Missed out on some of our posts from the last month? Not for much longer! Here’s a selection of our most popular posts for you to read at leisure.
10 things you might not know about breastfeeding
Did you know that telephone support can help new mothers to breastfeed? Or that a cyber version of wet nursing is flourishing over the internet? World Breastfeeding Week ran from 1-7 August this year, and to mark the start of it BioMed Central’s Natasha Salaria worked with the Editor of the International Breastfeeding Journal to bring you 10 things that you might not know about breastfeeding.
Ebola – what is it, and how do you recognize it?
Reports over the rapid spread of the …
When BMC Biology launched its iconic image we acknowledged the extreme artistic licence of portraying selected vertebrate phyla pictorially while whole microbial kingdoms were denoted with a single blob. This was not intended to signify a lack of interest in the microbial world on our part, and to update our readers on a major effort to explore its taxonomic diversity and role in the biosphere, we invited the instigators of the Earth Microbiome Project (EMP), launched in 2010 with the aim of sampling the microbial diversity of the planet, to give us a progress report.
In their short comment article on the achievements and aspirations of the EMP, Jack Gilbert, Janet Jansson and Rob Knight deliver a positive …
You may not know much about them, but you’ll almost certainly have eaten something that lactic acid bacteria have had a hand in. To mark a new supplement in Microbial Cell Factories, guest editor Eric Johansen tells us his 12 reasons why you ought to read it.
Lactic acid bacteria have a long history of use in the food industry where they are best known for turning milk into cheese or yoghurt, cabbage into sauerkraut or kimchi, and even improving the quality of wine. They’re also consumed in probiotic products for their health-promoting effects.
We’ve dedicated a whole supplement to these ‘friendly’ bacteria, and these are my 12 reasons why you need to read about them:
1. Their surface structure is …
As well as being an art form, photography is an important tool used by researchers to document their observations. Earlier this year, BMC Ecology launched its second image competition to showcase images of the natural world. Now we have the great pleasure of unveiling the winners.
“The best work often shows that new phenomena – sometimes startling, sometimes beautiful and sometimes both – are always there to be found with the keenest eye, the sharpest act of attention” explains Casper Henderson and his fellow judges.
Images hold scientific value through capturing fascinating interactions and ecological events, whether depicting an intimate encounter between a mother albatross and her chick, or capturing a Phorid fly trying to parasitise a Carpenter ant.
Our image …
This is a guest post by Esmé Lanktree of the Global Health Research Initiative, and editor of supplements in Human Resources for Health and BMC Health Services Research.
Are we really facing a human resources for health (HRH) crisis? If we take crisis to mean a crucial moment in time, then an argument could be made against, as this is not a new problem. However, if we define crisis as ‘a situation that has reached a critical phase’ or ‘a difficult or dangerous situation that needs serious attention’ (see Merriam-Webster), then the current HRH situation is certainly a crisis.
The 2006 World Health Report: Working together for health estimated a shortage of over four million health workers, and according …
Research published today in Genome Biology could improve treatments, and the targeting of treatments, for breast cancer. In this guest post, Cancer Research UK’s Dr Nick Peel describes the history of the findings and what they could mean for future research.
Just over two years ago a landmark study took our knowledge of breast cancer to a new level.
An international team of scientists, led by Professor Carlos Caldas and his team at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, mapped the genetic landscape of breast cancer in unprecedented detail, redefining it as 10 distinct diseases.
But as with many of these vast genetic explorations, the study revealed as much unexplored terrain as it mapped – exposing the complexity …
There are over seven billion people living on our planet and this vast population creates an equally vast demand for food and fuel. In this guest post, the authors of an article published today in Agriculture and Food Security tell us how climate-smart agriculture could help us to combat the threat of climate change to these in-demand resources.
Climate change is already putting food security at risk. Rising temperatures and extreme events, such as sudden droughts and floods, mean that it will be even harder to meet the growing demand for food, fiber and fuel, especially for poor countries with high population growth.
Unless immediate action is taken by policy-makers, the impacts on livelihoods will increase over the long-run, especially if agriculture …
The World Health Organization estimates that global levels of obesity have doubled since 1980. In 2012, more than 40 million children under the age of 5 were estimated to be overweight or obese, which is an issue of serious concern as excess body weight is believed to be the driver of many non-communicable diseases, namely type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some types of cancer.
To tackle what is, in most cases, a preventable condition, there is increasing focus on research into understanding the mechanisms behind obesity, including our genetics and the influence of lifestyle and the environment. There is also now increased focus on introducing public health initiatives to aid long-term weight loss, which range from improving public, …
In this guest post, Dr Andrew Teschendorff of University College London and the CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology, Shanghai, examines a new Genome Medicine study.
In an exciting research article published today in Genome Medicine, Rafa Irizzary and colleagues provide evidence for a gradual systems-level deregulation of the epigenome in stages prior to the onset of cancer and which later is seen to progress further in cancer. Thus, these insights could potentially lead to a clinical test with the ability to predict cancer risk in cells that are not yet malignant.
The authors focused on a specific epigenetic mark, known as DNA methylation, a molecular modification of DNA which can regulate the activity of nearby …
New research published today in Genome Biology shows that RNA sequencing could lead the way towards more personalized treatments for prostate cancer. In this guest post, Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK discusses what this could mean for patients and health services, and what more is needed to provide effective support and treatment for men with prostate cancer.
We are used to hearing and talking about prostate cancer as a single disease. Albeit a disease with its tigers and pussycats – the tigers being the aggressive cancers that move out of the prostate gland to other parts of the body, and the pussycats being those cancers that may never cause any harm and won’t go …