The story behind the synthesis of thiostrepton in the laboratory is told in a Review by K. C. Nicolaou in this issue. Which intriguing twists and turns led to this total synthesis? The Highlights deal with the self-assembly and polymerization of polymer–nanoparticle hybrids into mesoscopic chains (J. Pyun) and hydrogenated black titania for photocatalytic water splitting (Y. H. Hu).
In the Communications section, F. C. Schroeder et al. show how small molecules regulate the phenotypic plasticity of a nematode (see picture). D. J. Broer et al. present complex freestanding polymer films that deform into cone and saddle shapes upon heating. M. L. Steigerwald et al. succeeded in the fabrication of single quantum-dot electronic circuits by wiring atomically precise metal chalcogenide clusters with conjugated molecular connectors. Y. Fu et al. describe a copper-catalyzed trifluoromethylation of primary and secondary alkylboronic acids.