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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

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

Inside the complexity labyrinth

Gordon Fraser takes a guided tour through the science of complexity

Web life: – all you need to know about complexity science

How people work

Roland Ennos offers a new look at familiar human behaviour like walking, chewing and fingernail-breaking

Between the lines

The other Oppenheimer, cooking for astronauts and the "amazing" Grace Hopper

Between the lines

A round-up of the best books to put on your Christmas shopping list – or for someone else to buy for you

Threats to ultra-high-field MRI

A new European directive designed to prevent workers from being exposed to high magnetic fields could potentially have a severe impact on research into magnetic resonance imaging, warns Denis Le Bihan

Between chance and necessity

Andrew Steane reviews Stuart Kauffman's Reinventing the Sacred

The quantum life

The idea that quantum mechanics can explain many fundamental aspects of life is resurging, as Paul Davies reveals

The call of the wild

Robert P Crease talks to a former string theorist who found what he wanted in science when he applied the tools of physics to fundamental questions in biology