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    1. Epidemiology and Global Health
    2. Microbiology and Infectious Disease

    Science Forum: Viral factors in influenza pandemic risk assessment

    Marc Lipsitch et al.
    We identify key strengths and limitations in use of viral genotyping and phenotyping to estimate pandemic risk from influenza A viruses, focusing on 3 traits, hemagglutinin binding specificity, hemagglutinin pH of activation, and polymerase complex efficiency.
  1. Point of View: Five suggestions for substantial NIH reforms

    Michael Rosbash
    The National Institutes of Health needs to make radical changes to ensure that biomedical research continues to thrive in the United States.
    1. Microbiology and Infectious Disease
    2. Ecology

    The Natural History of Model Organisms: The unexhausted potential of E. coli

    Zachary D Blount
    A better understanding of the remarkable diversity, natural history and complex ecology of E. coli in the wild could shed new light on its biology and role in disease, and further expand its many uses as a model organism.
    1. Biochemistry and Chemical Biology

    In Vitro Evolution: Rethinking the tools of the RNA world

    Antony Crisp, Thomas Carell
    An artificially evolved ribozyme can catalyse the synthesis of RNA by using trinucleotide triphosphates as building blocks.
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    1. Physics of Living Systems

    Point of View: Are theoretical results ‘Results’?

    Raymond E Goldstein
    There should be a prominent place for theory within biology papers, both as Results in papers that combine experiment and theory, and as Results in theory papers.
  2. Point of View: Building for the future

    Hugh Pelham
    As the staff of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology settle into their new building in Cambridge, its director Hugh Pelham explains the challenges of living up to its prestigious past.
  3. Philosophy of Biology: From primal scenes to synthetic cells

    Hub Zwart
    Philosophy may help to explore the potential impacts of synthetic cells.
    1. Neuroscience

    Philosophy of Biology: Seizing an opportunity

    Perry Zurn, Danielle S Bassett
    Historical texts offer researchers in neuroscience, philosophy and literature the opportunity to work together to explore mysteries of the mind and human behavior.
  4. Scientist and Parent: Are we there yet?

    Nicole Swann
    Traveling to conferences with children presents a number of logistical and financial challenges.
    1. Plant Biology

    Antimicrobial peptide expression in a wild tobacco plant reveals the limits of host-microbe-manipulations in the field

    Arne Weinhold et al.
    The attempt to manipulate a microbiome in planta to study the ecological consequences under field conditions leaves plants and their microbes surprisingly unimpressed.