The five hottest biology papers of 2009

Which papers made the biggest splash this year? linkurl:ScienceWatch,;http://www.sciencewatch.com/ a website that tracks and analyzes trends in basic science research, compiles bimonthly lists of the 10 most cited papers. From those lists, The Scientist pulled the five papers in biology published in the last two years which were some of the most cited papers in 2009. The two topics that dominate the top five papers this year: genomics and stem cells.(*All citation data, both ours and that of

By | December 17, 2009

Which papers made the biggest splash this year? linkurl:ScienceWatch,;http://www.sciencewatch.com/ a website that tracks and analyzes trends in basic science research, compiles bimonthly lists of the 10 most cited papers. From those lists, The Scientist pulled the five papers in biology published in the last two years which were some of the most cited papers in 2009. The two topics that dominate the top five papers this year: genomics and stem cells.
(*All citation data, both ours and that of ScienceWatch, are from ISI.)
Stack of journals
Image: flicker/meviola
5. A M. Wernig, et al., "In vitro reprogramming of fibroblasts into a pluripotent ES-cell-like state," Nature 448: 318-24, 2007.
Citations this year: 237
Total citations to date: 512
Findings: Scientists successfully performed somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), producing stem cell lines and cloned animals for the first time using fertilized mouse eggs. linkurl:This paper;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53272/ consistently ranked in the top 10 most cited papers in 2009, according to ScienceWatch. 4. E. Birney, et al., "Identification and analysis of functional elements in 1% of the human genome by the ENCODE pilot project, "Nature, 447: 799-816, 2007.
Citations this year: 267
Total citations to date: 618
Findings: The ENCODE project -- ENCODE stands for the ENCyclopedia Of DNA Elements -- set out to identify all functional elements in the human genome. After examining one percent of the genome, linkurl:the paper;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53280/ revealed several new insights about how information encoded in the DNA comes to life in a cell. 3. A. Barski, et al., "High-resolution profiling of histone methylations in the human genome," Cell, 129: 823-37, 2007.
Citations this year: 299
Total citations to date:: 560
Findings: linkurl:This study;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/53316/ looked at how histone modifications influence gene expression in more detail than previous attempts. Using a powerful sequencing tool called Solexa 1G, the researchers mapped more than 20 million DNA sequences associated with specific forms of histones, finding there were differences in methylation patterns between stem cells and differentiated T cells. 2. K.A. Frazer, et al., "A second generation human haplotype map of over 3.1 million SNPs," Nature, 449: 854-61, 2007.
Citations this year: 389
Total citations to date: 588
Findings: Since the sequencing of the human genome in 2003, the International HapMap Project has explored single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) -- differences in a single letter of the DNA -- to study how these small variations affect the development of diseases and the body's response to pathogens and drugs. HapMap I, the original report, placed one SNP at roughly every 5,000 DNA letters. The newest map, featured in linkurl:this paper,;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/40507/ sequenced an additional 2 million SNPs, increasing the map's resolution to one SNP per kilobase. The additional detail allows scientists to more closely investigate patterns in SNP differences, especially in hotspot regions, or concentrated stretches of DNA. 1. K. Takahashi, et al., "Induction of pluripotent stem cells from adult human fibroblasts by defined factors," Cell, 131: 861-72, 2007.
Citations this year: 520
Total citations to date: 886
Findings: This work from Shinya Yamanaka's lab in Japan was the first to demonstrate that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells can be generated from adult human dermal fibroblasts. Previous efforts by the team showed that iPS cells could be derived from mouse somatic cells. This linkurl:paper;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53873/ was an easy top pick, receiving the most citations this year, according to ScienceWatch.
**__Related stories:__*** linkurl:First pages of regulation;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53280/
[13th June 2007]*linkurl:Fertilized eggs yield stem cells;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/53272/
[6th June 2007]*linkurl:Ethnicity tied to gene expression;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/40507/
[9th January 2007]

Comments

Avatar of: DUNCAN JACKSON

DUNCAN JACKSON

Posts: 24

December 17, 2009

err... the headline of the 'hottest papers of 2009' would be better replaced with 'hottest papers of 2007'. It seems a bit random picking papers from last two years since ones from the end of 2008 won't even be a year old. I would really be interested to know the most cited papers in science this year, since they are the hottest. It would give us a better insight into where the research is focussed.
Avatar of: Victoria Stern

Victoria Stern

Posts: 1

December 17, 2009

Thanks for your comment -- indeed, the papers we list here are from 2007. Since it generally takes a while for papers to accrue citations, and since it's not representative to compare citations in a paper published, say, in January 2009, to one published in November 2009, it's difficult to meaningfully rank the top citations for papers published this year. We've therefore chosen to focus on recent papers mostly highly cited this year, as a marker of the most active fields of research in life science.
Avatar of: Sergio Stagnaro

Sergio Stagnaro

Posts: 59

December 18, 2009

There is a general agreement among Authors on the hottest biology papers selected by ScienceWatch, in a worthy manner, in spite of date of their publication.However, in my opinion, regardess of biology field, date of publication (on paper or internet), and number of citations by Authors, we have to consider as really outstanding a paper, which help significantly in ameliorate mankind health. For instance, notwithstanding thousands of articles, published in famous peer-reviews, CAD and Cancer continue to be today's serious, deadly, growing epidemics. Well! I put this question: "A simple, brief LETTER illustrating CLINICAL methods, easy and quick to bedside applying,reliable in detecting since birth individuals predisposed to CAD and/or Cancer, allowing to localize precisely in every biological systems its Congenital Real Risk of these disorders, is or is not a paramount LETTER? Not to speak of the possibility to treat such as predisposition to CAD and/or Cancer successfully in the majority of cases. \n

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