Archive ScienceWatch



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

Interviews and Features for October 2009:

Terry Allen & Pieter Cullis on Drug Delivery Systems - Emerging Research Fronts

Terry M. Allen

Excerpt from the interview: "The paper summarizes the state of the art, in 2004, for drug delivery systems (DDS) and provides examples of several DDS that have received clinical approval. At that time, there was increasing publicity about, and interest, in nanomedicines, and the field was in a stage of exponential growth. It appears to have..."
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Tim Behrens on the Imaging of Brain Structure and Function - Featured Scientist

Using probabilistic diffusion tractography (Behrens et al. MRM 2003) we were able to segment the human thalamus on the basis of its connectivity to the cortex (Behrens et al. Nat Neurosci 2003). We propose that the resulting subdivisions correspond to groups of nuclei and have used this approach to produce a probabilistic atlas of the human thalamus based on its cortical connectivity (Johansen-Berg et al. Cereb Cortex 2004). Collaborators: Mark Woolrich, Emma Sillery, Katie Sheehan, Steve Smith, Paul Matthews (Oxford) Alan Thomspon, Olga Cicarelli, Claudia Wheeler-Kingshott, Phil Boulby, Gareth Barker (UCL, London).

Excerpt from the interview: "At Oxford I studied information engineering and machine learning for my MEng degree. I was interested in doctoral research, but could not settle on an area. Then I became attracted to brain imaging by an ebullient person, Professor Sir Michael Brady, who is a leading figure in the disciplines of artificial intelligence, medical image..."
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Pengcheng Dai Discusses Superconductors - Podcast

Pengcheng Dai

Pengcheng Dai, Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, discusses his Current Classics Multidisciplinary paper for June 2009: "Magnetic order close to superconductivity in the iron-based layered LaO1-xFxFeAs systems," as published in the journal Nature 453[7197], 899-902, Jun 12 2008.
Listen: MP3 ¦ WMA

A Look at the INAF's Citation Achievements in Space Science - Featured Institution


Excerpt from the interview: "Funding for research, in particular for fundamental (as opposed to applied) research is dramatically shrinking in Italy. There is a growing consensus that the fewer resources should be distributed based upon scientific merit. Hence the effort by INAF scientists to continue producing first-class research results..."
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Journal of Physical Chemistry C - Featured Journal Interviews

Journal of Physical Chemistry C

Excerpt from the interview: "The dramatic growth of physical chemistry at the end of the 20th century led to the split of the Journal of Physical Chemistry into parts A and B in 1997. Since 1997, several areas of physical chemistry have emerged and have been experiencing significant growth, including studies on nanomaterials and nanostructures, optical..."
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Oliver C. Mullins & Alan G. Marshall: Building a New Field "Petroleomics" - Fast Breaking Paper

Oliver C. Mullins

Excerpt from the interview: "In our paper, we utilize many different techniques to obtain a robust value of asphaltene molecular weight. In particular, we show the four different techniques of measuring molecular diffusion and six different methods of mass spectroscopy are now all yielding comparable results for asphaltene molecular weight..."
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Map of Science: Nanoscience

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Excerpt from the feature: "This map of Nanoscience is based on research-front data for the six-year period ending in April 2009. The map shows the major component areas of the field 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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National Rankings in Computer Science, 1999-June 30, 2009 - Country Feature

Excerpt from the feature: "Extracted from the Essential Science Indicators SM database from Clarivate Analytics, presents a listing of the top 20 countries in Computer Sciences. Rankings are listed by citations per paper—among nations that collected 5,000 or more citations during the period (January 1999 through June 30, 2009)—to reveal weighted impact..."
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Spotlight on Ohio State University - Featured Institution

The Ohio State University

Excerpt from the feature: "Of the fields in which OSU ranks in the top 1%, it ranks among the top 100 institutions in nine fields (Clinical Medicine, Biology & Biochemistry, Engineering, Environment & Ecology, Microbiology, Immunology, Materials Science, Pharmacology & Toxicology, and Computer Science), the top 50 in seven fields (Physics..."
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Richard Stadler Discusses Acrylamide and the Food Industry - Featured Paper

Richard Stadler

Excerpt from the interview: "Acrylamide was first discovered in food in April 2002 by the Swedish National Food Authority that reported the presence of acrylamide in certain types of food cooked at high temperatures. The food industry was of course very concerned at this discovery and took this finding very seriously. Thus, all our efforts were focused..."
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Andrew Strong, Igor Moskalenko & Olaf Reimer: Exploration of the Milky Way Galaxy - Emerging Research Fronts

Excerpt from the interview: "Among these problems are indirect searches for dark matter, the origin and propagation of cosmic rays, particle acceleration in putative cosmic ray sources—such as supernova remnants—and the interstellar medium, cosmic rays in other galaxies and the role they play in galactic evolution, studies of our local..."
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Isei Tanida - se Title Case Here for This Text in All Instances - Special Topic of Autophagy

Isei Tanida

Excerpt from the interview: "I majored in Biology at the University of Tokyo, where I received my Bachelor of Science degree in 1987. I also did my graduate work at the University of Tokyo, earning my Master of Science degree in Biology in 1989, and my Ph.D. in 1997. My research career started in 1989 at the Tonen Corporation's Central Research Laboratory..."
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Alan Thompson's Current Classic Paper on MS - Podcast

Alan J. Thompson

Alan J. Thompson, Director of the University College London Institute of Neurology, in London, UK, discusses his June 2009 Current Classics article from the field of Neuroscience & Behavior: "Recommended diagnostic criteria for multiple sclerosis: Guidelines from the International Panel on the Diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis," as published in the journal Annals of Neurology 50[1], 121-27, Jul 2001.
Listen: MP3 ¦ WMA


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