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Latest BMC journals Stories

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2010-01-20 10:25:00

Why does an apple a day keep the doctor away? New research published in the open access journal BMC Microbiology contributes to our understanding of why eating apples is good for you. Microbiologists from the National Food Institute at the University of Denmark fed rats on a diet that was rich in whole apples, apple juice, pur©e or pomace, or put them on a control diet. They then analyzed the microbial content of the rats' digestive systems to see if eating apples had any impact on the...

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2010-01-14 10:25:00

Scientists investigating the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs have gone the extra mile for their research "“ all the way to the Arctic. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Microbiology found little sign of the microbes in the droppings of polar bears that have had limited or no contact with humans, suggesting that the spread of antibiotic resistance genes seen in other animals may be the result of human influence. Trine Glad, from the University of Tromsø,...

2009-12-15 16:39:06

The urban poor in sub-Saharan Africa are the latest victims of the obesity epidemic. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Public Health claim that overweight and obesity are on the increase among this group. Abdhalah Ziraba worked with a team of researchers from the African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya, who used data from seven African countries to investigate changes in body mass index (BMI) between early 1990s and early 2000s. He said, "Despite being...

2009-12-11 11:14:28

Despite free public healthcare, Italy's poor are more likely to end up in hospital with avoidable conditions, new research shows. This pattern, reported today in the online open access journal BMC Public Health, mirrors findings from a number of different healthcare systems around the world, although to date fewer studies have been completed in Europe. A research team led by Nera Agabiti at the Department of Epidemiology, ASL RM/E Rome (Italy) used hospital discharge data from the year 2000...

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2009-12-04 08:58:12

In contrast to the exhaustive research into venom produced by snakes and spiders, venomous fish have been neglected and remain something of a mystery. Now, a study of 158 catfish species, published in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, has catalogued the presence of venom glands and investigated their biological effects. Jeremy Wright, from the University of Michigan, USA, carried out the investigation. He said, "I used histological and toxicological techniques to elucidate the...

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2009-12-03 13:55:00

Chemical identifiers secreted from the genital glands of lemurs, allow them to avoid incest and also to engage in nepotism. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology have identified the smells used by both male and female ring-tailed lemurs to advertise their family ties. Christine Drea from Duke University, North Carolina, USA, worked with Marylne Boulet and Marie Charpentier from the same university to study the primate's scent secretions. She said, "We sampled...

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2009-11-27 12:15:14

A survey carried out in eight European countries has shown that closing schools in the event of an infectious disease pandemic could have a significant role in reducing illness transmission. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Infectious Diseases compared opportunities for infection on school days and weekends/holidays, finding that they were reduced when schools are shut. Niel Hens, from Hasselt and Antwerp University, Belgium, led a team of European researchers in using...

2009-11-24 15:59:22

The smoking ban in Wales has not displaced secondhand smoke from public places into the home. A study of 3500 children from 75 primary schools in Wales, published in the open access journal BMC Public Health, found that they were exposed to similar amounts of secondhand smoke before and after legislation, which should reassure those worried that exposure to smoking at home could increase following the ban. Dr Jo Holliday and colleagues at Cardiff University's School of Social Sciences carried...

2009-11-13 13:23:06

Removing the PKCI/HINT1 gene from mice has an anti-depressant-like and anxiolytic-like effect. Researchers writing in the open access journal BMC Neuroscience applied a battery of behavioral tests to the PKCI/HINT1 knockout animals, concluding that the deleted gene may have an important role in mood regulation. Elisabeth Barbier and Jia Bei Wang, from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Maryland, USA, carried out the experiments to investigate the role of the gene in regulating mood...

2009-11-06 12:52:15

Antibiotic over-prescription is promoted by pediatricians' perception of parents' expectations. Research published in the open access journal BMC Pediatrics shows that pediatricians are more likely to inappropriately prescribe antibiotics for respiratory tract infections if they perceived parents were expecting a prescription. Researchers from the Agenzia Sanitaria e Sociale Regionale Emilia-Romagna, in collaboration with the CeVEAS-AUSL Modena and the Regional ProBA Group in Italy used a...