This month, Special Topics revisits gene silencing, which we first
explored in December 2003. The
field examining the experimental manipulation of gene expression has
only grown hotter in the intervening time; in fact, this years
Nobel Prize in Medicine went to Andrew Fire and Craig Mello for their
discovery of RNA interference (gene silencing by double-stranded RNA).
Their 1998 Nature paper, "Potent and specific gene
interference by double-stranded RNA in Caenorhabditis elegans"
(Fire A, et al., Nature 391: 806-11, 19 February 1998),
is featured among the 20 most-cited papers published on the topic over
the past decade.
Other major areas of interest on the 10-year paper list include
interference by double-stranded RNA, specific RNA types mediating
interference, methylation of histone 3 lysine 9, and cancer
epigenetics. These research themes are also prevalent on our list of
the top 20 papers published in the past two years. Other notable
papers on the two-year list include RNAi-based screening, the microRNA
Registry project, and the therapeutic potential of gene silencing.
To construct this database,
papers were extracted based on title- and topic-supplied keywords for Gene
Silencing. The keywords used were as follows:
gene silenc* OR RNA interference OR RNAi OR genetic interference OR transgene silenc*
The baseline time span for this database
is 1996-2006 (fourth bimonthly). The resulting database contained 8,382 (10 years)
and 5,468 (2 years) papers; 27,892 authors; 79 countries; 917 journals; and
Once the database was in place,
it was used to generate the lists of top 20 papers (two- and ten-year
periods), authors, journals,
institutions, and nations, covering a time span of 1996-2006 (fourth
bimonthly, a ten-year plus eight-month period).
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 and corresponding
percentages used to determine
scientist, institution, country, and journal rankings according to
total cites/paper, and total papers respectively are as follows:
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