Neuroscience sees the light

After many years of steady but seemingly slow progress, the development and use of light-based methods for investigating the function of the brain is really accelerating. Part of this is undoubtedly due to the excitement surrounding the use of light-activated channels for neuronal stimulation. This has been highlighted as one of our “””>Methods to Watch” for the past two years. But probe development has also overcome some big hurdles recently, from the bolus loading of small calcium dyes to the development of genetically-encoded calcium indicators capable of providing usable signals in living animals.  Read more

Nature Methods is 5 years old!

Nature Methods is 5 years old!

It’s hard to believe that five years have gone by since Veronique Kiermer, Nicole Rusk and myself saw the first issue of Nature Methods go out the door. In some ways it doesn’t feel like it was that long ago while in others it feels like much, much longer. But it has certainly been a rewarding and stimulating five years and we are thrilled with the success that Nature Methods has enjoyed.  Read more

Voting for the Method of the Year now even easier

To help prevent automated spamming of the Method of the Year voting we require that anyone wishing to vote be a registered user of . Unfortunately, the regular registration required answering quite a few questions and it is quite likely that some people would rather not bother.  Read more

Top downloads for August ’09

A paper describing a potential new pipeline for structural genomics based on small angle X-ray scattering was far and away the most popular paper of the August issue. It will be very interesting to see what kind of impact it has on the field. While it may not provide high-resolution structures like x-ray crystalography, it is certainly faster and has a higher success rate, both of which are critical parameters for high-throughput pipelines. A paper from Helicos describing new terminator nucleotides for single-molecule next-generation sequencing (or should this be 2nd or 3rd generation?) made it to the #5 spot.  Read more

Delay in delivery of Nature Methods in Italy

Our print subscribers in Italy will unfortunately experience a delay in receiving their print copies of the August edition of Nature Methods. Regretably, all 2,000 copies delivered to Italy were stolen and haven’t been recovered. We are working to have the issue reprinted and delivered as soon as possible.  Read more

Top downloads for July ’09

Two Correspondences made the list of top downloads for July coming in at #3 and #4, demonstrating that while this format may not report new methods it does have information of high interest to readers. The two top downloads seem to highlight a high level of interest in assaying single cells and using FRET to examine protein dynamics.  Read more

Naming scientific software

The editorial in the August issue of Nature Methods discusses an issue that comes up when computational biologists—or anyone else for that matter—wants to report a novel algorithm that biologists may want to use in their research. Specifically, whether or not to supply a named software implementation of their algorithm that biologists can use.  Read more