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Editor's choice

Jan 19, 2014

A special free-to-read digital edition containing 10 of our very best feature articles on the science and applications of light

In depth: Biological & medical physics

A gateway to the biological world

Optical physicist Gail McConnell discusses how novel biomedical imaging techniques are changing the kinds of questions biologists can ask

Just beyond our fingertips

An optical glucose sensor would be a boon for millions of people with diabetes. So why hasn’t someone built one yet? Kate Bechtel discusses the factors standing in the way

Deducing how dinosaurs moved

Matthew R Francis describes how physicists are modelling the movements of these ancient beasts

Between the lines

Books about the search for extraterrestrial life and the Royal Institution’s Christmas lectures, reviewed by Tushna Commissariat

Of old habits and new ideas

Controversy and opposition in the face of world-changing innovation has a long history and being an innovator is never plain sailing, says Wasiu O Popoola

Cuckoo forgeries – a bird's-eye view

Liz Kalaugher describes how researchers are visualizing how birds see to work out why they don’t reject cuckoo eggs

Zombie girls: a history

A new book tells the depressing but important tale of female radium-dial painters in the early 1900s who contracted radiation poisoning, writes Kate Brown

The risks and rewards of radiation

Timothy Jorgensen’s book greatly contributes to removing the mystery and misunderstanding that surrounds radiation, writes reviewer Jun Deng

Every breath we take

Research from a cinema in Germany shows how the breath of a crowd can reflect how they’re feeling, as Stephen Ornes reports

Revealing the network within

Jon Cartwright describes the emerging field of "network physiology", which uses physics to understand how organs communicate

Burned from the inside out

Susan Southard’s book about survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bombing, reviewed by Brian Drummond

Subterranean science

Sean Paling and Stephen Sadler describe how deep underground labs are diversifying into areas such as astrobiology and earth sciences

Fight over light

Robert P Crease examines why Goethe so savagely attacked Newton's views on optics

Bringing the quantum to life

Jim Al-Khalili and Johnjoe McFadden's primer on quantum biology hits the mark with Marta Varela

Unveiling your secret superpower

There's more to light than first meets the eye, says David Shane