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Gene Silencing Methodology
Publication Date: December 2003
Citing URL:

Gene Silencing

The baseline time span for this database is 1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly). The resulting database contained 1,505 papers; 4,540 authors; 48 countries; 365 journals; and 898 institutions. Read the methodology used to create this special topic.
Top Papers
Top 20 papers overall
1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly)
Top Authors
Top 20 overall
1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly)
Top Institutions
Top 20 overall
1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly)
Top Nations
Top 20 overall
1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly)
Top Journals
Top 20 overall
1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly)
Time Series
1 year
5 year
Field Distribution
Field representation
1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly)
Read interviews and first-person essays about people in a wide variety of fields, and information on journals in the topic of Gene Silencing.
February 2004
Dr. James G. Herman
January 2004
Stephen Baylin
December 2003
The Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry


Gene silencing, either through a process known as RNA interference or the methylation of DNA, is now among the hottest topics in molecular biology and has been called a new regulatory paradigm in biology. The phenomenon occurs naturally as a gene regulatory mechanism in plants, and animals, and pathogically as an inhibitor of tumor suppressor genes in cancer cells. In functional genomics, gene silencing also shows extraordinary promise as a means of achieving selective interference of gene function and loss-of-function screens on a genome-wide scale.

The list of top 20 papers in gene silencing reflects the diverse nature of this widely occurring phenomenon. One major theme in the list is the elucidation of the mechanisms of RNA interference: unraveling the process by which double-stranded RNA is cleaved into short RNA strands known as siRNA, which in turn work as sequence specific mediators of gene silencing. Another major theme is the analysis of how gene silencing is accomplished in the chromatin of mammalian cells through the methylation of DNA. A quartet of the top papers examine the role of gene silencing in plants as a gene regulator and viral protection mechanism, as well as the counter-mechanisms by which viruses work to suppress post-transcriptional gene silencing. Other highly cited papers discuss the role of DNA hypermethylation as a mechanism of tumor-suppressor inactivation in cancer, and the promise of using gene silencing to interfere selectively with gene function in a wide range of organisms.


To construct this database, papers were extracted based on TOPIC search. The keywords used were as follows: 

gene silenc*

The baseline time span for this database is 1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly). The resulting database contained 1,505 papers; 4,540 authors; 48 countries; 365 journals; and 898 institutions.


Once the database was in place, it was used to generate the lists of top 20 papers, authors, journals, institutions, and nations, covering a time span of 1993-2003 (fourth bimonthly).

The top 20 papers are ranked according to total cites. Rankings for author, journal, institution, and country are listed in three ways: according to total cites, total papers, and total cites/paper. The paper thresholds used to determine scientist, institution, country, and journal rankings according to total cites/paper were as follows: 7, 6, 7, and 8, respectively. These thresholds correspond to the top 1% of authors, 10% of institutions, 50% of countries and 10% of journals by total papers.

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