Origins of avian vision • A mating strategy to ruffle some feathers • Boomerang birds? • Microbes in space • A battery of neuropsychological tasks • Bulimia and body image • A need for better definition • Filling in the details on tooth decay risk
Evolution: Origins of avian vision
Male bowerbirds are famed for building elaborate structures from colourful found objects, in order to woo their mates. Because of this, they’ve become something of a model organism for studying the evolution of vision in birds. A new study now analyses the sequences of light-sensitive proteins called opsins to confirm that UV sensitivity in the visual system of the Great Bowerbird has re-evolved from violet-sensitive ancestors several times –representing an …
November the 6th saw the end of the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s) 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition held in Boston. With a program full of exciting sessions and events, the largest public health gathering in the world brought together over 12,500 public health enthusiasts including influential advocates, researchers and practitioners. BMC Public Health was lucky to be a part of this group and witness to the dissemination of a wide array of new research relating to this year’s theme.
The theme – “Think Global, Act Local: Best Practices Around the World” emphasized the importance of learning from the best public health practices around the globe and using these to solve local problems. The Opening General Session, which …
BMC Geriatrics is excited to be attending the 2013 British Geriatrics Society (BGS) Autumn Scientific Meeting held in Harrogate, UK, from 20-22 November.
In addition to attending the scientific sessions and poster presentations on the 21st, Executive Editor Irene Pala is very interested in meeting with researchers to discuss their work and interests.
If you are attending the conference and would like to meet, please contact Executive Editor Irene Pala.
We look forward to meeting you in Harrogate.
As the volume of research data increases so does its complexity, and with it the need to find sophisticated solutions for visualisation. In this guest post, Nils Gehlenborg, one of the General Chairs of the organizing committee of the BioVis 2012 Symposium, guides us through some highlights from last year’s meeting. Published as a new Supplement in BMC Bioinformatics, this collection of articles brings together six of the meeting’s most notable submissions, and is co-edited by Organising Committee members Miriah Meyer and Jan Aerts.
Novel approaches for visualization of biological data are becoming ever more relevant in a time when data sets are rapidly growing in size and heterogeneity. Given the complexity of the challenges that …
Who is better at multitasking? • Giant panda genetics • Ethnicity affects experience • Making a game out of science • The tardigrade nervous system • Google Maps for molecular biology • Is Herpes helping HIV?• Housework is not good exercise
Psychology: Who is better at multitasking?
It’s a long-standing question that’s been beset by rumour and stereotype, but it seems that women really do appear to outperform men in multitasking. Female subjects performed better than their male counterparts at both a task-switching computer game and a ‘pencil and pen’ multitasking test, suggesting that they really do have the advantage when it comes to multitasking ability. Why not take the test for yourself, and see how well you perform?
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Meeting 2013 was the must-attend event for anyone involved in research or delivery of rheumatologic care and services, and BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders was lucky enough to attend. The beautiful setting of San Diego stimulated thousands of rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals from around the world to discuss the latest science, research and treatment in rheumatology.
The conference covered every aspect of rheumatology from basic research to clinical practice and intensive care, but it was clear that treatment choices in rheumatoid arthritis were a major theme. Developing and marketing new therapies for rheumatoid arthritis is only the first step towards improving treatment and outcomes. Using new therapeutic agents in the most appropriate and effective …
BMC Psychiatry launches an article collection today on resistance to treatment in eating disorders.
Edited by Secondo Fassino, Section Editor for BMC Psychiatry, this special issue presents a collection of articles that focus on treatment resistance in eating disorders, a growing concern in psychiatric clinical practice and one that affects a broad range of disorders from anorexia to obesity.
Eating disorders are characteristically difficult to treat mental illnesses, in which effective evidence-based treatments are currently lacking. The articles in this collection aim to encourage more research in the area and to stimulate discussion on this complex, and sometimes controversial, subject.
Clinical practice and psychological aspects
Some of the articles in the series focus on the psychological aspects of treatment resistance that could …
The magnetic resonance image on the right is my heart. It was taken a little while back when I took part in a clinical trial investigating the genetics of heart abnormalities. I was just one of many healthy(ish) volunteers recruited to provide data to be compared against patients whose heart function had gone awry.
I don’t know at what stage the trial is at currently and I don’t know when or where the investigators will choose to publish their results, but I hope that they choose to publish them openly.
Healthy volunteers take part in clinical trials for many reasons. Out of curiosity, sometimes out of benevolence, often because of financial incentives. Regardless of their motivations, it seems likely that …
A few weeks back, staff here at BioMed Central took some time out to turn the tables on publishing science by becoming citizen scientists. Swapping the office environment for the great outdoors (well, a park in London), a small band of dedicated data-gatherers joined organisers of a new initiative lead by Imperial College London to survey the health of the UK’s trees. Here, we talk to Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) about how a new generation of enthusiastic amateurs are helping to crowdsource answers to some of sciences’ most intractable puzzles, and how even an urban jungle can yield useful data on the spread of deadly plant disease.
What is OPAL?
Open Air Laboratories (OPAL) led by Imperial College London, is a …
What can the general public contribute to scientific research? Quite a lot as it turns out…
Imagine how many hours are spent worldwide every day playing Bejeweled, or Angry Birds, or Candy Crush. We’d hesitate to even estimate, but it’s safe to say that it’s rather a lot. Now, imagine if all that time was instead spent doing science. We’d likely unlock the secrets of the universe within a year. Ok, we’re obviously being fanciful, but the idea isn’t so far-fetched as you might think. For proof, just look to this Editorial recently published in BMC Biochemistry. In it, we speak to a number of the top players of the online game Eterna which, while not quite …