Reviews & Analysis

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  • The properties of articular cartilage, which lines bones in joints, depend partly on repulsion between components of the material. A new synthetic gel that mimics this feature has rare, direction-dependent properties. See Letter p.68

    • Anne Ladegaard Skov
    News & Views
  • The identification of the gene regulatory network that controls the formation of xylem — the major component of wood — opens up new avenues for manipulating plant biomass. See Article p.571

    • Anthony Bishopp
    • Malcolm J. Bennett
    News & Views
  • The discovery and functional analysis of the protein MEIKIN in mice leads to an evolutionarily conserved model of how chromosome segregation is regulated during a specialized type of cell division called meiosis I. See Article p.466

    • Kikuë Tachibana-Konwalski
    News & Views
  • Extracts from selected News & Views articles published this year.

    News & Views
  • Magnetoelectric materials allow magnetism to be controlled by an electric field. The discovery of an indirect path for switching electrical polarization in one such material brings this idea close to practical use. See Letter p.370

    • Kathrin Dörr
    • Andreas Herklotz
    News & Views
  • Crystal structures of the complete RNA polymerases from influenza A and B viruses provide insight into how these enzymes initiate RNA synthesis, and reveal targets for antiviral drug design. See Articles p.355 & p.361

    • Robert M. Krug
    News & Views
  • Endocytosis is a process by which molecules gain access to a cell. An unusual mode of endocytosis has now been shown to regulate cell signalling, and to be highjacked by bacterial toxins. See Article p.460 & Letter p.493

    • Volker Haucke
    News & Views
  • An iron catalyst has been developed that mediates bond formation between a wide range of alkene reactants, opening up short synthetic routes to compounds that were previously accessible only through arduous pathways. See Article p.343

    • Steven L. Castle
    News & Views
  • The development of RNA-based devices called toehold switches that regulate translation might usher in an era in which protein production can be linked to almost any RNA input and provide precise, low-cost diagnostics.

    • Simon Ausländer
    • Martin Fussenegger
    News & Views
  • New analysis reveals the conservation gains that could be achieved by expanding the global network of protected areas — but also how this may be undermined by land-use change and a lack of international coordination. See Letter p.383

    • Thomas M. Brooks
    News & Views
  • High-resolution data on ocean circulation during the last glacial cycle suggest that the formation of North Atlantic Deep Water and associated heat transport may be more stable than previously thought. See Letter p.73

    • Ellen E. Martin
    News & Views
  • A cracked metal film on an elastic substrate has been shown to provide ultrahigh sensitivity in detecting mechanical vibrations. The result draws inspiration from principles of tiling that apply to many biological systems. See Letter p.222

    • Peter Fratzl
    News & Views
  • Molecular diffusion of some enzymes is enhanced when they catalyse reactions, but the reason for this was obscure. Dissipation of heat generated by catalysis through the protein is now thought to propel the molecules. See Letter p.227

    • A. Joshua Wand
    News & Views
  • The finding that protein A of Staphylococcus aureus diverts the immune response so that it ineffectively responds to other structures from the bacterium explains the failure of ongoing attempts to develop working S. aureus vaccines.

    • Gordon Y. C. Cheung
    • Michael Otto
    News & Views
  • A global analysis reveals growing societal dependence on the use of non-renewable freshwater resources that depletes groundwater reserves and undermines human resilience to water scarcity in a warming world.

    • Richard Taylor
    News & Views
  • Pluripotent stem cells, which give rise to almost all cell types, can be engineered from mature cells. A thorough analysis of the process has led to the characterization of a new type of pluripotent cell. See Articles p.192 & p.198

    • Jun Wu
    • Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte
    News & Views
  • Mitotic cell division separates chromosome pairs into two genetically identical daughter cells. A study in fission yeast reveals that this separation is guided by the sequential activation of three phosphatase enzymes. See Letter p.94

    • Mathieu Bollen
    News & Views