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Are we still evolving? Nature debate on 9 February

The first Nature Darwin debate has the title: Are We Still Evolving?, and will take place on Monday 9 February 2009 at Kings Place, London at 7 p.m. local time. Speakers are Henry Gee, palaeontologist, evolutionary biologist and senior editor, Nature; Susan Blackmore, psychologist, writer and visiting lecturer at the University of the West of England, Bristol; and Andrew Pomiankowski, Professor of Genetics, University College London. Chair of the panel is Oliver Morton, chief News and Features editor at Nature. The panellists will be addressing the question of whether natural selection is still shaping humans, given that our survival is often more dependent on technology than genes. What might our species look like 1000 years from now?  Read more

Symposium on interpreting the human genome

There is still time to register for Interpreting the Human Genome, the Miami 2009 Winter Symposium organized by the University of Miami, Nature Publishing Group and Scripps Florida. The conference takes place 24-28 January 2009, at Deauville Beach Resort, Miami Beach.  Read more

Structural genomics – December update

The Structural Genomics Update for December reports a centralized system created by the Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) that allows investigators an easy way to submit protein target suggestions to the ten PSI structural genomics centres. These proposals are evaluated for feasibility and consistency with the overall goal of the programme. The four large-scale production centres are pursuing structural studies of more than 1,400 community-nominated targets. The six PSI specialized centres, which focus on various structure-determination bottlenecks, also consider target nominations. For further information, guidelines and submission service, see the news article.  Read more

Conference on the processes of aging

The Salk Institute, Nature, Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology and the Fondation IPSEN are holding Processes of Aging, the third annual Symposium on Biological Complexity, from 8 to 10 January 2009, at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California. The organizers are: Yves Christen (Fondation IPSEN); Sue Deeley (Nature Publishing Group); Andrew Dillin (Salk Institute); Ron Evans (Salk Institute) Marie-Therese Heemels (Nature); Arianne Heinrichs (Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology); Fred Gage (Salk Institute); and Inder Verma (Salk Institute) – Chair.  Read more

Signaling Gateway publishes 500th molecule page

The UCSD-Nature Signaling Gateway has recently published HB-EGF, its 500th Molecule Page. Each week, the gateway publishes several of these concise, free review articles on a diverse range of signalling molecules, from transcription factors to membrane receptors. In addition to these published pages, the Molecule Pages database also includes key information about the biological, biochemical and functional activities of thousands of signalling molecules. There is now a new ‘getting started guide’ for a quick overview of the anatomy of a Molecule Page.  Read more

A world of science in the developing world

Nature Publishing Group has just published its second free access custom publication, A World of Science in the Developing World. Published on behalf of TWAS (the academy of sciences for the developing world) to celebrate their 25th anniversary, this publication is a reflection of the insights and expertise of TWAS members and scientists who have been closely associated with the academy and is part of a broader effort to explore the rapidly changing state of science and technology in the developing world.  Read more

Nature debate: Enhancing The Brain

The first in a series of Nature debates, Enhancing the Brain, takes place at King’s Place in London on Monday 13 October. Experts in science, science policy and science ethics selected by Nature, the leading weekly international journal of science, will discuss the risks, benefits and extent of how far research can extend our mental and physical abilities. The first of two panel events focuses on research underway that is extending the human brain: from intelligence and emotional tolerance, to sleep needs, memory power and more. What are the risks and benefits to the individual and to society of these developments? Would you boost your brain power? Why, when and why not? Should doctors, scientists, students, teachers or soldiers use such aids? Come along and take part in this mind-stretching evening. Tickets are £11.50.  Read more