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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

In the wake of Fukushima

Steven Judge and Hiroyuki Kuwahara report on efforts to monitor radioactive contamination in areas near Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station

Neutrons for the future at the Institut Laue-Langevin

Andrew Harrison talks about how the Grenoble lab hopes to maintain its world-class position

Licence to stun

David Wilkinson describes how physicists helped test the safety and effectiveness of less-lethal weapons

Coming soon to a field near you

Richard Taylor investigates the biophysics and mathematics of crop-circle art

Between the lines

Books on the physics of animals, humans and cars, reviewed by Margaret Harris

Seeking advice

Looking for a job? Margaret Harris sees what help is at hand for physics graduates finding their way in the job market

Not slippery when wet

Jan-Henning Dirks on the mystery of how flies can crawl upside down

Absence of evidence

Peter Williams weighs up a controversial book challenging the convention that there is no safe level of radiation

Urban cool

Summer in the city can be stifling, but appropriate surfaces and vegetation can cool us off, says Roland Ennos

Damage limitation

Treating tumours with hadrons rather than X-rays has many benefits for patients, as John Gordon explains

Finding the secrets of life

Michael P H Stumpf recalls the life of DNA pioneer Francis Crick

From ray-gun to Blu-ray

Fifty years after their invention, Sidney Perkowitz examines the huge impact of lasers on science, culture and everyday life

Where next for the laser?

Six laser experts recall how the laser has advanced their fields of interest – and speculate where it will take these areas next

A remade tapestry

Joshua Socolar examines nature's beautiful patterns

The flu fighters

Tools from physics can now be used to model the H1N1 flu pandemic, as Vittoria Colizza and Alessandro Vespignani explain