June 2015: BMC Series Highlights

Flower defense • Profiling SNPs from pooled samples • Change in curriculum Boosts fruit and veg intake • ADAM23 and epilepsy • The Many Meanings of ‘Quality’ in Healthcare: Interdisciplinary Perspectives • Myopic eyes SMILE on • Cat got your tongue?

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Ecology: Flower defense

Image attributed to: CC Tanaka JuuyohBehavioral bioassays and chemical analysis of volatile compounds show that the developmental stage of plants can have an effect on the attraction of parasitoid herbivores. The Cotesia glomerata wasp showed a preference for Pieris brassicae caterpillar-infested Brassica rapa plants. This preference was affected by the ontogeny; for example, the flowering stage of the plant was the least attractive to the wasp.

Genetics: Profiling SNPs from pooled samples

Image attributed to: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2156/16/62New quantitative high-resolution melting methods to determine SNP allele frequencies across multiple populations are time- and cost-efficient, allowing for accurate genotyping of pooled samples. In this paper, two cost-efficient quantitative High Resolution Melting methods for measuring allele frequencies at known SNP loci in pooled DNA samples are introduced: the “peaks” method, which can be applied to large numbers of SNPs, and the “curves” method, which is more labor intensive but also slightly more accurate.

Public Health: Change in curriculum Boosts fruit and veg intake

Image attributed to: Flickr: Mister OyThere is a dose–response association between curricular activities received during school classes and students’ fruit and vegetable intake. This study found that receiving the Boost curriculum focusing on fruit and vegetables was more important for changing boys’ intake.

Genomics: ADAM23 and epilepsy

Terrier mixed-breed dog" by Chris Barber - Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.In this paper, ADAM23 is implicated in common canine idiopathic epilepsy, although the causative variant remains yet to be identified. ADAM23 plays a role in synaptic transmission and interacts with known epilepsy genes, LGI1 and LGI2, and should be considered as a candidate gene for human epilepsies.

BioMed Central cross-journal collection: The Many Meanings of ‘Quality’ in Healthcare: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

Image attributed to: iStockphoto This collection presents papers written by authors with a range of disciplinary backgrounds (spanning medicine, social policy, anthropology, accountancy, philosophy, design, to name a few) whose work engages directly with notions of ‘quality’ in healthcare. Read the blogs at http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcseriesblog/2015/06/19/measuring-quality-healthcare-iona-heath/ and http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcseriesblog/2015/06/19/patient-safety-quality-care-professional-resilience/

Ophthalmology: Myopic eyes SMILE on

Image attributed to: Optician training_Flickr ccImproved visual outcomes a year after small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE) refractive surgery do not differ between high myopia and moderate myopia. This suggests that SMILE is effective and safe for correcting high myopia, as well as mild to moderate myopia.

Evolutionary biology: Male and female brain size in primates

Image attributed to: Magnus Manske, CC2.0Larger brain size in males is a pattern persisting throughout primate and human evolution; new experiments suggest a major role for estrogen in down-regulating genes linked to brain size, resulting in the smaller female brain size.

Neuroscience: Cat got your tongue?

Cat taste

Cats can have a reputation for being finicky eaters, and research into the taste receptors on cat tongues finds that their taste receptors have different sensitivities to bitter tastes than humans. Read more in our blog http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcseriesblog/2015/06/03/cat-got-tongue-not-according-new-research/

 

 

 

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