June blogs digest: impact factors, research priorities, nanopore sequencing, and more

Not had a chance to read all our posts this month? Here’s a roundup of what you missed…

A postdoc perspective on impact factors

A journal’s impact factor affects how appealing that journal is to researchers for publication of their work. Not only because this could in turn affect their research funding, but also their careers. Prior to the announcement of this year’s official impact factors, Bryony Graham discussed the reasons behind this and what it means for young researchers.

Real-time genomic surveillance with nanopore-seq

If nanopore sequencing technology was readily available to doctors in Sierra Leone in the early stages of the Ebola epidemic, could the spread of the disease have been contained quicker? This blog by Senior Editor, Rafal Marszalek, introduced the nanopore sequencer, MinION, and the potential this device could have for the future.

Do patients and clinicians research priorities really matter?

For the last ten years, finding a reliable, transparent, and inclusive way of identifying and prioritizing clinical research priorities across health conditions and settings has been a work in progress. A recent study published in Research Involvement and Engagement, has identified a mismatch in the priorities of patients, clinicians, and the research community. Read this blog to find out more from co-author Sally Crowe.

Maternal environment influencing DNA methylation

Recent work published in Genome Biology has identified a tumor suppressor gene as a human epiallele which responds to the environment. By looking at expectant mothers, they found that the nutrition available in the environment at the time the woman is pregnant influences the expression of this epiallele and in turn affects DNA methylation in her child. Co-authors Matt Silver and Noah Kessler explained more about their research in this Q&A.

From physical activity during cancer to the risks of sedentary behavior

walkingPhysical activity and cancer: it’s time for a paradigm shift: One in four people are living with the consequences of cancer and its treatment, so how can their quality of life be improved? Growing evidence suggests that being physically active during and after cancer treatment is a clinically effective intervention to do just that. Here, Jo Foster from Macmillan Cancer Support told us more.

.peer reviewJPGA beginner’s guide to peer review: Part Two: Scientists don’t usually get any formal training on how to peer review. They have to rely on what they’ve read, observed, and their own experiences of peer reviewers’ comments on their work. So how do you begin your assessment of the manuscript? Jigisha Patel discussed this in the second of a series of step-by-step guides for the novice peer reviewer.

MERSThe MERS outbreak: an Asian perspective: Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus is a strain of coronavirus that causes a viral respiratory illness called MERS. Following concerns about the recent outbreak in South Korea, this guest blog provided insights from Asia about what is being done to contain the disease here.

cat tongueCat got your tongue? Not according to new research: Pet cats have a reputation for being rather unpredictable in their dietary choices. Research has found that the way cats perceive bitterness is different to the way humans taste it, in fact, to them, certain foods are less bitter. So what are the reasons behind this? Joel Winston explained more.

500 toilet500 year old toilet in Jerusalem reveals clues about long-distance trade and travel in the medieval period: Studying 500 year old human stool samples is probably not seen as the most appealing of things to examine, but the stories hidden behind these stools can lead to fascinating insights into human life back then. Alan Harrison delved into the research for BugBitten.

DDW15What’s new in gastroenterology? Insights from BMC Medicine at DDW 2015: You rarely get the chance to meet 15,000 gastroenterologists, all together in one place. So, when BMC Medicine joined Digestive Disease Week 2015 in Washington DC last month, we got a glimpse into what’s new in the fields of gastroenterology and hepatology. Alessandro Recchioni provided an overview in this blog.

sedentaryGet up, stand up – the risks of sedentary behaviour: Research published in BMC Public Health has suggested that anxiety is linked with sedentary behaviour. This study, in addition to many others, implies we should all try to spend more time on our feet. Kam Arkinstall looked into the details and explained why we need to be aware of the risks.

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