TS Picks: October 30, 2014

Giant tortoises bounce back; most-cited papers of all time; smallpox vials in limbo

Tracy Vence

Adult male Galapagos giant tortoise resting beneath an adult arboreal prickly pear cactus, Española Island, May 2010PLOS ONE, J. P. GIBBS

Selected stories from The Scientist’s reading list:

  • Nature dug through Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Google Scholar data to examine the top 100 most-cited research papers of all time. At the very top of the list? Two life science-related methods papers—one from 1970, the other from 1951.
  • The number of infectious disease outbreaks among humans has risen four-fold since 1980, New Scientist reported in its coverage of a Journal of the Royal Society Interface paper published this week (October 29).
  • The Española Island population of critically endangered Galapagos giant tortoises (Chelonoidis hoodensis)—which, because of woody and herbaceous plants induced by feral goats were blocked from cacti, a critical food resource—dropped to just 15 individuals in 1960. But thanks to a successful population...

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