Sterile Insect Technique- Next Generation Pesticides


A new Supplement published in BMC Genetics titled “Development and evaluation of improved strains of insect pests for SIT” explores the environmentally friendly method of sterile insect technique (SIT) that aims to control pests through genetic, not chemical means. The articles included came from a Coordinated Research Project initiated by the Joint FAO/IAEA Insect Pest Control Subprogram “Development and Evaluation of Improved Strains of Insect Pest for SIT applications”. Read about the clever genetics tricks employed to control insect populations!




Multiple Sclerosis: Can lifestyle affect depression risk?

Dr James O'Malley

New research published today in BMC Psychiatry has suggested lifestyle factors can play a role in depression risk for people with MS. In this guest post Dr James O’Malley, Research Communications Officer at the MS Society (UK) tells us more about MS and its association with depression.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurological condition that affects over 2 million people worldwide. In MS, the protective protein and lipid layer of myelin that insulates nerve fibres is damaged by the immune system. This damage interferes with the messages sent along the fibres from the brain to the body, and can result in a wide range of symptoms, from loss of coordination and balance, to paralysis.

While the body has some capacity to repair myelin damage at …

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The stress-controlling brain center

BMC series blog-image

This is a guest blog by Arturo Gutierrez-Triana and Ulrich Herget, authors of an article recently published in BMC Developmental Biology.

We humans are jawed vertebrates. We share key anatomical features with fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds and other mammals, such as a vertebral column, a spinal cord, a compartmentalized heart, the eponymous jaws, and an elaborate brain divided into forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain.

In addition to these features, we also share many important physiological mechanisms. One of them is the stress axis. This axis refers to a set of concerted hormonal responses activated to counteract challenges posed by internal or external stressors, and to maintain homeostasis even in challenging environments. The stress axis requires the interaction of three distinct centers: the …

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BMC Public Health back from APHA in New Orleans


It is only fitting that the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s) 142nd Annual Meeting and Exposition last month was held in New Orleans, a city which suffered a major catastrophe from Hurricane Katrina almost a decade ago. This year’s theme – “Healthography” – emphasized the significance of how where we live impacts our health and well-being. The city and its people have recovered remarkably well and are an example of how effective response really takes teamwork, contributed to by voluntary agencies, resources, and the government. APHA itself depicted the extraordinary determination of individuals to work together to control infectious disease, to reduce chronic disease, prevent injuries, ensure food and water safety, improve the environment and reduce health disparities …

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Hand hygiene, cannabis use and dinosaur bones: highlights of the BMC Series in November 2014

image November

How to improve hand hygiene compliance • Zebra seasonal immune system trade-offs • Predictors of onset of cannabis use in males • Anthelmintic treatment response in calving dairy cows • Onset of metal disorders for victims of gender-based violence • How to count dinosaur bones

Infectious Diseases: How to improve hand hygiene compliance

From the perspective of hospital managers, there are several suggestions for strengthening and reinvigorating hospital hand hygiene programmes. There is a need to develop strategies that take into account the entire patient journey and which can be adapted to and tailored for differing workplace roles, responsibilities, disciplines and settings, level of patient contact, and level of knowledge about infection control.

Ecology: Zebra seasonal immune system trade-offs

Seasonality of infectious …

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How to treat severe infections in the ICU


BMC Infectious Diseases is delighted publish a special series entitled ‘How to treat severe infections in the ICU’. The series, commissioned by Dimitrios Matthaiou, has a broad focus and features reviews on everything from diagnostics to antibiotic resistance in the intensive care unit setting.

The treatment of Gram-positive bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), in critically ill patients is explored in a review by Marin Kollef and colleagues. The rise in infectious caused by these agents is discussed, alongside the need for prompt and effective treatment with appropriate antibiotics.

Whilst the overall approach to treating infections in surgical patients is comparable to other patient groups Jan De Waele and Liesbet De Bus discuss the specific …

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GP chlamydia testing rates: previously unexplored associations

By Patho on Wikipedia

Written by Veronica Wignall, Assistant Editor, BMC Series

Chlamydia, the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection (STI), is easily tested for and easily treated. However, since the disease is asymptomatic in over 80% of cases it can remain undiagnosed, leading to increased transmission between sexual partners and a higher incidence in the population. Left untreated, chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women, a painful infection of the upper genital tract that can lead to several complications including ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage and infertility; men can also become infertile.

While self-testing kits for chlamydia are available at many sexual health clinics and doctors’ surgeries, a primary source of testing is directly via a general practitioner (GP). But is every …

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Measuring the impact of humanitarian assistance

Leuhan 2007

With few measures currently agreed upon, how can we judge the impact of humanitarian assistance following natural disasters? In this guest post, Christopher Lee*, tells us about his new paper just published in BMC Public Health, which describes an impact assessment of humanitarian services carried out in Aceh, Indonesia, following the 2004 tsunami.

On a sunny morning in Banda Aceh in January 2011, I woke up to the familiar sound of morning prayers and the occasional chirping bird. I was going to be driving down the coast to Meulaboh, another major town in Aceh Province in northern Sumatra that was devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and subsequent earthquake.


The history of the tsunami in Aceh is a unique one. Prior …

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Behind the image: Kyle Harrington


“Although much of the future of science will be driven by computational research, there is a critical need to maintain a close connection to the experimental research.”

A seven year old boy shown a computer program for the first time was so enthralled by it that he set himself up for a career working with computational models. Kyle Harrington, now a postdoctoral researcher in the Bentley Group at Harvard Medical School, is this year’s BMC Ecology Image Competition winner for the ‘Theoretical ecology and models’ section.

Kyle was hooked by the idea of using simple algorithms to generate complex patterns and behaviours and trained to apply computational techniques to biotechnological and ecological sciences. Later, at Hampshire College, he was

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BMC Public Health at 142nd Annual Public Health Association Meeting in New Orleans


BMC Public Health will be heading over to the fascinating city of New Orleans next week for the 142nd Annual Public Health Association  (APHA’s) annual meeting and exposition held from the 15th – 19th of November.  This year’s theme, ‘Healthography: How where you live affects your well-being’ will unite over 12,000 people from across the U.S. and around the world and allow professionals and practitioners the opportunity to addresses current and emerging health science, policy, and practice issues in an effort to prevent disease and promote health.

BMC Public Health is looking forward to be a part of this major event and the Executive Editor of the journal, Natalie Pafitis, is keen on meeting attendees …

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