Volume 9 Issue 12, December 2008

From The Editors

Research Highlights


  • Review Article |

    Recent advances in fluorescent probe technology have improved spatial and temporal resolution, bringing us closer to the ideal of imaging individual cellular features in real time with molecular (1–5 nm) resolution. In parallel, the development of super-resolution imaging techniques has revolutionized fluorescence microscopy.

    • Marta Fernández-Suárez
    •  & Alice Y. Ting
  • Review Article |

    The quality control process ERAD, endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation, results in the removal of aberrant secreted proteins from the ER. Molecular chaperones and associated factors recognize and target substrates for retrotranslocation to the cytoplasm, where they are degraded by the ubiquitin–proteasome machinery.

    • Shruthi S. Vembar
    •  & Jeffrey L. Brodsky
  • Review Article |

    Transcribed genes are scanned by RNA polymerases, which can detect DNA damage and initiate the transcription-coupled repair (TCR) pathway. Understanding the clinical features and genetic deficiencies of human hereditary diseases that exhibit TCR defects will help to elucidate the mechanism of TCR in eukaryotes.

    • Philip C. Hanawalt
    •  & Graciela Spivak
  • Review Article |

    The localization of mRNAs coupled with precise translational control is an important mechanism that is used by cells to establish functionally distinct compartments. Translation of localizing mRNAs is repressed by mechanisms that target translation initiation, and is derepressed following arrival at the final destination.

    • Florence Besse
    •  & Anne Ephrussi
  • Review Article |

    Biochemical oscillations are generated by complex interactions between genes, proteins and cellular metabolites and underlie many processes. Oscillatory behaviour is characterized by negative feedback with time delay, nonlinearity of the reaction kinetics and proper balancing of the timescales of opposing chemical reactions.

    • Béla Novák
    •  & John J. Tyson


    Science and society

  • Science and Society |

    In the absence of federal regulations, guidelines for human embryonic stem-cell research in the United States have been developed by independent scientific organizations. These guidelines ensure the ethical conduct of stem-cell research and serve as a template for the development of individual states' legislations.

    • Richard O. Hynes
  • Science and Society |

    The 1990 Human Fertilisation and Embryology (HFE) Act and its amendments regulate the derivation of human embryonic stem cells in the United Kingdom. A new bill, which has just passed through Parliament, will have important consequences for research in embryos and stem cells.

    • Robin Lovell-Badge
  • Opinion

  • Opinion |

    The question of whether cell death can occur by autophagy cannot yet be answered definitively, although the occurrence of cell death with autophagy is common. The term autophagic cell death should therefore be considered a misnomer until this issue has been resolved.

    • Guido Kroemer
    •  & Beth Levine