The Faculty of 1000 is a Web-based literature awareness tool published by BioMed Central. It provides a continuously updated insider's guide to the most important peer-reviewed papers within a range of research fields, based on the recommendations of a faculty of more than 1,400 leading researchers.

Each issue, The Scientist publishes a list of the 10 top-rated papers from a specific subject area, as well as a short review of one or more of the listed papers. We also publish a selection of comments on interesting recent papers from the Faculty of 1000's output. For more information visit

Caused by a simple gene mutation that misshapes red blood cells and renders them ineffective, sickle cell disease (SCD) seemed to provide scientists with a straightforward target for gene therapy. But since the first SCD gene therapy experiment in 1979, researchers continue to struggle. It wasn't until late 2001, in...

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