Guest blog post by Russell T. Hill, Director of the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology
IMET is located in the Columbus Center (at center with white sails), as seen here from Federal Hill in Baltimore
The Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET), University of Maryland seeks applications for the position of Assistant Professor (tenure-track) to work on basic biological processes at the interface between human health and the environment.
The successful candidate will have a track-record of outstanding research on basic biological processes at the interface between human health and the environment. Potential focus areas include but are not limited to marine natural products discovery, epigenetic effects of toxicants, use of zebrafish as a model system to study
As preparations were underway in Northern Ireland for the 39th G8 summit, science ministers from the G8 nations met with their national science academies to discuss the most pressing issues in research facing scientists across the globe.
Their recommendations will be put to the G8 leaders during talks today and tomorrow. Among them are decisive actions required to make scientific research more open and more accessible.
In a statement released on June 13, the group note that: ‘Open enquiry is at the heart of scientific endeavour, and rapid technological change has profound implications for the way that science is both conducted and its results communicated’. They go on to state their support for a clear set of...
For over a decade, BMC Oral Health has been pioneering the open access model in dental research. From small beginnings, the journal has steadily grown, publishing more articles and receiving more recognition from those working in the field. All this is reflected in the news that the journal will this month receive an official impact factor for the first time.
Now, just as a child’s milk teeth must one day be replaced by a larger, more permanent set of adult teeth, so the time has come for BMC Oral Health to move to a new editorial model to ensure it can continue to serve the needs of its community. From this week the journal will be divided up into...
Written by Rhiannon Meaden, Journal Development Editor, Agriculture & Food Security
Home gardens can be used to alleviate hunger, malnutrition, economic hardship and disease. These are the findings of a comprehensive literature review by Galhena et al., published today in Agriculture & Food Security, which investigates the uses of home gardens in the context of food security, and specifically in post-conflict situations.
The use of home gardens is a longstanding and effective strategy for coping with the daily threat of food and nutritional insecurity in many developing countries. Home gardens comprise of small areas of land close to the homestead, where a family can grow subsistence produce in order to supplement their diet, as well as to buffer socio-economic hardships. These...
The supreme court has ruled that genes, in their natural state, cannot be patented but that genes in the form of cDNA can be patented. The initiating event for this was the expensive BRACAnalysis test from Myriad Genetics. Their test remains protected under numerous other patents but now other (cheaper) tests can be developed for any natural DNA sequence deemed of clinical importance. Perhaps the strangest part of this was the opinion which Justice Antonin Scalia felt compelled to communicate in which he could not stand behind the “fine details of molecular technology” as he is “unable to affirm those details on my own knowledge or even my own belief”.
Many years of legal argument culminated this week in a landmark ruling by the US Supreme Court. In Association for Molecular Pathology vs Myriad Genetics, the SCOTUS judges ruled – unanimously – that isolated human genes are a product of nature and, as such, are not eligible for patent protection.
As advances in technology, namely the ease with which genes can now be sequenced, cast gene patents in an ever more anomalous light, Genome Biology and our sister journal Genome Medicine tackled the issue from a number of angles. You might even say that we brought a myriad of views to the debate…
Back in 2010, regular Genome Biology contributor Steven Salzberg published a...
With the recent launch of our new online magazine Biome, we bring together a selection of highlights from BioMed Central journals and, in various ways, make them accessible to a broad readership. In addition, the magazine will place a spotlight on research communities, providing researchers and clinicians with the latest research topics, discussions and community news.
Biome is divided into three sections, described below with a few highlights so far…
The research section features research synopses: plain language summaries that place new findings reported in our journals in context, and explain their significance. We also host author Q&As, which give researchers a chance to put forward their own perspective on new findings, and include insights that...
Keiko Herrick and colleagues at the University of Alaska Fairbanks have put forward a model of avian influenza virus (AIV) prediction in wild birds, published yesterday in Veterinary Research.
This is the first large-scale large ecological niche model for avian influenza in wild birds based on machine-learning algorithms. The authors mined surveillance data for 2005-2010 from the Influenza Research Database, which yielded a large set of georeferenced sample points, complete with AIV detection status, viral subtype and other related parameters.
The sampling data was then layered into ArcMap, along with 41 predictor layers – accounting for environmental and anthropogenic variables such as geographic elevation, adjusted mean temperatures and human population density –...
In the past 30 years, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has been transformed from a devastating and poorly understood disease to a treatable and well-managed condition. Initially described as “a strange illness of unknown origin” by Jacques Leibovitch, the turning point occurred in 1983 when human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was first recognized as the retrovirus causing the disease. Thirty years on, AIDS can be successfully managed by antiretroviral treatment, which stops disease progression, helps prevent transmission, and substantially improves the quality of life of infected individuals. To mark the progress in HIV treatment over the last 30 years, BMC Medicine, together with BMC Biology and Retrovirology, has launched a new article collection, which covers the...
A medical journal that started life as a one-man project from his Auckland home, has influenced pharmaceutical policy in nations around the world.
Today Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice (JoPPP) transfers to publish with BioMed Central, and also marks a new chapter for the journal, which was started five years ago by The University of Auckland senior lecturer Dr. Zaheer-Ud-Din- Babar, supported by an expert International Advisory Board.
Formerly known as Southern Med Review, the journal has been unique in publishing the work of new researchers, documenting the pharmaceutical situation of low- and middle-income countries and debating pertinent pharmaceutical policy questions. Published studies have been instrumental in changing medicine policies in...
15 million people suffer from a stroke each year, according to the World Health Organisation. Of this number, 5 million people will die, and a further 5 million people are left with a permanent disability. With stroke having such a vast global impact, research into stroke prevention and treatment, as well as investigating ways that we can improve the quality of life of those who have had a stroke, is vital.
The European Stroke Conference is a key event which facilitates in advancing our knowledge and understanding of stroke, improving our ability to be able to prevent and treat it. Last month, I attended the 22nd European Stroke Conference (ESC), on behalf...
Snowflake, the albino gorilla, was certainly special. As you can see from this beautiful photo, his fur was white, his eyes were blue, and his skin was pink. Although Snowflake passed away in 2003, he left behind a big legacy and an even bigger fan base. Both in life and death, he extended his furry reach into the music industry, onto National Geographic’s cover, and into endangered species awareness campaigns. However, recently researchers have managed to delve into his genome, and with it, the secret of his heritage. But what exactly IS his heritage? What can we learn from his genetic make-up
Well, the findings suggest something’s amiss in Snowflake’s conception: a deep, dark secret
“We know very little about long-term recovery from alcohol and other drug use disorders” points out Dr Stephan Arndt, Editor-in-Chief of Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy in his guest blog Looking away from addiction and towards recovery.
This is one of a blog series highlighting the role research plays in helping people recover from addiction, and showcases the personal success story of one person in recovery, Bruce A. Campbell. Bruce is now the Clinical Director of Wellspring, Inc., a private non-profit corporation based in Maine, USA which provides residential and outpatient services that foster recovery for addiction, including those affected with co-occurring mental health disorders.
As a person in long-term addiction recovery of 28
A new cross-publisher initiative to help make the peer-review process a little less protracted aims to prevent wasted reviewer effort by allowing authors to take their reviewers’ reports to the BMC-series if their manuscript is rejected from eLife.
How portable is your peer-review?
Peer review takes time. Sometimes, a lot of time. For many researchers, finding the balance between getting their blood-sweat-and-tears research into a top tier journal, and simply getting it into the literature, can be a maddeningly frustrating process. In fast-paced fields where the risk of being scooped by a rival lab only adds to the pressure, finding that your manuscript is cascading down a list of selective journals is enough to make even the most seasoned professor
Epigenetics could play an important role in the future of bird breeding and selection methods, according to a new review published in Genetics Selection Evolution today. There is hope that our increasing knowledge of epigenetic influence on development may help the future bird farming industry to meet the growing world food demand. Frésard et al. discuss the existing research into epigenetic mechanisms in birds, and how this may affect development of various economically relevant traits in adult farmed birds. Previous research has confirmed that many different epigenetic phenomena cause phenotypic variation in mammals, and we now learn that many of these mechanisms may also be relevant to birds.
Reciprocal effects, involving different contributions of the sire and dam