July 2013
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Genomics and particle physics top the scientific charts

 
  A DNA double helix is seen in an undated artist's illustration. (Credit: Reuters/National Human Genome Research Institute)
Genomics and particle physics - offering different perspectives on the fundamental nature of life and the cosmos - are the two hottest areas of scientific research.

Eight of the 21 most closely followed scientists in 2012 studied genes and their functions, while the single most-cited paper last year covered the hunt for the long-sought Higgs boson particle, according to a Thomson Reuters survey.

It was the third year in a row in which genomics researchers topped the rankings, in terms of authoring the most highly cited scientific papers, underscoring the central importance of genetics in biological science and medicine.

"Genomics is a perennially hot topic as we learn more about how (DNA) sequences play out in the manifestation of disease," said Christopher King, editor of Thomson Reuters ScienceWatch, which tracks trends in research.

Formation of the Universe

Papers related to the search for the Higgs boson accounted for nearly one fifth of the 51 papers published in the 2012 hottest research list. The boson and its linked energy field are viewed by physicists as vital in the formation of the universe and in giving mass to matter.

Source: Reuters