The 10th NCRI Cancer Conference: disease prevention, patient care and genomic medicine

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Claire Barnard

Having just returned from the 10th National Cancer Research Institute (NCRI) Conference – the UK’s biggest cancer meeting – BMC Medicine takes a look at some key themes and new research presented at the meeting.

NCRI 2014 brought together clinicians, scientists, patients, funders and many other groups in Liverpool to showcase and discuss the latest findings in cancer research.

Cancer risk and prevention

One of the key themes of the meeting was cancer prevention. As highlighted by Peter Sasieni, smoking is the number one cause of cancer, and removing tobacco would substantially reduce the number of people developing cancer. However, Tim Lobstein from the World Obesity Federation explained that after smoking, being overweight is the second most important preventable risk …

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The Impact Factor of journals converting from subscription to open access

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Journal logos 2

This is a post by Stefan Busch, Publisher at BioMed Central, and Gerald Langhanke, Trainee Librarian at ULB Darmstadt – a co-authored poster on the topic is also available.

January’s piece about the Impact Factor trend of established journals that had joined BioMed Central’s portfolio of open access publications generated considerable interest. We asked whether there was an open access citation effect to observe, and whether the findings had implications for an editorial strategy? The answer we found was ‘yes’ to both questions.

We are now reporting additional data, and gradually the picture is becoming more fine grained. It shows the extent and the sustainability of the Impact Factor gains of such journals after their conversion to …

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Exposure to stress and environmental toxins: Effects across generations

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Stressed Young Businessman at Office

Today is National Stress Awareness day and the theme this year is Stress: the balancing act. Here, we take a look at some recent research on stress in relation to its effect over generations and through epigenetic mechanisms.

The stress response normally results in the release of glucorticoid hormones that are secreted by the adrenal glands to enable several physiological functions. However, chronic stress leads to continual release of these hormones that are associated with serious mental and physical health problems.

Recent data show that environmental factors such as stress and toxins, for example pesticides and smoking, during prenatal and/or early life are known to result in adverse health effects not only in offspring but also in subsequent generations …

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The top 5 innovations in knowledge translation

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Knowledge transfer

In this post, regular guest blogger Jay Shaw looks at 5 key innovations that are bringing the practice of knowledge translation into the future.

A colleague of mine recently told me that she asked a psychology professor at a large university what his knowledge translation strategies were, and the professor replied, “I’m paid to write papers – knowledge translation is not my job”.

But I doubt that’s a very familiar phrase these days. In a world where money is tight in every corner of public service, the kinds of health research that best defend their value are those that have a clear, measured impact on health and health care.

Although we should most definitely take the time to ask ourselves how this perhaps narrow focus …

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Taking action to overcome breast cancer

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To mark the end of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, guest blogger Katherine Woods, Senior Research Communications Manager at Breast Cancer Campaign tells us more about their research recently published in Breast Cancer Research and the Off-patent Drugs Bill which they are now collaborating on.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month (or ‘BCAM’ to those of us at Breast Cancer Campaign who refer to it on a daily basis, all year round) is unsurprisingly our busiest and most exciting time of year.

In October 2013, with the dedicated hard work of over 100 international experts, we published our second ‘gap analysis’ paper in Breast Cancer Research, which highlighted the gaps in our knowledge which – if filled – would bring the …

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Managing dyspnea: development of the Breathlessness Intervention Service

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Attribution: Sara Booth; http://www.cuh.org.uk/addenbrookes-hospital/services/breathlessness-intervention-service-bis

A randomized controlled trial published today in BMC Medicine reports that the multidisciplinary Breathlessness Intervention Service (BIS) is effective in helping patients with advanced cancer cope with breathlessness. In this guest post, Sara Booth, co-author on the trial and founder of BIS, explains the research.

Breathlessness (also called dyspnea) is becoming recognized as one of the most important symptoms that patients with advanced disease experience – whether their condition is malignant or non-malignant.

Chronic breathlessness was neglected for many years; detection rates were low, with little research carried out, probably because clinicians did not know what to do if they diagnosed it. Happily, that situation is now changing with important statements on the subject from the American Thoracic …

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Air quality questioned at oil and gas sites

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Researchers trained community volunteers to take measurements in the study

A paper published today in Environmental Health has raised concerns about air quality in areas surrounding oil and gas operations, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking) sites. Caroline Cox, an author on the paper, is Research Director for the Center for Environmental Health, a US nonprofit working to end health threats from toxic chemicals in air, water, food, and the products we use every day. Here she tells us more about what their new study has found.

Decades ago, when I was a graduate student, my advisor often said that our job as scientists was to put numbers on the obvious. Maybe it should be obvious that oil and gas production, including as it does the extraction, transport, and processing of enormous …

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Developing compassionate health care

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Christos Lionis

Our new journal, the Journal of Compassionate Health Care launched today. In a Q+A, we asked the Editors-in-Chief, Sue Shea and Christos Lionis, to tell us more about the field and what they hope to achieve with the journal.

 

Christos Lionis

What is compassionate health care and how has it developed?

Compassionate health care is a rapidly growing field which has come to the forefront following concerns that despite the increasing scope and sophistication of health care, it sometimes fails at a fundamental level.   Although there are many reported gaps in the humanity of health care, there is general agreement that care, compassion, and basic care delivery should form an important aspect of health care globally.

In addition, there is evidence to …

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Questioning regeneration: answers from Alejandro Sánchez-Alvarado

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planarian

Alejandro Sánchez-Alvarado’s dynamic enthusiasm comes through as he talks about his passion: regeneration. In an interview for Biome he reflects on his personal experiences in science that have shaped his current research.

 

Planarian flatworms have remarkable regenerative capacity, being able to regenerate a whole organism from a tiny fragment of its body (for a general introduction see his Q&A  in BMC Biology ) but what led Alejandro to work on this organism?

 

A focus on the past and a chance meeting at a conference were his inspiration. His interest was aroused on finding the book ‘Regeneration’ by TH Morgan, who is as Alejandro comments “the father of modern genetics on Drosophila”, and who undertook “forgotten classic” …

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New Open Access Button launched

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oabutton_logo_final200

On Tuesday last week, a brand new version of the Open Access Button was launched. Here, we get the lowdown on the new features and the team’s plans for the future from one of the founders of the Button – David Carroll.

If you are reading this, I’m guessing that you are a student, researcher, innovator, or just someone interested in learning about the latest research. You may be doing incredible work, writing a manuscript or presentation, or just have a burning desire to know everything about anything. In this case I know that you are also denied access to the research you need by pages asking you to pay up to $40 for one piece of research. This happens …

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