Physical sciences


Physical sciences are those academic disciplines that aim to uncover the underlying laws of nature - often written in the language of mathematics. It is a collective term for areas of study including astronomy, chemistry, materials science and physics.


Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    Assembly of the microtubule nucleus is energetically unfavourable and, in vivo, microtubule nucleation requires support, such as a stable template, to stabilize the initial weak interactions between tubulin dimers. Microtubules can also be nucleated in the absence of a template by certain microtubule-associated proteins, which stabilize the nascent nucleation intermediates.

    • Johanna Roostalu
    •  & Thomas Surrey
  • Reviews |

    The discovery of new thermoelectric materials is challenging owing to the diversity of the chemical space and to the serial nature of experimental work. This Review highlights the recent progress in computationally guided discovery of thermoelectric materials and identifies the key outstanding challenges.

    • Prashun Gorai
    • , Vladan Stevanović
    •  & Eric S. Toberer
  • Reviews |

    Assessing development challenges for fisheries-dependent countries based on analyses of interactions and trade-offs between goals focusing on food, biodiversity and climate change.

    • Julia L. Blanchard
    • , Reg A. Watson
    • , Elizabeth A. Fulton
    • , Richard S. Cottrell
    • , Kirsty L. Nash
    • , Andrea Bryndum-Buchholz
    • , Matthias Büchner
    • , David A. Carozza
    • , William W. L. Cheung
    • , Joshua Elliott
    • , Lindsay N. K. Davidson
    • , Nicholas K. Dulvy
    • , John P. Dunne
    • , Tyler D. Eddy
    • , Eric Galbraith
    • , Heike K. Lotze
    • , Olivier Maury
    • , Christoph Müller
    • , Derek P. Tittensor
    •  & Simon Jennings
  • Research | | open

    Cold atom quantum simulation has had challenges in realising the tailored, dynamic types of disorder relevant to real materials. Here, the authors use synthetic momentum-space lattices to engineer spatially and dynamically controlled disorder to observe ballistic, diffusive, and arrested atomic transport.

    • Fangzhao Alex An
    • , Eric J. Meier
    •  & Bryce Gadway
  • Research | | open

    Most bacteria live in biofilms, surface-attached communities encased in an extracellular matrix. Here, Yan et al. show that matrix production in Vibrio cholerae increases the osmotic pressure within the biofilm, promoting biofilm expansion and physical exclusion of non-matrix producing cheaters.

    • Jing Yan
    • , Carey D. Nadell
    • , Howard A. Stone
    • , Ned S. Wingreen
    •  & Bonnie L. Bassler
  • Research | | open

    Screening libraries of genetically engineered microbes for secreted products is limited by the available assay throughput. Here the authors combine aptamer-based fluorescent detection with droplet microfluidics to achieve high throughput screening of yeast strains engineered for enhanced tyrosine or streptavidin production.

    • Joseph Abatemarco
    • , Maen F. Sarhan
    • , James M. Wagner
    • , Jyun-Liang Lin
    • , Leqian Liu
    • , Wafa Hassouneh
    • , Shuo-Fu Yuan
    • , Hal S. Alper
    •  & Adam R. Abate

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