October blogs digest: Open Access Week, Viagra, hepatitis, and more

October was a busy month on the BioMed Central blogs, so here are some of the top posts for you to browse through at your leisure.

Open Access Week

October 20-26 was Open Access Week, and we celebrated with a whole variety of posts on the topic. The theme for the week was ‘Generation Open’, with the emphasis on engaging students and early career researchers with open access, so among other things, we asked some early career researchers what they thought about about open access publishing. Particularly popular was Bryony Graham’s post about the theory and the reality of being able to publish open access when you’re at the start of your research career.

We also marked Open Access Week with a celebration of some of our journals’ 10th anniversaries. We asked some of the Editors-in-Chief to give us their perspectives on the last 10 years, and how their journal – and open access publishing – has changed.

Viagra protects the heart: back to the future for the love pills

You’ll almost certainly have heard of Viagra, but you might not know that it was originally developed for treating heart problems. New research published in October in BMC Medicine showed that it could be used as a safe treatment for heart disease. In a guest post, lead author on the paper, Andrea M. Isidori of Department of Experimental Medicine at Sapienza University of Rome, told us more about the background to the research and what they found out.

Hepatitis in Europe – the hidden epidemic

When is it important to gather more evidence to inform the response to a major public health problem? As the HepHIV 2014 Conference in Barcelona took place last month, guest blogger Professor Jeffrey Lazarus, Secretariat Director of Health Systems Global, and a Senior Researcher at the Centre for Health and Infectious Diseases Research, reflected on this question and told us about the challenges we face to combat hepatitis in Europe.

From asbestos to clocks, and clinical trials

Why we need badges in scienceIn the world of research, there’s a lot of work which goes unrecognized. But could we change this? BioMed Central’s Amye Kenall wrote about the idea of ‘contributorship’ in scientific publishing and how Mozilla’s Open Badge infrastructure could be a possible solution.

tRFs and the Argonautes: gene silencing from antiquityWhat’s the difference between Argonautes and Argonauts (apart from the extra e!)? Naomi Attar explained, and told us how this was linked to a new paper published in BMC Biology, which mined Argonaute (sic) datasets for biology’s very own hidden gold: tRFs.

A movement with momentum – the potential of clinical trials registries: Ella Flemyng looked at new research published in Systematic Reviews which revealed that only 35% of researchers used clinical trials registries in their search strategies for systematic reviews.

Time for a change: Could additional daylight saving improve public health?:The clocks went back in many countries round the world in October, meaning longer, darker evenings. But could this change be affecting our health? Joel Winston looked at research which shows more daylight savings time could be beneficial.

How safe is the air we breathe?: Research in the field of particle and fiber toxicology doesn’t often hit in the headlines, but these researchers have been vital in uncovering human health ‘black holes’ – illness-causing issues on a grand scale. I took a look into the field, some of its history and what’s still left to uncover.

An ancient rift among giraffes gives us clues on how to conserve themThe number of giraffe subspecies, and the relationship between them, remains controversial. Chris Foote took a look at research published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, which could help answer some of the questions.

Cautious optimism as Irish childhood obesity rates plateauCo-authors on a new research article published in BMC Public Health told us more about their research, which found that although childhood obesity rates remain high in Ireland, there is evidence that they have stabilised and may be beginning to fall.

Happy Birthday BugBittenOur parasites and vectors blog, BugBitten, celebrated its first birthday in October. Its objective is to highlight and discuss exciting developments in parasitology and vector-borne disease research. Editor Hilary Hurd took a look back over the last year, and some of their most successful posts.

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