Review Articles

  • Review Article | | open

    The reciprocal interaction between genetic and cultural evolution is well recognised in humans. Here, Whitehead and colleagues review the growing body of evidence that culture is also a major driver of both neutral and adaptive genetic evolution in non-human animals.

    • Hal Whitehead
    • , Kevin N. Laland
    • , Luke Rendell
    • , Rose Thorogood
    •  & Andrew Whiten
  • Review Article | | open

    Engineering microbial cell factories for the production of useful plant natural products (PNPs) is a resource-conserving and environmentally-friendly synthesis route. Here, the authors review recent developments that enable engineering of hosts, pathways, and enzymes to make PNPs and PNP derivatives.

    • Aaron Cravens
    • , James Payne
    •  & Christina D. Smolke
  • Review Article | | open

    Immune cells adapt distinct metabolic strategies to accommodate specific functions associated with cell types or differentiation stages. Here in this review the authors discuss the nutrients, sensors, and mediators of such a metabolic adaption in nutrient-limiting immune microenvironments such as tumors or infections.

    • Nidhi Kedia-Mehta
    •  & David K. Finlay
  • Review Article | | open

    Pure organic molecules displaying room-temperature phosphorescence (RTP) are a rapidly emerging class of luminophores. In this Review, the authors discuss the principles for their rational design and development, from the underlying photophysical mechanisms of organic RTP, to enhancement and processing strategies for their practical application.

    • Kenry
    • , Chengjian Chen
    •  & Bin Liu
  • Review Article | | open

    Generation of transgenic mice has become routine in studying gene function and disease mechanisms, but often this is not enough to fully understand human biology. Here, the authors review the current state of the art of targeted genomic humanisation strategies and their advantages over classic approaches.

    • Fei Zhu
    • , Remya R. Nair
    • , Elizabeth M. C. Fisher
    •  & Thomas J. Cunningham
  • Review Article | | open

    Gadolinium(III) complexes are strong enhancers of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) signals, thus are widely used as contrast agents despite their potential toxicity. Here, the authors review ligand design approaches aimed at improving the stability of Gd(III)-based MRI contrast agents.

    • Thomas J. Clough
    • , Lijun Jiang
    • , Ka-Leung Wong
    •  & Nicholas J. Long
  • Review Article | | open

    Benchmarking studies are important for comprehensively understanding and evaluating different computational omics methods. Here, the authors review practices from 25 recent studies and propose principles to improve the quality of benchmarking studies.

    • Serghei Mangul
    • , Lana S. Martin
    • , Brian L. Hill
    • , Angela Ka-Mei Lam
    • , Margaret G. Distler
    • , Alex Zelikovsky
    • , Eleazar Eskin
    •  & Jonathan Flint
  • Review Article | | open

    How can scientists and policymakers work together to reduce the health impacts of air pollution? In this review paper, the authors discuss the interplay between advances in environmental exposure assessment and policy advances to tackle pollution in a focused way.

    • Andrew Caplin
    • , Masoud Ghandehari
    • , Chris Lim
    • , Paul Glimcher
    •  & George Thurston
  • Review Article | | open

    ADP-ribose erasing enzymes are increasingly recognized as critical regulators of protein ADP-ribosylation dynamics in living systems. Here, the authors review recent advances in the discovery and characterization of ADP-ribose erasers and discuss their role within the cellular ADP-ribosylation machinery.

    • Julia O’Sullivan
    • , Maria Tedim Ferreira
    • , Jean-Philippe Gagné
    • , Ajit K. Sharma
    • , Michael J. Hendzel
    • , Jean-Yves Masson
    •  & Guy G. Poirier
  • Review Article | | open

    Halide lead perovskites have emerged recently as possible candidates for high performance radiation detectors besides efficient solar cells. Here Wei et al. review the recent progress on perovskite based radiation detectors and suggest that they may compete with the conventional counterparts.

    • Haotong Wei
    •  & Jinsong Huang
  • Review Article | | open

    The evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet is driven by a combination of climate forcing and non-climatic feedbacks. In this review, the authors focus on feedbacks between the Antarctic Ice Sheet and the solid Earth, and the role of these feedbacks in shaping the response of the ice sheet to past and future climate changes.

    • Pippa L. Whitehouse
    • , Natalya Gomez
    • , Matt A. King
    •  & Douglas A. Wiens
  • Review Article | | open

    Diagnosing fungal infections poses a number of unique problems. In this Review, Wickes and Wiederhold discuss molecular technologies used for fungal identification, and the problems associated with their development and implementation in today’s clinical microbiology laboratories.

    • Brian L. Wickes
    •  & Nathan P. Wiederhold
  • Review Article | | open

    Transcranial electrical stimulation techniques, such as tDCS and tACS, are popular tools for neuroscience and clinical therapy, but how low-intensity current might modulate brain activity remains unclear. In this review, the authors review the evidence on mechanisms of transcranial electrical stimulation.

    • Anli Liu
    • , Mihály Vöröslakos
    • , Greg Kronberg
    • , Simon Henin
    • , Matthew R. Krause
    • , Yu Huang
    • , Alexander Opitz
    • , Ashesh Mehta
    • , Christopher C. Pack
    • , Bart Krekelberg
    • , Antal Berényi
    • , Lucas C. Parra
    • , Lucia Melloni
    • , Orrin Devinsky
    •  & György Buzsáki
  • Review Article | | open

    Organic−inorganic metal halide perovskite solar cells possess high efficiency and low processing cost but suffer poor stability. Here Gao et al. review the recent progress on the 2D–3D mixed perovskites and suggest that greatly improved stability can be achieved without compromising the efficiency.

    • Peng Gao
    • , Abd Rashid Bin Mohd Yusoff
    •  & Mohammad Khaja Nazeeruddin
  • Review Article | | open

    Facilitation is a well-known ecological interaction among free-living species, but symbionts residing in or on a host can also positively affect other symbiont species. Here, the authors review examples of facilitation among symbionts, revealing how facilitation theory can improve understanding of these interactions.

    • Flore Zélé
    • , Sara Magalhães
    • , Sonia Kéfi
    •  & Alison B. Duncan
  • Review Article | | open

    Short-lived three-dimensional submesoscale currents, responsible for swirling ocean color chlorophyll filaments, have long been thought to affect productivity. Current research suggests they may not be effective in enhancing phytoplankton growth, but may have important contributions to biodiversity.

    • Marina Lévy
    • , Peter J. S. Franks
    •  & K. Shafer Smith
  • Review Article | | open

    Diane Bolton and colleagues review the impact of single-cell technologies on the study of host–pathogen interaction. They discuss the revolutionary impact these have had for facilitating a greater understanding of the properties of host cells harbouring infection, the pathogen-specific immune responses, and the mechanisms pathogens have evolved to escape host control.

    • Pratip K. Chattopadhyay
    • , Mario Roederer
    •  & Diane L. Bolton
  • Review Article | | open

    Polyelectrolytes are a class of macromolecules containing charged groups. Here the authors review properties and functions of metallo-polyelectrolytes to shed light on how to harness fundamental physiochemical properties for applications in biomedical sciences and advanced materials.

    • Tianyu Zhu
    • , Ye Sha
    • , Jing Yan
    • , Parasmani Pageni
    • , Md Anisur Rahman
    • , Yi Yan
    •  & Chuanbing Tang
  • Review Article | | open

    A variety of directional electronic transport phenomena can occur in materials with broken inversion-symmetry. Here, Tokura and Nagaosa review the underlying mechanisms and emergent phenomena of nonreciprocal responses in noncentrosymmetric quantum materials.

    • Yoshinori Tokura
    •  & Naoto Nagaosa
  • Review Article | | open

    Research and debate are intensifying on complementing CO2 emissions reductions with hypothetical climate geoengineering techniques. Here, the authors assess their potentials, uncertainties and risks, and show that they cannot yet be relied on to significantly contribute to meeting the Paris Agreement temperature goals.

    • Mark G. Lawrence
    • , Stefan Schäfer
    • , Helene Muri
    • , Vivian Scott
    • , Andreas Oschlies
    • , Naomi E. Vaughan
    • , Olivier Boucher
    • , Hauke Schmidt
    • , Jim Haywood
    •  & Jürgen Scheffran
  • Review Article | | open

    Active matter systems are made up of self-driven components which extract energy from their surroundings to generate mechanical work. Here the authors review the subfield of active nematics and provide a comparison between theoretical findings and the corresponding experimental realisations.

    • Amin Doostmohammadi
    • , Jordi Ignés-Mullol
    • , Julia M. Yeomans
    •  & Francesc Sagués
  • Review Article | | open

    Accelerated global warming in the Arctic might have profound impacts on mid-latitude weather particularly in winter, although the evidence for an effect also in summer is also growing. Here Coumou et al. show that these interactions could lead to more persistent hot-dry extremes in mid-latitudes.

    • D. Coumou
    • , G. Di Capua
    • , S. Vavrus
    • , L. Wang
    •  & S. Wang
  • Review Article | | open

    Gut microbial metabolites are known to impact many physiological processes of the host and play a critical role in immune-homeostasis. Here the authors review our current understanding and appreciation of the importance of microbially derived tryptophan catabolites during both health and disease.

    • Henrik M. Roager
    •  & Tine R. Licht
  • Review Article | | open

    Targeting DNA repair-deficient tumors is one of the most promising therapeutic strategies in cancer research; however, accurately predicting which tumors will respond can be a challenge. Here the authors present a review of the current state of knowledge in DNA repair deficiency across human cancers.

    • Jennifer Ma
    • , Jeremy Setton
    • , Nancy Y. Lee
    • , Nadeem Riaz
    •  & Simon N. Powell
  • Review Article | | open

    Eruptive styles at a single volcano may transition from explosive to effusive behaviour (or vice versa) at any given time. This review examines the underlying controls on eruptive styles such as magma viscosity, degassing and conduit geometry at volcanoes with silicic compositions.

    • Mike Cassidy
    • , Michael Manga
    • , Kathy Cashman
    •  & Olivier Bachmann
  • Review Article | | open

    Excitons, quasi-particles of tightly bound electron-hole pairs, dominate the optical response of atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides. Here, the authors review strong light-matter coupling in two-dimensional semiconductors arising from confined excitons interacting with trapped photons or localized plasmons.

    • Christian Schneider
    • , Mikhail M. Glazov
    • , Tobias Korn
    • , Sven Höfling
    •  & Bernhard Urbaszek
  • Review Article | | open

    Metal dissolution from atmospheric aerosol deposition plays an important role in enhancing and inhibiting phytoplankton growth and community structure. Here, the authors review the impacts of trace metal leaching from natural and anthropogenic aerosols on marine microorganisms over short and long timescales.

    • Natalie M. Mahowald
    • , Douglas S. Hamilton
    • , Katherine R. M. Mackey
    • , J. Keith Moore
    • , Alex R. Baker
    • , Rachel A. Scanza
    •  & Yan Zhang
  • Review Article | | open

    Understudied in the Antarctic system are the subsurface interfaces between ice-sheet, ocean and geological substrate. Here, the authors review our understanding of these components and propose new avenues of holistic dynamic modeling to achieve a unified understanding of past, present and future polar climate.

    • Florence Colleoni
    • , Laura De Santis
    • , Christine S. Siddoway
    • , Andrea Bergamasco
    • , Nicholas R. Golledge
    • , Gerrit Lohmann
    • , Sandra Passchier
    •  & Martin J. Siegert
  • Review Article | | open

    Temporary association of metabolic enzymes is generally assumed to facilitate substrate channelling within the complex. In this review, Lee Sweetlove and Alisdair Fernie outline the nature and functional consequence of organising enzymes into assemblies, and discuss applications within the natural world and synthetic biology.

    • Lee J. Sweetlove
    •  & Alisdair R. Fernie
  • Review Article | | open

    Rydberg molecules have been extensively studied both theoretically and experimentally. Here the authors review the recent developments in the study of various types of Rydberg molecules and their potential for future applications in spectroscopy, sensing and quantum information.

    • J. P. Shaffer
    • , S. T. Rittenhouse
    •  & H. R. Sadeghpour
  • Review Article | | open

    CRISPR has rapidly become an indispensable tool for biological research. Here Mazhar Adli reviews the current toolbox for editing and manipulating the genome and looks toward future developments in this fast moving field.

    • Mazhar Adli
  • Review Article | | open

    Condensation trails produced by jet aircraft contribute to anthropogenic climate change, yet the magnitude of their impact remains unclear. Here, the author reviews progress in understanding contrails since the last IPCC report (1999), assesses the remaining uncertainty, and identifies potential mitigating options and pathways forward.

    • Bernd Kärcher
  • Review Article | | open

    Targeted delivery strategies based on nanocarriers have immense potential to change cancer care but current strategies have been shown only limited translation in the clinic. Here, the authors survey the challenge, progress and opportunities towards targeted delivery of cancer therapeutics.

    • Daniel Rosenblum
    • , Nitin Joshi
    • , Wei Tao
    • , Jeffrey M. Karp
    •  & Dan Peer
  • Review Article | | open

    The phase state of organic particles in the atmosphere has important consequences for the impact of aerosols on climate, visibility, air quality and health. Here, the authors review the evidence for the formation of amorphous glassy particles and the methods for determining aerosol particle viscosity.

    • Jonathan P. Reid
    • , Allan K. Bertram
    • , David O. Topping
    • , Alexander Laskin
    • , Scot T. Martin
    • , Markus D. Petters
    • , Francis D. Pope
    •  & Grazia Rovelli
  • Review Article | | open

    Inorganic compounds with multiple anions have added a new dimension to the discovery of materials. Here the authors review the recent progress in the development of mixed-anion compounds, focusing on the roles of multiple anions in synthesis, characterization and properties.

    • Hiroshi Kageyama
    • , Katsuro Hayashi
    • , Kazuhiko Maeda
    • , J. Paul Attfield
    • , Zenji Hiroi
    • , James M. Rondinelli
    •  & Kenneth R. Poeppelmeier
  • Review Article | | open

    This review summarizes how predictive modeling, a method that uses brain features to predict individual differences in behavior, is used to understand developmental periods. Rosenberg et al focus specifically on adolescence and examples of characteristic adolescent behaviors such as risk-taking.

    • Monica D. Rosenberg
    • , B. J. Casey
    •  & Avram J. Holmes
  • Review Article | | open

    The current generation of adolescents grows up in a media-saturated world. Here, Crone and Konijn review the neural development in adolescence and show how neuroscience can provide a deeper understanding of developmental sensitivities related to adolescents’ media use.

    • Eveline A. Crone
    •  & Elly A. Konijn
  • Review Article | | open

    Recall-by-Genotype (RbG) is an approach to recall participants from genetic studies based on their specific genotype for further, more extensive phenotyping. Here, the authors discuss examples of RbG as well as practical and ethical considerations and provide an online tool to aid in designing RbG studies.

    • Laura J. Corbin
    • , Vanessa Y. Tan
    • , David A. Hughes
    • , Kaitlin H. Wade
    • , Dirk S. Paul
    • , Katherine E. Tansey
    • , Frances Butcher
    • , Frank Dudbridge
    • , Joanna M. Howson
    • , Momodou W. Jallow
    • , Catherine John
    • , Nathalie Kingston
    • , Cecilia M. Lindgren
    • , Michael O’Donavan
    • , Stephen O’Rahilly
    • , Michael J. Owen
    • , Colin N. A. Palmer
    • , Ewan R. Pearson
    • , Robert A. Scott
    • , David A. van Heel
    • , John Whittaker
    • , Tim Frayling
    • , Martin D. Tobin
    • , Louise V. Wain
    • , George Davey Smith
    • , David M. Evans
    • , Fredrik Karpe
    • , Mark I. McCarthy
    • , John Danesh
    • , Paul W. Franks
    •  & Nicholas J. Timpson
  • Review Article | | open

    Gene expression and behaviours are intimately related, and their interactions can play out over timescales from developmental to evolutionary. Here, the authors review how temporal aspects of gene expression mediate behavioural responses to the environment, a key question in behavioural genomics.

    • Clare C. Rittschof
    •  & Kimberly A. Hughes
  • Review Article | | open

    A primary advantage of polymer semiconductors compared to silicon-based semiconductors lies in its capability of being solution-processed for the large-scale fabrication of electronics that can be flexible, stretchable, implantable, biodegradable, and self-healing. Here, Gu and Shaw et al. review recent developments in meniscus-guided coating that can control thin-film morphology.

    • Xiaodan Gu
    • , Leo Shaw
    • , Kevin Gu
    • , Michael F. Toney
    •  & Zhenan Bao
  • Review Article | | open

    Advances in multi-neuron recordings and optogenetic manipulation have resulted in an interrogation of the function of specific cortical cell types in auditory cortex during sound processing. Here, the authors review this literature and discuss the merits of integrating computational approaches from dynamic network science.

    • Jennifer M. Blackwell
    •  & Maria N. Geffen
  • Review Article | | open

    Ice crystal growth is a major problem in cell and tissue cryopreservation for transplantation, transfusion, icing of aircraft wings and many other applications. Here the authors review the emerging field of synthetic macromolecular mimics of antifreeze proteins that can be used overcome such problems.

    • Caroline I. Biggs
    • , Trisha L. Bailey
    • , Ben Graham
    • , Christopher Stubbs
    • , Alice Fayter
    •  & Matthew I. Gibson
  • Review Article | | open

    Transposable elements can be activated during germ cell maturation, potentially leading to genome instability and rewiring of the genetic circuitry. In this review, the authors discuss how the piRNA machinery suppresses these elements to ensure accurate spermatogenesis.

    • Christina Ernst
    • , Duncan T. Odom
    •  & Claudia Kutter