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 Cancer, 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 our blog.

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 therapy.

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 Diseases 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!

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