Series |

Technologies and techniques

The development of a novel method, technique or technology can revolutionize the way in which we perform experiments and facilitate our understanding of fundamental issues in our field of research. For example, genome editing using the CRISPR-Cas system can lend itself to numerous cellular applications, and the development of three-dimensional cultures will advance our understanding of key developmental issues, such as tissue morphogenesis and organogenesis. The articles in this series highlight recent technological and technical advances that were developed to tackle important biological issues, and discuss the wealth of knowledge that using them has produced.

Reviews

  • Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Review Article

    Taking advantage of genetic engineering, synthetic biology allows control and design of new cell functions. Recent advances in the development of genetic tools and the assembly of progressively more sophisticated gene circuits have made ‘designer cells’ a reality, with applications ranging from industry and biotechnology to medicine.

    • Mingqi Xie
    •  &  Martin Fussenegger
  • Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Review Article

    Fluorescence nanoscopy enables the optical imaging of cellular components with resolutions at the nanometre scale. With the growing availability of super-resolution microscopes, nanoscopy methods are being increasingly applied. Quantitative, multicolour, live-cell nanoscopy and the corresponding labelling strategies are under continuous development.

    • Steffen J. Sahl
    • , Stefan W. Hell
    •  &  Stefan Jakobs
  • Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Review Article

    The three-dimensional (3D) organization of eukaryote chromosomes regulates genome function and nuclear processes such as DNA replication, transcription and DNA-damage repair. Experimental and computational methodologies for 3D genome analysis have been rapidly expanding, with a focus on high-throughput chromatin conformation capture techniques and on data analysis.

    • Anthony D. Schmitt
    • , Ming Hu
    •  &  Bing Ren
  • Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Innovation

    CRISPR–Cas9-based genome editing tools have been developed recently to study non-coding transcriptional regulatory elements, enabling the characterization of enhancers in their endogenous context. The applications, current limitations and future development of such CRISPR–Cas9 tools are discussed, with emphasis on identifying and characterizing enhancer elements in a high-throughput manner.

    • Rui Lopes
    • , Gozde Korkmaz
    •  &  Reuven Agami
  • Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Innovation

    Metabolomics has been utilized extensively for the identification of single metabolites and their use as biomarkers. Owing to recent technical advances, it is now possible to use metabolomics to better understand whole metabolic pathways and to more precisely pinpoint the involvement of metabolites in physiology and pathology.

    • Caroline H. Johnson
    • , Julijana Ivanisevic
    •  &  Gary Siuzdak
  • Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Review Article

    The CRISPR–Cas9 system is a powerful, sequence-specific tool that was initially developed for gene and genome editing. The recent adoption of nuclease-deactivated Cas9 (dCas9) has enabled expansion of the use of the system to multiplexed and inducible transcription regulation, genome-wide screens and cell fate engineering.

    • Antonia A. Dominguez
    • , Wendell A. Lim
    •  &  Lei S. Qi