August blogs digest: misleading figures, peer review, tips for new doctors, and more

Not had a chance to read all our posts this month? Here’s a roundup of what you’ve missed…

What is wrong with this picture?

Figures and illustrations can sometimes be misleading. This led to the publication of a new series in BMC Biology, exploring some of the common ways in which figures can mislead or obscure information and suggesting some solutions to the problems behind this. Here, Emma Saxon, Assistant Editor for BMC Biology, blogged about the topic, highlighting why well-designed figures are crucial for reproducibility, particularly in the face of ever more complex data being generated.

Can you navigate tricky peer review scenarios?

You’ve been invited to peer review a manuscript and you accept the invitation because you think you know what to do. But are you really confident in the advice you provide? Following our How to Peer Review series, we created a quiz to help navigate you through some difficult scenarios. With the aim of training you to be the best in peer review, we hope this quiz could provide some of the answers you’ve been looking for. Find out how much you know!

Top tips for new doctors

In the UK, August sees newly graduated medical school students becoming foundation doctors and the transition between the two can seem daunting. To help give advice to those wondering what to expect on their first days on the wards, Dr Rachel Williams, now a trainee anesthetist, provided her top tips and including a reminder that although there is a lot to learn, doctors shouldn’t forget to have fun!

From understanding the impact of research to breakthrough’s in clinical epigenetics

online-visualisation-620x342Understanding the impact of research: Academic research impacts on everything from healthcare, to economic policy. But how do we understand and evaluate that impact? Martin Szomszor of Digital Science told us more about their latest work to visualize research impact in the UK.

head in sandTransparency is the future, but do ‘pharma’ have their heads in the sand? Transparency has been one of the defining trends in biomedical research over the last decade. Daniel Shanahan spoke about the recent case of Richmond Pharmacology Ltd vs the UK Health Research Authority (HRA) in this blog.

cotton-grass-680623_12808 and great: the best Chinese research of 2015 in Genome Biology: To mark the re-launch of BioMed Central’s China Gateway, the team at Genome Biology picked out eight fascinating articles from Chinese researchers published in the journal so far this year.

CRISPRimage-580x342Genome editing in plants: Genome editing is a transformative technology, whether in human genetics or in its potential for crop improvement. GARNet’s Geraint Parry explained more about the use of this technology in plants including how although it holds great promise, many technical aspects have yet to be optimized.

Hainan gibbon group copyright Jessica BryantStudying the world’s rarest ape: insights from the field: Get a taste of what it’s like to study the world’s rarest ape from researcher Jessica Bryant. She highlighted her experiences and explained more about her latest findings published in BMC Evolutionary Biology.

rowingThe science of rowing: improving performance naturally: Annamarie Phelps, Chairman of British Rowing, shared her thoughts and provided an overview of the Sport Science and Medicine Conference for Rowing where experts focused on putting the athlete at the centre of development.

Array141-620x341Breakthroughs in clinical epigenetics: Decades of research into basic epigenetic mechanisms, along with advanced research into epigenetic disease biomarkers, have made it possible to bring epigenetics to the clinic. Sam Rose gave an insight into some of the hottest areas in the field.



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