It’s always pleasant to find examples of when open access allows researchers to more readily find articles. Sometimes they don’t like what they find.
This week, we were surprised to come across a publication mentioning BioMed Central’s role in recent changes to the way in which new species are recognised. Much has been written about recent updates to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) allowing electronic publication of the scientific names of animals, and for a bit of background we can do no better than direct you towards an interview with Frank Krell, Commissioner of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature and Chair of the ICZN ZooBank Committee, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology.
These efforts to move the …
BMC Ecology is delighted to announce the winning images in its very first Ecology Image Competition. We were truly overwhelmed by the positive response to the competition, which received more than 200 individual entries from researchers across the world.
In an accompanying Editorial, guest judge Dr Yan Wong and the journal’s Editorial Board outline what they found most striking about their choice of winning images – and discuss some of the ecological stories behind these stunning pictures.
Click on the links below to browse through the winning entries, together with some of the most highly commended images that didn’t quite make it to winning the top prize. All of these winning images have been released under a Creative Commons …
On Wednesday 27 February, the newest addition to the BMC-series portfolio was launched. This marked a significant milestone for the BMC-series family of open access journals, as it was the first truly new journal since 2008.
View the story “BMC Psychology Launches!” on Storify
Scientists shoot plants into space in an attempt to unearth the mysteries of root growth
Gel. Gel is the answer. By growing experimental plants on plates filled with nutrient gel instead of pots of soil, researchers have been able to capture on camera the growth of roots in space, without having to worry about watering them on their journey into orbit.
And you can see exactly what happens to them here:
In fact, the plants in these experimental chambers grow along the surface of the gel, not through the substrate as they would in soil. This allows visualisation of growth behaviour in two dimensions, captured in this time-lapse video that was run over the course of 15 days whilst in orbit on the …
BioMed Central journals BMC Biology, BMC Ecology, BMC Evolutionary Biology and Frontiers in Zoology now welcome manuscripts that have been reviewed through the community peer-review initiative Peerage of Science.
This initiative aims to not only bring greater accountability and openness to the traditional peer-review process, but also to reward reviewers for the quality of their reviewing. By decoupling from journals the process of finding and assessing reviews, the founders hope to be able to create a more efficient experience for researchers as they try to find a suitable home for their research.
Speaking to BioMed Central, co-founder Janne-Tuomas Seppänen says:
“As one of the original founders of the initiative, I am very happy to see more open …
There are now less than 2 weeks left to submit your entries to the BMC Ecology Image Competition!
More than 100 images have now been submitted from all over the world, so be sure to send in yours before Saturday 1st December to be in with a chance of winning.
The competition is open to everyone affiliated with a research institution, and we consider all images from photos to data visualizations. Entries should be submitted to one of five categories that reflect the editorial sections of the journal. The winner of each category will be chosen by each of the journal’s Section Editors and the categories are:
Behavioural and physiological ecology
Conservation ecology and biodiversity research
Community, population, and macroecology
Landscape ecology …
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s landmark—and controversial—book investigating the effects of pesticide use on the environment. In a special Editorial in BMC Ecology to mark the occasion, David Pimentel, Emeritus Professor of Ecology at Cornell University, offers a personal reflection of the impact of the work, which was published when he was still a graduate student in the 1960’s.
Re-reading the book today is to be immediately struck by the historical context in which it was composed. While it’s lasting legacy may ultimately have been a more thorough look into the use of chemicals such as DDT, tellingly, the first substance mentioned in its pages is the radioactive …
You like pretty flowers but your immune system hates their pollen? You wish your pretty flowers would bloom for just that little bit longer? Well, science is making it happen.
In a new article published today in BMC Plant Biology, Begoña García-Sogo and colleagues from the Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas (IBMCP) and BIOMIVA S.L. in Spain outline a method to produce longer-lived and pollen-free Pelargonium plants – probably better known as geraniums or storkbills to the everyday gardener.
To do this, they employ the help of a soil-dwelling bacterium called Agrobacterium tumefaciens that can more usually be found infecting crop plants, where it induces damaging tumours known as galls.
But this pathogenicity is key.
In the wild, …
Ever wondered what 48 hours in the life and death of a cell looks like?
I guess most people’s answers to that questions might be “no”, but honestly – it’s fascinating. Programmed Cell Death (PCD) occurs in both plants and animals, and is quite often a tightly regulated series of events. Sometimes these events can be environmentally induced, as when cells are subjected to heat shock, but most often this can just be down to the normal everyday processes of tissue development.
Although largely well characterized, until now it has not been possible to visualize the sequence of events that occur throughout this process. In a new article published today in …
You might think that banging together two metal bars in close proximity to a penguin would be cruel. But it turns out that they actually don’t seem to mind too much, at least not if they’ve lived alongside similar noises for the last 50 years or so.
A new article published today in BMC Ecology outlines the efforts of a group of researchers to find out exactly what effect long term chronic disturbance from humans can have on wild populations of king penguins.
It’s well known that disturbance from humans can have detrimental effects on some wild animal populations, and that this is a particularly troublesome issue in an age of increasing ecotourism and encroachment into …