Taipei tech team takes 3D printing to the streets

Apr. 13 – A team of self-described geeks in Taipei have taken to the streets on a bicycle equipped with a 3D printer which they’re using to turn plastic waste into useful products. They call their printer the “Mobile Fab” and say it not only helps prom…

Apr. 13 - A team of self-described geeks in Taipei have taken to the streets on a bicycle equipped with a 3D printer which they're using to turn plastic waste into useful products. They call their printer the "Mobile Fab" and say it not only helps promote recycling, but also demonstrates how technology can be applied in a socially responsible way. Tara Cleary reports.

50 & 100 Years Ago

50 Years AgoBy now even schoolboys know that molecules of DNA are the embodiment of genetic inheritance…But DNA is not merely archival material. It also serves as an ever-present touchstone by which the biochemical integrity of an individual is sustained, and much of the

50 & 100 Years Ago

Nature 544, 7649 (2017). doi:10.1038/544169a

50 Years AgoBy now even schoolboys know that molecules of DNA are the embodiment of genetic inheritance...But DNA is not merely archival material. It also serves as an ever-present touchstone by which the biochemical integrity of an individual is sustained, and much of the

Biomedicine: Human genes lost and their functions found

Individuals who lack a functional copy of a gene — gene knockouts — can reveal the gene’s role. Most knockout research has used model organisms, but now a comprehensive catalogue of human knockouts is in sight. See Letter p.235

Biomedicine: Human genes lost and their functions found

Nature 544, 7649 (2017). doi:10.1038/544171a

Authors: Robert M. Plenge

Individuals who lack a functional copy of a gene — gene knockouts — can reveal the gene's role. Most knockout research has used model organisms, but now a comprehensive catalogue of human knockouts is in sight. See Letter p.235

Biological physics: Liquid crystals in living tissue

Evidence has been found that a biological tissue might behave like a liquid crystal. Even more remarkably, topological defects in this liquid-crystal system seem to influence cell behaviour. A materials physicist and a biologist discuss what the findings mean for researchers in their fields. See Letter p.212

Biological physics: Liquid crystals in living tissue

Nature 544, 7649 (2017). doi:10.1038/544164a

Authors: Linda S. Hirst & Guillaume Charras

Evidence has been found that a biological tissue might behave like a liquid crystal. Even more remarkably, topological defects in this liquid-crystal system seem to influence cell behaviour. A materials physicist and a biologist discuss what the findings mean for researchers in their fields. See Letter p.212

Developmental biology: How the lizard gets its speckled scales

Can a reptile compute? In one species of lizard, Timon lepidus, the colour and pattern of its scales evolve in a manner akin to a discrete rule-based computation called a cellular automaton. See Letter p.173

Developmental biology: How the lizard gets its speckled scales

Nature 544, 7649 (2017). doi:10.1038/544170a

Authors: Leah Edelstein-Keshet

Can a reptile compute? In one species of lizard, Timon lepidus, the colour and pattern of its scales evolve in a manner akin to a discrete rule-based computation called a cellular automaton. See Letter p.173

Going on after the loss of a loved one

A young woman loses both her baby and her mother in a massive Washington state landslide. Halfway around the world, an elderly woman cries alone on the floor of a Beijing hotel, not knowing the fate of a loved one aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Fligh…

A young woman loses both her baby and her mother in a massive Washington state landslide. Halfway around the world, an elderly woman cries alone on the floor of a Beijing hotel, not knowing the fate of a loved one aboard missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.