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FEATURED INTERVIEWS

May 2009

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

Featured Interviews for May 2009:

Fred Berger and Pauline Jullien on Imprinted Gene Expression - Special Topic of Epigenetics

Excerpt from the interview: "...our study clearly showed that the maintenance DNA methyltransferase MET1 is responsible for silencing of the paternal allele of FIS2 during the vegetative life cycle, male gametogenesis, and development of the endosperm, the extra-embryonic tissues where imprinting takes place in plants. Thus, in this study..."
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Country Rankings in Space Science, 1999-2009 - Country Feature

Extracted from the Essential Science IndicatorsSM database of Clarivate Analytics, ScienceWatch.com presents a listing of the top 20 countries in Space Science. Rankings are listed by citations per paper—among nations that collected 10,000 or more citations during the period (January 1999 through February 28, 2009)—to reveal weighted impact.
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Daniel Arce Discusses the Success of Defence and Peace Economics - Featured Journal

Defence & Peace Economics

Excerpt from the interview: "Evaluations fluctuate, but we know that we have recently published some influential articles so the rise was not a surprise. In particular, articles by Frey and Luechinger (2003) and Faria (2005) on terrorism and Sambanis (2002) on civil war have been highly influential."
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Amit Goyal on High-Temperature Superconductors and Their Applications - Special Topic of High-Temperature Superconductors

Goyal

Excerpt from the interview: "...for over a decade, scientists worldwide have sought the means to produce such columnar defects in HTS materials without the expense and complexity of ionizing radiation. In this paper, we demonstrated that long, parallel, columnar defects similar to those mentioned above can be obtained using a simple process without..."
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Xiaofei He Talks About Face Recognition Using Laplacianfaces - Special Topic of Face Recognition

Xiaofei He

Excerpt from the interview: "Our paper is the first to introduce manifold learning techniques to the face recognition field. We were exploring the geometrical and topological structures through a graph model. We found a set of basis functions, called Laplacianfaces, which are linear approximations to the eigenfunctions of the Laplace-Beltrami operator..."
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Des Higgins on the CLUSTAL_X Windows Interface - Podcast

Higgins

Des Higgins discusses his Current Classics ( Apr. 2009) paper in Biology & Biochemistry entitled: "The CLUSTAL_X windows interface: flexible strategies for multiple sequence alignment aided by quality analysis tools," NUCL ACID RES 25[24]: 4876-82, Dec. 1997. Read a Fast Breaking Paper commentary from Des Higgins. Podcast added May 2009.
Listen: MP3 ¦ WMA

Zheng-Xiang Li on the Rodinia Assembly and Breakup - New Hot Paper

Zheng-Xiang Li

Excerpt from the interview: "This paper represents the final outcome of the UNESCO/IUGS-sponsored IGCP-project 440 "Rodinia Assembly and Break-up." It summarizes 17 years of concerted global efforts in testing the validity of the supercontinent Rodinia. It provides a self-consistent geodynamic model for the assembly, configuration..."
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MPI’s Benjamin List on Organic Asymmetric Catalysis  - Science Watch® Newsletter Interview

Excerpt from the interview: "Chemist Benjamin List of the Max Planck Institute discusses his research on asymmetric organic synthesis, a means of producing chiral molecules—that is, a specifically desired molecular arrangement, as opposed to its mirror-image opposite. List’s research, as reported in a highly cited 2000 paper, used the organic..."
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Florencio López de Silanes Molina on Law & Finance - Podcast

Florencio López-de-Silanes Molina

"Dr. Florencio López-de-Silanes Molina is a Professor of Finance and Scientific Director of the MSc in Corporate Finance at the EDHEC-Paris School of Economics in France. Here he discusses his Citation Classic paper: “Law and Finance,” as published in the Journal of Political Economy, 106[6]:1113-55, in December, 1998."
Podcast. Listen: MP3|WMA

Mario Raviglione on the Importance of TB Research in Modern Society- Special Topic of Tuberculosis

Mario Raviglione

Excerpt from the interview: "...we have better understanding of the disease epidemiology. The more we improve surveillance methods in countries, the more data we collect, the more countries themselves improve and report on TB, the better we get in terms of estimating the global burden. So now we’re more confident about the quality of what we’re saying..."
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Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa Discusses Countryside Biogeography in Latin America - Featured Scientist Interview

Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

Excerpt from the interview: "My work in the team was to provide all the deforestation analysis based on satellite analysis that went into the model, which ultimately demonstrated that deforestation was, in fact, not a factor in the disappearance of frogs in Monteverde. That led, in turn, to the whole theory of climate change and how changes in micro-temperature..."
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Richard Thomson on Patient Desires in Treatment Decisions - Fast Moving Front

Excerpt from the interview: "...one of the biggest challenges is the implementation of shared decision-making and decision support in routine practice, appropriate to the particular decision. This requires research to understand the factors that influence this implementation and it also requires research into shared decision-making in day to day practice..."
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Thought Leaders in the Unthinkable; Science Watch® Newsletter Analysis

A survey of bioterrorism research since 1999 reveals that the U.S. Army leads all other institutions in total citations, while The Institute for Genomic Research is tops by the measure of citations per paper. Highly cited papers include biochemical and genomic studies of anthrax, smallpox, tularemia, and other agents. Other papers examine methods for detecting pathogens by various technologies and discuss general issues of preparedness and emergency management.
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Erick Turner on the Selective Publication of Clinical Trial Results - Featured Paper, and New Hot Paper

Erick Turner

Excerpt from the interview: "Getting the FDA reviews on the newer drugs was relatively easy. But the challenge was for the older drugs, like Prozac, Zoloft, and Wellbutrin. All these had been approved prior to 1997, so those reviews are not posted on the FDA website. How did I get those reviews? I filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in 2005, but..."
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Spotlight on the Zoological Society of San Diego - Featured Institution

Zoological Society of San Diego

The Zoological Society of San Diego was recently named a Rising Star in the field of Plant & Animal Science in Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Clarivate Analytics. The Zoo's current record in this field includes 228 papers cited a total of 1,545 times between January 1, 1999 and February 28, 2009. In this first of a two-part series, ScienceWatch.com's Jennifer Minnick takes a virtual tour of the Zoo and its various research projects and conservation efforts.
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(Additional interviews/commentaries may be added during May 2009.)

               



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