Altmetric’s High Five – Wonder Woman, Friends and Foes (September 2017)

By 20.10.17

Welcome to the Altmetric High Five in association with the Science Council. On a monthly basis, the High Five posts examine a selection of the most popular research outputs Altmetric has seen attention for that month.

The original post can be found on the Altmetric blog here. Links to all papers included can be found in the Reference section at the end.

1. Wonder Woman

Viking Helmets. Credit: Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland – Viking Arms and Armor

Our first High Five paper is “A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics,” a Brief Communication published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. The open access paper details the finding that the individual buried in a well-furnished warrior grave in the Viking Age town of Birka, Sweden was female.

The study garnered nearly 120 news stories and thousands of tweets.

2. Zika Virus – Foe, or Friend?

Cross-section of Zika virus, showing the viral envelope composed of envelope proteins (red) and membrane proteins (purple) embedded in the lipid membrane (white). Credit: David Goodsell – RCSB Molecule of the Month 197, June 2016.

Our next High Five paper is “Zika virus has oncolytic activity against glioblastoma stem cells,” published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. The study authors turned Zika virus onto glioblastoma (brain cancer) in mice, finding that animals with the disease “survived substantially longer and at greater rates when the tumor was inoculated with a mouse-adapted strain of ZIKV [Zika virus].” The virus “preferentially infected and killed glioblastoma stem cells relative to differentiated tumor progeny or normal neuronal cells.”

In the human fetus, Zika virus is known to infect the developing central nervous system, negatively affecting neural stem and progenitor cells. But researchers may also be able to turn this virus around to provide therapeutic treatment for individuals with glioblastoma brain cancer.

Over 200 news outlets covered this study this month.

3. A Mighty Pen

Micrograph of a well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma. Credit: Nephron, Wikimedia.

Our third High Five paper is “Nondestructive tissue analysis for ex vivo and in vivo cancer diagnosis using a handheld mass spectrometry system” published in Science Translational Medicine.

Nearly 190 news outlets covered the study.

4. Waking Up

H&E stained fibers of the vagus nerve (bottom right) innervate the sinoatrial node tissue (middle left). Credit: Nephron, Wikimedia.

Our next High Five paper is “Restoring consciousness with vagus nerve stimulation” published in Current Biology in September 2017. This short correspondence details a case in which a patient in a vegetative state was treated with vagus nerve stimulation.

Nearly 130 news outlets covered this paper.

5. Hitching a Ride

Credit: Tobias Abel, Flickr.com

Our final High Five paper is “Tsunami-driven rafting: Transoceanic species dispersal and implications for marine biogeography,” a report published in Science. The study documents transoceanic biological rafting of many species via man-made structures, including pieces of plastic.

Over 130 news outlets covered the study.

References:

  1. A female Viking warrior confirmed by genomics
  2. Zika virus has oncolytic activity against glioblastoma stem cells
  3. Nondestructive tissue analysis for ex vivo and in vivo cancer diagnosis using a handheld mass spectrometry system
  4. Restoring consciousness with vagus nerve stimulation
  5. Tsunami-driven rafting: Transoceanic species dispersal and implications for marine biogeography