The year in review: our 10 most popular blogs of 2014

Throughout 2014, the BMC Series blog has highlighted both excellent research published in the BMC Series of journals and wider issues in biomedical research, through posts written by our in-house editors and guest pieces by active researchers. To give you a flavour of what we covered in 2014, here we highlight our 10 most viewed blogs of the year.

1. The new impact factors are coming… (13,800 views)


In the run-up to the release of the latest journal impact factors in July, Diana Marshall, Senior Managing Editor of the BMC Series, explained that, while we are undoubtedly happy when our impact factors increase, they won’t cause us to change our inclusive ethos.

This was something of a follow-up to another popular blog by Diana earlier in the year when she answered the question: What is the BMC Series?

2. Multiple Sclerosis: Can lifestyle affect depression risk? (7,050 views)

James O’Malley, Research Communications Officer at the MS Society, discussed new research published in BMC Psychiatry that linked lifestyle factors to the risk of depression in sufferers of multiple sclerosis.

 3. Is dengue fever coming to Europe? (5,950 views)


Dengue fever seems like the sort of tropical disease that should only concern Europeans when on their travels. This blog, reporting onnew research in BMC Public Health, suggested that thanks to the effects of climate change this might not be true for much longer.

4. Is sugar intake linked with breast cancer risk? (5,900 views)

Caroline Duchaine, Isabelle Dumas and Caroline Diorio explained how their research, published inBMC Public Health, suggests that reducing sugar consumption could decrease the risk of developing breast cancer.

5. The hidden health consequences of civil war for Syria’s women (5,400 views)

Amelia Reese Masterson, of the American University of Beirut, wrote this piece on her research, published in BMC Women’s Health, highlighting the need for greater attention on the health problems confronting women in Syria as a consequence of the ongoing civil war.

6. The Dodo and the Spotted Green Pigeon: solving a 200 year old mystery (4,600 views)


Where the long extinct Spotted Green Pigeon lived and what its closest relatives were had been a long-standing mystery among ornithologists. That was until new research, published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, used DNA from the one remaining museum specimen to answer these questions – and teach us about the evolution of the dodo.

7. Ancient DNA reveals the lion’s past and (perhaps) future (4,200 views)

More ancient DNA, as we examined research fromBMC Evolutionary Biology that pieced together the evolutionary history of modern lions using DNA taken from their long-extinct relatives, giving clues on how best to conserve them as well.

8. Why do ‘alternative’ teenagers self-harm? (3,700 views)

Are Goths, Emos and other alternative teenager groups at greater risk of suicide? Robert Young, researcher at the MRC/CSO Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, discussed the evidence suggesting they are, and possible preventative interventions, based on his research published in BMC Psychiatry.

 9. Behind the image: a sticky snack for mice (3,600 views)

P4The annual BMC Ecology image competition once again served up a wide range of excellent photographs of the natural world. In a series of blogs we discussed the winning images with their photographers, to find out more about them and their photos. The most popular of the series was our conversation with Petra Wester about her rather charming shot of a nectar supping rock mouse.

Read the whole behind the image series here and see the BMC Ecology editorial for more about the image competition (and many excellent pictures).

10. World Health Day 2014 focuses on vector-borne diseases (3,400 views)

The focus of the 2014 World Health Day in April was disease spread by vectors, such as mosquitoes, sandflies, bugs, ticks and snails. Natalie Pafitis and Louise Kelly-Hope, respectively Executive Editor and Associate Editor of BMC Public Health, discussed the importance of vector-borne disease and highlighted recent research on the prevention of these diseases.

View the latest posts on the BMC Series blog homepage