Peer review, tooth decay and great spider crabs – highlights of the BMC-Series: September 2014

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Body size evolution in sloths • Parents’ experiences of neonatal intensive care units • Dental caries and the sugar intake goal • Ocean acidification and the great spider crab • Acetylcholinesterase against gastric cancer • Peer review

 

Evolutionary biologyBody size evolution in sloths.

The two living genera of sloths are both small-bodied and arboreal despite diverging approximately 30 million years ago. Using the data of 57 species of both living and fossil sloths, changes in body mass means and variance through evolution were examined. The evolution of sloth body size was shown to be complex and dominated by trended walks towards the large sizes of recently extinct forms. Researchers thereby demonstrated the importance in integration of fossil record data in …

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Reflections from BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology

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Birthday cake

BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology is now two years old and we have come a long way since the merger of the journal’s predecessors BMC Clinical Pharmacology and BMC Pharmacology in August 2012 and as Executive Editor for the journal, I’m very pleased to see the progress we have made.

Since becoming part of the BMC series we have continued to uphold our principles of taking an open, inclusive and forward thinking approach to the dissemination of translational research in these fields. We are particularly delighted that we are being tracked for our first impact factor due in 2015.

The introduction of Toxicology content to the BMC series was an important addition to the journal and the series as a whole. This highly-cited

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Behind the image: Ant being attacked by a fly

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In this Q&A we discover how mere curiosity, and a spur of the moment shot, led to the first scientific study of a never before seen species interaction.

Bernardo Segura is this year’s BMC Ecology image competition Behaviour category winner. Near to completing a Masters in wildlife conservation in Chile, he has a head crammed full of potential research ideas and a desire to pursue wildlife documentaries about Chilean nature. Here we find out more about the passionate naturalist who loves just being out in a field to observe nature.

Tell us a bit more about this image?

“This photo is very special to me, because it represents the value of photography in scientific research and it also has some …

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Are butterflies still fluttering in Fukushima?

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Two males of pale grass blue butterfly

In this guest blog, Joji M. Otaki discusses the impact feasting on radioactively contaminated leaves has on the surrounding blue butterfly population.

 

The collapse of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant in March 2011 is the second largest nuclear accident, next to Chernobyl, in the history of mankind. Many theoreticians and politicians have claimed, without any field-based or experimental evidence, that there are no harmful biological effects caused by the released artificial radionuclides.

Even worse, some biologists have claimed that there are no biological impacts in the polluted area, based solely on fragmentary data from a short survey or a non-informative experiment (or based on irrelevant data) that have no power to resolve the issue. These claims were often relatively well …

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Behind the image: King penguin-an endangered species??

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A love of photography was passed down from one generation to another. Phd student, Laetitia Kernaleguen, became hooked on the pastime after she and her father studied his old film camera together. Since then she’s sought to capture the feeling and majesty of stunning scenery. This photo of king penguins is the Editor’s pick for this year’s BMC Ecology Image Competition.

 

Laetitia Kernaleguen is an ecologist with an interest in animal behaviour. Although currently working on a PhD studying the reproductive success in fur seals at Deakin University in Australia, this Q&A takes us back to her research on king penguins, at a time when she was collecting some data and samples to send back to the lab.

 

Tell

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BMC Geriatrics at the 10th International Congress of the European Union Geriatric Medicine Society (EUGMS).

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BMC Geriatrics is pleased to announce its presence at the 10th Congress of the EUGMS in Rotterdam this week (17th-19th September).

With the theme “Geriatric Medicine Crossing Borders”, this meeting will focus on the interplay between clinical research and everyday practice, with special attention to topics such as dementia, frailty, end-of-life care, nutrition, education, mobility disorders, rehabilitation, acute and long term care, pain, and delirium.

The Executive Editor, Giulia Mangiameli, is very interested in meeting researchers to discuss advances in the field and possible involvement in the Editorial Board of the journal.

We are looking forward to seeing you in Rotterdam!

Patterning of the urinary collecting duct tree

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BMP7 beads

Glandular organs, such as the liver, pancreas and kidney, contain systems of branched epithelial tubes that resemble trees. The development of these tree structures has been the subject of much previous research and is known to be regulated by factors including signalling molecules and extracellular matrix molecules.

In the kidney the urinary collecting duct tree is involved in the movement of urine through the kidneys to the ureter. Researchers from the University of Edinburgh, in new research published in BMC Developmental Biology, explored the development of the urinary collecting duct tree to further analyse how these branches form.

Using cultured kidney rudiments the researchers initially discovered that the position of new branches appeared linked to the …

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Slothful trends in evolution; from walking giants to tiny tree-dwellers

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Christian Mehlführer, CC2.5

Today, sloths are all small tree-climbing animals. However new research, published today in BMC Evolutionary Biology, suggests this makes them the black sheep of the sloth family; instead most species in this group have been more like the giant ground sloths, now long extinct.

 

Tiny tree climbers

Is there a stranger mammal than the sloth? It is not just their bizarre appearance that makes them one of the odder animals in existence. The slow movement which gives them their name reflects their very low metabolic rate (half that expected for a mammal of their size) and the lowest body temperature of any mammal; both unusual adaptations to the low nutritional value of their diet of leaves.

 

Even stranger, a unique …

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Behind the image: a tender moment

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Parental care is at the heart of this wonderful portrait of an adult black-browed albatross feeding its chick, photographed by Italian born researcher Letizia Campioni, a biologist specializing in the migratory ecology in birds. Spending many hours in the field, Letizia had the chance to combine her love for photography with her research, using her skill as a means to share her observations with others and this year’s runner up in the BMC Ecology image competition. Exploring isolated islands and inaccessible regions, she shares her intimate encounters with nature.

Where were you when you took this picture?

I was on New Island in the far South-western Atlantic, with my research team, to monitor a large colony of black-browed albatross. Every day we visited the …

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BMC Pulmonary Medicine at European Respiratory Society conference 2014

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munich cc, by John-Morgan on Flickr CC

BMC Pulmonary Medicine is really excited to be attending again the  European Respiratory Society (ERS) annual congress, held in Munich, from 6-10 September 2014.

The ERS congress is the largest annual scientific gathering in respiratory medicine worldwide and the primary forum in Europe for presenting research and exchanging knowledge.

The Executive Editor Catia Cornacchia is very interested in meeting with researchers to discuss their work and interests. Please feel free to approach her if you are interested in getting involved with the journal and joining our Editorial Board.

We look forward to meeting you in Munich!