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Posted 05 August 2010

UCD scientists No 1 Hot Paper in Nature Medicine

A paper led by UCD scientists is currently the No 1 Hot Paper in Nature Medicine, according to Thompson Reuters. The paper has been cited almost 3 times more than any other paper published by the journal over the past 24 months. Broadly speaking, a citation is a reference in a published source which acknowledges the relevance of previously published work to the topic of discussion.

The paper co-led by Professor Ciaran Regan and Professor Dominic Walsh, published in Nature Medicine on 22 June 2008, describes how scientists used a combination of biochemical, behavioural and cell biology techniques to unlock the cascade of molecular events that lead to Alzheimer’s disease which affects more than 40,000 people in Ireland and some 29.8 million people worldwide.

According to the Thompson Reuters Essential Science Indicators website which publishes the data: “Generally, papers reach their citation peak two, three, or even four years after publication. A small group of papers, however, is recognized very soon after publication, reflected by rapid and significant numbers of citations. These papers are often key papers in their fields. We use a special filter to detect such Hot Papers. This involves looking at recently published papers and unusual citation activity in a current time period.”
“We measure age for hot papers in two-month periods rather than years, and we scan only those papers published in the last two years to see if they are receiving more citations than the norm.”

Co-lead authors Professor Ciaran Regan and Professor Dominic Walsh from the UCD Conway Institute said: “This work has attracted much attention because it provides a direct link between specific protein assemblies isolated from Alzheimer’s diseased brain and their deleterious effects on fundamental processes linked to learning and memory.”

“The work was a real team effort and could not have come about without the coalescing of complementary expertise within UCD and the significant contributions of our collaborators in the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, Trinity College Dublin and Harvard Medical School.”
Professor Des Fitzgerald, Vice-President for Research at UCD, said: “This is an important paper as it shifts the spotlight from large aggregates of beta-amyloid and their effects on the brain, to smaller forms of this protein. In so doing, it opens exciting avenues for novel drug development.”

Thompson Reuters defines papers as regular scientific articles, review articles, proceedings papers, and research notes. Letters to the editor, correction notices, and abstracts are not counted. Only Thomson Scientific-indexed journal articles, or papers, are counted.


The scientific paper published in Nature Medicine referred to above is entitled: "Amyloid-beta Protein Dimers isolated directly from Alzheimer's brains impair synaptic plasticity and memory"

The co-authors in teams which contributed to the study include: Ganesh Shankar, Shaomin Li, Tapan Mehta, Nina Shepardson, Cynthia Lemere, Bernardo Sabatini and Dennis Selkoe from Harvard Medical School; Michael Rowan from Trinity College Dublin; Michael Farrell and Francesca Brett from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland; and Amaya Garcia-Munoz and Imelda Smith from University College Dublin.
The research is supported by the Wellcome Trust, Science Foundation Ireland and the US National Institutes of Health.


(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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UCD scientists No 1 Hot Paper in Nature Medicine
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