Time, time, time

This year is speeding by, as evidenced by the fact that our October issue has gone live. This one is a focus on ‘molecular metrics’, which deals with all the different ways that cells and biological systems count and measure both physical objects and states (such as changing times or other conditions). The pieces range from discussions of how flipping a single amide bond can control a host of downstream processes to how the length of limbs (and zebrafish fins in particular) and telomeres are controlled or functionally deciphered, with many stops in between. The cover also features some cells gearing up for an architectural career, so check it out!

My perception that this year is just completely getting away from me makes a nice parallel with thinking about how individual cells and brains and proteins measure time. I’m sure my feeling that it really should be, oh, May or so, is part of a cellular defense mechanism, because if we tried to store memories of what happened every day, our brains would quickly explode or just get full. However, it is a bit disconcerting to feel so out of whack with the continually advancing calendar. My solution? I’m hoping that we do develop Pensieves, and then I can store my memories in there, leaving room to keep the recent weeks and months in my brain. In that case, it’d be nice to look back once in a while and, as Paul Simon so eloquently said, see what’s become of me.

Catherine (associate editor, Nature Chemical Biology)