News & Comment

  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Advanced Healthcare Materials reports a tumour-on-a-chip platform for the high throughput-screening of cancer drugs.

    • Christine Horejs
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Communications Materials reports untethered magnetic soft robots that can perform large-degree deformations at high frequencies in low magnetic fields.

    • Christine Horejs
  • In the Classroom |

    Advanced research microscopes in universities can be used to enhance the education of STEM students, as demonstrated by initiatives at Johns Hopkins University that give students the opportunity to get hands-on experience with sophisticated microscopes.

    • Suhas Eswarappa Prameela
    • , Patricia M. McGuiggan
    • , Amy Brusini
    • , Trevor W. Glenn
    •  & Timothy P. Weihs
  • Comment |

    We must all ask ourselves critical questions about our role in the persistence of racism in academia, its effects on our colleagues and intentional actions to improve equity for all.

    • Manu O. Platt
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Physical Review X reports the first experimental measurement of the intra-atomic exchange interaction in rare-earth atoms.

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Nature Materials reports a nanoparticle dose threshold above which nanoparticle accumulation in the tumour substantially increases.

    • Christine Horejs
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Science reports a modelling approach to estimate the effectiveness of different intervention scenarios aimed at reducing plastic pollution.

    • Christine Horejs
  • Comment |

    3D printing enables on-demand solutions for a wide spectrum of needs ranging from personal protection equipment to medical devices and isolation wards. This versatile technology is suited to address supply–demand imbalances caused by socio-economic trends and disruptions in supply chains.

    • Yu Ying Clarrisa Choong
    • , Hong Wei Tan
    • , Deven C. Patel
    • , Wan Ting Natalie Choong
    • , Chun-Hsien Chen
    • , Hong Yee Low
    • , Ming Jen Tan
    • , Chandrakant D. Patel
    •  & Chee Kai Chua
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Nature Communications reports a 2D halide perovskite scintillator for the detection of β-rays and nuclear leakage.

    • Claire Ashworth
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Angewandte Chemie International Edition reports water oxidation using a linear conjugated polymer photocatalyst.

    • Claire Ashworth
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Nature Materials reports the control of the mechanical properties of a 2D magnet by changing its magnetization state, and of its magnetization by mechanical deformation.

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Nature Nanotechnology reports a retinal prosthesis made of semiconducting nanoparticles that can be injected into the eye to replace degenerated photoreceptors and restore vision.

    • Christine Horejs
  • Books & Arts |

    Radioactive, a new biopic of Marie Curie, weaves together her personal story, her discoveries and the repercussions of her research into radioactivity.

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Nature reports the 3D printing of a metallic alloy that exploits the thermic cycling during the printing process to enable local control of the microstructure of the printed objects.

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • Comment |

    The rapidly expanding biomaterials data are challenging to organize. Text mining systems are powerful tools that automatically extract and integrate information in large textual collections. As text mining leaps forward by leveraging deep-learning approaches, it is time to address the most pressing biomaterials information and data processing needs.

    • Osnat Hakimi
    • , Martin Krallinger
    •  & Maria-Pau Ginebra
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Physical Review Letters reports that twisted bilayers of WSe2 host interlayer excitons with a high degree of valley polarization and long lifetimes.

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • Comment |

    Batteries, as complex materials systems, pose unique challenges for the application of machine learning. Although a shift to data-driven, machine learning-based battery research has started, new initiatives in academia and industry are needed to fully exploit its potential.

    • Muratahan Aykol
    • , Patrick Herring
    •  & Abraham Anapolsky
  • Comment |

    In condensed matter systems, the atoms, electrons or spins can sometimes arrange themselves in ways that result in unexpected properties but that cannot be detected by conventional experimental probes. Several historical and contemporary examples of such hidden orders are known and more are awaiting discovery, perhaps in the form of more complex composite, entangled or dynamical hidden orders.

    • Gabriel Aeppli
    • , Alexander V. Balatsky
    • , Henrik M. Rønnow
    •  & Nicola A. Spaldin
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Science Advances reports a wireless smart contact lens for diabetic diagnosis and the delivery of drugs to treat diabetic retinopathy.

    • Alison Stoddart
  • Research Highlight |

    An article in Physical Review Letters reports the properties of iron — the main element in the Earth’s core — at extreme temperatures and pressures, providing clues to the core’s composition.

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • Comment |

    A global effort is ongoing in the scientific community and in the maker movement, which focuses on creating devices and tinkering with them, to reverse-engineer commercial medical equipment and get it to healthcare workers. For these ‘low-tech’ solutions to have a real impact, it is important for them to coalesce around approved designs.

    • Andrea M. Armani
    • , Darrell E. Hurt
    • , Darryl Hwang
    • , Meghan C. McCarthy
    •  & Alexis Scholtz
  • Comment |

    The first online-only meeting in photonics, held on January 13th 2020, was a resounding success, with 1100 researchers participating remotely to discuss the latest advances in photonics. Here, the organizers share their tips and advice on how to organize an online conference.

    • Orad Reshef
    • , Igor Aharonovich
    • , Andrea M. Armani
    • , Sylvain Gigan
    • , Rachel Grange
    • , Mikhail A. Kats
    •  & Riccardo Sapienza
  • Research Highlight |

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • In the Classroom |

    With the right app, smartphones can become a powerful tool for teaching physics and for increasing the popularity of this important subject.

    • Christoph Stampfer
    • , Heidrun Heinke
    •  & Sebastian Staacks
  • Feature |

    On 13 January 2020, over 1,000 researchers from 37 countries joined the first online conference in physics, the Photonics Online Meetup. With a raised awareness of the vast worldwide travel undertaken by researchers to attend conferences, virtual events provide an attractive solution, and can be organized to incorporate opportunities for social interaction.

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • Comment |

    Diversity initiatives typically focus on empowering scientists from minority backgrounds to navigate academia. Although such efforts can be valuable, the structural barriers faced by minority scientists must also be addressed, particularly in the distribution of research funding.

    • Rachel A. Oliver
  • Research Highlight |

    • Giulia Pacchioni
  • Comment |

    To maximize your scientific career, it is essential to establish research networks and build upon a multitude of mentoring relationships. At the heart of these networks, each scientist has the potential to benefit from the influence and satisfaction of being a mentor and a mentee.

    • Craig J. Hawker