I'm not sure why, but the last month has flown by, and it seems like only yesterday that I was frantically typing out last month's Editorial: typically the final element of the journal to be completed. As we find ourselves in the fall conference season, with a million and one things to do before the end of the year, November seems to have all but evaporated. Sublimating from solid to gas, with no time to linger as a liquid…

While things remain busy for the time being, I'm hoping things should soon settle down here in the Materials Today Editorial office, as I'm delighted to announce that Dr Michael Weir has joined the team as Associate Editor for Materials Today, as well as publisher for a small portfolio of materials science journals, in energy materials and ceramics. Michael's joined us fresh from a post-doc position at ANSTO, and I hope you'll join me in welcoming him to the team.

In my last Editorial, I wrote to tell you that the cover competition was open for submissions, as was our call for posters for our next Virtual Conference, which is focussing on nanotechnology. I'd like to thank all of you that submitted images and posters – we're currently working our way through the submissions; selecting the winning images and uploaded the posters to the conference platform. We received over 400 entries to the cover competition, and as always, they're of a very high standard – making selecting the winners no easy matter! To view the winning cover images, as well as the posters, visit the virtual conference by registering here: http://tinyurl.com/d3ymulj (don't worry, it's free to attend!).

Last month I visited the Battle of Ideas 2012, a series of “high-level, thought-provoking, public debates” at the Barbican in London. We've been running podcasts, webinars and virtual conferences for some years now atMaterials Today, and so now we're thinking about whether we could also introduce debates to our other multimedia offerings If you'd like to see some high-level debates on materials science, let us know, by emailing us at materialstoday@elsevier.com. You can send us suggestions for topics as well as ideas for any other multimedia avenues you'd like us to explore.

As with the Virtual Conference, the theme of this month's issue is nanotechnology. To start, Vincent Rotello and colleagues take a look at the nano-manufacuring of biomaterials, looking at how biomedical engineering is helping open new pathways for next generation biomaterials. Challapalli Suryanarayana examines the mechanical behaviour of novel nano-crystalline and glassy materials, highlighting recent results and on-going problems. Dave Adams and co-workers consider hydrogels and new methods for controlling their assembly. Finally, Matt Beard et al., review the application of quantum-confined semiconductor nanostructures in next generation photovoltaics.

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

Read full text on ScienceDirect

DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(12)70203-1