Contemporary Perspective on a Foundational Paper in Role of Structural Maintenance of Chromosome Complex in Mediating DNA Damage Response Checkpoint

Author(s): Wenfa Ng

Forward is the direction to which research looks. But, scientists read prior literature for background and context, casting a retrospective glance to the past, albeit from a different vantage point. How do we evaluate the value of a scientific paper? Citations? Downloads? Or, more philosophically, the directions of inquiries it potentiated, and areas opened up? In retrospective analysis, counterfactual is the common tool in the social scientist’s armamentarium. Natural scientists, on the other hand, glean prospectively. Retrospective in analysis but yet prospective in outlook in what appears as a dichotomy. But, on closer examination, which is in harmony. From the contemporary vintage and using a prospective angle, this commentary casts light on a foundational paper that illuminated hitherto unknown functions of structural maintenance of chromosome (Smc) complex in mediating chromosome integrity and potentiating entry into subsequent phase of the DNA damage response.

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