Archive ScienceWatch



October 2008

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 October 2008 are listed below. To view featured interviews from past months/years, visit the Featured Interviews Main Menu.

Featured Interviews for October 2008:

Australia; Featured Country Profile


According to Essential Science Indicators, among the 148 top-performing countries in all fields, Australia ranked #11 for citations (2,662,008), #9 for papers (261,001), and #25 (10.20) for citations per paper. This feature includes rankings in all fields for Australia.
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Paolo Casali on the Citation Record of Autoimmunity - Featured Journal Interview


According to a recent analysis of Essential Science IndicatorsSM from Clarivate Analytics, the journal Autoimmunity is having a growing impact in the field of Immunology. Its current record in this field includes 731 papers cited a total of 4,600 times. In this interview , correspondent Gary Taubes talks with Editor-in-Chief Dr. Paolo Casali about Autoimmunity's history and citation record.
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Angel Borja; Working with the European Water Framework Directive - Fast Breaking Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "In 2000 we developed and published in Marine Pollution Bulletin an index of quality—a Marine Biotic Index (AMBI)—which has since been applied to different anthropogenic impacts in many geographical areas—throughout the European Union, Uruguay, Brazil, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, China, the USA, Mexico..."
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Marcella Calfon from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston - Podcast


This is a Podcast Interview Marcella Calfon is the lead author of a citation classic article on the protein IRE 1. Here she discusses her career and research in the field of cardiovascular physiology. She has been named a Current Classics scientist (Multi.) for Apr. 2008.
Listen: MP3|WMA

Massimo Filippi Discusses His Multiple Sclerosis Research - Special Topic of Multiple Sclerosis Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "In this paper, we assessed the effect of interferon beta-1a on the occurrence of relapses in patients after the first clinical episode of central nervous system involvement and brain MRI lesions; these patients are at high risk of conversion to clinically definite MS. Patients were randomly assigned to interferon beta-1a 22 mcg or placebo..."
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Rolando Herrero Discusses HPV Research in Costa Rica  - Special Topic of Human Papillomavirus Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "...we have team of more than 100 people that is fully dedicated to research on cervical cancer. We have trained scientists, epidemiologists, physicians, microbiologists, molecular biologists, and statisticians. The Guanacaste Project is a large research center, fully dedicated to HPV and cervical cancer. It is a ..."
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Daniel E. Ho, Kosuke Imai, Gary King, & Elizabeth Stuart on Matching Methods; Fast Breaking Paper

Daniel E. Ho

Excerpt from the interview: "Easy-to-use matching methods have been recognized as offering one way to avoid some statistical modeling assumptions, but crucial results in this fast-growing literature have been grossly misinterpreted. We show how to avoid these misinterpretations through a new unified approach to causal inference..."
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Yasumasa Iwatani & Judith G. Levin on The Human Protein APOBEC3G - Fast Breaking Paper


Excerpt from the interview: "The global AIDS pandemic continues to endanger the health of people worldwide and it is now estimated that 40 million people are currently infected with HIV. Research on A3G is critical for developing new antiviral strategies to combat this devastating disease. To achieve this goal, it is urgent that we obtain a more detailed..."
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Jonathan Knight on His Photonic Crystals Work - Special Topic of Photonic Crystals Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "The paper demonstrated that one could design and fabricate optical fibers with properties which had previously been unobtainable. We proved experimentally that a very simple model of the fibers gave reliable predictions of their properties. The paper had a big impact because it showed that very simple physics..."
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Giovanni Onida, Lucia Reining & Angel Rubio on electronic excitations - Emerging Research Front


Excerpt from the interview: "This paper is focused on the description of excited state properties, by further developing and uniting two different previously existing theoretical approaches. Namely, we have established the bridge between Many-Body Perturbation Theory (MBPT) and Time-Dependent Density Functional Theory (TDDFT) to calculate the..."
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Robert M. Plenge on Rheumatoid Arthritis - Fast Breaking Paper

Robert M. Plenge

Excerpt from the interview: "...our study represents one of the first genome-wide association study (GWAS) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The second is that two independent alleles at a single locus (6q23/TNFAIP3) were identified that contribute to risk of one disease, in this case, RA. This is an emerging theme in genetic studies. Third, we investigated...."
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Art Ragauskas Discusses Advances in Biofuels Research - Special Topic of Biofuels Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "Our paper recognized that the development of sustainable, secure, and environmentally compatible energy generation would become the research challenge for our generation. Furthermore, the scope and breadth of this global challenge required a multidisciplinary approach focused on creating a sustainable world in which energy..."
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David Reznick: Effect of Extrinsic Mortality on the Evolution of Senescence in Guppies - Emerging Research Front


Excerpt from the interview: "This paper was a comparative study of aging in fish derived from natural populations that experience differences in mortality rate. I looked at populations that either do or do not live with predators and have shown in earlier work that those that live with predators suffer higher mortality rates. Evolutionary theory predicts that they..."
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Professor of Genetics Jen Sheen on Arabidopsis HXK1 - Emerging Research Front


Excerpt from the interview: "This paper provides the first conclusive genetic and biochemical evidence that a specific Arabidopsis hexokinase (HXK1) acts as glucose sensor and integrates nutrient, light, and hormonal signaling to modulate plant growth, a fundamental problem linked to many areas of plant research...."
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Osamu Terasaki on His Mesoporous Materials Research - Special Topic of Mesoporous Materials Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "...previous method described in Nature in 2000, we solve the structure with the help of gas adsorption data, therefore we can solve only after the surfactant is removed. Now we have proposed a way to solve the structure and to provide pore volume and surface area with the surfactant intact. That means we can solve it in its..."
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The 20 Most-Cited Institutions in Computer Science, 1998-2008; Institution Feature

Keyboard and finger

This month, presents a listing of the top 20 institutions which attracted the highest total citations to their papers published in Thomson Reuters-indexed Computer Science journals. These institutions are the top 20 out of a pool of 321 institutions comprising the top 1% ranked by total citation count in this field.
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The 20 Most-Cited Papers in Environment & Ecology, 1998-2008; Paper Feature presents a listing of the top 20 Highly Cited Papers in the field of Environment & Ecology, as of the third bimonthly update of Essential Science Indicators (January 1, 1998-June 30, 2008). These papers are the top 20 out of a pool of 2,358 papers comprising the top 1% ranked by total citation count in this field.
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Stanford's Robert Tibshirani on Significance Analysis of Microarrays - Science Watch® Newsletter Edition Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "...the microarray allows us to measure the expression of all the genes in the human genome in a cell with one assay. So, suppose I take 10 patients with breast cancer and 10 normals, and then take a sample of their breast tissue and measure the expression of all the genes in those breast cells. My data then consists of something..."
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Jim Woodgett on the Role of Signaling Pathways in Disease - Featured Scientist Interview


Excerpt from the interview: "...I cloned the GSK-3 genes in 1990 and within two weeks of that publication two other papers appeared from fly geneticists who'd cloned a key gene involved in developmental patterning. The sequence showed their gene was GSK-3. That was our first clue that there was more to this kinase..."
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(Additional interviews/commentaries will be added during October 2008)


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