This is a guest post by Lucy Maddox, Clinical Psychologist and BSA Media Fellow. You can read more from Lucy on her blog, Psychology Magpie, and on Twitter @Lucy_Maddox.
Sex differences in brain connections found in a recent PNAS article have caused a media stir. The BBC reported that “men and women’s brains are wired differently” and that this might result in differences between what each sex does well. A backlash of comment debated whether this is a helpful position for gender equality, and whether the media story had covered the science accurately enough.
We seem to have endless appetite for knowledge on whether or how the sexes differ, with …
Wildlife collisions with aircraft pose a significant threat to public safety, having directly caused 221 fatalities since 1988. The “Miracle on the Hudson“, where a plane crash-landed into the Hudson river in 2009, was indeed caused by a collision with a flock of geese. In addition, wildlife collisions cost the airline industry over one billion US Dollars every year through damages.
New research published in Investigative Genetics by a group of scientists from Murdoch University (Australia) demonstrates a new way to address this issue, using an unexpected tool – next-generation sequencing. By analysing the DNA from the stomach contents of birds found in Perth Airport the study identified exactly what species the birds had been eating, …
Perceptions of the value of peer-reviewed case reports have shifted significantly in recent years, with increasing interest in making them more widely available. This has led to the creation of a number of journals dedicated solely to case reports, overloading the already crammed ‘to-read’ lists of researchers and clinicians.
Although often overlooked when competing with evidence-based literature, medical case reports have been key throughout the development of medical education, as one of the oldest methods of medical scientific communication. Case reports describe in detail an individual patient’s diagnosis and treatment; they can provide first evidence of new medical conditions or emergent diseases, and can help in understanding the mechanisms of disease and in the identification of adverse drug reactions.
With the …
The study of sex differences is relevant to all fields spanning biology and medicine. The sex of cells and tissues can have a large impact on their basic physiology, their susceptibility to certain diseases, and their response to therapeutic drugs. Experimental results can vary considerably depending on the sex of the experimental subjects.
Biology of Sex Differences is an open access journal that aims to publish research on all aspects of the effects of sex on biology and disease. The journal is affiliated with the Organization for the Study of Sex Differences (OSSD), an international membership society of researchers and physicians. With the growth of personalised medicine and therapies adapted to the individual patient, the need to further explore …
Although it was first reported that cancer cells have altered metabolism almost a century ago, metabolic pathways have only been recognized as potential therapeutic targets for cancer in recent years. This renewed interest has occurred as researchers have demonstrated that signaling pathways affected by genetic mutations have a profound effect on cancer metabolism.
Research into this area is now rapidly accelerating. Earlier this year, a clinical trial demonstrated that exercise-induced changes in estrogen metabolism could reduce breast cancer risk, and results from animal studies suggested that drugs used to treat metabolic diseases such as diabetes may be effective against lung cancer. These and other studies indicate that metabolism could be an important target for cancer …
To mark the BioMed Central conference Epigenetics & Chromatin: Interactions and processes that took place in Boston earlier this year, the open access journal Epigenetics & Chromatin has published a series of review articles that focus on addressing some of the biggest questions in epigenetics today.
The final review of the series, by Anton Wutz (ETH Zurich, Switzerland), has been published today, discussing how haploid genomes illustrate epigenetic constraints and gene dosage effects in mammals. In this review the authors, who have significantly advanced our understanding of haploidy in mammals, provide an insightful summary of systems available to study haploid genomes.
Other reviews in the series include a description of the role of the …
Tropical diseases–illnesses that are prevalent in tropical or subtropical regions–are most commonly spread by insect vectors that carry infectious parasites, bacteria or viruses. The majority of tropical diseases affect the poorest people living in remote areas, and these poverty-promoting chronic infectious diseases have been termed “neglected tropical diseases” (NTDs). It is thought that the incidence of NTDs has increased in recent years due to the exploration of rainforests and increased tourism in tropical areas. Experts are becoming increasingly concerned about the global spread of dengue, a febrile NTD spread by mosquitoes, with the recent emergence of the virus in several parts of the US. This week, warnings have also been issued about the increased …
This blog was jointly written by Ben Johnson, Associate Publisher of Flavour Journal here at BioMed Central, and Amye Kenall, our data guru, who spearheads open data initiatives and advocacy. Take time to enjoy this morsel of open data goodness.
Earlier this week, at a research press conference involving a Champagne tasting for our journal Flavour, I spoke to authors Vanessa Harrar, Barry Smith, Ophelia Deroy, and Charles Spence about their latest article ‘Grape expectations: how the proportion of white grape in Champagne affects the ratings of experts and social drinkers in a blind tasting‘, published last week in the journal.
The study, as do most studies, had collected far more …
There is a major interest in the role of the cerebellum in behavioural and cognitive tasks, and the field of cerebellar ataxias is now evolving as a clinical discipline internationally.
As an exciting development – in keeping with the direction of the field – Cerebellum & Ataxias, a new open access journal from BioMed Central, is now accepting submissions.
Led by Editor-in-Chief Mario Manto, FNRS, Belgium, the journal hopes to mirror the success of its older, sister journal The Cerebellum, and complement its focus on the fundamental neurosciences of the cerebellum in providing a platform for more clinical cases and scientific reports of the numerous forms of ataxias.
Cerebellum & Ataxias welcomes both research and clinical …
The launch last month of PubMed Commons, which makes it possible to post comments on PubMed for any indexed article, could mark a significant change in scientific communication.
BioMed Central, like many other publishers, has long encouraged readers to comment on published journal articles, but has found that uptake of this functionality has been limited. PubMed’s exceptional breadth of content, combined with its huge traffic, could change that.
For now, PubMed Commons remains in pilot phase. Comments are invisible to most PubMed users, but anyone who is listed as an author on an article which has been indexed by PubMed can participate in the pilot by logging in with a suitably authorized NCBI account, which enables the reading and …