Archive ScienceWatch



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

Featured Interviews for January 2009:

Zhihong Chen on Her 2007 Physica E Paper - Special Topic of Graphene


Excerpt from the interview: "In our paper, we demonstrated one of the first graphene nano-ribbon devices with channel width down to 20nm and showed the possibility of opening up a band gap in this semi-metal material. We also discussed the impact of the ribbon edges on device transport. Opening a band gap, which can strongly impact the technological..."
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Despite Slide in World Share, U.S. Impact Still Looks Strong - Science Watch® Newsletter Analysis

Graphing and comparing the year-by-year percentage share of world scientific papers for the United States, the Asia Pacific region, and the European Union since 1993 indicates that the U.S. is continuing to lose world share, particularly to the collective Asian nations. Nevertheless, the citation impact of U.S. research remains strong when compared to world baseline figures in the main fields of science, particularly in physics, chemistry, and materials.
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Christopher Dye on the Epidemiology of Tuberculosis - Special Topic of Tuberculosis


Excerpt from the interview: "We know that around 1 in 10 new TB cases in former Soviet countries is multidrug resistant (MDR-TB); that is, resistant to (at least) the two main first-line drugs used in combination therapy, isoniazid and rifampicin. The numbers of multidrug-resistant cases are also high in India and China. Within the last year, patients have been found with..."
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C. Mel Wilcox on the Success of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology - Featured Journal

Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Excerpt from the interview: "I always knew that CGH was a high-quality publication that provided practical and applicable content for our physicians. What I didn’t know was how often the content was being cited. So, in that sense, I guess I was somewhat surprised by our first impact factor. Now that we have an impact factor, I’m curious to know how..."
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David S. Hibbett on A higher-level phylogenetic classification of the Fungi - New Hot Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "This article presented a comprehensive classification of the Fungi, based on recent molecular evolutionary studies. The article had over 60 authors, representing 13 nations. This paper is being cited because 1) Fungi represent a huge and tremendously important group of organisms, which impact human affairs through their activities..."
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Oded Hod Discusses Semiconducting Graphene Nanoribbons - Special Topic of Graphene


Excerpt from the interview: "Our paper presents the first calculation, based on screened-hybrid density functional theory, of the electronic and structural properties of semi-conducting graphene nanoribbons. Our findings reveal important differences between previous calculations, based on lower-level theories, and our more accurate results obtained..."
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Ove Hoegh-Guldberg on Coral Reefs Under Rapid Climate Change - New Hot Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "The paper focuses on the issue of coral reefs and climate change, synthesizing our current understanding of past, present, and future trajectories for these biologically diverse marine ecosystems. I believe that this paper has attracted a lot of attention given the importance of coral reefs to over 100 million people worldwide..."
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Mia Hubert, Peter Rousseeuw, & Karlien Vanden Branden Discuss ROBPCA - Fast Moving Front


Excerpt from the interview: "Our paper offers a solution to an important problem in statistics and data analysis: how to perform data reduction when the observations may be contaminated with outlying values. This problem is especially important for the analysis of high-dimensional data sets, such as spectral data in chemometrics and genetic data..."
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Kenneth J. Livak on Real-Time PRC - Podcast


Kenneth J. Livak is a Senior Scientific Fellow at the Fluidigm Corporation in San Francisco, whose general area of research is molecular genetics. He discusses his highly cited paper: "Analysis of relative gene expression data using real-time quantitative PCR and the 2-??CT method," (Livak KJ, et al., Methods 25[4]: 402-8, December 2001). Read an interview with Kenneth Livak and coauthor Thomas Schmittgen. Podcast added Jan. 2009.
Listen: MP3|WMA

G. Alan Marlatt Discusses Underage Drinking and Harm Reduction - Special Topic of Underage/College Drinking


Excerpt from the interview: "Nationally, on average, one out of every five college students is a frequent binge drinker. That means they’re getting drunk several times a month. Fifty-five percent have had at least one binge in the last 40 days. And a lot of students die every year from alcohol-related accidents and problems. NIAAA says 1,200 to 1,400 students die..."
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Andre Nel from UCLA - Podcast


Andre Nel is a tenured Professor and practicing allergist/immunologist at UCLA. He runs the Cellular Immunology Activation Laboratory in the Johnson Cancer Center at UCLA. He discusses his highly cited paper: "Toxic Potential of Materials at the Nanolevel," (Nel A, Xia T, Mädler L, Li N, Science 311 (5761): 622-27, February 3, 2006). Podcast added Jan. 2009. This was a Current Classics paper selection for Oct. 2008 (Multi.) Podcast added Jan. 2009.
Listen: MP3|WMA

Susumu Noda on His Photonic Crystals Research - Special Topic of Photonic Crystals


Excerpt from the interview: "Photonic crystals are a kind of nanostructures for light with a periodic refractive index distribution described above. A photonic bandgap, which blocks photons in certain wavelengths, is formed as an analogy of solid-state crystals. By controlling the photonic crystal structures, novel manipulations of photons in all aspects of optical ..."
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Steve Porcella on Host and Pathogen Genomics - Featured Scientist


Excerpt from the interview: "My main focus is genomics, both at the host and pathogen level. Many of the investigators that we support are specifically interested in either the host response to infection or the pathogen response during the infectious process, and sometimes both at the same time. We also support those working on genetic or immunological..."
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Vera Ralevic on Purine Receptors; Featured Paper Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "The main aim of this review was to categorize some of the extensive literature on endogenous purine receptors according to the new nomenclature developed around cloned receptors. In the 10 years before the review was published, 16 out of 19 different receptors for purines and pyrimidines were cloned, including all four..."
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Ulrich S. Schubert Discusses Click Chemistry - New Hot Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "The article summarizes and critically discusses the use of click chemistry in macromolecular science, which has found widespread adaptation within just a few years. Doing chemistry with large macromolecular building blocks provides a major challenge in purification if the transformation does not..."
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Russell Taylor & Dan Stoianovici Discuss Medical Robotics in Computer-Integrated Surgery - Fast Moving Front


Excerpt from the interview: "This survey paper provides a broad overview of medical robot systems used in surgery. As such, it provided a very useful guide to researchers wishing to enter the field. Although intended for an engineering audience, it is written in a way that should make it accessible to clinicians and non-specialized readers as well...."
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Most-Cited Paper From the Top 20 Countries, 1998-August 31, 2008 - Country Feature

Last month presented its annual "Top 20" listings of countries (across all 22 fields), which as of the latest bimonthly update of Essential Science IndicatorsSM, achieved particular distinction based on their papers published in Clarivate Analytics-indexed journals from January 1998 through August 31, 2008, a 10-year plus 8-month period. This month we present the highest-cited paper from each of the top 20 countries. In this ranking, all of the paper's authors are based in the given country, as opposed to multinational collaborations. Addresses have been truncated.
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Economics & Business at the University of Leeds - Institutional Interview

University of Leeds

Excerpt from the interview: "There has been a deliberate plan at the University level to move up the international rankings, and research has been a major focus of this effort. At the level of the Business School, initiatives have been taken to continue to provide a good research environment, to ensure adequate study leave, and to reward researchers in terms of..."
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(Additional interviews/commentaries may be added during January 2009.)


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