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  • Inspired by nature, a synthetic carbon fixation cycle builds complex molecules directly from CO2. Building metabolism from the ground up requires several innovative advancements — now, a strategy to balance carbon demands in a complex metabolic network is explored.

    • Grant M. Landwehr
    • Michael C. Jewett
    News & Views
  • Bacteria utilize stringent factors to metabolize the nucleotide alarmone guanosine tetra-/pentaphosphate, or (p)ppGpp, for stress adaptation. Now, a distinct conformation of these factors explaining their regulation and specialization has been unveiled.

    • Danny K. Fung
    • Jue D. Wang
    News & Views
  • Major hurdles remain in understanding the mechanisms of multidrug resistance (MDR) protein efflux. A new study uses deep mutational scanning of a bacterial MDR protein to determine the nature of its drug-binding cavity and understand its function and plasticity.

    • Parjit Kaur
    News & Views
  • High-mannose N-glycans are common post-translational modifications that occur on many proteins. The mechanism by which these high-mannose N-glycans are consumed by species of Bifidobacterium has now been characterized, which is important given their positive role in human gut microbiota and their abundance in breastfed infants.

    • Lucy I. Crouch
    News & Views
  • Phase separation is an important mechanism for biomolecule condensate assembly and is involved in multiple biological activities. Understanding its molecular mechanism provides a unique perspective for gaining insights into its role in cellular physiology and for developing new tools for the manipulation of cellular function.

    Editorial
  • This perspective proposes general strategies for phase-separation-related biological studies, including proper experimental designs to validate and characterize phase-separation phenomena, connections to biological functions and some caveats to avoid common misunderstandings.

    • Yifei Gao
    • Xi Li
    • Yi Lin
    Perspective