Wednesday, December 1, 2010


My latest paper got accepted for publication in the journal Development and I'm pretty stoked about it - a lot of time, energy, sweat, and even a few tears went into my most recent manuscript. After publishing, every scientist hopes that their work will be noticed and cited throughout the field. You can always go check online and see how many times your paper has been cited, or whether or not your paper has been deposited in the pubmed database.

Well, today I got a very nice surprise, however temporary it may be. One of the hottest topics in cell biology today is turning a terminally differentiated cell (like a skin cell) into a pluripotent stem cell (like an embryonic stem cell), which can then be used to make any other cell type you want. It's a pretty powerful phenomenon that promises to revolutionize regenerative medicine. The process by which a differentiated cell reverts back to a more pluripotent state is referred to as reprogramming.

Imagine my delight when, after going to the pubmed database and typing in "reprogramming" to see what the latest and greatest reports are saying, my very own paper showed up! Take a look at this screenshot:

Here are two zoom pics if you can't see it:

That's my name there - Cook MS! Now, as cool as this is, my excitement is a bit tempered for two reasons:

1) In a day or two, when the next paper with the keyword "reprogramming" comes into the database, my paper will be kicked out of the number one spot. It will stay in the list for "reprogramming", but everything is listed in chronological order of publishing date.

2) The subject of my paper was not directly about turning differentiated cells into stem cells, nor did we (the authors) list "reprogramming" as a key word. The work is on a very related topic, but we do not include any direct reprogramming experiments - it seems as if the paper is listed because it has implications for and we discuss reprogramming. Still cool, but it's not as if we're changing a paradigm or anything.

However, for today I will revel in the knowledge that despite all of the research going on in the entire world about one of the hottest topics in stem cell biology, my paper is temporarily listed as number one in the pubmed research database associated with the term "reprogramming".


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