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I would like to begin this issue's Editorial on somewhat of a mixed note, as I announce that Dr. Mike Weir, the Associate Editor of Materials Today has decided to step down from his role on the publication and return to the lab. I say this is a mixed note, as although all of us on Materials Today will miss Mike, our loss is academia's gain. I hope you will join me in thanking Mike for his work with us on Materials Today, particularly our webinar program, as well as his wider role as a publisher for a collection of our other titles here at Elsevier.

And so it seems appropriate to say a little about our recent and upcoming webinars, where you can hear a little bit more from Mike, before he heads back to the lab. If you didn’t catch Part 1 of our series on New Innovations in Materials Characterization, then don’t worry: you can find the first part here, and the second part over here The rest of the year is also now packed with upcoming webinars, so keep an eye on the website for our official announcements over at

By the time you’re reading this, I will likely be on my way to the 2013 ACS National Meeting in Indianapolis. If you will be attending, do drop by the Elsevier booth. And speaking of conferences, I’m happy to announce that the next Materials Today Virtual Conference has now been scheduled for the 19th–21st November 2013, focusing on Biomaterials This is our first Virtual Conference to look specifically at biomaterials, so be sure to head over to the website now to register and submit your poster – remember, there's no fee to attend, so I hope to see you there!

But back to this issue, where we begin with a look at how collaborations between materials scientists and computer scientists are required to bring about the next generation of interactive devices. Moving on to review; we enter the fascinating world of nanoparticle research with Florian Heiligtag and Markus Niederberger, taking us on a journey through current research in this rapidly developing field. Second up, Chiechi, Havenith, Hummelen et al. provide us with an introduction to modern “plastic” solar cells, a broad topic that spans materials science, physics, and chemistry. Thirdly, Tao Chen and Liming Dai summarize recent progress on the development of high-performance supercapacitors based on carbon nanomaterials. And finally Jennifer Cha and colleagues discuss recent progress in how DNA has brought unmatched function to materials, focusing specifically on new advances in delivery agents, devices, and sensors.

Until next time, we hope you enjoy this issue of Materials Today.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2013.07.019