Reviews & Analysis

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  • Dark energy drives the accelerating expansion of the Universe — but what is dark energy? Its influence on the properties of neutrinos might be detectable, and could reveal something of its mysterious nature.

    • Gia Dvali
    News & Views
  • The phrase ‘quantum error correction’ might sound like a technical fix to a device that ought to be working better. But it is in fact a fascinating piece of fundamental physics with powerful implications.

    • Andrew Steane
    News & Views
  • Collective action in large groups whose members are genetically unrelated is a distinguishing feature of the human species. Individual reputations may be a key to a satisfactory evolutionary explanation.

    • Ernst Fehr
    News & Views
  • The quantum information carried by a faint laser pulse has been trapped in a gas of atoms. This ‘quantum memory’ paves the way for networks that transmit and process information in non-classical ways.

    • Jean-Michel Raimond
    News & Views
  • Early multicellular organisms had two distinct types of photoreceptor cells, apparently with different functions. How these cells combined to form modern eyes turns out to be a complicated story.

    • Thurston Lacalli
    News & Views
  • The direct observation of highly localized, stable, nonlinear excitations — known as discrete breathers — at the atomic level underscores their importance in physical phenomena at all scales.

    • David K. Campbell
    News & Views
  • The information encoded in our genes must be copied into messenger RNAs, which will programme the protein-synthesis machinery. New results support an intriguing mechanism for ending the copying process.

    • David Tollervey
    News & Views
  • The future of electronics may rest on devices that integrate other semiconductors with silicon. A means of creating tiny semiconductor pillars on a silicon surface is now demonstrated.

    • Max G. Lagally
    • Robert H. Blick
    News & Views
  • The discovery of a protein that stimulates cell migration and survival in damaged mouse hearts suggests a potential new approach to the treatment of heart attacks.

    • Michael D. Schneider
    News & Views
  • A small subpopulation of cells, ‘brain-cancer stem cells’, has been identified in humans. They have the exclusive ability to drive tumour formation, and could prove an effective target for therapies.

    • Michael F. Clarke
    News & Views
  • The ability to predict and modify the rate-determining steps in chemical reactions would be a boon in designing better catalysts. Technical innovations in computer simulations bring that goal closer.

    • Charles T. Campbell
    News & Views
  • Large blue butterflies are notable for their rarity and ability to dupe ants, and they are endangered. A genetic reconstruction of how social parasitism evolved among them will overturn conservation priorities.

    • Jeremy A. Thomas
    • Josef Settele
    News & Views
  • Pure, perfectly regular crystals were believed to be essential for the efficient operation of nonlinear optical devices. Surprisingly, it now seems that disordered materials might actually perform better.

    • Sergey E. Skipetrov
    News & Views
  • Insight into how membrane ion pumps work requires structural snapshots of various stages of their catalytic cycle. Now a fifth freeze-frame image of a calcium pump in action adds to a striking body of work on this protein.

    • C. Roy D. Lancaster
    News & Views