Article series

An Article Series is a special series of articles that explores a specific theme and comprises Reviews and Perspectives that are published consecutively over a period of time.


Techniques that interrogate DNA methylation, histone modifications or chromatin conformations are enabling unprecedented analyses of epigenomes, including at the single-cell level. The articles in this series discuss insights into chromatin biology and the components and mechanisms of diverse epigenetic processes in health and disease, from fundamental roles in gene regulation to broader biological phenomena such as reprogramming, imprinting and transgenerational inheritance.

Single-cell omics

Recent technological advances are providing unprecedented opportunities to analyse the complexities of biological systems at the single-cell level. Various crucial biological phenomena are either invisible or only partially characterized when interrogated using standard analyses that average data across a bulk population of cells. However, high-throughput analyses of the genomes, transcriptomes and proteomes of single cells are providing novel and important insights into diverse processes such as development, gene-expression dynamics, tissue heterogeneity and disease pathogenesis.

Computational tools

The scale and complexity of genetic and genomic data are ever-expanding, requiring biologists to apply increasingly more sophisticated computational tools in the analysis, interpretation and storage of these data. This series contains articles that focus on the application of these software tools in genetics and genomics.

Disease mechanisms

Genetics continues to play a crucial part in furthering our understanding of the basis of disease, from revealing biological pathways involved in pathogenesis to improving knowledge of the relative contributions of various genetic and environmental factors. The articles in this series focus on genetic studies of specific diseases or specific processes in pathogenesis.

Regulatory elements

The function of the genome crucially involves regulatory sequences, such as enhancers and promoters. Many questions remain unanswered as to how these regulatory elements work, and even identifying them can be a major challenge. New genomic technologies - including transcriptomics, genome sequencing and chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by sequencing - are enabling progress in this field. The articles in this series discuss recent views on regulatory elements, including their role in evolution and the function of chromatin modifications, as well as methods to study these important regions of the genome.

Non-coding RNA

With improved methods to explore the transcriptome, in recent years there have been great advances in identifying and understanding non-coding RNAs. Regulatory pathways involving small RNAs, such as microRNAs, are now being elucidated in detail, and functions for long non-coding RNAs are also coming to light. The articles in this series discuss insights into the biology of non-coding RNAs of all sizes in a wide range of organisms.

Translational genetics

The articles in this series document the many ways in which genetic knowledge is changing medical practice, by facilitating screening tests, by informing diagnoses and drug prescribing and, perhaps before long, by routinely offering personalized health-risk assessments and tailored treatments.

Modes of transcriptional regulation

How genes are switched on and off at the correct time and in the correct place is a crucial and enduring question for researchers. Advances in our ability to characterize protein–DNA and protein–protein interactions, the dynamics of chromatin structure and transcriptional output under different conditions have substantially enhanced understanding in this area. The articles in this series consider the range of levels at which transcription is controlled, the molecules involved and how the modes of regulation are adapted to particular types of gene or developmental contexts.

Study designs

Good experiments start with good planning. The analysis of genetic and molecular information involves increasingly sophisticated tools and methodologies, many of which are advancing at a fast pace. The articles in this series provide detailed advice on the most appropriate and up-to-date means for designing experiments, with the aim of helping researchers to maximise the value of their data.

Applications of next–generation sequencing

The power of high–throughput DNA sequencing technologies is being harnessed by researchers to address an increasingly diverse range of biological problems. The scale and efficiency of sequencing that can now be achieved is providing unprecedented progress in areas from the analysis of genomes themselves to how proteins interact with nucleic acids. This series highlights the breadth of next–generation sequencing applications and the importance of the insights that are being gained through these methods.

Genome-wide association studies

In the past 2 years genome-wide association studies in humans have revealed dozens of disease-associated loci and have provided insights into the allelic architecture of complex traits. Along the way, much has been learned about how best to carry out such studies. The articles in this series examine these design issues and the technical challenges that remain; for example, identifying association signals and interpreting the molecular mechanisms by which they exert their biological functions.


An abundance of data and unprecedented computational power are allowing sophisticated biological models to be devised and tested. This series of articles examines how the coupling of genetics with disciplines such as engineering, statistics, physics and computational biology has enriched our understanding in areas that range from developmental patterning to genetic association analyses.

Historical profiles

Each article in this series of Timeline pieces - which have appeared in Nature Reviews Genetics from 2001 - depicts a historical figure (or figures) in genetics and how their ideas fit into a modern context. As well as revise our views of these scientists' contributions, the articles in this series also serve to acquaint our younger readers to the scientists who have shaped their field.

Art and design of genetic screens

This is a series of articles that celebrates the art and design of genetic screens. These reviews are intended to provide an up-to-date account of genetic screening in the main genetic experimental systems.