BMC Medical Education is now being indexed by Thomson Reuters

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BMC Medical Education has recently been accepted for indexing by Thomson Reuters and is on course to receive its first impact factor in June 2011.  The journal has also been accepted for coverage in Current Contents.  Full details on indexing of all BioMed Central titles is available from our website.

BMC Medical Education publishes articles on a range of topics relating to the training of healthcare professionals, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and continuing education. It has a special focus on curriculum development, evaluations of performance, assessment of training needs and evidence-based medicine.

The journal has just begun operating under an enhanced editorial structure with the appointment of academic Editors to head up different sections of the …

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Exome sequencing reveals second hits in cancer

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A recent article published in Genome Biology by Qi Zhao and colleagues explores the roles of allele specific expression and loss of heterozygosity in the initiation of cancer.

The ‘two hit’ model for malignancy has been the dominant paradigm for tumorigenesis for nearly 40 years, after first being formulated by Alfred Knudson. The hypothesis states that both copies of a tumor suppressor gene need to be inactivated for cancer to be initiated. If one copy of the gene is already mutated, cancer is inevitable if the healthy copy is lost. This loss could occur if the region of the genome containing the healthy copy of the gene is deleted from the genome, an event called loss of heterozygosity. Alternatively, …

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Common ancestry of life – Q.E.D?

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The proposition that “all the organic beings which have ever lived on this earth descended from some one primordial form”, first put forward by Darwin, and central to modern evolutionary theory, is a commonly held biological view.

An attempt by Douglas Theobald, described in a letter to Nature as a ‘formal test’ of the universal common ancestry (UCA) hypothesis, stirred considerable interest recently – whilst the universality of the genetic code and evidence from comparative genomics provide strong support for UCA, the discovery of widespread horizontal gene transfer in eukaryotes has  raised questions over the assumption of universal ancestry.

Theobald tested the UCA hypothesis against alternative ancestry models for the origin of Archaea, Eukarya and Bacteria using a Bayesian analysis of …

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Novel treatment for sudden sensorineural hearing loss

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Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) is a common condition in which hearing is lost unilaterally within a three day period. About 40,000 people are affected each year in the United States alone, and most commonly affects those between 30-60 years of age. While SSHL is generally unknown in cause and is estimated to have a spontaneous recovery rate of around 70%, there are still many cases where systemic treatment is the desired option. The standard treatment for this condition involves the administration of systemic glucocorticoids to the affected site, however, there are side-effects associated with their prolonged usage, and up to 20% of patients treated in this way do not respond to the medication.

In a research article in …

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Indian population genetics study published in Genome Biology

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Population genetics have revolutionized human anthropology, with differences in the DNA sequences between existing populations allowing for the retracing of human migration over time. In a new population genetics study published in Genome Biology, the labs of Lynn B Jorde and Fuli Yu present evidence for an ancient northern migration route out of Africa taken by the common ancestors of Eurasians, from whom today's East Asians, Europeans and Indians are descended. Their data also support a "delayed expansion" hypothesis for the history of Eurasians.

By sequencing a small part of the genomes of 92 individuals from four Indian population groups, and comparing the results …

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How large are the non-specific effects of acupuncture?

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Acupuncture is a common therapeutic intervention for a range of illnesses from migraines to infertility. However, while it is a popular form of therapy, it has been difficult to know whether or not acupuncture actually works, due to the variety of indications it is used for, but also the nature of research trials thus far. This is because separating the effects of ‘true’ acupuncture versus the effects of ‘sham’ acupuncture used in control experiments is complicated. True acupuncture involves needles being inserted into the skin and then manipulated at defined parts of the body. Sham acupuncture differs because either the needle is not inserted into the skin, or the needle is inserted but not at a defined …

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Management strategies for pregnancy

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Pregnancy and childbirth are intensely studied with the hope of improving the health and wellbeing of both mother and child.  The physician’s first priority is to ensure the health of the mother during pregnancy, so procedures such as Caesarean sections should be undertaken only when an assessment has been carried out on the relative risks and benefits to the mother, as well as ensuring safe delivery of the child. Decisions such as these become even more fraught when a mother suffers trauma or disease, rendering her close to the point of death – then, the physician must decide whether and how to manage the mother’s vital signs to aim for safe delivery. Two new articles in BMC …

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Trials launches article series on ‘Sharing clinical research data’

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Last month evidence for the effectiveness of another widely-prescribed drug was found wanting after sleuthing researchers gathered unpublished data to include in a systematic review and meta-analysis – a staggering 74% of patient data was not previously published. The grave consequences of, and motivations for, distortions of clinical evidence are many – and widely discussed – but what should we do to tackle the underlying issues?

The journal Trials has, since its launch, sought to provide leadership in communicating about clinical trials and has published a number of articles that provide practical guidance and recommendations on overcoming barriers to sharing clinical research data. This week, the journal launches an ongoing thematic series on ‘Sharing clinical research data’, …

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Cell Division to receive first Impact factor in June 2011

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Launched in 2006, Cell Division is now accepted for tracking by Thomson Reuters and the first official Impact Factor for the journal will be announced next year. We would like to extend our congratulations to the Editors-in-Chief of Cell Division
Philipp Kaldis (IMCB) and Michele Pagano (NYU), on their success in
bringing this ground-breaking research together for a wide audience.

Recent research published in the journal ranges from studies of yeast mutants, specifically defective in DNA replication initiation,  to genetic regulation of the cell cycle in human cancer cells. Last month saw the publication of an already highly accessed review in the journal, that dissects new discoveries in the Jab1 signaling pathway in …

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Open structure, open celebrations for Internet Week Europe

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Today saw the opening of the first Internet Week Europe. This five day festival, hosted in London, runs until 12th November and aims to raise the profile of Europe’s thriving online digital industry.

Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, the festival aims to follow in the footsteps of Internet Week New York which took place for the third time in June this year with approximately 250 events.

Over 100 events have already been added to the calendar for Internet Week Europe and feature some of the biggest names in digital technology: the BBC, Yahoo!, Creative Review, Google, Lonely Planet, Channel 4 and Skype.

To kick off celebrations BBC Worldwide and Lonely Planet are offering their …

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