Monthly Archives: July 2017

Accelerating ethics review during disease outbreaks: what we can learn from West Africa’s Ebola Outbreak

Ebola virus

During public health emergencies, potential treatments must be studied in a timely manner while also maintaining ethical integrity. In an article recently published in BMC Medical Ethics, Emilie Alirol et al. discuss their experience with ethics review during the 2013-2016 Ebola Outbreak, and provide recommendations to accelerate the process in the future.

Health Medicine

A taxonomic revolution? A Q&A with Sandy Knapp on the impact of e-publications


The often rather staid science of taxonomy was firmly shaken up six years ago when plant taxonomists voted at their International Botanical Congress to allow publications describing the naming of new species in online-only journals. This change (soon also implemented by animal taxonomists) was accompanied by a level of furious debate which may surprise outsiders. Six years on, as plant taxonomists meet in Shenzen, China for their 2017 Congress, we talk to Dr Sandra Knapp, a key advocate of these changes. She explains why the use of e-publications was so controversial and discusses her new research, recently published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, that examines the initial impact of this major change.

Biology Open Access Publishing

Cleaning up a public health threat – the River Ganges


India’s Ganges river is one of the world’s most polluted bodies of water. A promise to clean India’s holiest river was made by prime minister Narendra Modi in his 2014 election campaign who stated this would be a national priority. However, to this day, there has been no indication of efforts made to reduce pollution to the river. Last week, the National Green Tribunal, India’s top environmental authority, issued strict regulations and has banned the dumping of waste within 500 metres of a heavily polluted stretch of the river.

Developing World Health

Adaptive reuse of buildings in the healthcare industry

Before WK

James K. Elrod and John L. Fortenberry Jr. discuss their new article on the practice of adaptive reuse and its application in the healthcare industry. This article is featured as part of a special supplement in BMC Health Services Research. Additional articles presented in the supplement focus on centers of excellence, the hub-and-spoke organization design, and innovation in healthcare institutions.


Machine Learning to Predict Childhood PTSD


More than 20% of children in the United States will experience a traumatic event before they are 16 years old, but some will go on to develop Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). How can we know which child is at risk for PTSD so that it can be prevented? An article published today in BMC Psychiatry, is the first of its kind to use machine learning to identify risk factors for childhood PTSD. In this blog, author Glenn Saxe tells us more about his research


Highlights of the BMC-series: June 2017


Results-free peer review • consumption of wine and glass size • euthanasia for psychiatric disorders or dementia • gut microbial colonization and asthma development • physical activity in seniors with dogs • high fructose corn syrup drinks and coronary heart disease • monitoring 3D spheroids using beetle luciferase-expressing hepatocytes • toxic effects of iron oxide nanoparticles

Biology Health Medicine Open Access

What makes a successful species? Traits facilitating survival in altered tropical forests


As tropical forests across the globe are increasingly reduced to remnant fragments due to human activity, many species are threatened with extinction. Yet other species continue to thrive in these altered habitats; what makes them better able to withstand the change in their environment? In this guest blog, Mareike Petersen and Mark-Oliver Rödel discuss their new research, recently published in BMC Ecology, that uncovers the reasons why some species can thrive where most will struggle.