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This collection includes recent articles from across the Nature group of journals and showcases both the latest advances in the methodologies used to study genome organization, and our recent understanding of how genome organization and nuclear architecture regulate gene expression, cell fate and cell function in physiology and disease.
This collection of primary research articles, reviews and protocols focuses on an emerging topic of mechanobiology, highlighting the broad involvement of mechanical forces in different biological contexts, their roles in development, physiology and disease, and how these forces are sensed and transduced to produce biologically-relevant responses. The collection also showcases new technical approaches to modulate mechanobiology, which in the future could be used to control cell fate and behaviour for therapeutic benefits.
Stem cells are well on their way into the clinic and can be used in a variety of applications, such as disease modelling, drug screening and for regenerative medicine. This collection showcases research articles, reviews and protocols from across the Nature journals to highlight the striking advances made in basic and translational stem cell research.
Popularization of super-resolution imaging techniques has allowed cell biologists to probe cell structure and function in previously unattainable detail. These methodologies continue to evolve, with new improvements that allow tailoring the available techniques to a particular need and application. This collection showcases primary research articles, reviews and protocols and highlights these recent developments by exemplifying the new, interesting applications of super-resolution microscopy as well as related tool development.
The CRISPR-Cas9 system is best known for its ability to knock out or replace specific genes, via targeted cleavage of the genome. But scientists are developing many more applications, typically by using an inactive Cas9 to target other enzymes to specific genomic sites. From transcriptional regulation to base editing, these developments are extending the range of biological questions that can be probed with CRISPR/Cas9.
One of the goals of biological imaging is to watch biological processes where they occur – within living tissue or even within a living animal. But in vivo imaging presents a set of challenges that are not encountered when imaging relatively small, flat samples like cells. In this Focus issue, we bring together papers on methods for optical imaging within living tissue.
Epitranscriptome analysis is our choice for Method of the Year 2016. A News Feature looks at the history of the field, from the first discoveries of RNA modifications in the 1960s to recent transcriptome-wide methods. A Review describes the strengths and weaknesses of these methods, and a Commentary discusses the functional importance of a particular modification in stem cells. Our choice of eight methods to watch highlights areas we think will be influential in 2017 and beyond.
The tissue microenvironment is structurally and dynamically complex. Materials designed to interact with diseased or compromised tissue to induce regeneration, or to act as a scaffold for the production of tissues in the laboratory, thus need to be responsive to the microenvironment. For this, researchers leverage increased knowledge of the importance of the spatiotemporal integration of biomaterials with the tissue environment, as well as latest developments in high-resolution technologies in imaging and in materials synthesis and fabrication. Dynamically responsive materials for use in tissue engineering respond to external stimuli or have inherent properties that trigger the targeted, timed release of integral chemical constituents or of incorporated ligands for the controlled repair or remodelling of surrounding tissue. This collection highlights recent impactful advances, published in Nature-branded journals, in such dynamic biomaterials.