January blogs digest: clinical drug trials, a malaria urine test, repositories, and more

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

Are clinical drug trials more marketing than science?

What factors influence the design of a clinical trial? Research published in Trials examined reports of randomized controlled trials to deduce what characteristics appear to be influenced by marketing considerations over science. Do medical journals actually publish marketing trials, and if so, how often do they occur and what are their important features? Co-author Professor Carl Heneghan discussed what the research found.

The challenges and promises of a new malaria urine test

The Fyodor Urine Malaria Test, which just won the Health Innovation Challenge Awards in Nigeria, does not rely on blood and may soon enable prompt and widespread malaria testing. It has the potential to improve patient outcome and reduce the spread of drug resistance in malaria. It’s so easy to perform that it may be done at home. Studies on the test’s performance will show how it can be further improved and here Anja Choon from BugBitten explained more.

One repository for all

There are many, many repositories out there for scientists to store their research, and although this is great, searching for one thing across them all is not possible. Mike Taylor introduced a new project aiming to overcome this issue, The One Repo – a single place where you can find any open access paper, wherever it was written or published.

From leaving academia to pet dog domestication

Leaving academia: what to look for in a new career: The pressure to publish, the current funding crisis, and meager salaries can wear on academic researchers very quickly, driving you to seek alternative careers. But sometimes moving out to the unknown can be daunting, Guest Author Victoria Shulman aimed to help in this blog.

Zika_EM_CDC_280116.tiff_Mysterious Zika virus sweeps over Latin America and beyond: Zika disease has exploded in the Latin Americas following an outbreak in Brazil last year. Although not lethal, there is evidence of an association between the disease and microcephaly in new-borns. Editor for BugBitten explains more in this blog.

Sad and lonely senior man with nurseDementia risk – to know or not to know? BMC Medicine published an article investigating whether routinely collected data can predict dementia risk. If possible – would you want to know your potential risk of developing the disease? Clare Walton of Alzheimer’s Society explained more in this guest blog.

clock-939978_1280Planning ahead: what to think about prior to submission: As the saying goes, if it’s not published then it never happened! However, before starting to write your manuscript, and before you even begin your research, there are a few things to bear in mind to avoid problems upon submission.

Untitled design(69)Diagnostic accuracy: 60% of the time it works every time: Both doctors and patients take the reliability of diagnostic tests for granted. These tests are vital for identifying a specific condition, disease stage, therapeutic response or the chance that a person will develop a condition in the future. But are they really as accurate as they appear to be?

medical-781422_1280Why is the sharing of individual participant data important for cancer research? BMC Medicine recently published guidelines for sharing individual participant data in a responsible and protecting way. The guidelines were supported by Cancer Research UK who explained more in this blog.

Are there differences in temperament between wildtype and wild-caught fruit flies_From wild wolves to tame pets: Research published recently in BMC Evolutionary Biology presented evidence for selection during early dog domestication on multiple genes potentially involved in the fight-or-flight response. Co-author Alex Cagan told us more in this guest blog.

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