When the three bears returned to their house in the woods, they found that their porridge had been eaten, their chairs had been sat in and ultimately that Goldilocks was fast asleep in baby bear’s bed. Unbeknownst to Goldilocks, she would have left more than a broken chair behind. Each of her interactions with the bears’ house would have transferred microbes from her to the built environment in which they lived.
We know that humans are covered in microbial life, with more bacterial cells than the cells in our own bodies. We know much less about the microbes living in the built environment – the homes we live in, our offices, farms and factories. Most humans in industrialized countries now spend …
Antimicrobial resistance is a global and critical issue facing the world today. Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control is supporting the World Health Organisation in their campaign ‘SAVE LIVES: Clean your hands’, which aims to increase global awareness of the role of hand hygiene to combat antimicrobial resistance.
The WHO awareness day is the 5th May, when two global surveys will be taking place on the following topics, which you can contribute to:
- A Global Prevalence Survey on Multidrug-Resistant Organisms (MDROs) – laboratories in healthcare facilities around the world are asked to submit data from inpatient clinical blood and urine laboratory specimens, related to five selected key multidrug-resistant organisms (MDROs).
- A Point Prevalence Global Survey on use of Surgical Antibiotic …
Substantial progress has been made in the targeted therapy of breast cancer, with three new targeted therapies licensed for advanced breast cancer over the last two years. Targeted therapies block the growth and spread of cancer by interfering in specific biological processes responsible for cancer cell growth. Therefore targeted therapies may be more effective and less harmful to normal cells than other cancer treatments, such as traditional chemotherapy that targets all rapidly dividing cells. The most well known targeted therapy at the moment is trastuzumab (Herceptin).
A new thematic series in Breast Cancer Research brings together the translational research behind these new approaches, as well as reviewing treatments with early evidence of efficacy that are still …
Post by Rabia Begum
Obesity is emerging as a major risk factor to cancer susceptibility. With obesity rates on the rise around the world, this has major health and policy implications for us all.
This link between cancer and obesity was debated at the Metabolism, Diet and Disease Conference in 2012, in which the focus was on metabolic factors in common between obesity and cancer and potential strategies for intervening to reduce the associated health risks.
The panel, including Michael Pollak and Stephen Hursting, also discussed the fact that anti-cancer agents are less effective in obese cancer patients, and that the metabolic link to different cancers may not always be the same. Take a look at some of the highlights from …
When a researcher gets their work published, months of hard work and dedication finally pay off. The rewards of being published in a reputable journal are immediately obvious, but what about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes?
Peer review remains the gold standard for the evaluation of new research and key to the process of refining an article before publication. It is a widely debated issue, and not without its flaws, but new practises are emerging, and adaptations have been made to the process to provide the best possible service.
For example, BMC series medical journals operate an open peer review policy which enables authors and the reading public to see the names of the reviewers who …
The incidence of gallbladder cancer varies significantly worldwide, with very high rates in South America, Japan, China and Eastern Europe and lower rates in the US and UK. Interestingly gallbladder cancer is also twice as common in women than men, which arguably may be due to increased exposure to the hormone oestrogen.
The prognosis for living with gallbladder cancer is very poor, and thus research into finding an effective treatment is crucially important. Xiao Liang and colleagues have recently published a promising early study on this subject in Cell & Bioscience, reporting the results of a preliminary experiment using the antimalarial drug chloroquine to aid treatment of the cancer.
Gallbladder cancer is notoriously difficult to treat as …
Last week, we took a look at how mobile healthcare apps can personalize healthcare in our blog post. While such apps represent an innovative way of measuring data and incentivizing a healthy lifestyle, there are also many other approaches to patient-tailored medicine that are currently being explored in the clinic.
In our podcast featured in Biome magazine and accompanying forum article in BMC Medicine, Daniel Hayes discusses the development of targeted therapy in oncology, where treatments such as trastuzumab – an antibody drug against the HER2 protein – are given to those with certain cancer subtypes. Hayes emphasizes that genomic sequencing and “big data” approaches using electronic medical records will pave the …
Rare diseases are notoriously difficult to diagnose and treat. There are a number of reasons for this, but chief among them is the very fact of their rarity. With only small patient numbers, it can be challenging to carry out research leading to new diagnostics and treatments.
Today is Rare Disease Day, a movement which aims to bring together everyone involved in trying to change this state of affairs, from practitioners to policymakers, social services to scientists, policy makers, and, crucially, patients. So it seems appropriate for us to highlight some promising new research into Apert syndrome, published today in BMC Developmental Biology.
Apert syndrome is a rare congenital disorder where the skull and …
Our readers might have gotten distracted this month by discussions on whether it is right or wrong for Illumina to limit researchers’ use of their kit, and so we are here to help you regain focus: after a deliberately thematic issue on the RBPome, we have just published an accidentally thematic issue on DNA methylation.
This month Genome Biology publishes three tools that many working on DNA methylation should find quite handy.
Mark Robinson (of edgeR, which he published together with another of this issue’s authors, Gordon Smyth) and company present a new method, BayMeth, for the effective quantification of data generated with DNA-methylation-capture-seq techniques (MBD-seq, MeDIP-seq and so on). So if you …
Mobile healthcare applications – or “apps” – are having an increasingly profound impact on medicine; it is estimated that within 5 years, 50% of mobile device users will have downloaded healthcare apps. With drastic improvements in technology in the last few years, mobile medical apps now range from drug databases to sophisticated monitors that can measure blood pressure, heart rate and asthma symptoms.
In a podcast featured in Biome magazine and a forum article in BMC Medicine, cardiologist Eric Topol discusses the huge potential of mobile healthcare apps, describing how the smartphone can function as a “lab on a chip”, and can test for kidney and thyroid function, as well as levels of potassium …