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On page 692, Hugh S. C. Martin, Shantenu Jha, and Peter V. Coveney explore the use of two popular free energy calculation methodologies in a nucleotide–nanopore translocation system, using the α-hemolysin nanopore. The cover shows a cross-section of the protein pore αHL (green) with key features inside the pore interior including the wide inner chamber, a constriction about half way down the pore, followed by the transmembrane barrel that spans the lipid bilayer. The translocating molecule, in this example a polynucleotide (pink), is positioned being led down by the 3'-end.