Cell membranes are a crucial component of biological systems and they fulfil a variety of essential roles, including the compartmentalization of chemical reactions as well as enabling the formation of concentration gradients. Molecules and ions, acting as chemical signals, must be transported across cell membranes to mediate a range of cellular functions. A collection of articles in this issue discuss artificial methods for transporting chemical information across lipid bilayers. The cover image shows a synthetic transmembrane pore — formed by the self-assembly of a-helical peptides — developed by a team led by Haganâ Bayley and Derek N. Woolfson and described on page 411.
Editorial p403; News & Views p406; Articles p411, p420, p426 and p431
IMAGE: LINGBING KONG
COVER DESIGN: SAMANTHA WHITHAM