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  • Looking through a window on a rainy day may generate feelings other than melancholy. Curiosity, for example: isn't it remarkable that water droplets stick to the pane rather than sliding down?

    • David Quéré
    News & Views
  • Lenses used in electron microscopy have aberrations that limit their resolution. Successful correction of spherical aberration is now possible, opening the door to three-dimensional, sub-ångström imaging of atomic arrangements.

    • David Cockayne
    News & Views
  • For nanotechnology to fulfil its promises, devices have to control events at the nanoscale as well as link to the macroscopic world. An organized network of nanoparticles that behaves as a sensor is one example of such a system.

    • David R. Walt
    News & Views
  • As Benjamin Braddock was told in the film The Graduate “plastics” are big business. But with a limited palette of polymers to choose from, the industry has long sought to combine desirable properties from several polymers into new blends.

    • Anthony J. Ryan
    News & Views
  • How does plastic deformation of polycrystalline materials with grain sizes less than 100 nm look at the atomic scale? A large-scale molecular dynamics simulation of nanocrystalline aluminium reveals some surprising behaviour.

    • Karsten W. Jacobsen
    • Jakob Schiøtz
    News & Views
  • Economics is often called the dismal science, but to many outsiders materials research is still the dirty science. Robert Cahn explains why materials scientists should be proud of their history.

    • Robert W. Cahn
  • Atomic-scale engineering turns silicon into a material in which electronics and photonics can be merged, thus leading to microphotonic integrated circuits.

    • Albert Polman
    News & Views
  • For a quarter of a century, barcodes have been used in the macroscopic world to tag goods in supermarkets. Can the same idea be used to track molecules in microbiology?

    • Volker Lehmann
    News & Views
  • Conventional superconductors, such as niobium, may soon have competition from a recent upstart. A new technique for growing thin films of MgB2 removes one serious hurdle in the path to commercialization.

    • John Rowell
    News & Views