Archive ScienceWatch



April 2009

In these interviews, scientists talk to and offer behind-the-scenes insights into their research: reflections on what led them to their chosen field, the motivation driving their work in a given direction, and the challenges encountered along on the way. These authors also offer their views on why their work has wielded particular influence in the scientific community, as indicated by Clarivate Analytics citation data, and on how research in their respective fields has progressed over time and will likely unfold in the future.

Featured interviews for April 2009 are listed below. To view featured interviews from past months/years, visit the Featured Interviews Main Menu.

Featured Interviews for April 2009:

Berkeley's Michael Barnett on the Universe - Podcast

Michael Barnett

Senior physicist and educator Michael Barnett is Head of the Particle Data Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, CA. Here he discussed the "Review of Particle Physics," biennially published book outlining the critical issues in physics that help to shape our understanding of the Universe.
Listen: MP3|WMA

Roland Brosch on His Work in Mycobacterial Pathogenomics - Special Topic of Tuberculosis

Roland Brosch

Excerpt from the interview: "Tuberculosis has had a huge impact on human history, and continues to claim millions of lives at the beginning of this 21st century. The emergence and spread of multi- or extensively drug resistant (MDR, XDR) strains of M. tuberculosis represent an additional threat. Thus, further research on this pathogen and..."
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Face Recognition Research, the Top 20 Institutions - Institution Feature


This month, presents a listing of the top 20 institutions which, according to our Special Topic on face recognition, attracted the highest total citations to their papers published on the topic in Clarivate Analytics-indexed journals.
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Daniel G. Gibson on Constructing a Synthetic Bacterial Genome - Fast Breaking Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "This paper demonstrates, for the first time, the construction of a synthetic bacterial genome, a critical step in our ambition to create a synthetic cell. The only completely synthetic genomes reported, prior to this work, have been from viruses; the 5.4 kb phiX genome, and the 7.5 kb poliovirus genome. The largest stretch of synthetic DNA that..."
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M. Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez on the Evolution of Coccolithophores - Fast Breaking Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "...recent debate about the long-term fate of increasing carbon dioxide (CO2) in the oceans and its effect: ocean acidification, has prompted questions about how marine organisms, particularly those that calcify, will adapt to these changes. While most studies have dealt with either laboratory observations or the geological record..."
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Geoffrey A. Ozin Prepares High-Quality Colloidal Crystal Films; Emerging Research Front


Excerpt from the interview: "Our work paved the way for other researchers to reliably prepare high-quality colloidal crystal films for various applications in diverse research areas. We have demonstrated major advances in preparation of colloidal crystal films in two important directions: quality of microspheres, where monodispersity was improved to below 2%..."
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Jonathon Phillips on Face Recognition Technology - Special Topic of Face Recognition

Jonathon Phillips

Excerpt from the interview: "One major advance in face recognition has been the development of graphics techniques for manipulating images of faces. These techniques include morphable models that allow a non-frontal image of a face to be transformed to a frontal image. A second area of progress is automatic processing of faces in video. With the availability of..."
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Gail Prins Discusses the Complexity of Gene-Environmental Interactions - Special Topic of Epigenetics Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "The major obstacle over the years has been convincing people that events during development could have an impact on prostate health over a lifetime. In particular, people have been skeptical that estrogen, a "female" steroid, could have an effect on the male prostate gland. The successes have been slowly accumulating evidence to..."
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Nir Tessler on the Use and Understanding of Semiconducting Molecules - Featured Scientist Interview

Nir Tessler

Excerpt from the interview: "In our group we have been working on extending the functionality of polymer-based devices from the visible to the NIR part of the spectrum by adding nanocrystals to the semiconducting polymer matrix. One of the obstacles was that the energy level alignment between conjugated polymers and nanocrystals of choice was not always..."
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Top 20 Countries in Engineering - Country Rankings

Leonardo DaVinci (self-portrait) has been described as the epitome of the artist/engineer.

A listing of the top 20 countries which, as of the latest bimonthly update of Essential Science IndicatorsSM, attracted the highest total citations to their papers published in Clarivate Analytics-indexed journals of Engineering over an 11-year period, (1998-December 31, 2008).
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Vadose Zone Journal - Featured Journal Interview

Vadose Zone Journal

Excerpt from the interview: "Vadose Zone Journal (VZJ) was launched in 2002, and its first published impact factor rating in 2007 was 1.56—a solid number in the geosciences disciplines—indicating that the scientific community was hungry for high-quality articles addressing gaps in vadose zone research issues. That being said..."
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Barry Wanner & Kirill Datsenko Discuss Making Mutations in E. coli - Featured Paper Interview


Excerpt from the interview: " of the key ways in which we do our work is basically to break a pathway—break something in a cell—and see what’s broken and how that affects the physiology or growth of the cell. This method was a way to target particular genes for interruption. Thirty years ago, when I started in this field, we would look for random mutations..."
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Emil Wolf Discusses 50 years of Coherence Research - Emerging Research Front


Excerpt from the interview: "The discovery reported in the paper provides a synthesis of two branches of optics, known as the theory of coherence and the theory of polarization of light. Until the publication of my paper, these two subjects had always been treated independently of each other. Prior to the invention of the laser, almost 50 years ago..."
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(Additional interviews/commentaries may be added during April 2009.)


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