Parallel Bacterial Evolution Within Multiple Patients Identifies Candidate Pathogenicity Genes [link][pdf]
Tami D Lieberman*, Jean-Baptiste Michel*, Mythili Aingaran, Gail Potter-Bynoe, Damien Roux, Michael R Davis Jr, David Skurnik, Nicholas Leiby, John J LiPuma, Joanna B Goldberg, Alexander J McAdam, Gregory P Priebe & Roy Kishony. Nature Genetics (2011) [Published online ahead of print: 11/13/2011]

We track the genetic adaptation of a rare but lethal bacterial pathogen during the colonization of cystic fibrosis lungs, sequencing 112 bacterial genomes recovered from 14 patients over 16 years. We discover that 17 bacterial genes receive mutations independently in several patients, which is a strong signature of positive selection. Several of these genes had not previously been tied with pathogenesis, and may represent novel avenues for drug targets. This paper exposes a general method for discovering key stresses acting in the human body on pathogenic bacteria, and corresponding bacterial genetic responses. 

The paper was featured in newspapers and international media including Ed Yong's prize-winning blog (NotExactlyRocketScience, Discover Magazine) and blogs from the Boston Globe and the Wall Street Journal. The paper was the most downloaded on Nature Genetics in mid-November. 


Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books [link][pdf]
Jean-Baptiste Michel*, Yuan Kui Shen, Aviva Presser Aiden, Adrian Veres, Matthew K. Gray, The Google Books Team, Joseph P. Pickett, Dale Hoiberg, Dan Clancy, Peter Norvig, Jon Orwant, Steven Pinker, Martin A. Nowak, and Erez Lieberman Aiden*.  Science 331 (2011) [Published online ahead of print: 12/16/2010]. 

We introduce the field of culturomics, the application of high-throughput data collection and analysis to the study of human culture. This paper was featured on the cover of Science, on the front page of the New York Times, on the front page of the Boston Globe, in the pages of The Economist, the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Telegraph, La Stampa, Le Temps, L'Express of Mauritius, Il Corriere della Serra, Suddeutsche Zeitung, on the airwaves of the BBC and NPR, and on virtually every major news outlet around the world. 

The paper was released together with the GoogleLabs Ngram Viewer, which anyone can use to browse cultural trends. It is a scientific tool for the quantitative measurement of phenomena pertaining to human culture. This tool was used over a million times in the first 24 hours. 

"This was one of the most well-written papers I’ve ever had the pleasure to read, full of wit and flair" – Ed Yong (in Not Exactly Rocket Science, a Discover Magazine blog. Ed was listed in Time’s Eureka List Top 10 under 40).

"It’s just stunning. They've come up with something that is going to make an enormous difference in our understanding of history and literature" – Pr. Robert Darnton (in the Wall Street Journal. Pr. Darnton is Director of the Harvard University Libraries, and University Professor at Harvard, MacArthur Fellow, former president of the American Historical Association).

"From a lexicographer’s point of view, the best language story of 2010 was the recent paper in Science about 'culturomics'” – Erin McKean (in the Boston Globe. Erin is CEO of Wordnik).

"[The Ngram Viewer] is beyond addictive". – Gene Weingarten (in NationalPost.com).




Quantifying the Evolutionary Dynamics of Language
[link][pdf]
Erez Lieberman*, Jean-Baptiste Michel*, Tina Tang, Joe Jackson, Martin Nowak. Nature 449 (2007).

We discover a law for the grammatical evolution of irregular verbs in the English language. This paper was featured on the cover of Nature, on the cover of the New Scientist, in Discover Magazine, the LA Times, the London Telegraph, on NPR, and 75 other venues around the world. The paper was chosen in Nature's top 10 favorite papers in 2007

An entertaining, enthralling, and, above all, well-written Letter. I was compelled to read out the cleverest snippets to my office mates – Vanessa S Solomon (in a Correspondence to Nature). 




Drug Interactions Modulate the Evolutionary Potential of Resistance [link][pdf]
Jean-Baptiste Michel*, Pamela J Yeh*, Remy Chait, Robert C Moellering, Roy Kishony. PNAS 105:39 (2008)

We find that synergistic antibiotics, which affect bacterial growth more effectively than antagonistic antibiotic combinations, can in fact favor the subsequent evolution of antibiotic resistance. This paper was featured in PNAS's "In This Issue", and in the Harvard Gazette. Its Faculty of a 1000 score is 8.0. 

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