A special issue of Nature…

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Hello again,

I just wanted to let you know that a special issue of Nature came out today, in which there were a number of exciting chemistry and biochemistry papers:

“Photocatalyst releasing hydrogen from water” by Maeda et al.

“Folding DNA to create nanoscale shapes and patterns” by Rothemund

“Stochastic protein expression in individual cells at the single molecule level” by Cai et al.

“The PerR transcription factor senses H2O2 by metal-catalysed histidine oxidation” by Lee & Helmann

“Crystal structure of the non-haem iron halogenase SyrB2 in syringomycin biosynthesis” by Blasiak et al.

“Structural basis for the spectral difference in luciferase bioluminescence” by Nakatsu et al.

Some of these papers are also featured on the ‘Authors’ page of this week’s Nature, in our News & Views section (Rothemund and Nakatsu et al.), and on the March 16th edition of the Nature Podcast.

In addition, there’s an interview with Nobel laureate Roald Hoffmann on his work with young scientists in the Middle East by Alison Abbott. As some of you may know, Professor Hoffmann shared the 1981 Nobel prize with Kenichi Fukui “for their theories, developed independently, concerning the course of chemical reactions.” This isn’t the first news piece we’ve published on Hoffman – Alison also wrote an interesting story on the controversy that surfaced in 2004 between Professor (and Nobel laureate) EJ Corey and Hoffmann.

There’s also a ‘Journal Club’ entry by Professor David MacMillan, a NatureJobs article on green chemistry by Virginia Gewin, and an obituary for the natural-products chemist Pierre Potier. Potier was a natural-products chemist who (with several colleagues) found a way to produce large amounts of the anti-cancer compound paclitaxel (Taxol).

And our website now includes a ‘Web focus’ (a collection of recently published Nature papers) on metalloproteins. These proteins contain transition metals and are involved in a wide range of biologically-important processes, including natural product and cofactor biosynthesis, histone demethylation, and methane oxidation. For this reason, many chemists and biologists are determined to understand the mechanisms and the cellular roles of these remarkable enzymes. In addition, this knowledge can inspire bio-inorganic chemists to synthesize small-molecule catalysts based on the metal-containing active sites of these proteins. To highlight this exciting field, we have selected a panel of recently published Nature papers that explored the structures, mechanisms, and biological activities of several unusual metalloproteins. We hope you enjoy reading these papers as much as we did!

We’d love to hear what you think about this special issue – please feel free to leave us a comment or send us an email to let us know your thoughts…

Chat with you soon,


Joshua Finkelstein (Associate Editor, Nature)