For this article, Leslie Pray interviewed Hartmut "Hudel" Luecke, professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, University of California, Irvine. Data from the Web of Science (ISI, Philadelphia) show that Hot Papers are cited 50 to 100 times more often than the average paper of the same type and age.

H. Luecke B. Schobert, H.T. Richter, J.P. Cartailler, J.K. Lanyi, "Structure of bacteriorhodopsin at 1.55 Å resolution," Journal of Molecular Biology, 291[4]:899-911, 1999. (Cited in 105 papers)

Courtesy of Harmut Luecke

A bacteriorhodopsin crystal before (left) and after (right) increasing illumination

In the mid-1970s, electron microscopy provided the first visualization of the membrane protein bacteriorhodopsin (BR), a photon-driven ion pump found in the salt-marsh dwelling bacterium Halobacterium salinarum. Since then, BR has become one of the most-studied and best-understood membrane proteins. Still, its underlying molecular mechanism remains a major, unsolved problem of membrane bioenergetics. In this Hot Paper, scientists...

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