Hot Topics in Science for 2010

December 16, 2010

Every two months, the editor of Thomson Reuters’ Science Watch newsletter, Chris King, harvests a new crop of hot papers. These journal articles, all two years old or younger, are those most cited in their fields in the latest two-month period. King assembles lists of these papers in four broad areas – medicine, biology, chemistry and physics – and sends them off to the newsletter’s subject experts, who analyse the individual papers and common themes to write a summary of the current hot topics in research, as revealed by the citations the scientific community itself supplies in its publications. While the papers featured in each top 10 in Science Watch may be as old as two years, the citation counts that identify these reports are from a recent period. Therefore, the summaries produced by our subject experts, based on current citations in the literature, indicate what’s hot among researchers in as timely a manner as possible.

The table above lists the hot topics featured in the six numbers of Science Watch published during 2010.

The topics are divided by the four broad subject areas used, and listed according to the issue in which each was highlighted. Our subject experts are David Sharp, former deputy editor of The Lancet (medicine), Jeremy Cherfas of Bioversity International in Rome (biology), John Emsley, department of chemistry, University of Cambridge (chemistry), and Simon Mitton, Fellow of St Edmund’s College, Cambridge (physics). Remarkably, all four have produced these features for Science Watch for 18 years, since 1993.

Limited space prohibits a description of each of the 24 topics. Readers will likely be familiar with some – and possibly intrigued by others. The best advice that can be given for readers wishing for more information is to consult the Science Watch commentaries themselves, all available at http://www.sciencewatch.com by searching for the name of each expert.

Hot Topics in Science for 2010
Data provided by Thomson Reuters from Science Watch, Vol. 21, Nos. 1-6, January-December 2010
FieldTopic
Medicine 
Jan/FebProstate cancer screening with PSA: its reliability, utility
March/AprilCoronary artery calcium levels as an indicator of disease
May/JuneH1N1 influenza pandemic 2009: some early observations
July/AugPharmacogenetic studies for cetuximab and clopidogrel
Sept/OctSoluble forms of the beta-amyloid protein in Alzheimer’s
Nov/DecMyocardial revascularisation guidelines: CABG vs PCI
Biology 
Jan/FebGenerating iPS cells with and without Myc: trade-offs
March/AprilPersonal genomes from second-generation sequencing
May/JuneBroad phylogenomic sampling and evolutionary history
July/AugiPS cells to restore dopaminergic function in Parkinson’s
Sept/OctRapamycin, TOR and extended longevity in mice
Nov/DecAnti-angiogenic tumour treatment and metastatic response
Chemistry 
Jan/FebGraphene electrodes for dye-sensitised solar cells
March/AprilIridium complexes with N-heterocyclic carbene ligands
May/JuneGraphene nanoribbons as conductors and semiconductors
July/AugGold nanoparticle-catalysed reactions and particle size
Sept/OctWater-soluble graphene and electrical conductivity
Nov/DecLigand-protected gold clusters as superatom complexes
Physics 
Jan/FebSupernova Ia data and constraints of cosmological values
March/AprilNegative results from the Gran Sasso search for WIMPs
May/JuneHigh-efficiency BulkHeteroJunction polymer solar cells
July/AugFermi Large Area Telescope data on the gamma-ray sky
Sep/OctSeventh data release of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey
Nov/DecParton distribution functions for Large Hadron Collider

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