As is our tradition every year we have chosen a method, or in this case a set of methods, that have experienced rapid growth in the last years. This year’s choice of epitranscriptome analysis does not comprise a single technique but is based on advances in detecting, enriching and profiling base modifications on all RNA species.
Some of these modifications are abundant and have known functions, others are rare and their role is still obscure. We believe recent methodological advances, as detailed in a Review by Chengqi Yi and colleagues, lay the groundwork for a comprehensive profiling of some of these marks that will shed light on their role in the cell.
Our selection of methods to watch highlights areas we think will experience growth in the coming year and be influential in biological research: from global metabolomics, to RNA-targeting CRISPR, to elucidating single cell function and faster brain imaging. We do not claim to provide a comprehensive list and our choices may be biased by our fields of interest. We do hope you enjoy reading this feature and if you disagree with us, or if you think we have overlooked an important area, please let us know.