Transcriptional regulation of miRNA-21


According to research recently published in Genome Medicine, a complex of transcription factors which includes p53, NF-kappa-B and STAT3 is responsible for regulation of miRNA-21 expression. This microRNA is significantly upregulated in stressed heart muscle and has previously been suggested as a therapeutic target in a mouse model of heart failure.  

Roger Foo and colleagues used chromatin immunoprecipitation assays and high-throughput sequencing to examine transcription factor binding at the miRNA-21 locus.  They found that p53 acts as a cofactor, forming a protein complex with NF-kappa-B (RELA), and that STAT3 is also required for the complex to associate with the cis-element controlling mir-21 expression.  This may be a more general mechanism of control in other genes whose …

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New and improved Impact Factors for BioMed Central journals in 2009 Journal Citation Report


The newly released 2009 edition of Thomson Reuters’ Journal Citation Report
includes official Impact Factors for 77 BioMed Central journals, 54 of which
are new or improved.

Some highlights:

Genome Biology (IF 6.63)
increased its Impact Factor and remains BioMed Central’s most highly cited
BMC Biology
(IF 5.64) is now ranked #4 of 73 in the BIOLOGY category.
BMC Medicine
(IF 3.99) climbs to #18 of 132 in MEDICINE, GENERAL &
Five more medical journals in the BMC series received their first Impact

BMC Family Practice

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Active DNA demethylation


In an article recently published in Genome Biology, Michael Rehli and colleagues of the University Hospital Regensburg have identified novel examples of active DNA demethylation that are coupled to the appearance of ‘activating’ histone modifications.

Until now, the majority of evidence for active, replication-independent DNA demethylation in mammalian systems has relied upon inhibiting cell division using pharmacological inhibitors and monitoring any subsequent DNA methylation. Here, the authors avoid the use of inhibitors by investigating DNA demethylation in a differentiation system; that of human peripheral blood monocytes into macrophages or dendritic cells in which differentiation proceeds without cell division. By monitoring genome-wide methylation levels during a time course of differentiation, the authors were able to identify novel sites of …

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Time to put biomarkers to the test in myocardial infarction?


Have you ever asked yourself exactly what a biomarker is, and what this term really means?  It can be confusing, since biomarkers themselves are discussed in a number of different contexts including: aiding diagnosis, predicting response and monitoring response to therapy, or helping to identify candidates that will benefit from therapy.

In a new review published this month in BMC Medicine, Daniel Chan and Leong Ng from the University of Leicester (UK), outline what makes a good biomarker in the context of myocardial infarction.  Further, they talk about the different biomarkers that have been investigated for use in earlier diagnosis and prediction of prognosis in myocardial infarction, a condition that leads to significant mortality and morbidity.

Chan and Ng …

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BioMed Central celebrates excellence in open access publishing


The winners of BioMed Central’s 4th Annual Research Awards were announced at London’s Swiss Re Tower last week. The event was attended by shortlisted authors, eminent researchers, publishers, open access advocates and science journalists from around the world.

The awards, now in their fourth year, acknowledge excellence in research that has been made universally accessible by open access publication. These awards were particularly special this year as BioMed Central also celebrates its 10th anniversary.

In addition to the Biology and Medicine Prizes, this year saw the introduction of a new prize, the BioMed Central Open Data Award, in association with Microsoft Research. This was presented to Yoosook Lee (School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis), for her article …

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All content on the new-look Genome Biology website free in June



Genome Biology has moved to a new website design, joining its sister journal Genome Medicine on a new platform for BioMed Central journals.

To allow all users to explore and appreciate fully the benefits of the new website, which provides a modern and easy-to-use interface for efficient browsing of journal content, all subscription content in the journal has been made free to access until the end of June.

Genome Biology publishes open access research in all fields of biology informed by genomics and all aspects of genomic research. Alongside the original research, Genome Biology subscription content includes systematic reviews, critical assessments, reports, research news and commentary, covering work published both in the journal and elsewhere.

All Genome Biology content …

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Chiropractic Care for Children – a new thematic series




Many parents take their children to see a chiropractor for various health complaints, including musculoskeletal disorders such as back pain, and non-musculoskeletal disorders such as infant colic and asthma.  However, this is a controversial area of chiropractic management because of concerns regarding the efficacy and safety of chiropractic care for children.

 A thematic series entitled ‘Chiropractic Care for Children’ published in Chiropractic & Osteopathy aims to provide an overview of the current best evidence in key aspects of evaluation and management of chiropractic care for children.

In their Editorial, Chiropractic & Osteopathy’s Editor-in-Chief Bruce Walker, the series’ Guest Editor, Simon French, and one of the journal’s Associate Editors, Stephen Perle, explain that there is currently …

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Professor Michael Kidd elected Wonca president


Professor Michael Kidd, Editor-in-Chief of BioMed Central’s Journal of Medical Case Reports was recently appointed the next president-elect of the World Organization of Family Doctors (Wonca). The announcement was made at last month’s World Conference of Family Doctors in Cancun, Mexico.

Professor Kidd, Executive Dean of the Flinders University Faculty of Health Sciences and past president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, will serve a three-year term as Wonca president-elect, taking over from current president Professor Richard Roberts in 2013.

Our congratulations to Professor Kidd from all at BioMed
Central; we wish him great success in his new role.

First articles published in Genome Integrity


Genome Integrity, a new open access journal launched with BioMed Central, published its first articles today. The journal publishes research on all aspects of genome integrity, the cellular processes underlying maintenance of genome stability, and the effects of instability.

In their introductory editorial ‘Genome Integrity – a new open access journal’ Editors-in-Chief Predrag Slijepcevic, Prakash Hande, John Petrini, and Razqallah Hakem discuss the important publishing niche that the journal will fill in the field of DNA damage response and the associated cellular processes behind genome stability maintenance.

We strongly believe that this new journal will significantly contribute to the understanding of DNA damage response processes” say the Editors-in-Chief.  

One of the articles published today with

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New thematic series to celebrate 2010 International Year of Biodiversity


To celebrate 2010 as the United Nations’ International Year of Biodiversity and the importance of sharing our knowledge of the diversity of the natural world, we present a cross-journal thematic series on Open Access Biodiversity Research.

The rich diversity of life is essential to our presence on the earth and yet it is at risk of decreasing at an accelerated rate due to human activities. The action of the United Nations, in highlighting biodiversity during 2010, is an important chance to increase our understanding of the vital function of biodiversity and a prompt to act now to reduce its loss. To celebrate this initiative, we feature leading research from different disciplines that share common goals in conserving biodiversity.

A …

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