February blogs digest: Impact Factors, ‘three-parent’ babies, shisha, and more

Didn't get a chance to read all of February's blog posts? Here's the best of what you missed...

impactfactor-620x342The impact factor’s ill effects on health systems work: what can WE do?

Does the impact factor have undue influence? Professor Jeffrey V. Lazarus explored the negative effects of the impact factor on health systems research, both now and in the future.

Prof Lazarus called on health researchers to make commitments to combat these problems.

In vitro fertilization

Mitochondrial replacement IVF: evolving attitudes to embryo research

February saw both houses of the UK Parliament vote to amend the Human Fertilization and Embryology Act 2008 to allow mitochondrial replacement IVF techniques. This offers hope to parents wanting to have children free of rare diseases. Ruth Francis reflected on the change in attitudes towards IVF which has helped to bring this vote about.

hookah-455306_1280Up in smoke: the truth about shisha pipe smoking

A study published in BMC Public Health found that smoke from shisha contains heavier metals than previously thought. In a guest post, Dr Mike Knapton, Associate Medical Director at British Heart Foundation, told us that there is no safe way to smoke.

From dangerous drugs to the public understanding of science

OverallwinnerBMC Ecology Image Competition Announcement 2015: The BMC Ecology Image Competition 2015 has now begun, and Catherine Potenski wrote a call for people to share their most striking images of how they study the natural world.

pills-384846_1280Withdrawal of medicines that cause deaths: takes longer than you think: In a guest post, authors of a new BMC Medicine article discussed delays in withdrawing drugs suspected of causing deaths and how these delays could be reduced.

social-media-640543_1280Tweet chat: Health workforce strengthening in fragile and conflict-affected states: In recognition of their ‘Filling the void’ series, Conflict and Health hosted a one hour tweet chat to discuss human resources for health in fragile and conflict-affected states. You can read what happened in the chat in this post.

Laboratory mouseReducing publication bias in animal research: Senior Editor Elizabeth Moylan attended a workshop on publication bias in animal research, which revealed the importance of publishing negative results and the role of preclinical study registration. But is there a one-size solution that could fit all?

rdd2015Living with a rare disease: Rare Disease Day 2015: The 28th February 2015 marked the eighth international Rare Disease Day coordinated by EURORDIS. Sam Rose wrote about the work of Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, as well as some of the fundraising carried out by BioMed Central’s staff.

Linear_vs_branched.pdfHelpful predictability in colorectal cancer: Research in Genome Biology on the genomics of cancer progression revealed remarkable genomic similarities between primary tumors and the secondary metastatic cancer cells. Rafal Marszalek explained how cancer can sometimes be predictable.

Open access - mind the gap

Mind the gap: open access and the public understanding of science: A recent report in a series on ‘science and society’ from the Pew Research Center suggested scientists believe there’s a gap between public interest in and public understanding of science. I wrote about how open access has a key role in bridging this gap.

The enemy within: mosquitoes killing their ownmosquito: Srimathy Sriskantharajah wrote for BugBitten about research by Mains and colleagues that explores a new method for auto-dissemination of insecticides, employing the male Aedes albopictus mosquito.

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