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Week of March 27, 2011

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"A human gut microbial gene catalogue established by metagenomic sequencing," by Junjie Qin and 53 others, Nature, 464(7285): 59-65, 4 March 2010.

[Authors' affiliations: 14 institutions worldwide]

Abstract: "To understand the impact of gut microbes on human health and well-being it is crucial to assess their genetic potential. Here we describe the Illumina-based metagenomic sequencing, assembly and characterization of 3.3 million non-redundant microbial genes, derived from 576.7 gigabases of sequence, from faecal samples of 124 European individuals. The gene set, similar to 150 times larger than the human gene complement, contains an overwhelming majority of the prevalent (more frequent) microbial genes of the cohort and probably includes a large proportion of the prevalent human intestinal microbial genes. The genes are largely shared among individuals of the cohort. Over 99% of the genes are bacterial, indicating that the entire cohort harbours between 1,000 and 1,150 prevalent bacterial species and each individual at least 160 such species, which are also largely shared. We define and describe the minimal gut metagenome and the minimal gut bacterial genome in terms of functions present in all individuals and most bacteria, respectively."

This 2010 report from Nature was cited 32 times in current journal articles indexed by Thomson Reuters during November-December 2010. During that two-month period, no other biology paper published in the last two years (aside from reviews) attracted a higher number of citations. In fact, of all non-review papers published during 2010, this one ranked among the top five most cited, according to citations tallied as of late December. In other words, this is clearly a paper that hit the ground running. Prior to the most recent bimonthly count, citations have accrued as follows:

September-October 2010: 28 citations
July-August 2010: 14
May-June 2010: 4
March-April 2010: 4

Total citations to date: 82

SOURCE: Hot Papers Database (Included with a subscription to the print newsletter Science Watch®, available from the Research Services Group of Thomson Reuters. Packaged on a CD that is mailed with each Science Watch issue, the Hot Papers Database contains data on hundreds of highly cited papers published during the last two years. User interface permits searching by author, organization, journal, field, and more. Total citations, as well as citations accrued during successive bimonthly periods, can be assessed and graphed.


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