Canine vector-borne diseases – a new thematic series

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Parasites & Vectors has published a thematic
series
grouping together a number of
articles recently presented at a symposium on canine vector-borne diseases
(CVBDs) in New York in April 2010.

 The aim of the
5th Symposium
on Canine Vector-Borne Diseases, sponsored by Bayer Animal Health GmbH, was to
facilitate the advancement of understanding in the diversity and prevalence of
canine vector-borne diseases, and their significance for veterinary and public
health.

 The articles address
a number of such diseases, looking at the biological interactions between
ectoparasite, pathogen and host, as well as their distribution across the
globe. Contributions to the thematic series, edited by Chris Arme, include
original research articles, alongside several reviews and short reports.

 If you …

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On its 10th anniversary Ensembl publishes a thematic series with the BMC-series

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The last 15 years has seen an explosion in genomic
research and sequenced genomes. With the build up to sequencing larger chordate
genomes it became very clear that manually annotating the billion base pairs of
sequence produced was not practical and automated annotation systems were
required. Several large organisations have helped address this issue, but the
Ensembl project, a joint venture between
the European Bioinformatics Institute and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute,
has in particular provided high-quality integrated annotation on vertebrate
genomes within a consistent and open source infrastructure. This year marks the
10th anniversary of the Ensembl project’s launch, and BioMed
Central is today publishing …

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Bona fide ancient DNA sequence from Neandertal bone

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An article published in Genome Biology assesses the pitfalls of sequencing ancient DNA and presents a new approach for improved identification of ancient DNA sequences.

The DNA sequence of extinct species are of enormous value in determining evolutionary relationships to living species. However, ancient DNA from fossil is notoriously difficult to sequence due to the presence of bacterial contamination and DNA damage. Kay Prüfer and colleagues at the Max-Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology investigated the biases inherent in short read sequencing of ancient DNA samples with an analysis of Neandertal (Homo neanderthalensis) DNA, generated as part of the Neandertal genome project, from 38,000-year-old fossil bone. The full draft Neandertal genome sequence is published today in Science

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Introducing the Open Data Award

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In recognition of the fact that science publishing now goes beyond the traditional journal article, we have teamed up with Microsoft Research and Panton Principles to introduce the Open Data Award as part of our 4th Annual Research Awards. Data sharing, its preservation and re-use, is an increasingly important part of the research and publication process. But there are many challenges associated with openly sharing scientific data, particularly when sharing goes against cultural or community norms. 

The Open Data Award celebrates researchers who have published in any of our 207 journals during 2009 and have demonstrated leadership in the sharing, standardization, publication, or re-use of biomedical research data.

We are honoured that Peter Murray-Rust, Cameron Neylon, Rufus …

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Transcriptional control in flies

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In a paper recently published in Genome Biology, Boris Adryan (Cambridge University) and Sarah Teichmann (LMB) have presented evidence that calls in to question currently-held beliefs about how transcription factors (TFs) coordinate gene expression during development to specify the fates of the different tissues in the body.

It has been assumed that transcription factors are expressed in the manner of a cascade, with one TF turning on the expression of others resulting in groups of TFs acting in a cooperative manner to specify cell fate. In this study, Adryan and Teichmann have analysed gene expression data from Drosophila melanogaster development to investigate when every transcription factor is expressed. 95% of TFs were expressed at some time during …

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Novel format for gene variant reporting

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The Locus Reference Genomic (LRG) sequence format, recently reported in Genome Medicine, allows a single fixed record containing a reference DNA sequence and all relevant transcripts and protein sequences to be associated with an updateable layer of gene variant coordinates, which should reduce errors in reporting and lead to improved communication about genomic variants.

Nature
Genetics
this month stated that the LRG agreement has provided a platform which allows the editors to adjust journal policy, mandating the use of Human Genome Variation Society (HGVS) allele naming conventions in manuscripts submitted to Nature Genetics.

Dalgleish and colleagues propose that variants associated with human genetic disease can be documented using this format, which was designed for the specific purpose …

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The Genome Biology 10th birthday special issue

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Genome Biology, which has been proudly publishing some of the most exciting research from all areas of genomics for the past 10 years, celebrates its birthday this year. To mark this, we have commissioned a series of reviews from areas of particular interest in the genomics field and from scientists who have helped shape these fields over the last decade.

As such, this month’s issue of Genome Biology contains more than the usual research highlights, reviews and cutting edge scientific research. This month you will also find an editorial from Editor Clare Garvey on ‘A decade and genome of change’, in which Clare discusses the humble beginnings of Genome Biology. First published in 2000, the …

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Macha online – a guest post from Computer Aid

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Computer Aid International’s Stephen Campbell visited the community of Macha to see the impact of the Internet and the research it enables, on an African community.

You won’t find the community of Macha on many maps. It’s 50 miles from the nearest road in the Southern Province of Zambia, itself a land-locked southern African country - it’s pretty much the last place you’d expect to find a community logged on to the Internet.
 
Taking advantage of a satellite link installed by John Hopkins University Malaria Research Institute, the LinkNet Cooperative (formed three years ago by the community and staffed by talented self-taught local youngsters, none of whom have graduated beyond grade 12) has established the largest wireless Mesh Network in …

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Fun at FASEB

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This week BioMed Central exhibited at the Experimental Biology meeting in Anaheim, USA where 10,000 delegates descended upon the Convention Centre which was conveniently located next door to Disneyland.

This meeting provided the ideal opportunity to celebrate the relaunch of our new improved BMC Biology incorporating Journal of Biology. To mark the occasion, the journal’s Editor-in-Chief, Miranda Robertson, hosted a party on Monday night. We were thrilled that Greg Petsko, President of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Angelo Azzi, President of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology came along. We were also fortunate to be joined by the distinguished Editors-in-Chief of three of our journals, Hin Wing Yeung (Chinese Medicine), Kuan-Teh Jeang (Retrovirology) …

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Meeting the challenges of supplement publishing

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Publishing supplements in journals is a practice that frequently comes under scrutiny due to the external sources of funding involved.  Some journals choose to avoid publishing supplements altogether to protect against any potential perception that industry involvement might lead to lost objectivity.  In an editorial in the latest issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy however, the Editors set out how supplements can be published without risking scientific integrity.

Editorial
   
Challenges and opportunities of publishing
supplements at Arthritis Research & Therapy

Frances Mulvany, Jo Baker, Peter E Lipsky,
Ravinder N Maini
Arthritis
Research & Therapy
2010, 12:113
(28 April 2010)

They outline the rigorous peer-review process that supplement articles undergo before publication, and the full …

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