The field of free radical biology and medicine continues to move at a tremendous pace, with a constant flow of ground-breaking discoveries. The following collection of papers in this issue of Biochemical Society Transactions highlights several key areas of topical interest, including the crucial role of validated measurements of radicals and reactive oxygen species in underpinning nearly all research in the field, the important advances being made as a result of the overlap of free radical research with the reinvigorated field of lipidomics (driven in part by innovations in MS-based analysis), the acceleration of new insights into the role of oxidative protein modifications (particularly to cysteine residues) in modulating cell signalling, and the effects of free radicals on the functions of mitochondria, extracellular matrix and the immune system. In the present article, we provide a brief overview of these research areas, but, throughout this discussion, it must be remembered that it is the availability of reliable analytical methodologies that will be a key factor in facilitating continuing developments in this exciting research area.

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