Highlights of the BMC-series: September 2012

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If you’ve been wondering how to psych up your racehorse, look no further than September’s highlights of the BMC-Series. Other highlights include the 50th anniversary of Silent Spring, ideas to facilitate more efficient research, and the legitimization of online publications in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

Veterinary research: sports psychology for horses
Human athletic performance is largely mental, but can we say the same for horses? A review published in BMC Veterinary Research explores the underlying psychology of performance horses and discusses how the study of behavioural modification and equine affective processes can be used to improve training and competitive performance.

While psychology is important, the physiological mechanisms affecting the well-being of horses deserve attention as well, and recently BMC Veterinary Research is gaining a lot of attention for publishing an article examining protein changes in the painful and debilitating disease of equine laminitis.

Ecology: Silent Spring at 50
David Pimentel reflects upon the impact of Silent Spring, Rachel Carson’s landmark book about the environmental effects of pesticides, on the 50th anniversary of its publication. To read more about the impact of the book, please read our blog.

Research Notes: open by default
An editorial recently published in BMC Research Notes invites comment from the community on a new policy which, if implemented, will enable the sharing and re-use of data published in our journals without any legal restrictions using a Creative Commons CC0 waiver. We anticipate that this will enable more efficient transfer and integration of data and, ultimately, more efficient research.

Image of the month:

Wheel of Fortune results (Top: win outcomes; Bottom: non-win outcomes). From Felder et al., BMC Psychiatry.

Cancer: New model for thyroid cancer diagnosis
Thyroid nodules are thought to be present in about half of all people, but very few of these are cancerous. New research published in BMC Cancer presents a molecular computational model based on the expression of 8 genes which can preoperatively distinguish benign from malignant thyroid lesions. This new model could help identify patients with thyroid nodules who do not require radical surgery. Read more about how bioinformatics and computational science may improve diagnosis, therapies and prognosis of cancer in our current Cancer bioinformatics cross-journal article collection.

Genetics: all about ENCODE
A new approach published in BMC Genetics to identify inter-individual variation in genome sequence and function using data from the ENCODE project joins the list of 30+ articles published from the project, including several from Genome Biology.

Evolutionary Biology: online publications recognized
In an interview for BMC Evolutionary Biology outlining the changes to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature to recognise electronic-only publication, Dr Frank-Thorsten Krell – Curator of Entomology at the Department of Zoology, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and Commissioner of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature and Chair of the ICZN ZooBank Committee – discusses the implications the new code has for authors and Editors.