Web focuses

A Web Focus is a collection of articles on a related theme. With content ranging from Research Highlights through to Reviews and Perspectives, a Web Focus provides a panoramic view of a key area of biology.


2017

Collection

Cancer Evolution

March

Tumour progression is driven by a process of clonal evolution. The importance of this process has been increasingly recognized over the past decade: tumour heterogeneity, the major cause of therapeutic resistance to antitumour agents, results from the genetic, epigenetic and microenvironmental selective pressure that tumour cells undergo during cancer progression. In this collection, the cancer editorial community of the Nature journals presents the most recently published articles on cancer evolution.

Produced with support from EMD Serono.


2016

Collection

The 3D genome

December

Technological advances in the investigation of higher-order chromatin structure and function, such as chromosome conformation capture methods, reveal how the organization of the genome is interconnected with nuclear architecture, affecting cell identity and cell function. This collection includes recent Reviews, Research articles and Protocols from across the Nature group of journals – it showcases both the latest advances in the methodologies used to study genome organization and our emerging understanding of how genome organization and nuclear architecture regulate gene expression, cell fate and function in physiology and disease.

Collection

Human genetic variation

October

Combining next-generation sequencing technologies and high-throughput genotyping platforms has revolutionized the search for genetic variants. This collection by Nature Reviews Genetics and Nature Genetics highlights the breadth of impact that DNA sequence variation has on biological processes and disease development, as well as some of the tools and challenges related to the extraction, collection, curation, interpretation and sharing of human genetic variant data.

Collection

Cancer genomics — from bench to bedside

February

The advent of massively parallel sequencing technologies has driven the analysis of cancer genomes at an unprecedented resolution. This collection, which includes articles from Nature Reviews Genetics, Nature Reviews Clinical Oncology and Nature Reviews Cancer, showcases how cancer genomics has informed our understanding of cancer pathogenesis, unravelled potential future therapeutic targets, and driven advances that are starting to translate into the clinic. This resource provides a comprehensive bench-to-bedside overview of cancer genomics, which will be useful to researchers and clinicians alike.


2014

Collection

Clinical applications of next-generation sequencing

October

Produced with support from Life Technologies, a brand of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

Translating the power of high-throughput sequencing technologies from the research sphere into the clinic is a current major focus for many health-care providers and researchers, and the power of these technologies is being harnessed to address an increasingly diverse range of problems. Excitingly, real benefits for patients are starting to emerge in areas from infectious disease and cancer, to common and rare genetic disorders and pre-natal testing. At this critical turning point, this collection highlights the breadth of applications of next-generation sequencing technologies in the clinic and the importance of the insights that are being gained through these methods to improve health.


2011

Focus

Gene-based therapies

May

Delivering genes or RNAs to cells and tissues, or correcting existing genes, is an approach with great potential to treat a range of diseases. Since its inception about 20 years ago, the field of gene-based therapies has met with considerable challenges and controversy. However, recent progress has helped to realize the initial promise of these approaches and several gene-based therapies have now achieved success in clinical trials.

This Focus issue features four reviews from leading researchers to bring you up to date with progress in gene-based therapies, including gene delivery using viral vectors, strategies based on RNA-mediated silencing, and approaches that combine genetic manipulation with stem and progenitor cells.

Visit the associated library for other relevant content from the Nature journals.


Focus

Stem cells

April

The pace of stem cell research continues to accelerate, with rapid advances being made in diverse areas, from understanding the fundamentals of their biology to how these unique cells can give insights into the genetic and cellular causes of human disease. This joint Focus between Nature Cell Biology and Nature Reviews Genetics reviews the latest developments, including the nature of pluripotency, methods for manipulating cell fate and how stem cells might be used in clinical and research applications.


2009

Collection

Influenza

May

Influenza pandemics occur with some frequency, as indicated by the recent outbreak of swine flu (influenza A (H1N1)). Learn more about influenza, previous 'flu pandemics, preventative measures against 'flu and how the spread of disease can be modelled and possibly predicted with these selected Nature Reviews Microbiology and Nature Reviews Genetics articles.


2008

Focus

Global challenges

May

A number of pressing, interrelated, global challenges face the human race in the 21st century: environmental change, population growth and a rapid decline in fossil fuel reserves. This Focus issue looks at ways in which genetics can be harnessed to address these problems, from crop genetic engineering for improved yields and economical biofuel production, to the genetic monitoring of effects of environmental change on the world�s biodiversity.


COLLECTION

MicroRNA and Cancer

April

Produced with support from Exiqon

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) — an abundant class of small non–protein–coding regulators of gene expression — play an important role in tumorigenesis and, depending on their targets, can function as tumour suppressors or oncogenes. Crucially, miRNA–expression profiling of human tumours has identified signatures associated with diagnosis, staging, progression, prognosis and response to treatment.


2007

Focus

Evo–devo

December

Evolutionary developmental biology (evo–devo) attempts to integrate an understanding of developmental processes into the Modern Synthesis of genetics and evolution, which classically focused on how allele frequencies changed in populations. The web focus contains articles that look at the conceptual advances that evo–devo is offering to evolutionary biology as a whole, as well as articles that describe specific experimental evo–devo studies.


MILESTONES

DNA technology

October

Produced with Support from Applied Biosystems and Qiagen

Milestones in DNA Technologies is a collaborative project involving three journals – Nature, Nature Methods and Nature Reviews Genetics – and celebrates more than half a century of discoveries and applications of DNA technologies.


COLLECTION

MicroRNA

September

Produced with Support from Exiqon

Nature Reviews presents a Collection on microRNAs, which includes Reviews from Nature Reviews Genetics, Nature Reviews Cancer and Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology. The articles have been specially selected to provide an introduction to diverse aspects of microRNA biology, including their biogenesis, function in normal development and cancer, and evolutionary implications of their impact on gene regulation.


Focus

Epigenetics

April

The fundamental roles of epigenetics in genome regulation make an understanding of mechanisms such as DNA methylation and histone modification an essential goal, both for basic and applied research. The topics covered in this web focus range from basic research in chromosome biology and gene regulation, to stem cell research, environmental epigenetic and cancer epigenomics, where exploring the role of epigenetics has the potential to lead to clinical advances.


2006

Focus

Statistical Analysis

October

Fields as disparate as population genetics, systems biology, mathematical modelling of development and transcription profiling rely on quantitative descriptions, and statistical analysis — once a concept foreign to mainstream genetics — is pervading every aspect of the field. The articles in this Focus untangle the complex issues in statistical analysis, and present the continually debated solutions and the authors' opinion on future trends.


Focus

Monogenic disorders

April

This Focus issue stresses the need for more research on monogenic disorders and the unique opportunity they offer for developing treatments, from aiding drug target identification to a host of genetic medicines.


2005

Focus

Body Plan

December

Welcome to the Nature Reviews Genetics web focus on the body plan - a selection of recently published Reviews on this topic.


MILESTONES

Gene Expression

December

Produced with support from Applied Biosystems, Agendia, March of Dimes and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Nature Milestones in Gene Expression celebrates almost 50 years of discoveries in the field of transcription and chromatin. The accompanying library contains a selection of research articles, reviews and other relevant content on the topics of prokaryotic and eukaryotic transcription, epigenetics, chromatin and large–scale gene expression.


Focus

Repeat instability

October

Repeat instability is a unique dynamic mutation mechanism that underlies many diseases characterised by muscular and neuronal degeneration, such as Huntington disease, Fragile X syndrome, Friedreich ataxia and spinocerebellar ataxias, to name but a few.


COLLECTION

RNA interference

October

Produced with support from Sigma

When talking about RNAi, it is difficult to separate biology from technology. And so this Collection on RNA interference includes Reviews and Research Highlights on both aspects of this topic.


COLLECTION

DNA methylation

October

Produced with support from Biotage

Epigenetics — the study of heritable changes in gene expression or function that occur without a change in the DNA sequence itself — is proving to have an increasingly important role in both human development and disease, particularly cancer.


COLLECTION

Systems biology

May

Produced with support from Sigma

The intricate connections between individual pathways and entire networks govern the behaviours of cells, tissues and, ultimately, whole organisms. Understanding these connections is the ambitious aim of systems biology.

2004

Focus

Pharmacogenetics

September

We examine the role of genetics in determining how patients respond to drug treatment. This Focus provides a comprehensive collection of articles on the development of pharmacogenetics, covering topics ranging from the latest approaches in pharmacogenetics research to evolving regulatory frameworks and ethical issues.


MILESTONES

Development

July

Produced with support from March of Dimes, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

The Milestones are a series of specially written articles, which highlight the most influential discoveries in the field of developmental biology over the past 100 years. The accompanying library contains a selection of research articles, reviews and other relevant content in the development field.


Focus

Microarrays

March

Since their conception in the mid�1990s, the use of microarrays has spread rapidly throughout the research community. So much so that, in recent years, a microarray experiment has become the �must�have� item for many primary research articles. This trend is certainly not going out of fashion, as the range of applications for microarrays continues to grow and expand.


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2003

Focus

Genetic Modification

October

The genetic modification of plants and animals is one of those issues that always seem to be in the news. However out of the headlines is exactly where most of the geneticists involved in GM research would like to take the field. A judicious mix of targeted research and an open dialogue with the public is probably the best way to move towards less negative and sensationalist coverage of this important area. This focus spans the entire scope of the GM field and provides some insights into just why it provokes so much controversy.


Focus

Microbial Genetics

June

This focus provides a broad picture of the importance of microbial genetics but, more than this, they show that the answers to the big questions that were provided by this field in the past might be the tip of an iceberg that looms large in the future.

Focus

Biodefence and bioterrorismUpdated

January

The term 'weapons of mass destruction' seems destined to be one of those rare pieces of jargon that insinuates itself into common usage. The reason for this dubious honour is, of course, that the deployment of such weapons, particularly agents of bioterror, has rarely seemed as possible as it does today. For the same reason, the question of biodefence � defence against agents of bioterror � is high on the agendas of governments, the public and the research community.


2002

Focus

Human Genetics and Disease

October

Identifying a disease gene is just the first step towards understanding a disease's aetiology. The next challenge, as we discuss in several articles in this Web focus, is to elucidate the molecular basis of disease. However, not all of the challenges that face human genetics are strictly biological in nature, as reflected in the Perspectives articles collected together here, which cover a range of topics, from genetic counselling to reforming the gene patenting system.


Focus

Organogenesis 1 / Organogenesis 2

July

This focus is a collection of articles on different aspects of organogenesis, including early liver specification, pancreatic stem-cell identity, heart patterning, tubulogenesis and kidney development. What emerges from each article is that, by studying individual organs, we can learn about the principles that underlie organogenesis.


Focus

Stem Cells

June

Further characterization of cancer stem cells might lead to improved diagnostics and therapies by allowing us to better identify and target cancer stem cells. To cure cancer it is necessary to kill, differentiate or prevent the metastasis of cancer stem cells.


Focus

Evolution of Sex

April

The study of sex engages scientists from different areas of biology, who investigate how and why sex evolved in the first place, why it is maintained, and how the distinct morphology of the two sexes has developed and evolved in animals and plants.

2001

Focus

Mouse Genomic Technologies

October

Emerging genomic technologies are enabling researchers to make increasingly sophisticated mouse models. These techniques are important because they allow researchers to surmount many of the problems that hinder the creation of better mouse models, and will probably lead to improved models of human disease, the development of new therapies, and finer and more rapid analyses of gene function.


Focus

Computational Genetics

June

The rise of computational biology has been driven in part by the acquisition and accumulation of data mountains, and learning how to explore these mountains is making possible entirely new types of experiment.

Focus

Multifactorial Genetics

March

The challenge posed by multifactorial genetics is to understand the genetic contribution to any phenotype that results from the action of multiple genes and the environment. The phenotypes are as diverse as common human disease and crop yield, and they have become the focus of attention for scientists with a broad range of backgrounds.


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