Archive ScienceWatch



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

Interviews and Features for November 2009:

Miguel Araújo Discusses the Effects of Climate Change on Biodiversity - Special Topic of Climate Change

Miguel Araújo

Excerpt from the interview: "My research is driven by three unifying questions: 1) how did past climate changes affect biodiversity? 2) how might current and future environmental changes affect biodiversity? 3) how can biodiversity be conserved given current and future challenges? To address these questions I use large climate and species distributions databases..."
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Gustavo Bruzual & Stéphane Charlot on Understanding the Universe - Fast Moving Front

Top: Gustavo Bruzual, bottom: Stéphane Charlot

Excerpt from the interview: "Our paper provides interested users with a tool to interpret the spectral energy distributions of stellar populations in galaxies, from the Milky Way all the way to the most distant galaxies discovered in the universe. The evolution in time of the light emitted by stars in a galaxy or a star cluster is a valuable clue to understanding..."
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Lorenzo Cerretani on the Complexity of Virgin Olive Oil  - Featured Scientist

Lorenzo Cerretani

Excerpt from the interview: " Olive oil, and more correctly virgin olive oil, is a very complex matrix constituted mainly of triglycerides (>98%), although minor components are the most interesting. This fraction contains some molecules (i.e. phenolic compounds, tocopherols, and squalene) that are interesting in terms of their potential..."
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Turning Up the Heat on Climate Change - Special Topic

Excerpt from the article: "According to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)1, which was completed in 2007, the observed increases in temperature around the globe are more than likely due to human activities, particularly with regard to greenhouse gas emissions, and the warming and consequent..."
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Climate Change Research - Featured Analyses

To assess research into climate change and global warming over the last decade, Science Watch examined some 28,000 pertinent papers published between 1999 and the spring of 2009. Among institutions, the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the Smithsonian Institution distinguished themselves in terms of citation impact. The featured highly cited researchers represent not only climate science but such specialties as marine science, geography, and evolutionary biology.
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Patrice Codogno Discusses His Autophagy Research -Special Topic of Autophagy

Patrice Codogno

Excerpt from the interview: While studying the intracellular trafficking of N-linked glycoproteins in human colon cancer cells, my team’s studies revealed slight trimming of high-mannose glycans in the complex glycans in undifferentiated cells, but not in differentiated cells. Lysosomal inhibitors and 3-methyladenine, an inhibitor of autophagy..."
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Stephen Woodward on the Success of Forest Pathology - Featured Journal

Forest Pathology

Excerpt from the interview: "Forest Pathology was born in 1971, as the European Journal of Forest Pathology, a year after a small group of prominent European forest pathologists developed the idea for the journal during a meeting in Germany. The first editor-in-chief was Professor Peter Schütt of the University of Munich. The editorial board..."
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Bridget K. Hamre on the Classroom Assessment Scoring System - Fast Moving Front

Bridget Hamre

Excerpt from the interview: "This paper came out at a time when there was renewed interest in understanding the ways in which classrooms and teachers can contribute to positive outcomes for students. Despite a lot of evidence in the developmental literature about the importance of children’s relationships and interactions with adults in early childhood..."
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UPMC’s Thomas V. Inglesby On Securing Biosecurity - Science Watch® Newsletter Interview

Thomas Inglesby

Excerpt from the interview: "Thomas V. Inglesby, deputy director of the Center for Biosecurity of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, discusses recent efforts to prepare for biological threats, both natural and human-made. Making the country resilient to such threats, via accelerated development of vaccines, anti-viral medications, and other..."
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Country Profile of Ireland, 1999-August 31, 2009


According to Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Clarivate Analytics, among the 149 top-performing countries in all fields, Ireland ranked #35 for citations (399,211), #39 for papers (38,841), and #29 (10.28) for citations per paper. Average citation rates are across all nations for all papers published by field. Time period: 1999-August 31, 2009.
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Ronald L. Klueh Discusses Developing Improved High-Temperature Steels - Fast Moving Front

Ronald L. Klueh

Excerpt from the interview: "Engineers and designers of conventional fossil-fired power-generation plants constantly push for increased efficiency in an effort to produce more power with less pollution. To increase efficiency, higher operating temperatures are required. In the case of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion power plants, not only are high..."
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Zhenfeng Liu on Light-Harvesting Complex of Photosystem II - Podcast

Zhenfeng Liu

Excerpt from the interview: "Zhenfeng Liu is currently a research associate and postdoctoral scholar in the Rees lab at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute of the California Institute of Technology. He is lead author of the Top Topics paper selected from the field of Plant & Animal Sciences for the month of June 2009: “Crystal structure of spinach major..."
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Map of Science: Global - Research Fronts Map

Excerpt from the feature: "This map of is based on research-front data for the six-year period ending in June 2009. The maps shows the major component areas of fields linked together in a network based on the same principles as our research-front maps showing highly cited papers. To create a field map, we first identify all research fronts in..."
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Krzysztof Palczewski Discusses His Research on G Protein-Coupled Receptors  - Featured Paper

Krzysztof Palczewski

Excerpt from the interview: "We were always interested in molecular detail of vision, namely the understanding of proteins, protein interactions, and signal transduction involved in eyesight at a structural level. We'd been working for many years on different proteins of visual signal transduction. It wasn't until a very talented post-doc from Japan came..."
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Peter Palese on H1N1 Flu, Past and Present - Special Topic of H1N1

Peter Palese

Excerpt from the interview: This is literally the result of more than 10 years of work. My lab was the first one to develop a system that allows changing the genome of an influenza virus. So why is that important? In order to study influenza virus or other viruses, you would like to change a particular amino acid and then look for whether that change..."
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Steven Phillips and His Colleagues on the Maxent Species-Distribution Model - Special Topic of Climate Change

Steven Phillips

Excerpt from the interview: "Our paper introduced a mathematically rigorous method (Maxent) for modeling species geographic distributions, based on known occurrences and environmental (especially climatic) predictor variables. Applying such models to predicted future climatic conditions enables prediction of climate-change impact on individual species..."
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Adam G. Riess on the Hubble Space Telescope - Podcast

Adam G. Reiss

Excerpt from the interview: "Adam G. Riess, Prof. of Physics and Astronomy at the Johns Hopkins University and a Senior member of the Science Staff at the Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, discusses his 2004 Astrophysical Journal paper, "Type Ia supernova discoveries at z > 1 from the Hubble Space Telescope: Evidence for past deceleration and constraints on dark energy evolution..."

Hans R. Schöler on Pluripotent Stem Cells - New Hot Paper

Hans R. Schöler. Photo: MPI Muenster/Sarah Eick

Excerpt from the interview: "Tremendous debate has arisen in both the scientific community and the general public over the past decade regarding the derivation and use of human embryonic stem cells. Though the derivation of human embryonic stem cells is fraught with ethical considerations, the potential application of these cells in areas..."
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