27 June 2008
Vol 320, Issue 5884
  • Contents

    • This Week in Science

    • Editorial

    • Editors' Choice

    • Podcasts

      • Science Podcast

        In the 27 June 2008 show, hear about the upward shift of plant species' optimum elevation, evolutionary history of birds, your Letters to Science, and more.

    • Products & Materials

    • News of the Week

      • Early Stonehenge Pilgrims Came From Afar, With Cattle in Tow

        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.

      • Despite Protest, CNRS Moves Toward Major Shakeup

        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.

      • Proposed Rule Would Limit Fish Catch but Faces Data Gaps

        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.

      • House Gives $400 Million to Four Science Agencies

        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.

      • ITER Costs Give Partners Pause

        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.

      • Senate Inquiry on Research Conflicts Shifts to Grantees

        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.

      • 'Biased' Viruses Suggest New Vaccine Strategy for Polio and Other Diseases

        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.

    • ScienceScope

    • Random Samples

    • Newsmakers

    • News Focus

      • An Ill Wind, Bringing Meningitis

        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.

      • Clinical Trials: Dispelling Suspicions, Building Trust in Mali

        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.

      • Building the Tree of Life, Genome by Genome

        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.

    • Letters

    • Books

      • Peaks of 20th-Century Presentation

        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.

      • Compelling Cases for Change

        Discussing a number of high-profile cases, the author argues that current forensic practices fall far short of the field's public perceptions and potential.

    • Education Forum

    • Perspectives

    • Association Affairs

    • Review

    • Brevia

    • Research Article

      • Deep Drilling into the Chesapeake Bay Impact Structure

        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.

    • Reports

      • Very-High-Energy Gamma Rays from a Distant Quasar: How Transparent Is the Universe?

        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.

      • The Role of Interstitial Sites in the Ti3d Defect State in the Band Gap of Titania

        Scanning tunneling microscope data and calculations show that near-surface titanium sites, not bridging oxygen vacancies, determine the useful electronic properties of TiO2.

      • Tryptophan-Accelerated Electron Flow Through Proteins

        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.

      • A Phylogenomic Study of Birds Reveals Their Evolutionary History

        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.

      • β-Arrestin–Mediated Localization of Smoothened to the Primary Cilium

        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.

      • Paleo-Eskimo mtDNA Genome Reveals Matrilineal Discontinuity in Greenland

        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.

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

COVER Waiting for a vaccination to curb a meningitis epidemic under way in Koudougou district, Burkina Faso, in March. An affordable new meningitis vaccine in the works promises to prevent, not just control, these frequent epidemics. See page 1710. Image: Monique Berlier/MVP-PATH