July 2015: Highlights of the BMC series

Better reporting for better research • Ancient mummy DNA forensics • Psychological distress and tuberculosis treatment • The octopus, hot and cold • The drugs don’t work? • Diabetes mortality in China


ChecklistReproducibility: Better reporting for better research

How easy is it to replicate the findings of a published paper? Not as easy as you would think! BMC Neuroscience has introduced a minimum standards of reporting checklist in order to enhance reproducibility of research published in the journal. Read more about what BioMed Central are doing to address the reproducibility ‘crisis’ in this blog.


Genetics: Ancient mummy DNA forensics

BMC Genetics mummyThe Tarim Basin in China, located on the ancient Silk Road, has been a key location for migration for thousands of years. Analysis of 3500-4000 year old mitochondrial DNA from mummies in the Tarim Basin reveals diverse ancestral origins and gives clues about migration patterns of the populations.



Infectious diseases: Psychological distress and tuberculosis treatmentMycobacterium_tuberculosis

Adherence to treatment is critical for successfully curing tuberculosis and may be influenced by various factors. There is a link between psychological distress, alcohol use, health literacy, and clinical morbidity with non-adherence to anti-TB treatment; use of screening together with counselling could improve patient health and reduce the likelihood of transmission.


Evolutionary Biology: The octopus, hot and cold

octopusOctopods have colonised the world’s oceans. Crucial to the spread of the octopus from tropics to poles is their ability to sustain oxygen supply even at sub-zero temperatures; molecular and structural evolution of the octopus blood-carrying molecule appears to be key to this, enabling temperature adaptation.



Image of the month


These images are from a larger selection published by Miura et al. in Noninvasive vascular imaging of ruptured retinal arterial macroaneurysms by Doppler optical coherence tomography


Psychiatry: The drugs don’t work?DSC_0007

Clozapine is the treatment of choice for medication refractory schizophrenia, but it is ineffective in half of patients prescribed it. Combination of pharmacotherapies in patients with medication refractory schizophrenia reduces unnecessary prescriptions and maximises the use of clozapine by augmenting its beneficial effects compared to monotherapy.


Public Health: Diabetes mortality in China

DiabetesGeographical variations in the prevalence of diabetes in China represent a key public health challenge. Declines in diabetes mortality between 2006 and 2012 have been unequally distributed across China, implying differential diagnosis, management, and provision of services across the country.

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