Stem cell density highest in Israel

Israeli scientists published most stem cell articles per capita since 2000, although US produced most in total

Mar 21, 2006
Ned Stafford
Israeli scientists are the most prolific authors on a per capita basis of articles published in scientific journals related to stem cell research, with the US lagging in sixth place, and the UK falling in seventh place, according to a recently published study by the Central Library of the Research Center Jülich in Germany.Raphael Ball, director of Research Center Jülich's Central Library and an author of the study, told The Scientist that the strong showing on a per capita basis of Israel and other small nations indicates a strong national commitment for stem cell research, as well as good use of scientific and financial resources. "It could be that the efficiency in the US and other major (stem cell) nations is not as high as it could be," Ball said.From 2000-2004, Israeli scientists published 113 articles for each 1 million citizens, followed by Sweden with 82 articles for each 1 million citizens. Switzerland was next with 76 articles, followed by the Netherlands and Austria, according to the study, which was published in the March issue of the German science magazine "Bild der Wissenschaft."Rounding out the Top 10 per capita were the US, with 47 articles per 1 million citizens, the UK with 44 articles, Canada with 41, and Germany and Finland each with 40 articles per 1 million citizens.In terms of total number of stem cell publishing, however, US-based scientists have by far authored the most stem cell articles, some 13,663 in 2000-2004 -- 42% of total articles. Germany came in second with 10.2% of the total, followed by Japan, the UK, France, Italy, Canada, The Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden. Israeli scientists published 690 articles in 2000-2004.The stem cell publishing data was compiled by the Bibliometric Analysis Unit of Research Center Jülich's Central Library by reviewing titles, abstracts, and keywords of more than 6,000 natural science journals tracked by the Science Citation Index, a database operated by Thomson Scientific. Dov Zipori, based at the Department of Molecular Cell Biology at Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science, told The Scientist that another reason for Israel's strong showing is that the region was home to "pioneering studies" of bone marrow stem cells in the early 1960s. "The fact that the first steps in the development of stem cell studies occurred in Israel, formed a platform on which stem cell research developed in Israel," Zipori said.And the Israeli government is financially supportive of this research, he added. "We are not restricted to the same extent as are American scientists who are forbidden to derive embryo stem cell lines when using federal funds," Zipori said.Ned Stafford nstafford@the-scientist.comLinks within this articleL. Nelson, "New stem cell recommendations," The Scientist, February 27, 2006. Library, Research Center Jülich Ball der Wissenschaft Stafford, "German minister rebukes stem cell research," The Scientist, January 5, 2006. Wallace, "France oks domestic stem cells," The Scientist, February 23, 2006. Analysis unit of Research Center Jülich's Central Library Citation Index Zipori DH, Sachs L. "The cloning of normal "mast" cells in tissue culture," Journal of Cellular Physiology, December 1965. PM_ID: 5884359.Pluznik DH, Sachs L. "The induction of clones of normal mast cells by a substance from conditioned medium," Experimental Cell Research, October 1966. PM_ID: 5957746.