Biophysical Journal Editor’s Corner

Best of 2012

Recently, Biophysical Journal compiled a supplement issue containing a collection of papers that had were the most downloaded in 2012. The list of papers included in that issue are below. To view the virtual issue, go to

Seeing the Forest through the Trees: Towards a Unified View on Physiological Calcium Regulation of Voltage-gated Sodium Channels
Filip Van Petegem; Paolo A. Lobo; Christopher A. Ahern

Biophysical Letters
Imaging Protein Structure in Water at 2.7 nm Resolution by Transmission Electron Microscopy
Mirsaidov, Utkur M.; Zheng, H.; Casana, Y.; Matsudaira, P.

Mechanosensing in T Lymphocyte Activation
Judokusumo, E.; Tabdanov, E., Kumari, S.; Dustin, Michael L.; Kam, Lance C.

Direct Measurement of the Mechanical Properties of Lipid Phases in Supported Bilayers
Picas, L., Rico; F., Scheuring, S.

Regular Articles
In Vivo Imaging of the Actin Polymerization State with Two-Photon Fluorescence Anisotropy
Vishwasrao, Harshad D.; Trifilieff, P.; Kandel, Eric R.

Crosstalk and Competition in Signaling Networks
Michael A. Rowland; Walter Fontana;
Eric J. Deeds

Live-Cell Fluorescence Microscopy with Molecular Biosensors: What Are We Really Measuring?
Haugh, Jason M.

Impact of Methylation on the Physical Properties of DNA
Perez, A.; Castellazzi, C.; Battistini, F.; Collinet, K.; Flores, O.; Deniz, O.; Ruiz, M.; Torrents, D.; Eritja, R.; Soler-Lopez, M.; Orozco, M.

Membrane Tension, Myosin Force, and Actin Turnover Maintain Actin Treadmill in the Nerve Growth Cone
Craig, Erin M.; Van Goor, D.; Forscher, P.; Mogilner, A.

Fluorescence Fluctuation Spectroscopy Enables Quantitative Imaging of Single mRNAs in Living Cells
Wu, B., Chao; Jeffrey A.; Singer, Robert H

Protein Folding Is Mechanistically Robust
Weber, Jeffrey K.
; Pande, Vijay S.

Determination of Membrane-Insertion Free Energies by Molecular Dynamics Simulation
Gumbart, J.; Roux, B.

Know the Editors

Each month we feature a Biophysical Journal (BJ) editor and highlight a BJ section.

Kathleen Hall
Washington University
School of Medicine,
Associate Editor of Proteins
and Nucleic Acid Section



Q: What is your area of research?

My research interests focus on RNA and RNA:protein interactions. We use NMR, fluorescence, ITC, and computational methods to characterize the fundamental properties of the molecules and their associations. Our goals are to describe the conformational dynamics of RNAs, and the molecular basis of specific RNA:protein recognition.

Q: As Associate Editor of the Proteins & Nucleic Acids section, what type of papers is BJ looking for in that area?

We are looking for manuscripts that bring new insights to fundamental properties of these molecules, such as ion-dependent folding of RNA or conformational states of intrinsically disordered proteins. New methods that provide new perspectives on biological systems are essential, such as super-resolution fluorescence in nanoscopy of cell surface proteins or combinations of molecular dynamics simulations with NMR data to describe ensembles of proteins in solution. One of the modern challenges of protein biophysics is mapping and predicting protein:protein interactions, and papers describing novel assemblies and their thermodynamics and kinetics are important to be able to appreciate how such complexes function in vivo. Theoretical approaches to that can be used to predict or interpret experimental results are key to biophysics, such as protein packing and RNA electrostatics, and we need more of these papers. Single-molecule biophysics is exploding, with applications to protein folding, RNA folding, DNA:protein interactions, and protein:protein complexes, and BJ is a natural venue for those papers.

If I may be permitted an editorial comment, I would say that good science is a community effort as well as an individual responsibility. BJ is a Society journal where manuscripts are handled by scientists who work hard to achieve and maintain standards of excellence for all papers that we publish. In my section of Proteins and Nucleic Acids, we welcome experimental, computational, theoretical, and methodological papers that expand general knowledge and offer exciting new discoveries.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being an Associate Editor?

As an Associate Editor, I have been able to bring together a superb group of Editorial Board Members who are experts in their fields. They are the backbone of the Journal for they represent research areas that are fundamental to biophysics and fields that are emerging. With such Members, authors can be assured that their manuscripts will be handled by scientists who are active in their research areas and leaders in their field. These Members work to ensure that Biophysical Journal is the premier journal for our Society and for biophysics.

March 2013 Table of Contents