Monthly Archives: February 2013

Protecting marine fisheries and ecosystems

Fish_school image credit: wikimedia, Matthew Hoelscher

Marine ecosystems worldwide are suffering from a loss of biodiversity due to destruction of food chains and habitats. In particular, the effects of commercial fishing on sensitive ecosystems and species has had disastrous effects on marine life in recent years.  One way to mitigate for these effects is to create areas which are set aside… Read more »


A novel coronavirus capable of causing fatal disease

In September 2012 a patient in Saudi Arabia died of acute respiratory illness and kidney failure due to an unknown infectious agent. A novel species of coronavirus was later identified and shown to be the cause of this and eleven subsequent cases, which were spread across the Middle East and the UK. A timely review,… Read more »


Rare diseases – guest blog by David Molyneux and Lorenzo Savioli


Elephantiasis, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, dracunculiasis, neurocysticercosis – if you have heard of these diseases at all, you probably think of them as being rare diseases, but in all probability you’ve never heard of them or many other diseases like them. They are part of a group of infections called the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) – diseases… Read more »

Biology Developing World

Open questions from a tax-paying homeotherm

Biologists have become wary of claiming that any cellular system is now understood but for the odd t left uncrossed, or i undotted, at least since the discovery of introns in the late 1970s opened up a new world of questions undreamed-of in the philosophy of the time. So Sean Munro opens his contribution to… Read more »


Sustainable Chemical Processes – a new journal from Chemistry Central

Sustainable Chemical Processes, a new open access journal published by Chemistry Central, sister publisher of BioMed Central, is now accepting submissions. The journal has a broad scope, covering all scientific and engineering aspects of sustainable approaches in chemistry. This includes, but is not limited to, green routes to isolation, purification and synthesis of compounds; all… Read more »


From single cells to complex life; understanding the origins of animal multicellularity

S. rosetta colonies

One of the most fascinating leaps in evolution is the transition from unicellular to multicellular organisms. How individual free living cells joined forces to create more complex multicellular organisms is still not well understood. For metazoans, this transition is thought to have occurred through a colonial intermediate that was composed of cells similar to choanoflagellates…. Read more »


Monsef Benkirane elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology


Retrovirology Associate Editor Monsef Benkirane has been elected a Fellow in the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows are members of the academy, which is the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). The mission of the academy is to recognize scientists for outstanding contributions to microbiology and provide microbiological expertise in the… Read more »


Thematic series on Systems biotechnology and metabolic engineering

Microbial Cell Factories invites submissions to a special thematic series on Systems biotechnology and metabolic engineering,  edited by Sang Yup Lee. Systems biotechnology can be defined based on the definition of biotechnology from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as “The application of science and technology at systems level to living organisms as… Read more »