Archive ScienceWatch



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

Featured Interviews for February 2009:

Ian F. Akyildiz, & Tommaso Melodia Discuss Their "Wireless Multimedia Sensor Network"  - Fast Breaking Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "after discussing futuristic applications of WMNSs, we analyze the state of the art in algorithms, protocols, and hardware for wireless multimedia sensor networks, and discuss open research issues in detail. Furthermore, we discuss architectures for WMSNs, along with their advantages and drawbacks. We believe that our paper is and will be an important resource for researchers interested in this field..."
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Regina G. Belz on Allelopathy in Crop/Weed Interactions - Fast Breaking Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "The prospect of "crops that fight weeds," in terms of crop plants that exude natural herbicides to suppress competing weeds, is attracting increased attention. The potential economic and environmental benefits may be striking if this trait is exploited in much the same way as defense mechanisms..."
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EBI's Ewan Birney: Quest for the Genomic Dragons - Science Watch® Newsletter Interview

Excerpt from the interview: "ENCODE was one of a series of projects that followed on the human genome project. At the end of 2003, people knew the human genome was going to be finished; they knew the path forward for the mouse and rat genomes. There was a kind of logical follow-up for other important organisms. The question was, what else do we need to..."
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Richard C. Chiverrell discusses Hillslope Instability - Fast Breaking Papers


Excerpt from the interview: "The paper examines an issue identified in the geomorphological development of upland northwest Britain, in which there appears to have been a significant increase in hillslope instability in the last 3,000 years. The paper presents new data that place this interpretation on a firmer chronological footing, through the wider application of radiocarbon dating to the alluvial fan sediments that have accumulated at the base of hillslope gully networks. ..."
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Liming Dai: Working With Gecko-Foot Hairs - Fast Breaking Paper Comment


Excerpt from the interview: "In our paper, we demonstrated that vertically-aligned single-walled carbon nanotube arrays can be used for a successful synthetic approach to mimic gecko foot-hairs to develop advanced dry adhesives with fairly reversible semiconducting behaviors under load and provide an excellent thermal resistance, due to the unique..."
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Paul J. DeMott on African dust aerosols as atmospheric ice nuclei - Emerging Research Front Comment


Excerpt from the interview: "...the paper highlighted a growing recognition that mineral dusts may play complex roles in affecting climate, due not only to their impacts on radiative transfer but also due to their action as favored nuclei for forming warm and cold clouds. Our paper confirmed, through actual airborne measurements, the particular..."
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Stephen Gordon on the Genetics of Tuberculosis - Special Topic of Tuberculosis


Excerpt from the interview: "This paper described a range of gene-deletion events from the pathogens that cause tuberculosis, a.k.a. the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex. The work gave us our first insight into how this complex of bacteria has evolved over time, uncovered molecular markers for the tubercle bacilli, and identified..."
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Mauro Guillen on the Economic and Social Aspects of Globalization - Featured Scientist Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "My research is always international in nature. I develop theory and test it with international, cross-national, or comparative data. I am primarily interested in how country-level institutions affect economic and business issues, and how globalization is changing country-level institutions and dynamics. I have explored a number..."
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Metabolic Engineering ; Greg Stephanopoulos on the Journal's Growing Impact in the Field - Journal Interview

Metabolic Engineering

Excerpt from the interview: "The field of metabolic engineering began to emerge in the early 1990s with the advent of recombinant DNA technology and the realization that microbes could be genetically engineered to become, in essence, little chemical factories for the production of fuels and chemicals. However, the idea of engineering microbes for fuels..."
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Pei-Ming Ho, Yosuke Imamura, & Yutaka Matsuo Revisit M2 to D2 - Fast Breaking Paper Comment

Excerpt from the interview: "Superstring theory is the only candidate for the theory of everything. It is also the only theory that admits a consistent perturbative formulation of quantum gravity. People used to think that there are five different superstring theories, but it was later realized, through a web of dualities, that all superstring theories are unified in a single theory, called M theory..."
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Kostya Novoselov on His Work with Graphene - Special Topic of Graphene

Konstantin Novoselov

Excerpt from the interview: "The field is developing extremely fast. Considering that the field is only four years old, we’ve made enormous progress. Virtually every month, it seems, someone comes up with an entirely new observation and so a completely new area of research on graphene. There’s also ever-increasing interest from industry..."
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David Spiegelhalter; Discusses Bayesian Methods for Data Analysis - Featured Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "Bayesian methods for data analysis allow great flexibility for handling complex problems and including multiple sources of evidence, but had been hampered for years by computational problems. Around 1990 it was realized that simulation-based techniques could be adapted, and this led to an explosion of activity, and we developed..."
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Top 20 Countries in Economics & Business - Country Profile

A listing of the top 20 countries which, as of the latest bimonthly update of Essential Science Indicators, attracted the highest total citations to their papers published in Clarivate Analytics-indexed journals of Economics & Business over the 10-year + 10-month period, (1998-October 31, 2008). These countries are of a pool of 81 countries comprising the top 50% ranked by total citation count in this field.
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Tuberculosis Research, Top 20 Institutions - Institution Feature

Institut Pasteur

In this article, presents a listing of the top 20 institutions ranked by total citations which, according to our Special Topic on tuberculosis (TB), attracted the highest total citations to their papers published on the topic in Clarivate Analytics-indexed journals.
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Willem Vos on His Photonic Crystals Research - Special Topic of Photonic Crystals


Excerpt from the interview: "A photonic crystal is like a crystal of atoms—silicon, for instance—but magnified 10,000 times. The nice thing about colloidal crystals is they have just the right length scales for these photonic crystals. You can make really big crystals, fairly easily; you don’t need any complicated fabrication infrastructure. The downside, though, is that photonic..."
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(Additional interviews/commentaries may be added during February 2009.)


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