Philosophical Transactions A and B are the Royal Society’s Theme Issue journals, publishing collections of papers on emerging, interdisciplinary topics across the sciences. Take a look at the Theme Issues we published in Philosophical Transactions in May. Publications last month covered food logistics, infectious diseases, computational modelling for climate prediction and mitochondrial evolution.

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untitledIntelligent food logistics
Editors: David Cumming, Stephen Furber, Douglas Paul

The need to feed an ever-increasing world population makes it obligatory to reduce the millions of tons of avoidable perishable waste along the food supply chain. Shelf life is often reduced by deviations from optimal conditions along the supply chain, and the effects can be physically invisible until much later in the process. This issue focuses on technologies to monitor changes in product shelf life, and to plan successive chain processes and logistics accordingly to uncover and prevent losses along the supply chain.


After 2015: infectious diseases in a new era of health and developmentRSTB_369_1645_Cover_RSTB_369_1645_Cover
Editors: Christopher Dye and Anne O’Garra

The United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) included several goals linked with the prevention and control of infectious diseases. The MDG era draws to a close in 2015, and a new set of goals will shift the focus to non-communicable diseases, poverty reduction and sustainable development. This collection of papers looks at the science of infection control, and asks how scientific research will be used in a new era of world development. Visit the website to watch a video interview with the editors of this issue.

untitledStochastic modelling and energy-efficient computing for weather and climate prediction
Editors: Tim Palmer, Peter Düben and Hugh McNamara

Being able to predict weather and climate is crucial if we are to be resilient to extremes of weather and climate. Although current models have impressive predictive power, their performance is far from perfect. This issue brings together weather and climate modellers with computer scientists to discuss the role of inexact and stochastic computation in weather and climate prediction. The papers provide the first steps towards a new synergism between software and hardware design, based firmly on the laws of physics.


What cost mitochondria? Maintenance and evolution of mtDNArstb_369_1646_cover_web
Editors: Duur Aanen, Johannes Spelbrink and Madeleine Beekman

Mitochondria are found in most eukaryotic cells, and have a range of roles such as energy production, cell signalling and cell growth. However it has also become clear that they have other more malignant effects, and have been implicated in ageing and diseases. Whilst some of these processes are now well understood at a molecular level, the papers in this issue approach the question from an evolutionary viewpoint to ask why these processes may exist, and how we might predict the role mitochondria play in certain diseases and ageing.

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