Reviews & Analysis

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  • In 1991, an energy-efficient solar cell was reported that was both simple in design and relatively inexpensive. This invention has since inspired the development of solar cells that have even higher efficiencies.

    • Mohammad K. Nazeeruddin
    News & Views
  • The discovery in 1936 that rats respond to various damaging stimuli with a general response that involves alarm, resistance and exhaustion launched the discipline of stress research.

    • George Fink
    News & Views
  • A link has been established between high-frequency light emissions and electron oscillations induced in an insulator by a laser. This is a key step in efforts to make electronic devices that work faster than is currently possible. See Letter p.359

    • Michael Chini
    News & Views
  • Shortening of the ends of chromosomes limits a cell's lifespan. Some cancer cells avoid this fate through a mechanism called alternative lengthening of telomeres, molecular details of which have now been defined. See Article p.54

    • Caitlin M. Roake
    • Steven E. Artandi
    News & Views
  • A whole-genome duplication that occurred around 34 million years ago in the frog Xenopus laevis made generating a genome sequence for this valuable model organism a challenge. This obstacle has finally been overcome. See Article p.336

    • Shawn Burgess
    News & Views
  • Two sources of highly energetic flares have been discovered in archival X-ray data of 70 nearby galaxies. These flares have an undetermined origin and might represent previously unknown astrophysical phenomena. See Letter p.356

    • Sergio Campana
    News & Views
  • Live-cell imaging reveals that a functional interaction occurs between two different organelles: contact between the endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria is needed for mitochondrial DNA replication and division.

    • Elena Ziviani
    • Luca Scorrano
    News & Views
  • Monkeys have been observed pounding stones and unintentionally forming sharp-edged, tool-like fragments. This deliberate breakage raises questions about the evolution of intentional stone modification. See Letter p.85

    • Hélène Roche
    News & Views
    • Andrew Mitchinson
    News & Views
  • The human brain can solve highly abstract reasoning problems using a neural network that is entirely physical. The underlying mechanisms are only partially understood, but an artificial network provides valuable insight. See Article p.471

    • Herbert Jaeger
    News & Views
  • A molecule selected from a library of compounds that have structures similar to natural products targets several stages of the malarial parasite's life cycle, offering single-dose treatment of the disease in mouse models. See Article p.344

    • David A. Fidock
    News & Views
  • A discovery of the sound-producing vocal organ known as the syrinx in a bird fossil from the end of the 'age of dinosaurs' highlights the anatomical basis for myriad aspects of avian social and behavioural evolution. See Letter p.502

    • Patrick M. O'Connor
    News & Views
  • A 16-year-old synthetic genetic circuit that produces gene-expression oscillations in bacterial cells has been given an upgrade, making it an exceptionally precise biological clock. See Letter p.514

    • Xiaojing J. Gao
    • Michael B. Elowitz
    News & Views
  • Variations in opinion between members of a community can be exploited to facilitate desirable changes in attitude, as exemplified by films that explore different beliefs about female genital cutting. See Letter p.506

    • Nicholas A. Christakis
    News & Views
  • Half a century after the discovery of a plant photosynthetic pathway termed C4, researchers are working to engineer this efficient pathway into crops such as rice to maintain food security.

    • Julian M. Hibberd
    • Robert T. Furbank
    News & Views
  • A fresh look at the Channeled Scablands of North America shows that the ancient floods that scarred that landscape were smaller than is commonly assumed. This result could revise estimates of similar floods on Mars. See Letter p.229

    • J. Taylor Perron
    • Jeremy G. Venditti
    News & Views
  • Intracellular delivery methods, which are critical to both fundamental research applications and cell-based therapies, are reviewed, concentrating on membrane-disruption-based methods and the use of nanotechnology, microfluidics and laboratory-on-chip technology.

    • Martin P. Stewart
    • Armon Sharei
    • Klavs F. Jensen
    Review Article
  • Solid cobalt-based catalysts are used commercially to convert carbon monoxide and hydrogen into synthetic fuels. It emerges that much more valuable chemicals can be produced by using a different form of cobalt catalyst. See Letter p.84

    • Michael Claeys
    News & Views