Small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering

Small-angle scattering techniques use X-rays or neutrons to provide structural information about materials and probe responses to changes in external conditions.


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  • This Primer provides an overview of the general principles of adaptive optics and explores the different ways in which adaptive optics can correct optical aberrations for high-resolution imaging in the fields of astronomy, vision science and microscopy.

    • Karen M. Hampson
    • Raphaël Turcotte
    • Martin J. Booth
  • Small-angle scattering can reveal the structural organization of bulk materials and materials at surfaces and quantify their response to changes in external conditions. This Primer provides an overview of small-angle scattering using both X-rays and neutrons, and includes instrumentation, data collection and the type of structural information gathered in various applications.

    • Cy M. Jeffries
    • Jan Ilavsky
    • Dmitri I. Svergun
  • Electrolyte-gated transistors (EGTs) are fundamental building blocks of bioelectronics, which transduce biological inputs to electrical signals. This Primer examines the different architectures of EGTs, their mechanism of operation and practical considerations related to their wide range of applications.

    • Fabrizio Torricelli
    • Demetra Z. Adrahtas
    • Luisa Torsi
  • Atomic force microscopy-based force spectroscopy can probe the strength and dynamics of cell adhesion to understand how physical forces influence cellular function, physiology and disease. Here, Dufrêne and colleagues discuss the ability of this technology to work as an ultra-sensitive force sensor to study the adhesion and elasticity of complex biological systems including viruses, bacteria, yeasts and mammalian cells.

    • Albertus Viljoen
    • Marion Mathelié-Guinlet
    • Yves F. Dufrêne
  • Radiocarbon dating is a common and reliable tool for measuring the age of a range of objects, from trees to historical artefacts and human remains. Hajdas et al. outline best practices for selecting and processing samples, as well as obtaining accurate measurements and age ranges. Ethical considerations for rare and culturally valuable materials are discussed.

    • Irka Hajdas
    • Philippa Ascough
    • Minoru Yoneda
  • Uffelmann et al. describe the key considerations and best practices for conducting genome-wide association studies (GWAS), techniques for deriving functional inferences from the results and applications of GWAS in understanding disease risk and trait architecture. The Primer also provides information on the best practices for data sharing and discusses important ethical considerations when considering GWAS populations and data.

    • Emil Uffelmann
    • Qin Qin Huang
    • Danielle Posthuma
  • As Nature Reviews Methods Primers publishes its first articles, the editors outline the journal’s aims and scope and our contribution to the pursuit of reproducibility.