24 of 2017’s top papers in the Altmetric Top 100 were published in Nature Research journals: Nature, Nature Communications, Nature Neuroscience, Nature Climate Change, Nature Ecology & Evolution, Nature Geoscience, and Scientific Reports.(24/100 is in fact the same number as last year.)
Launched today, the annual Atlmetric Top 100 showcases the research published this year that’s caught the public eye through international online attention. By tracking what people are saying about scholarly articles in the news, blogs, on social media networks, Wikipedia and many other sources, Altmetric calculates an Attention Score for each paper.
In this blog, our team in the Nature Research Press Office has picked some of their favourites, summarised their findings, and linked to coverage they received in the wider media. The full list is available on altmetric.com/top100/2017.
For articles from our subscription journals, the links below (and on the Altmetric page) include Springer Nature SharedIt links, which means anyone can read them. SharedIt, our free content-sharing initiative, was launched in October 2016, and last month we released data on how it’s being used.
The correction of a disease-causing mutation in preimplantation human embryos using the CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technique was reported in a Nature paper published in August. The findings could increase our understanding of the safety and efficacy of editing the DNA of the human germline, although many issues remain to be considered before clinical applications can be explored.
The story received extensive media coverage around the globe, featuring on the front page of The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Guardian, and generating broadcast coverage on the BBC News at Six and Ten, Good Morning America and Japan’s NHK.
#10 Nature Communications – An extra-uterine system to physiologically support the extreme premature lamb
A system that supports extremely premature lambs in an external artificial womb was demonstrated in a study published in Nature Communications in April. The lambs were supported for four weeks, which is the longest time an extra-uterine device has been shown to maintain stable animal function.
Several papers ran the story in print, including the Wall Street Journal, The Times, and The Guardian. Other media articles included The Economist, STAT, El Pais, Zeit Online, Science and Le Monde. It also featured on the BBC’s Newsnight.
The discovery of seven Earth-sized extrasolar planets orbiting the nearby dwarf star TRAPPIST-1 was reported in Nature in February. The study suggested that the six inner planets in the planetary system are located in the temperate zone, where the temperature at the surfaces of these planets could be between 0 and 100 degrees Celsius.
The research was highlighted in the Google Doodle and on several front pages, including The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Some of the other coverage included the BBC News at Ten, The Economist, People’s Daily and Le Monde.
Immediate action to reduce global warming is needed to protect coral reefs from severe bleaching events, according to a study published in Nature in March. A detailed analysis of the Great Barrier Reef over the past two decades demonstrated that extreme heat is the key driver of mass bleaching. As temperatures continue to rise, further bleaching events are likely, which may push the reef system beyond recovery, the authors concluded.
#23 Nature Neuroscience – Pregnancy leads to long-lasting changes in human brain structure
Pregnancy leads to structural changes in the brain that persist for at least two years, according to a study of 25 first-time mothers published in Nature Neuroscience last December. The study found that these changes occur in regions that are involved in social cognition and that respond to images of the mother’s infant. Furthermore, the extent of the changes can predict a mother’s attachment to her child.
A hidden internal structure in Khufu’s Pyramid, the largest pyramid in Giza, Egypt, was uncovered in research published in Nature in November. The discovery was made using cosmic-ray based imaging, demonstrating how modern particle physics can reveal new information about ancient structures.
#42 Nature Climate Change – Global risk of deadly heat
About 30% of the world’s population is currently exposed to potentially deadly heat for 20 days per year or more, and failure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will increase the risk substantially, reports a paper published in Nature Climate Change in June. The study suggests it is now almost inevitable that excess heat represents an increasing threat to human life, but that this threat will be greatly aggravated if greenhouse gas emissions are not considerably reduced.
#63 Nature Communications – A bioprosthetic ovary created using 3D printed microporous scaffolds restores ovarian function in sterilized mice
A 3D-printed, microporous scaffold that supports the development of mouse follicle cells (egg-producing cells found in ovaries) and can be used to restore ovary function in surgically sterilised mice was described in a Nature Communications paper published in May.
#82 Nature Ecology & Evolution – Bioaccumulation of persistent organic pollutants in the deepest ocean fauna
A Nature Ecology & Evolution paper published in February found extremely high levels of pollution in two of the Earth’s deepest oceanic trenches, suggesting that anthropogenic surface pollution can reach the farthest corners of the Earth. It was covered by The Wall Street Journal, BBC News, NPR, People’s Daily, The Guardian, and The Washington Post.