Reviews & Analysis

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  • Organic semiconductor devices require good electrical contacts with conducting materials, but such contacts are often inefficient. An approach that tackles this problem will enable a wide range of applications. See Letter p.536

    • Antonio Facchetti
    News & Views
  • Previous observations showed that friction on graphene increases gradually when a probe starts to slide across the material's surface. Simulations now reveal that this effect is related to bending of the graphene sheet. See Letter p.541

    • Astrid S. de Wijn
    News & Views
  • In the 1980s, the gas surrounding a black hole in a nearby galaxy began to emit much more radiation than before. This change has unexpectedly reversed in the past five years, questioning our understanding of these extreme phenomena.

    • Stephanie LaMassa
    News & Views
  • Mitochondrial organelles — the energy powerhouses of the cell — must divide and fuse dynamically to function. It emerges that two distinct dynamin enzymes enable mitochondrial division. See Letter p.139

    • Heidi M. McBride
    • Adam Frost
    News & Views
  • Plants and bacteria battle for control of water during leaf infection, as is demonstrated by a bacterial species that manipulates plant cells to create a water-rich environment that promotes bacterial growth. See Article p.524

    • Gwyn A. Beattie
    News & Views
  • Little is known about the biological rhythms that emerge from social behaviours in the wild. A study of shorebird pairs shows that rhythms of nest-incubation duties are mainly governed by strategies to avoid predators. See Letter p.109

    • C. Loren Buck
    News & Views
  • The interplay between spin–orbit coupling and two-dimensionality has led to the emergence of new phases of matter, such as spin-polarized surface states in topological insulators, interfacial chiral spin interactions, and magnetic skyrmions in thin films, with great potential for spin-based devices.

    • Anjan Soumyanarayanan
    • Nicolas Reyren
    • Christos Panagopoulos
    Review Article
  • Dealing with errors in a quantum computer typically requires complex programming and many additional quantum bits. A technique for controlling errors has been proposed that alleviates both of these problems.

    • Daniel Gottesman
    News & Views
  • Models indicate that there are strong gradients in element concentrations and in the pH of fluids at the slab–mantle interface — a major discontinuity deep within Earth. This transforms our view of global geochemical transport. See Letter p.420

    • David Dolejš
    News & Views
  • A biocompatible probe that combines fluorescent nanodiamonds and gold nanoparticles allows cells to be imaged using both optical and electron microscopy techniques, opening up fresh opportunities for biological research.

    • Christopher S. Wood
    • Molly M. Stevens
    News & Views
  • Polymeric semiconductors have been prepared whose molecular properties make them stretchable and healable — a milestone in the development of sophisticated organic electronic surfaces that mimic human skin. See Letter p.411

    • Siegfried Bauer
    • Martin Kaltenbrunner
    News & Views
  • Anaerobic microbes have been found to break down the hydrocarbon butane by a pathway with some similarities to anaerobic methane breakdown. Harnessing the butane pathway might enable biofuel generation. See Article p.396

    • Stephen W. Ragsdale
    News & Views
  • Repair enzymes must communicate across hundreds of nucleotides to undo errors made during DNA replication. Imaging reveals that the enzymes do this by forming a series of ring-like clamps that diffuse along the DNA. See Letter p.583

    • Neil M. Kad
    • Bennett Van Houten
    News & Views
  • A review into the complex effects of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol on the dopamine system, examining data from animal and human studies and discussing the necessary future direction of research.

    • Michael A. P. Bloomfield
    • Abhishekh H. Ashok
    • Oliver D. Howes
    Review Article
  • Interactions between the magnetic dipoles of dysprosium atoms in an ultracold gas can produce a 'self-bound' droplet. This provides a useful isolated system for probing the quantum-mechanical properties of ultracold gases. See Letter p.259

    • Bruno Laburthe-Tolra
    News & Views
  • Two monkeys subjected to a spinal-cord injury that paralysed one leg have regained the ability to walk, thanks to technology that re-establishes communication between the brain and spinal cord. See Letter p.284

    • Andrew Jackson
    News & Views