling epidemics of meningococcal meningitis sweep across Africa with the onset of the dry season and harsh harmattan winds. An affordable, effective vaccine in the works could change that.
One illness in a family can exact a huge toll on household income, not only in direct costs but indirect ones as well, including loss of income and property such as cattle and crops.
Across West Africa, suspicions of Western medicine--and in particular the fear of being used as a guinea pig in clinical trials--run high. So winning the trust of the local community to enlist participants in clinical trials and ensure that consent is truly informed is a task that can't be undertaken lightly.
Cheaper sequencing has put many more genes into the hands of researchers trying to sort out the degree of relatedness of a menagerie of organisms. Thanks to one such "phylogenomic" analysis reported on page 1763 of this week's issue of Science, bird guides may never be the same.
These selections from writings by researchers over the past century cover such topics as what scientists study, who they are, what they think, and what they find delight in.
The average distance that dislocations in crystals travel before freezing into place is a key quantity in describing how metals harden when strained.
Drill cores from the Chesapeake Bay impact crater reveal that the impact moved huge blocks of country rock, trapped salty pore water, and still affects microbial communities.
Simulations of the motions of atomic dislocations in a face-centered cubic metal allow these dynamics to be related to the metal’s bulk strength and deformation.
A polymer and platinum nanoparticles stabilized with a ligand form large lamellar or inverse hexagonal structures that can be fused to create porous platinum-carbon composites.
Observation of gamma rays from a quasar 5 billion light-years away implies that the background light in the universe is consistent with surveys of stars and galaxies.
Scanning tunneling microscope data and calculations show that near-surface titanium sites, not bridging oxygen vacancies, determine the useful electronic properties of TiO2.
A tryptophan residue placed between a donor and acceptor in a protein acts as a relay and accelerates long-distance electron transfer by more than a factor of 100.
Nuclear DNA sequences of 19 loci from 169 bird species lead to a revised phylogenetic tree of avian evolution, in which several well-accepted orders are not monophyletic.
A 100-year survey shows that the optimal elevations for growth of plant species in European temperate forests have shifted upward by about 30 meters per decade.
Exclusion of a regulatory protein from cell-cell contacts in the developing worm allows it to direct the assembly of an asymmetrical cytoskeleton in preparation for gastrulation.
A fish sensory organ develops when a wave of migrating primordial cells cyclically deposits rosettes of differentiated cells under the influence of fibroblast growth factor.
β-arrestin, which has several known roles in signaling systems, also links a key receptor to a motor protein so that the receptor can be transported to cilia for sensing environmental cues.
Altering the frequency of the adjacent codons in the poliovirus genome results in an attenuated virus that could form the basis of a vaccine.
Ancient human DNA sequences from Greenland suggest that the earliest inhabitants of the far north were from a lineage distinct from extant Native Americans and Eskimos.