Posts tagged: Technology

‘You might as well patent oxygen’ – an unashamedly unbalanced take on Australia’s support for gene patents

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Last year, a rainbow coalition of civil liberties campaigners, cancer patients and eminent geneticists – heck, even Jim Watson! – argued before the US Supreme Court that gene sequences are a product of nature and therefore ineligible for patent protection.

And the Supreme Court replied, in all its refined wisdom:

'Well, duh!'

A nine-to-nothing unanimous decision.

A difference of opinion

But the US has long known that truths held to be 'self-evident' are not always in for a smooth ride, and so we perhaps should not be too surprised – if still perplexed and saddened – to learn that the Australian Federal Court, when faced with the same question, responded: 'um, maybe not'.

I do not pretend to understand what brand of logic could …

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Lights, Camera, ACTION! – EvoDevo introduces video to its PDFs

Fig 6 g' showing a DIC image of a cleavage arrested embryo

Guest blog post from Mark Martindale and Max Telford, Editors-in-Chief, EvoDevo

Change over time is a central theme in biology, and of particular importance in the fields of developmental and evolutionary biology. Working at the interface of these fields, evodevo research frequently uses video recording as an important measure of specific biological events.

Recognising the growing importance of video in this field, EvoDevo is now able to publish embedded video files in article PDFs. Readers can download and store the PDFs, enabling them to watch videos offline and in the optimal context alongside the rest of the manuscript. With the click of a button you can watch videos in PDFs wherever and whenever you like.

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Accessing BioMed Central from mobile devices – publisher and journal websites


To improve the user experience for users accessing the websites from mobile devices, we’re pleased to announce the release of further support for access from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

The Journal Selector: Find the right journal for your research


Through BioMed Central’s partnership with Edanz, we are aiming to support authors to select the journal that best suits their research from the 350+ open access journals published by BioMed Central, Chemistry Central, and SpringerOpen.

The Journal Selector uses semantic technology to help authors quickly choose the open access journal that is right for their manuscript.

Authors can enter an abstract or description of their research and the Journal Selector provides a list of relevant open access journals. Matches to a journal are based on the similarity of the entered text to articles already published in that journal. We hope our authors find this a useful tool, so please do visit the website to try it out …

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Accessing BioMed Central from mobile devices – search


To improve the user experience for users accessing the websites from mobile devices, we’re pleased to announce the second phase of our project to support access from mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

New functionality released includes:

Mobile search and search results
Mobile ‘Contact us’ pages
Mobile navigation menu, accessible from the top of the screen

An update to the Mobile FAQ has also been published – read more about the new mobile-friendly features here.


BioMed Central support for data publishing: enhanced handling of additional files


At BioMed Central, we encourage authors to submit additional files such as movies and datasets, and we continue to look for ways to use web technology to make these files more useful and accessible.

We have recently updated our Instructions for Authors, adding an additional file quick reference guide, which provides advice, recommendations and examples for the preparation of various types of additional file. The guide also describes what we currently do to present each type of additional file in a readily accessible way. Examples range from interactive images to enhanced 3D PDFs, chemical structures and cut-and-paste-enabled mathematical formulae. We hope the guide will encourage authors to take full advantage of the data-sharing opportunities offered by the BioMed Central …

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BioMed Central now publishes in ePUB format


The eReader and eBook market has seen rapid growth in recent years with high profile launches of devices such as the Nook, Kobo and Apple iPad, and eBook stores such as iBooks. It’s clear that readers increasingly want to be able to view content on different devices to facilitate easier and more mobile access to content.

BioMed Central is therefore pleased to announce that we now publish manuscripts in ePUB format.  This device-neutral format allows readers to view articles on any eReader. ePUB is designed for reflowable content, meaning that an eReader can optimize text for a particular display device. ePUB also supports fixed-layout content.

Our first ePUB files are now available in the Journal of Neuroinflammation. You …

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Embrace “information overload” with Cases Database


BioMed Central has launched a new semantically-enriched search tool, Cases Database, which aims to enhance the discovery, filtering and aggregation of medical case reports from many journals. Open access to journal articles published under Creative Commons licenses which permit text mining enable the literature to be reused as a resource for scientific discovery. We are seeking collaborations with other publishers to facilitate text mining and help make case reports a more valuable part of the literature. More than 11,000 cases are available to be freely searched with Cases Database.

Open access publishing continues to grow, and at a rate faster than the overall rate of growth of science publishing. Aside from the increasing support from funders and institutions …

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Springer Science+Business Media becomes a MathJax Supporter


Back in February, BioMed Central announced the rollout of support for MathJax, an open-source display engine for
mathematics, which significantly improves the display of mathematical formulae in our full-text articles.
We have had lots of positive feedback from authors and editors about this change, and we are working to further improve our maths support using MathJax 2.0 – watch out for an update on this soon.

BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, and we’re pleased to announce that this
week, Springer became an official MathJax Supporter.

Improved equation display for BioMed Central journal articles using MathJax


Recently we have been working on improving the display of math within our article full text by implementing MathJax, an open source JavaScript display engine for mathematics that works in all modern browsers. Because it is JavaScript driven, it does not require the reader to download and install any plugin.

MathJax uses the MathML or TeX stored within the XML of the article and uses modern CSS and web fonts instead of images so that equations scale with the surrounding text at all zoom levels. If MathML or TeX is available MathJax will be used to render the math by default.


[An equation rendered as an image; before and after zooming]

Scaling the page …

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