Reviews & Analysis

Filter By:

  • The versatile DNA molecule has found many applications beyond biology. In its latest role, it serves as a self-assembling scaffold to arrange different metal ions in a row, like pearls on a string.

    • Jens Müller
    News & Views
  • A compact electron accelerator can be made by the cunning use of laser pulses to let electrons 'surf' on a plasma wave. The problem has been controlling exactly how much the electrons are accelerated.

    • Tom Katsouleas
    News & Views
  • Black holes box at two weights: active galactic nuclei are in the super-heavyweight class, whereas galactic black holes are relative featherweights. But does the same physics pack both objects' punches? It seems that it does.

    • Jörn Wilms
    News & Views
  • Are two penises better than one? Not so, implies a study of doubly endowed earwigs. An ancestral behavioural preference for the right penis might have facilitated the loss of the left in species that arose later.

    • A. Richard Palmer
    News & Views
  • The discovery that parts of a solid helium crystal could flow through other parts without friction ignited physicists' interest. Independent experiments confirm this unusual superflow, but its origin remains mysterious.

    • Henry R. Glyde
    News & Views
  • The infectious form of the malaria parasite has thousands of proteins, making it tough to develop a vaccine for it. Narrowing down which proteins cause protective immune responses may help resolve the problem.

    • Stephen L. Hoffman
    News & Views
  • Satellite data show that phytoplankton biomass and growth generally decline as the oceans' surface waters warm up. Is this trend, seen over the past decade, a harbinger of the future for marine ecosystems?

    • Scott C. Doney
    News & Views
  • Embryonic stem cells have great potential in medicine, but the current methods used to grow them prevent their therapeutic use. A dual-action compound has been discovered that may help solve this problem.

    • Reka R. Letso
    • Brent R. Stockwell
    News & Views
  • Stem cells are increasingly implicated in maintaining certain cancers. Studies of an intractable type of brain tumour provide hints as to why such cells may underlie the tumours' resistance to therapy.

    • Peter B. Dirks
    News & Views
  • Rare species have to cope not only with habitat loss, genetic bottlenecks and invasive competitors, but also with a self-reinforcing cycle of human greed. This last threat has now been dragged into the spotlight.

    • Barry W. Brook B W
    • Navjot S. Sodhi N S
    News & Views
  • How do voltage-gated ion channels in cell membranes open? The latest work suggests that the process depends on having the correct lipid molecules in the membrane, with phosphate groups being mandatory.

    • Anthony G. Lee
    News & Views