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Latest BMC journals Stories

2012-02-01 09:55:13

On Earth all biology is subjected to gravity. Some biological systems require gravity for correct orientation (geotropism: plants grow up, roots grow down). In the absence of gravity even human biology is affected: astronauts lose bone density at 1-2% a month rather than the usual 1-2% a year on Earth. But the effects of gravity on cellular processes are less well understood. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Genomics has used diamagnetic levitation to...

2012-01-27 11:21:19

The Andes-Amazon basin of Peru and Bolivia is one of the most biologically rich and rapidly changing areas of the world. A new study published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology has used information collected over the last 100 years by explorers and from satellite images which reveals detailed patterns of species and ecosystems that occur only in this region. Worryingly, the study also finds that many of these unique species and ecosystems are lacking vital national level...

2012-01-23 13:15:06

Luteolin is a flavonoid commonly found in fruit and vegetables. This compound has been shown in laboratory conditions to have anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties but results from epidemiological studies have been less certain. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Gastroenterology shows that luteolin is able to inhibit the activity of cell signaling pathways (IGF and PI3K) important for the growth of cancer in colon cancer cells. Colon...

2012-01-23 13:13:31

The blind Mexican cavefish (Astyanax mexicanus) have not only lost their sight but have adapted to perpetual darkness by also losing their pigment (albinism) and having altered sleep patterns. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that the cavefish are an example of convergent evolution, with several populations repeatedly, and independently, losing their sight and pigmentation. The blind cavefish and the surface dwelling Mexican...

2012-01-14 01:41:47

The world population is estimated to be seven billion and all these mouths need feeding. With fears about overfishing and the sustainability of fish stocks in our seas fish farming is becoming big business. As with all farming there are issues about maintaining the health of stock and how to prevent bacterial infection. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Microbiology demonstrates that a prototype water purification reactor containing a thin film of titanium...

I Wanna Talk Like You (oo)
2011-12-17 04:20:18

The role of social structure in animal communication is hotly debated. Non-human primates seem to be born with a range of calls and sounds which is dependent upon their species. But overlying this there seems to be some flexibility - you can tell where a gibbon lives by its accent. New research published in Biomed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology used Campbell's monkeys to look in detail at the nature versus nurture question and showed that non-human primate 'language',...

38629_web
2011-12-05 21:13:26

Naked mole rats (Heterocephalus glaber) live in a 'hive' society with one reproducing queen and between one and three reproducing males. The rest of the mole rats in the colony are workers either defending the burrow or finding food — not an easy task when you are virtually blind and all the tunnels smell of mole rat. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows that mole rat sperm has become simple and degenerate, probably due to...

2011-12-01 13:39:10

There are many different causes of dementia and, although its progression can be fast or slow, it is always degenerative. Symptoms of dementia include confusion, loss of memory, and problems with speech and understanding. It can be upsetting for both the affected person and their relatives and careers. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine shows that a regime of behavioral and mental exercises was able to halt the progression of dementia. Researchers...

Himalayan Snow Leopard Numbers Less Than Previously Thought
2011-11-28 13:14:35

The elusive snow leopard (Panthera uncia) lives high in the mountains across Central Asia. Despite potentially living across 12 countries the actual numbers of this beautiful large cat are largely unknown. It is thought that there might be somewhere between 350 and 500 distributed across Nepal's northern frontier. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Research Notes has used genetic analysis to show that the numbers of snow leopards in the central Himalayas is...

2011-11-21 10:11:15

Caenorhabditis are usually thought of as soil nematodes, happily living in compost heaps. The famous (scientifically speaking) Caenorhabditis elegans has provided a wealth of information about developmental processes and cell death. These tiny worms have been at the forefront of three Nobel prizes and have even been sent into space! However all other known Caenorhabditis species are as distantly related to C. elegans as mouse is to man. New research published in BioMed Central's open access...


Word of the Day
abrosia
  • Wasting away as a result of abstinence from food.
The word 'abrosia' comes from a Greek roots meaning 'not' and 'eating'.