Featured Interviews> February 2011

Current Author Commentaries

In these interviews, scientists talk to ScienceWatch.com 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 2011

 
 

Garry Bruton

"My research is now focusing on poverty and how entrepreneurship can help to solve the issues of poverty, particularly for those that live on less than a $1.25 a day. The one sixth of the world’s population that lives on less than $1.25 a day has largely not changed over the last 25 years if we remove the improvement in China is removed. Thus, most world has made dramatic improvements in living standards for most of the world, yet the individuals living on $1.25 a day lives are largely unchanged. We seek to understan..."
Featured Scientist, February 2011

 

Xiaohui Fan

Xiaohui Fan is a Professor of Astronomy at the University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory and lead author of the highest cited article listed under the Top Topics Research Front Map for August 2010, titled: “Deep field surveys of galaxies” In his Podcast interview, he discusses this article: "Constraining the evolution of the ionizing background and the epoch of reionization with z similar to 6 quasars. II. A sample of 19 quasars," Fan, XH, et al., ASTRON J, 132:1, 117-36, JUL 2006.
Podcast Interview; MP3 ¦ WMA. February 2011

 

Jerry Glover

"A truly sustainable farm would produce as much as our current high-input farms, require little or no chemical inputs, provide habitat for wildlife, and conserve the health of the soil and water. And do all that for decades or longer. In our study, we identified a farming system that provides an example of what such a sustainable farm might look like and described its impacts on above- and below-ground organisms and soil and water quality. We also measured the fossil fuel requirements used in maintaining the production..."
Fast Breaking Paper, February 2011

 

Audun Jøsang

"The Slashdot reputation system directs and stimulates the massive collaborative effort of moderating thousands of postings every day. The system is constantly being tuned and modified and can be described as an ongoing experiment in search for the best practical way to promote quality postings, discourage noise and to make Slashdot as readable and useful as possible for a large community. Reputation systems are currently being used on a large number of e-commerce and social websites, but most are not as robust..."
Emerging Research Front, February 2011

 

Lewis Lanier

"Natural killer cells (NK cells) are a component of the immune system important for controlling infections and cancers. One of the great, unresolved issues surrounding NK cells is how they recognize and kill infected cells and tumor cells while sparing normal, healthy cells. In recent years several high-profile papers have proposed that only a subset of NK cells that express inhibitory receptors recognizing polymorphic major histocompatibility class I proteins that are present in the host become fully mature and..."
Fast Breaking Paper, February 2011

 
John Mekalanos

"Vaccination is a big hot issue now, and there’s not a lot of support from those same organizations to make authoritative statements about it, to say if a cholera vaccine was available we would recommend its use under these conditions. If everybody who landed on Haiti from a place with endemic cholera had been vaccinated, this disaster would not have occurred. As far as I’m concerned, this was a mistake made decades ago. Honestly I was in committee meetings where this was discussed and people said..."
Special Topic of Cholera, February 2011

 

Steven Paul

"Our paper addresses arguably the most important challenge facing the biopharmaceutical industry today—namely rapidly declining R&D productivity. The latter manifests itself in ever-increasing costs to discover and develop new medicines. We analyze R&D productivity in a highly quantitative manner and provide an explanation for this declining R&D productivity based on real-life data from a recent industry-wide benchmarking study of 13 top pharmaceutical companies. We also identify the key rate-limiting steps..."
Fast Breaking Paper, February 2011

 
Ian Snape

"There are many tens of thousands of cubic meters of petroleum-contaminated soil in Antarctica. There’ so much that it would be extremely expensive and environmentally damaging to dig up that soil and remove it or get it treated. In most developed, temperate, Arctic polar areas, people use bioremediation as a means of breaking down hydrocarbons. The bioremediation usually involves stimulation of microorganisms, often in conjunction with fossilization, which involves stirring the soil to promote..."
Special Topic of Earthquakes, February 2011

 
Flemming Videbaek on Brookhaven National Lab's BRAHMS Experiment

"BRAHMS stands for Broad Range Hadron Magnetic Spectrometers. When we were first getting ready to propose an experiment for RHIC, we had also talked with the physicists who were forming the STAR experiment—basically a group from Berkeley—and we decided to go our own way. The experiment we had worked on before at the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS) at Brookhaven was on the order of 50 or 60 people, and we felt this was a comfortable size for an experimental group. The idea, more or less, was to use..."
Special Topic of Hadron Colliders, February 2011

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