Highlights of the BMC-series: May 2012

May has been an
exciting month for the BMC-series, with three articles receiving prizes at the
annual BioMed Central Research Awards, and a host of innovative research
published across the whole of biology and medicine:


Cancer bioinformatics:
where computational biology and clinical medicine meet

In a cross-journal collaboration, BMC Bioinformatics, BMC
, Genome Medicine and Journal of Clinical Bioinformatics this
month launched their article collection “Cancer bioinformatics: bioinformatic methods,
network biomarkers and precision medicine
”. Editors Kate Rice and Xiangdong Wang discuss the importance
of bringing new advances in computational biology directly to clinicians – and
how this will improve outcomes for cancer patients.

Data sharing: Just
DOI it

Editor of GigaScience,
Scott Edmunds et al. discuss using
Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs) to make published datasets citable,
encouraging authors to make their work publically available to the scientific
community. This article forms part of BMC
Research Notes’
thematic series on “Data standardization, sharing and publication”– further details of which can be found on

Structural biology:
sending in an SAS taskforce

In the first of a series
of articles
to be published in BMC
Structural Biology
, Jill Trewhella and colleagues describe the
rationale behind guidelines recently issued by The International Union of
Crystallography for the reporting of biomolecular structures derived from
Small-Angle Scattering (SAS) data.

Medical genomics:
predicting chemotherapy responses

BMC Medical Genomics highlights how two new gene
expression signatures can predict how breast cancer tumors will respond to
two of the most common kinds of chemotherapy, highlighting the potential of
target-based gene expression indices to predict patient response to drug

Image of the month:



Gray matter structural networks of
female breast cancer survivors after chemotherapy (A) and matched healthy
controls (B). From Hadi Hosseini et al.,
BMC Neurology





Genetics: digging up the past with ancient DNA

Ancient DNA
retrieved from 15-16th Century Andean burial mounds confirms historical and
ethnographic evidence that communities were organized into social structures
with extended family groups buried in a single grave. Read more about this, and
other developments in human population genetics, on our blog.

Infectious diseases:
point-of-care diagnosis of HIV-associated TB

Section Editor for BMC Infectious
Stephen Lawn reviews
recent advances in a new urine ‘dip-stick’ technique for rapid point-of-care
diagnosis of HIV-associated tuberculosis (TB). Such a potentially major step
forward would enable immediate initiation of TB treatment in patients with the
highest mortality risk.

Biophysics: safer
foods for gluten intolerance?

Stephen Harding and colleagues speculate on
the role that the ultracentrifuge assay procedure could play in detecting
non-toxic biopolymers capable of sequestering ingested gluten peptides, with
the eventual aim of reducing gluten intolerance symptoms. Read an interview with
the authors on our blog
explaining why they think this could be an important bridge between biophysics
and medicine.


You can keep up to date with all the latest developments across
all aspects of biology and medicine published in the BMC-series by following
our blog, twitter feed @BMC_series, or individual journal homepages in your
research area. We look forward to bringing you further exciting updates over
the next month!


View the latest posts on the Research in progress blog homepage