Reviews & Analysis

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  • At the centre of intestinal health and the fight against obesity and metabolic syndrome is the intestinal microbiota and its interaction with our immune systems. Here the authors Review the current understanding of how these systems interact and how we can capitalize on recent advances to provide better therapeutic options.

    • Saad Khan
    • Helen Luck
    • Daniel A. Winer
    Review Article Open Access
  • Negative emission technologies are central to avoiding catastrophic climate change. Deploying engineered solutions such as direct air capture requires a policy sequencing strategy that focuses on “incentives + mandates” in early adopters, while creating positive spillovers that incentivize follower countries to take policy action.

    • Jonas Meckling
    • Eric Biber
    Perspective Open Access
  • Endocrine therapy has been the mainstay for hormone responsive breast cancer treatment. Here, Garcia-Martinez and colleagues discuss epigenetic mechanisms regulating ER + breast cancer and endocrine therapy resistance, and highlight approaches to rewire the cancer epigenome to improve targeted therapies for this cancer.

    • Liliana Garcia-Martinez
    • Yusheng Zhang
    • Lluis Morey
    Perspective Open Access
  • Current developments in synthetic biology are not immediately applicable outside of the controlled laboratory environment. In this Perspective, the authors outline the advances and challenges the field faces in operating in resource limited and off-the-grid scenarios.

    • Sierra M. Brooks
    • Hal S. Alper
    Perspective Open Access
  • DNA has the potential to store vast amounts of data but it is subject to physical decay. In this Perspective, the authors propose that the stability of DNA should be a key consideration in how it is used for data storage.

    • Karishma Matange
    • James M. Tuck
    • Albert J. Keung
    Review Article Open Access
  • Pain management is an extremely important topic both medically and socio-economically. Here the authors offer an overview of the use of degrading polymeric materials for delivery of pharmaceutical agents for pain management and offer a perspective of the future directions of the field.

    • Natasha C. Brigham
    • Ru-Rong Ji
    • Matthew L. Becker
    Perspective Open Access
  • This review dives deep into how earthquakes affect volcanoes, specifically into the relation between tectonic seismic activity and subsequent eruptions. Activity may increase in any volcanic setting in the 2–5 years following an earthquake, and especially at volcanic centres featuring vigorous hydrothermal activity.

    • Gilles Seropian
    • Ben M. Kennedy
    • Arthur D. Jolly
    Review Article Open Access
  • Hypertension is one of the most important risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The kidneys, which have a very high metabolic rate, play a fundamental role in blood pressure regulation. In this review, the authors discuss recent studies on the role of renal metabolism in the development of hypertension.

    • Zhongmin Tian
    • Mingyu Liang
    Review Article Open Access
  • The gastrointestinal tract participates in maintaining metabolic homeostasis in part through nutrient-sensing and subsequent gut-brain signalling. Here the authors review the role of small intestinal nutrient-sensing in regulation of energy intake and systemic glucose metabolism, and link high-fat diet, obesity and diabetes with perturbations in these pathways.

    • Frank A. Duca
    • T. M. Zaved Waise
    • Tony K. T. Lam
    Review Article Open Access
  • Skeletal muscle has a remarkable regenerative capacity, which can largely be attributed to resident muscle stem cells (MuSCs). Here, the authors review the molecular mechanisms regulating MuSC quiescence, activation and proliferation, how these processes are regulated by the stem cell niche, and the role of MuSCs in neuromuscular diseases.

    • F. Relaix
    • M. Bencze
    • Taglietti V.
    Review Article Open Access
  • The large anomalous Hall (AHE) and anomalous Nernst effects (ANE) in antiferromagnets Mn3Sn/Mn3Ge are considered fingerprints of Weyl nodes residing near the Fermi energy. Here, the authors review the results from previous studies combining with new transport measurements on Mn3Sn/Mn3Ge single crystals, suggesting the essential role of magnetic Weyl fermions in explaining the AHE and ANE.

    • Taishi Chen
    • Takahiro Tomita
    • Satoru Nakatsuji
    Review Article Open Access
  • One of the key limitations of CRISPR-Cas-based genome editing techniques is the PAM dependency. Here, the authors review ongoing efforts towards realizing PAM-free nucleases, address potential consequences of eliminating PAM recognition, and propose an alternative nuclease repertoire covering all possible PAM sequences.

    • Daphne Collias
    • Chase L. Beisel
    Review Article Open Access
  • Enantioselective functionalization of ubiquitous C(sp3)–H bonds via radical species has witnessed a renaissance in the past years. Here, the authors summarize the main achievements in the field by identifying two main reaction pathways determining the stereochemistry and give an outlook on future challenges and opportunities.

    • Chi Zhang
    • Zhong-Liang Li
    • Xin-Yuan Liu
    Perspective Open Access
  • Synthetic biology engineering principles enable two-way communication between living and inanimate substrates. Here the authors consider the development of this bio-informational exchange and propose cyber-physical architectures and applications.

    • Thomas A. Dixon
    • Thomas C. Williams
    • Isak S. Pretorius
    Perspective Open Access
  • Loss of muscle mass is associated with ageing and with a number of diseases such as cancer. Here, the authors review the signaling pathways that modulate protein synthesis and degradation and gain or loss of muscle mass, and discuss therapeutic implications and future directions for the field.

    • Roberta Sartori
    • Vanina Romanello
    • Marco Sandri
    Review Article Open Access
  • Advances made in synthesis and analytical techniques has allowed the exploration and mimicry of natural materials. Resilin-mimetics have emerged from this advance as a biomaterial with a range of potential applications. Here, the authors review the history and current research on resilin-mimetics, providing a future perspective.

    • Rajkamal Balu
    • Naba K. Dutta
    • Namita Roy Choudhury
    Review Article Open Access
  • Ketamine is associated with rapid antidepressant effects and temporary dissociative experiences, and this review examines whether these dissociative symptoms are necessary for antidepressant efficacy. Although the current literature does not support this relationship, further work is needed to explore possible associations at the molecular, biomarker, and psychological levels.

    • Elizabeth D. Ballard
    • Carlos A. Zarate Jr.
    Perspective Open Access
  • A key security challenge with biosecurity threats is determining the responsible actor. In this Perspective, the authors review recent developments in using genetic sequence to assign a lab-of-origin and the potential protection it provides against misuse of synthetic biology.

    • Gregory Lewis
    • Jacob L. Jordan
    • Thomas V. Inglesby
    Perspective Open Access