Monthly Archives: July 2018

Alternative strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production, using innate host defense mechanisms


Reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock is vital for the control of infectious diseases in humans and animals. Dr Albert van Dijk, author of a recent review published in Veterinary Research, takes us through new approaches that exploit the innate power of the immune system to provide alternatives to antibiotics in animal production.

Biology Health Medicine

Detecting autism spectrum disorders: biomarker discoveries

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A biomarker is “a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacological responses to therapeutic intervention.” Biomarkers decrease our reliance on subjective patient, caregiver, or clinician ratings and are especially important for individuals who are unable to describe their physical or mental states.


Evolution, religion, and why it’s not just about lack of scientific reasoning ability


Despite overwhelming evidence for evolution, many people still choose to reject it as an explanation for how humans and other organisms evolved and developed. This attitude seems to be especially common amongst religious people. But why is that, and what can we do to reconcile these two opposing worldviews? A new study published in Evolution: Education and Outreach tries to explain.


Cannabis use in psychiatric populations and risk of suicide: A new perspective

In the first study of its kind, a team of researchers in Canada examined marijuana (cannabis) use and the risk of suicidal behavior in psychiatric populations rather than the general population to see if similar results would be found (i.e., marijuana use increases suicidal behaviors). What they found could be used to inform the medical community working with these psychiatric populations in their assessment of suicide risk.

Biology Health

Where is your fat accumulating? Different fat distribution is linked to different cardiometabolic risk in a sex-dependent manner

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Differences in body compositions between men and women are unravelled in this recent publication in Biology of Sex Differences. Taking advantage of modern anatomic and functional imaging techniques, the authors shine a light on subtle differences of fat distribution, and associate them with different metabolic risk amongst sexes.

Biology Health

Why some people test positive for malaria after successful anti-malarial treatment


Treating patients with malaria first requires a confirmed diagnosis. It has recently come to light that not all diagnosis tests are equal, and some tests, including rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs), can potentially show false positive results in certain patient populations. The following study explores the accuracy of different malaria RDTs that recognize specific malaria antigens.

Biology Health Medicine

Efficient but unpredictable CRISPR

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Continued technical developments in genome engineering have recently allowed the generation of conditional mouse models using long DNA templates. Lydia Teboul, author of a new study in BMC Biology, explains how these long templates can also be used to create point mutations away from the target site, but additional unwanted modifications render the validation of new mutants essential.


33rd International conference Alzheimer’s Disease International 2018


On July 26th – July 29th the 33rd international conference of Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) will be descending on Chicago. This blog gives you a flavor of the interesting research and information that you will be able to find at the conference. BMC will be attending the conference so please find come and find us to hear more about the exciting work we are undertaking.

Biology Open Access Publishing

Assessing cognition in patients with early Alzheimer’s disease – an experts views on the new FDA guidance


A recent commentary published in Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy highlights the benefits and flaws of the new FDA guidelines for Alzheimer’s drug development. In this blog John Harrison, an associate professor at the Alzheimer Center at the VU Medical Center in Amsterdam, sheds some light on the new FDA guidelines and what this means for the future of Alzheimer’s drug development.

Health Medicine