Reviews & Analysis

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  • What physicists want for Christmas is a solution to the philosophical conundrums of quantum mechanics. They will be disappointed, but work that dissolves one aspect of quantum weirdness is some consolation.

    • Seth Lloyd
    News & Views
  • Static crystal structures provide only clues about the way large biological molecules work. A recently developed spectroscopic technique also reveals details of their molecular motion, as shown for an RNA molecule from HIV.

    • Joseph D. Puglisi
    News & Views
  • Detecting cancer early and monitoring its progress non-invasively are high on oncologists' agenda. So the design of a neat device that detects and counts cancer cells shed into the blood by tumours is a welcome advance.

    • Jonathan W. Uhr
    News & Views
  • To measure an optical frequency, you are best off using an optical frequency comb. A radical approach shakes up how these combs are produced, and will permit their closer integration into optical-fibre technology.

    • Steven T. Cundiff
    News & Views
  • The latest study of fluorescence in nanowires shows that it can be controlled by electric fields. This finding suggests the presence of mobile charge carriers, which could be useful for designing nanoelectronic devices.

    • David J. Nesbitt
    News & Views
  • The most recent study of lunar rocks indicates that the Moon formed later than previously thought — a conclusion that requires our view of the early history of the inner Solar System to be revised.

    • Alan Brandon
    News & Views
  • Experiences shape our behaviour, memories and perception. Mechanistically, they also influence the brain's circuitry, and cooperativity between neuronal contacts during learning may contribute to this process.

    • Bernardo L. Sabatini
    News & Views
  • A host of recently discovered fossils shows that mammal evolution was less a linear tale than a complex bush, in which mammalian feature evolved repeatedly in separate lineages, and were sometimes lost.

    • Zhe-Xi Luo
    Review Article
  • Our knowledge of the inner workings of malaria parasites comes largely from lab-based studies. But parasites growing in humans may have greater metabolic flexibility than those growing in Petri dishes.

    • Giel G. van Dooren
    • Geoffrey I. McFadden
    News & Views
  • Simulations indicate that faint galaxies of a seemingly tranquil class were born in violent cosmic encounters. This would be good news for the prevailing model of how the Universe is constructed.

    • Curtis Struck
    News & Views
  • A complex iron oxide has been made that has an unusual crystal structure suggesting that the oxide ions are surprisingly mobile. This finding could pave the way to other metal-oxide materials with useful properties.

    • Michael A. Hayward
    • Matthew J. Rosseinsky
    News & Views
  • The function of every cell in our bodies depends on the work of proteins known as ion pumps. Several new crystal structures cast fresh light on how three different pumps deal with their distinct cargoes of ions.

    • David C. Gadsby
    News & Views
  • Decoding the information stored in DNA requires an intricate balance between processes that turn gene expression on or off. A protein that influences the packaging of DNA regulates this balance genome-wide.

    • Karen M. Arndt
    News & Views
  • How do the freak waves that haunt seafarers' nightmares arise? We don't know, is the short answer — but the discovery of a similar phenomenon in optical waves might assist in getting to the bottom of the mystery.

    • Dong-Il Yeom
    • Benjamin J. Eggleton
    News & Views