Genome Medicine’s 250th article: Stuart Orkin launches the stem cell series

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The latest editorial in Genome Medicine, written by Guest Editor Stuart Orkin (Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), is the 250th article published in the journal since its launch in 2009. This editorial, published in the June issue, sets the scene for a new thematic series of articles on stem cell genomics. The series aims to highlight key advances in basic and translational research in this evolving field with specially commissioned review and comment articles.

Stuart Orkin introduces the series by discussing recent developments in stem cell genomics and cellular reprogramming, predicting what new insights and therapeutic strategies might emerge in the future.  

Kicking off the series, Joanna Wysocka (Stanford University) reviews technological advances that have enabled epigenomic profiling of human …

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Read the lay summary of a clinical trial

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One key aspect to the success of the UK Clinical Trials Gateway (UKCTG) launched in March 2011 is the presentation of trial information in a format that can be easily understood by the general public, in the shape of a “lay summary”. This is part of the UK Government’s commitmentin the NHS Constitution to ensure that more trial participants are made aware of research that is of particular relevance to them.

A lay summary is the description of the research question of a trial in laymen’s terms and should aim to answer the following questions:

Background and study aims
What does the study involve
Who can take part
Where does the study take place
What are the risks to participants
Who is funding the …

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Stem cell individuality, stochastic behavior and drug discovery

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Why is it important to consider the individuality of stem cells? Can mathematical equations predict when mutations in stem cells cause potentially fatal disease? Will pluripotent stem cells be future models for disease, driving drug discovery and predicting side effects? These are some of the questions discussed in recent publications in BMC Biology as part of a thematic series on stem cells launched by three of BioMed Central’s flagship journals (BMC Biology, BMC Medicine and Genome Medicine).

To open, Arthur Lander, Consulting Editor for the series with BMC Biology, comments that current notions of stem cell biology may fail to take into account the implications of the plasticity and diversity of single stem …

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A new series on vector-borne canine parasites

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In April 2011, leading experts in the field of canine parasitic infections gathered to present and discuss their research at the 6th Symposium of Canine Vector-borne Diseases (CVBD). Parasites & Vectors has published a series of articles from delegates of the Symposium, highlighting and discussing the latest findings in the field.

The articles in the series explore various aspects of canine parasitic diseases, including the continued spread of some parasitic diseases e.g. tick-borne encephalitis virus;  research into possible therapeutic targets and the development of diagnostic tools. There is also evidence to show that, in some cases, canines have evolved mechanisms to resist parasitic invasion. For example, Barend Penzhorn reviews how dogs descended from wild African canids

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Aiding recovery from critical illness

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Guest blog from Christina Jones, winner of
the Medicine Award at the BioMed
Central 5th Annual Research Awards
for her article ‘Intensive care diaries reduce new
onset post traumatic stress disorder following critical illness: a randomised,
controlled trial’

Here, Christina talks about how she became
interested in critical illness recovery and how her research has aided
rehabilitation across the globe

Starting
over 20 years ago I became interested in the struggle patients and their families
had in recovering from a stay in intensive care. Intensive care treats some of
the sickest patients in  hospital, but  little was offered to help to rebuild their
strength and cope with the psychological after matter, such as post traumatic
stress …

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Clinical Proteomics launches with BioMed Central

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BioMed Central has launched Clinical Proteomics this week, with Dr Daniel Chan as Editor-in-Chief. Previously published by Springer, the journal has joined BioMed Central’s portfolio of open-access titles.

Dr Chan writes in his launch editorial that ‘targeted proteomic diagnostics and therapeutics will be the basis of personalized molecular medicine’, and as such the journal will cover a wide range of topics within the clinical proteomics field, including translational proteomics, and will place special emphasis on the applications of proteomics technology to clinical investigations.

Clinical Proteomics launches with a number of interesting articles, including an article from Mehrani et al. that identifies protein expression signatures for lung damage from the warfare agent Sulfur Mustard. Rukmangadachar et …

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Uncovering the secrets of the human microbiome

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A diverse range of so-called "friendly" bacteria live within each human body and can be considered an ecosystem in their own right. A new article published in Genome Biology shows that the make-up of this bacterial ecosystem is unique to each individual and that living with someone does not cause your sets of bacteria to become alike.

The study, which was performed by Rob Knight's group at the University of Colorado, also demonstrates that different parts of the body – even your right and left palms – are home to different sets of bacteria and that the bacterial species in your body change on a day-to-day basis. In fact, much as you might expect in an ecosystem, some …

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Splicing and survival – linked in colorectal cancer?

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New research by Rolf I. Skotheim and colleagues, recently
published in Genome Medicine, provides evidence for the occurrence of aberrant
splicing events in colorectal cancer. Skotheim and colleagues, from Oslo
University Hospital, describe transcriptome instability as a characteristic of
colorectal tumors that is associated with splicing factor expression and,
interestingly, poor patient survival.

Colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed
cancers and affects both men and women. On the molecular level, the disease
results from the accumulation of genetic alterations that are frequently
brought about by inherent genomic instabilities, such as chromosomal instability
and microsatellite instability. In their study, Skotheim and colleagues sought to determine
whether instability at the mRNA level is also a …

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The health effects of mentholated cigarettes

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Menthol is an organic compound which is now widely
used in a variety of products due to its anesthetic and counterirritant
qualities. Since the 1920s, menthol has been added to cigarettes and it is
estimated that, approximately one quarter of all cigarettes sold in the United
States today have the descriptor “menthol” on the cigarette pack. Whilst the
health effects of tobacco use and cigarette smoking are well documented, the
health effects of mentholated cigarettes as compared to non-menthol cigarettes
is less well studied.

On
22 June 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the Family
Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, H.R. 1256
,  a new US federal law giving the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) the …

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Head direct to BMC Research Notes with research articles

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Up until now BMC Research Notes has accepted, as direct submissions, short reports, technical notes, data notes, project notes, hypotheses and correspondence articles. Research articles, with their widely-accepted I(B)MRaD (Introduction (Background), Methods, Results and Discussion) format, were not considered unless they were received as a post-peer-review transfer from another journal. The objective of this policy was to avoid restricting authors who felt their article could not fit easily within the I(B)MRaD template. However, in response to feedback from authors and editors and the continued growth of the journal, BMC Research Notes has now …

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