Time for a change: Could additional daylight saving improve public health?

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With the clocks going back in Europe this weekend, most of us will probably be looking forward to that extra hour in bed. But that joy of catching up on sleep is always short-lived, when throughout the winter we have to cope with longer, darker evenings.

In some countries, there have been intense debates on whether there should instead be permanent daylight saving, with the clocks shifted forward by an additional hour year round. A proposal known as “Single/Double Summer Time” could see the UK enjoying later sunsets, as it adopts the same time as mainland Europe, essentially GMT+1 hour in the winter and GMT+2 hours in the summer.

Supporters of the proposals say that the changes could lead to fewer road …

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The theory and the practice: what open access publishing means to an early career researcher

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Bryony Graham

Continuing our series of Open Access Week posts, today we get the views of Bryony Graham, a postdoctoral researcher at the Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine (WIMM). She writes about the theory and the reality of publishing open access as a researcher at the beginning of her career.

 

As a postdoctoral research scientist who graduated just over two years ago, I’d say things are going relatively well. I’ve just about managed to convince myself that I’m no longer a student; my project is starting to shape itself into something vaguely publishable; and apparently I can even be trusted to speak at international conferences about my work. All in all: not bad.

But, like many scientists at this career stage, I’m constantly …

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On ten years and open access (part 2)

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Ten year

Following on from yesterday, here’s the second of our two posts marking the 10th anniversary of some of our journals. As it’s Open Access Week, we asked some of our Editors-in-Chief to give us their perspectives on the last 10 years, and how their journal – and open access publishing – has changed. 

 

 

 

 

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If open access had been around when you were starting your research career, what impact do you think it would have had?

José M. Belizán, Reproductive Health: When I started my research career open access was not available. Since I lived in a middle-income country I had no access to publications and I needed to travel to the scarce number of libraries which existed only in the …

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Generation Open: Open access in the eyes of a Middle Eastern young researcher

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Aisha Gharaibeh

As part of Open Access Week, we’ve been asking young researchers for their points of view on open access. In this guest post, Aisha Gharaibeh, a medical student, gives us her perspective.

The concept of open access caught my eyes when I first read about it a year and a half ago. It was through the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) March Meeting 2013 in Baltimore, USA. The level of awareness among participating students was variable.

For me, I knew nothing about it, however I was eager to know more and I was fascinated by the level of awareness of some students from North America and European countries. Later on, I started working in an open access scientific journal, the …

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What’s killing us? The biggest causes of premature death

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mgh

The general aim of medicine is to reduce the burden of ill-health and mortality, such that individuals are able to enjoy longer, healthier lives. Indeed, advances in medicine have meant that life expectancy in most countries has increased by around 10 years in the past 40 years, albeit with large variation between the richest and poorest countries.

As a result of significant medical advances, the global population has continued to grow and age, but this has led to a broad shift in the type of diseases that cause the most burden; from communicable (i.e. infectious), maternal, neonatal and nutritional causes of death to non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

So what does this mean in terms of disease burden? On which diseases …

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Responding to climate change

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Frank Seebacher

Our new journal Climate Change Responses launches today, and to mark the occasion, we’ve asked co-Editor-in-Chief Frank Seebacher to tell us all about it.

What exactly will Climate Change Responses cover and why is it important to have a journal in this field?

Changing climate affects species and ecosystems at all levels of organization, from molecular interactions within cells, to global patterns of species distributions. This recent video by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) provides some graphic examples of how climate change and interactions with humans affects wildlife in many parts of the world.

As research progresses, our understanding of climate change is shifting all the time, both with respect to climate dynamics and their consequences for the …

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On ten years and open access – Editor perspectives

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Ten year

We have a whole host of journals celebrating their 10th anniversaries this year. To mark such a special occasion, and as part of Open Access Week, we asked some of our Editors-in-Chief to give us their perspectives on the last 10 years, and how their journal – and open access publishing – has changed. Here’s the first of two posts with their thoughts…

 

In the 10 years since your journal started, what changes have you seen to publishing, and researchers’ attitudes to open access?

José M. Belizán, Reproductive Health: I can see that researchers are becoming keener to publish in open access journals since they value the speed of the process, the fact that these journals do not have the …

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Open Access: A teacher’s point of view

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Experimentation with mobile devices. Image credit: Renata Aquino Ribeiro CC:BY.

As part of our celebrations for Open Access Week, we asked Renata Aquino Ribeiro (second from left), doctor in educational technology in Brazil, and author of the blog Pesquisa Educação (Research in Education) to give us her perspective on open access.

Tell us about yourself

As a researcher in education and technology, I have learned the importance of open access and I plan to continue advocating it. I’m part of a research group in Federal University of Ceará – UFC – Fortaleza, Brazil doing a project with biblographic management open tools for scientific publications (Zotero).

I believe in the power of scientific social networks and I encourage educators to use them. I teach courses about them at scientific events, such as in the …

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Generation Open: What do you know about open access?

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It’s Open Access Week this week, and the theme is Generation Open. To mark it, we’ve asked a range of students and early career researchers from around the world to tell us what they think about open access. We’ll be bringing you their answers over the course of the week.

First up is Emma Sackville (right), who’s in the first year of her PhD at the University of Bath as part of the Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies which is a Doctoral Training Program focussing on issues surrounding sustainability.

How did you find out about open access? Do you think there’s much awareness of it amongst students?

I feel like I’ve been aware of open access since starting my PhD but to be honest …

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Viagra protects the heart: back to the future for the love pills

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Viagra pills

New research published today in BMC Medicine shows that Viagra could be used as a safe treatment for heart disease. In this guest post, lead author on the paper, Andrea M. Isidori of Department of Experimental Medicine at Sapienza University of Rome, tells us more about the background to this research and what they found out.

Everybody’s heard of Viagra (sildenafil). It was the first phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitor (PDE5i) marketed for the treatment of erectile dysfunction. But few people are aware of the other beneficial effects and potential new uses for this class of drugs.

Viagra was originally tested for heart problems – angina pectoris, a chest pain associated with coronary heart disease – on the basis of its vasodilatory …

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