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Trends Genet. 2003 Feb;19(2):79-81.

Life cycles of successful genes.


By exploring time-series data from MEDLINE abstracts, we observe that only a few genes have been quoted with increasing frequency during the past 25 years. This is probably the result of selective pressure by the scientific community. Over the years, this selection has produced an extreme power law distribution of the information available for individual genes. Interestingly, those genes that are successfully selected are not necessarily the most important genes to the cell. To stress the implication of this finding we show that there is no correlation between a gene's impact in the scientific literature and its centrality in protein-interaction networks.

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