This edition of Heredity will differ from those that we have seen before in the introduction of a News and Commentaries section to the journal. Here we have asked leading experts to describe and commentate on recent results published in other journals. The spread of genetical approaches through the biological sciences has the result that some of the most exciting work in many biological fields is based on genetic understanding. The aims of the new section are two-fold. Firstly, we seek to emphasize the unity of the field of genetics by making the readership aware of exciting developments in genetics that have been published elsewhere. Secondly, we think that insights from the areas of genetics that have formed the traditional strengths of Heredity, particularly ecological and populations genetics, will allow a greater understanding of high impact developments in areas of genetics which have traditionally been insufficiently interactive with the world of evolutionary biology. In this second goal, the commentary function of the pieces is particularly important. I hope that, as readers of the journal, you will enjoy this new development.