This review defines bioorganic chemistry as one of the most important constituents of
physico–chemical biology, which is a fundamental life science. The problems and goals of
bioorganic chemistry are examined through a comparatively small number of examples. Bioorganic
chemistry is supposed to be a logical continuation of the chemistry of the natural substances
that arose many years ago. Bioorganic chemistry has contributed some achievements in solving
the problems of the chemical structure, biological function, and physiological activity of
biopolymers and low–molecular–weight bioregulators, as well as in the elucidation
of the molecular mechanisms of different life processes. The most striking achievements in
bioorganic chemistry are discussed in this paper. However, this review discusses not only the
general achievements in this field of science, but also research data obtained by scientists
from the Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Far East Branch, Russian Academy of
Sciences (Vladivostok, Russia), and the Institute of Physiology, Komi Science Centre, The Urals
Branch, Russian Academy of Sciences (Syktyvkar, Russia). Particular attention is focused on
comprehensive research into polysaccharides and biopolymers (bioglycans) and some natural
glycosides that the author of this review has studied for a long time. The author has worked in
these institutes for a long time and was honored by being chosen to head one of the scientific
schools in the field of bioorganic chemistry and molecular immunology.
bioglycans; natural glycosides; low-molecular-weight bioregulators
The EMBnet Conference 2008, focusing on 'Leading Applications and Technologies in Bioinformatics', was organized by the European Molecular Biology network (EMBnet) to celebrate its 20th anniversary. Since its foundation in 1988, EMBnet has been working to promote collaborative development of bioinformatics services and tools to serve the European community of molecular biology laboratories. This conference was the first meeting organized by the network that was open to the international scientific community outside EMBnet. The conference covered a broad range of research topics in bioinformatics with a main focus on new achievements and trends in emerging technologies supporting genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics analyses such as high-throughput sequencing and data managing, text and data-mining, ontologies and Grid technologies. Papers selected for publication, in this supplement to BMC Bioinformatics, cover a broad range of the topics treated, providing also an overview of the main bioinformatics research fields that the EMBnet community is involved in.
This issue marks the 10th year anniversary of Neoplasia where we have seen exciting growth on the impact that Neoplasia has had on cancer research worldwide. Neoplasia was founded in 1999 at which time manuscripts were accepted through e-mail. In 2000, Neoplasia became the first journal to offer web-based online manuscript submission and peer-review using a custom-designed application JournalSoft. Now, the use of web-based manuscript processing has become an industry standard as it provides authors with a rapid and useful dialog exchange for improving the quality of the science and the overall speed of the review process. Moreover, during the past 10 years, the Internet has experienced a massive growth of a complex global grid of now over an estimated 1.2 billion Internet users which have resulted in a major shift in the medium of scientific communication for scholarly publishing. Neoplasia continues to evolve with the technology and has implemented a rapid time-to-publication schedule to continue dissemination of published cancer research findings quickly to the scientific community.
It is a great honor to conduct an interview with Professor Mark G. Hans, after
following his outstanding work ahead of the Bolton-Brush Growth Study Center and the
Department of Orthodontics at the prestigious Case Western Reserve School of Dental
Medicine (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio. Born in Berea, Ohio, Professor Mark Hans attended
Yale University in New Haven, CT, and earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in
Chemistry. Upon graduation, Dr. Hans received his DDS and Masters Degree of Science
in Dentistry with specialty certification in Orthodontics at Case Western Reserve
University. During his education, Dr. Hans' Master's Thesis won the Harry Sicher
Award for Best Research by an Orthodontic Student and being granted a Presidential
Teaching Fellowship. As one of the youngest doctors ever certified by the American
Board of Orthodontics, Dr. Hans continues to maintain his board certification. He has
worked through academics on a variety of research interests, that includes the
demographics of orthodontic practice, digital radiographic data, dental and
craniofacial genetics, as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, with selected
publications in these fields. One of his noteworthy contributions to the orthodontic
literature came along with Dr. Donald Enlow on the pages of "Essentials of Facial
Growth", being reference on the study of craniofacial growth and development. Dr.
Mark Hans's academic career is linked to CWRU, recognized as the renowned birthplace
of research on craniofacial growth and development, where the classic Bolton-Brush
Growth Study was historically set. Today, Dr. Hans is the Director of The
Bolton-Brush Growth Study Center, performing, with great skill and dedication, the
handling of the larger longitudinal sample of bone growth study. He is Associate Dean
for Graduate Studies, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthodontics,
working in clinical and theoretical activities with students of the Undergraduate
Course from the School of Dental Medicine and residents in the Department of
Orthodontics at CWRU. Part of his clinical practice at the university is devoted to
the treatment of craniofacial anomalies and to special needs patients. Prof. Mark
Hans has been wisely conducting the Joint Cephalometric Experts Group (JCEG) since
2008, held at the School of Dental Medicine (CWRU). He coordinates a team composed of
American, Asian, Brazilian and European researchers and clinicians, working on the
transition from 2D cephalometrics to 3D cone beam imaging as well as 3D models for
diagnosis, treatment planning and assessment of orthodontic outcomes. Dr. Hans
travels to different countries to give lectures on his fields of interest. Besides,
he still maintains a clinical orthodontic practice at his private office. In every
respect, Dr. Hans coordinates all activities with particular skill and performance.
Married to Susan, they have two sons, Thomas and Jack and one daughter, Sarah and he
enjoys playing jazz guitar for family and friends.
Matilde da Cunha Gonçalves Nojima
In November 2008, BMC Medicine passed the landmark of its first 5 years of publishing. When we launched the journal with the aim of publishing high quality research of general interest and special importance, we had no idea what the future would bring. To mark the occasion of our 5th anniversary, we consider the achievements of the last 5 years and discuss our plans for the future.
This article contains the slides and transcript of a talk given by Dan Zaharevitz at the "Visions of a Semantic Molecular Future" symposium held at the University of Cambridge Department of Chemistry on 2011-01-19. A recording of the talk is available on the University Computing Service's Streaming Media Service archive at http://sms.cam.ac.uk/media/1095515 (unfortunately the first part of the recording was corrupted, so the talk appears to begin at slide 6, 'At a critical time'). We believe that Dan's message comes over extremely well in the textual transcript and that it would be poorer for serious editing. In addition we have added some explanations and references of some of the concepts in the slides and text. (Charlotte Bolton; Peter Murray-Rust, University of Cambridge)
The following paper is part of a series of publications which arose from a Symposium held at the Unilever Centre for Molecular Informatics at the University of Cambridge to celebrate the lifetime achievements of Peter Murray-Rust. One of the motives of Peter's work was and is a better transport and preservation of data and information in scientific publications. In both respects the following publication is relevant: it is about public data and their representation, and the publication represents a non-standard experiment of transporting the content of the scientific presentation. As you will see, it consists of the original slides used by Dan Zaharevitz in his talk "Adventures in Public Data" at the Unilever Centre together with a diligent transcript of his speech. The transcribers have gone through great effort to preserve the original spirit of the talk by preserving colloquial language as it is used at such occasions. For reasons known to us, the original speaker was unable to submit the manuscript in a more conventional form. We, the Editors, have discussed in depth whether such a format is suitable for a scientific journal. We have eventually decided to publish this "as is". We did this mostly because it was Peter's wish that this talk was published in this form and because we agreed with his notion that this format transmits the message just as well as a formal article as defined by our instructions for authors. We, the Editors, wish to make clear however that this is an exception that we made because we would like to preserve the temporal unity and message of this set of publications. Insisting on a formal publication would have meant losing this historical account as part of the thematic series of papers or disrupting the series. We hope that this will find the consent of our readership.
Theodor Förster would have been 100 years old this year and he would be astounded to see the impact of his scientific achievement – still evolving. Combining his quantitative approach of (Förster) Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) with the state-of-the-art digital imaging techniques allowed scientists to breach the resolution limits of light (∼200 nm) in light microscopy. Molecular or particle distances within a range of 1-10 nm may be deduced in real time, interactions between two or more components may be proven or disproven – all of vital interest to researchers in many branches of the sciences. While his groundbreaking theory was published in the 1940's, the availability of suitable fluorophores, instruments and analytical tools really spawned a large amount of experimentation in the sciences in the last 20 years, as demonstrated by the exponential increase in publications. These cover basic investigation of cellular processes and the ability to investigate them when they go awry in pathological states, the dynamics involved in the field of genetics, following events in environmental sciences and methods in drug screening. This review covers the essentials of Theodor Förster's theory, describes the elements for successful implementation of FRET microscopy, the challenges and how to overcome them and a leading-edge example how T. Förster' scientific impact is still evolving in many directions. While this review cannot possibly do justice to the burgeoning field of FRET microscopy, a few interesting applications such as 3-color FRET vs. the traditional 2-color method are described– greatly expanding the opportunities of investigating interaction of cellular components – plus an extensive list of references for the interested reader to access.
Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET); FRET microscopy; Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM)-FRET; Protein-protein Interactions; Three-color FRET Microscopy
David Pimentel is a professor of ecology and agricultural sciences at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853–0901. His Ph.D. is from Cornell University and had postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago, MIT, and fellowship at Oxford University (England). He was awarded a distinguished honorary degree from the University of Massachusetts. His research spans the fields of energy, population ecology, biological pest control, pesticides, sustainable agriculture, land and water conservation, livestock, and environmental policy. Pimentel has published more than 700 scientific papers and 37 books and has served on many national and government committees including the National Academy of Sciences; President’s Science Advisory Council; U.S Department of Agriculture; U.S. Department of Energy; U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare; Office of Technology Assessment of the U.S. Congress; and the U.S. State Department. He is currently Editorial Advisor for BMC Ecology. In this article, he reflects on 50 years since the publication of Rachel Carson’s influential book, Silent Spring.
The term extracellular matrix (ECM) has generated various associations throughout the history of medical research. While the spontaneously organizing fibers of connective tissue were originally thought to be the basis of life, the advent of the cellular concept by Rudolf Virchow put the ECM into the second line reducing their function to a mere scaffold and glue (“collagen”). Over the past decades our knowledge of the composition of the physiologic ECM has increased steadily and many possible interactions of several ECM components with cytokines and cell receptors have been discovered, making the ECM a promising target for improving the performance of biomaterials. The reviews in this Special Issue of Biomatter reflect the work of a Collaborative Research Center (TRR 67) of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) based in Leipzig and Dresden, Germany, dedicated to matrix engineering in soft and hard tissues.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST: NONE DECLARED
Last two years, the health informatics profession celebrated five jubilees in Bosnia and Herzegovina: thirty years from the introduction of the first automatic manipulation of data, twenty years from the establishment of Society for Medical Informatics BiH, fifteen years from the establishment of the Scientific and Professional Journal of the Society for Medical Informatics of Bosnia and Herzegovina „Acta Informatica Medica“, fifteen years on from the establishment of the first Cathedra for Medical Informatics on Biomedical Faculties in Bosnia and Herzegovina and five years on from the introduction of the method of “Distance learning” in medical curriculum. The author of this article are eager to mark the importance of the above mentioned Anniversaries in the development of Health informatics in Bosnia and Herzegovina and have attempted, very briefly, to present the most significant events and persons with essential roles throughout this period.
medical informatics; history; Bosnia and Herzegovina
The American College of Medical Informatics is an honorary society established to recognize those who have made sustained contributions to the field. Its highest award, for lifetime achievement and contributions to the discipline of medical informatics, is the Morris F Collen Award. Dr Collen's own efforts as a pioneer in the field stand out as the embodiment of creativity, intellectual rigor, perseverance, and personal integrity. The Collen Award, given once a year, honors an individual whose attainments have, throughout a whole career, substantially advanced the science and art of biomedical informatics. In 2009, the college was proud to present the Collen Award to Betsy Humphreys, MLS, deputy director of the National Library of Medicine. Ms Humphreys has dedicated her career to enabling more effective integration and exchange of electronic information. Her work has involved new knowledge sources and innovative strategies for advancing health data standards to accomplish these goals. Ms Humphreys becomes the first librarian to receive the Collen Award. Dr Collen, on the occasion of his 96th birthday, personally presented the award to Ms Humphreys.
This article, 'Reflections on the United States Military 1941-1987' written by my grandmother, Mary Mandels, illustrates her passion for life. Her outreach article was considered most appropriate for publication in this forum. Her career activities are outlined in the prior article 'Mary Elizabeth Hickox Mandels, 90, Bioenergy Leader' while her accomplishments were fully recognized, for instance, nationally through the American Chemical Society and through her induction into the Hall of Fame at the US Army Soldier Systems Center in Natick, Massachusetts. As illustrated, along with Dr Elwyn Reese at Natick's Pioneering Research Laboratory, she headed a bioengineering group that is particularly remembered for developing a process for the enzymatic conversion of waste cellulosic biomass into soluble sugars that could be fermented to ethanol for an alternate liquid fuel (gasohol). This technology remains a subject of interest with growing environmental concerns and an oil shortage crisis.
Mary broke the promotional glass ceiling in her own field, all the more remarkable from the perspective that she was born 3 years before women gained the right to vote. Her talents as the family storyteller, enthralling her four siblings while growing up, later reflected her abilities as an outstanding mentor to young scientists. Mary's passions went beyond her career with a love of nature and the outdoors, taking frequent canoe, hiking, skiing, and camping trips. She had a broad fascination for science, foci including her encyclopedic knowledge of plants and wildlife. When not outdoors Mary enjoyed listening to music, from opera to 'Bobby' Dylan, as she called him. Her voracious appetite for books was apparent by the tomes that covered her coffee table. She was never shy to share her political opinions and would send long handwritten letters to politicians who did something to her disapproval. She was strong willed and passionate in everything that she did. In particular was her love of the nation and of the US Army, and this particular article reflects her passion. Mary was an inspiration to all of those who knew her. For me, she was not only my grandmother but also my friend and role model. I will forever miss her wisdom, spirit and passion for life.
This discussion is meant to examine the issues raised by Gadarowski in a recent Letter to the Editor.
This is a reply to http://www.hqlo.com/content/pdf/1477-7525-11-52.pdf.
Infertility; Psychology; Sexuality; Sexual dysfunction; Assisted reproductive technology; Sexual disorders; Sexual behavior; Psycho-sexology
Since 1839, Yale medical students have been writing theses as part of their professional training. It is an introduction to the practice of original research, a demanding and sometimes exhausting pursuit. The thesis project promotes a tenacity well suited for the practice of medicine. The thesis advisor has a challenging role as well — one that can only be filled by an individual whose dedication to research is matched with a patience for mentoring students.
In a dedicated commentary included in this issue of the journal, Margaret Drickamer, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale University, shares her account of one advisor’s relationship to a maturing clinician-scholar. Mila Rainof, MD, was a member of the Yale School of Medicine 2008 graduating class. She died tragically in April 2008, just months prior to beginning an emergency medicine residency in Oakland, California.
By including Drickamer’s commentary with Rainof’s thesis abstract, the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine honors Rainof’s memory and also celebrates the professional work and scholarly life that took form during her relationship with her thesis advisor.
The Yale School of Medicine has established the Mila Rainof, MD, Memorial Fund in her honor.
Seyyed Esmaeil Jorjani is one of the most prominent pioneers and scientists of Islamic and Iranian traditional medicine in the 11th and 12th centuries (4th and 5th centuries A.H.). The number of his books is not certainly clear, but it is signified that he has written a couple of great books concerning medicine for Persians and too many treatises in such fields as philosophy, theology, medical ethics, human anatomy, chemistry, pharmacy and other sciences. His most famous and important book is “Zakhireh Khwarazmshahi” or “The Treasure of King Khwarazm”, which is really a complete and valuable medical encyclopedia in Persian language.
Materials and Methods
In the present study, authors have attempted to state the life and time of Jorjani and his views by studying the history, old medical sources, and other provided recent medical literature in these fields.
The biography of Hakim Jorjani has been well reviewed and described precisely.
Based on our findings, it is clear that Jorjani described and explained the symptoms, signs and treatments of several diseases, introduced the activities of various medicinal plants, and compound formulations. He achieved all of this during his continuous visits to prestigious medical centers and famous people of his time.
Jorjani; Islamic Traditional Medicine; Iranian Traditional Medicine; Zakhireh Khwarazmshahi
The 50-year global CO2 record led the way in establishing a scientific fact: modern civilization is changing important properties of the global atmosphere, oceans and biosphere. The evidence on which this scientific fact is based will be refined further, but the next challenge for scientists is broader. In addition to its traditional role in providing discovery, diagnosis, and prediction of the changes that are taking place on our planet, science has now also a role in helping society mitigate emissions by objectively quantifying them, and in helping adaptation by providing environmental forecasts on regional scales. Science is also expected to provide new options for society to tackle the transition to a new energy system, and to provide thorough environmental evaluation of all such options. This is what the meeting recognized as planetary responsibilities for scientists in the next 50 years.
The European Union (EU) health mandate was initially defined in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992. The twentieth anniversary of the Treaty offers a unique opportunity to take stock of EU health actions by giving an overview of influential public health related EU-level policy outputs and a summary of policy outputs or actions perceived as an achievement, a failure or a missed opportunity.
Semi-structured expert interviews (N = 20) were conducted focusing on EU-level actions that were relevant for health. Respondents were asked to name EU policies or actions that they perceived as an achievement, a failure or a missed opportunity. A directed content analysis approach was used to identify expert perceptions on achievements, failures and missed opportunities in the interviews. Additionally, a nominal group technique was applied to identify influential and public health relevant EU-level policy outputs.
The ranking of influential policy outputs resulted in top positions of adjudications and legislations, agencies, European Commission (EC) programmes and strategies, official networks, cooperative structures and exchange efforts, the work on health determinants and uptake of scientific knowledge. The assessment of EU health policies as being an achievement, a failure or a missed opportunity was often characterized by diverging respondent views. Recurring topics that emerged were the Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO), EU agencies, life style factors, internal market provisions as well as the EU Directive on patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare. Among these recurring topics, expert perceptions on the establishment of DG SANCO, EU public health agencies, and successes in tobacco control were dominated by aspects of achievements. The implementation status of the Health in All Policy approach was perceived as a missed opportunity.
When comparing the emerging themes from the interviews conducted with the responsibilities defined in the EU health mandate, one can identify that these responsibilities were only partly fulfilled or acknowledged by the respondents. In general, the EU is a recognized public health player in Europe which over the past two decades, has begun to develop competencies in supporting, coordinating and supplementing member state health actions. However, the assurance of health protection in other European policies seems to require further development.
European Union; EU health mandate; Health policy; Assessment; Qualitative research
To identify published letters to the editor (LTE) written in response to randomized controlled trials (RCTs), determine the topics addressed in the letters, and to examine if these topics were affected by the characteristics and results of the RCTs.
Comparative cross-sectional study of a representative sample of RCTs from a set of high-impact medical journals (BMJ, Lancet, NEJM, JAMA, and Annals of Internal Medicine). RCTs and their published LTE were searched from these 5 journals in 2007. Data were collected on RCTs and their characteristics (author affiliation, funding source, intervention, and effect on the primary outcome) and the topics addressed in published LTE related to these RCTs. Analysis included chi-square and regression analysis (RCT characteristics) and thematic analysis (LTE topics).
Of 334 identified RCTs, 175 trials had at least one LTE. Of these, 381 published LTE were identified. Most RCTs, tested drug interventions (68%), were funded by government (54%) or industry (33%), and described an intervention that had a positive impact on the primary outcome (62%). RCT authors were primarily affiliated with an academic centre (78%). Ninety percent of the 623 LTE topics concerned methodological issues regarding the analysis, intervention, and population in the RCT. There was a significant association between funding source and impact on outcomes (p = 0.002) or type of intervention tested (p = 0.001) in these trials. Clinical and “Other” LTE topics were more likely to be published in response to a government funded RCT (p = 0.005 and p = 0.033, respectively); no other comparisons were significant.
This study showed that most LTE are about methodological topics, but found little evidence to support that these topics are affected by the characteristics or results of the RCTs. The lack of association may be explained by editorial censorship as a small proportion of LTE that are submitted are actually published.
Letters to the editor; Randomized controlled trials; Journalogy
As we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Campylobacter, Helicobacter, and Related Organisms (CHRO) workshops with this special Frontiers edition, we look back upon three decades of research and provide some highlights from the 16th International CHRO meeting. Although Theodor Escherich himself provided drawings of campylobacters back in the 1880s, Campylobacter jejuni was not identified until the 1950s. Helicobacter pylori was first described to be the causative agent of stomach ulcers at a CHRO meeting by Barry Marshall and Robin Warren—who later received the Nobel Prize for their findings that bacteria could cause diseases previously believed to be caused by human factors. Now, several genome sequences for campylobacters, helicobacters, and related organisms are available and we have moved into an era examining the intersection between host microbial ecology and pathogen infection. Both pioneers and new investigators in the CHRO research field continue to obtain “unexpected results” demonstrating that campylobacters and helicobacters do not follow classic paradigms of other well-characterized gastrointestinal pathogens and we are learning that there is a plethora of interesting related organisms beyond C. jejuni and H. pylori. This review summarizes recent discoveries in CHRO research and the exciting directions ahead.
campylobacter; helicobacter; related organisms; genome diversity; control measures; fundamental biology; host responses; pathogenesis
This issue on the genetics of brain imaging phenotypes is a celebration of the happy marriage between two of science’s highly interesting fields: neuroscience and genetics. The articles collected here are ample evidence that a good deal of synergy exists in this marriage. A wide selection of papers is presented that provide many different perspectives on how genes cause variation in brain structure and function, which in turn influence behavioral phenotypes (including psychopathology). They are examples of the many different methodologies in contemporary genetics and neuroscience research. Genetic methodology includes genome-wide association (GWA), candidate-gene association, and twin studies. Sources of data on brain phenotypes include cortical gray matter (GM) structural/volumetric measures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); white matter (WM)measures from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), such as fractional anisotropy; functional- (activity-) based measures from electroencephalography (EEG), and functional MRI (fMRI). Together, they reflect a combination of scientific fields that have seen great technological advances, whether it is the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array in genetics, the increasingly high-resolution MRI imaging, or high angular resolution diffusion imaging technique for measuring WM connective properties.
A prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled study by Yaal-Hahoshen et al. published in a recent issue of The Oncologist that concluded that the botanical mixture LCS101 prevented hematological complications in breast cancer patients undergoing anthracycline- and taxane-based chemotherapy is critically reviewed.
Consumption of trans fats is associated with an increase of cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. To comply with regulatory policies and public health authorities recommendations, trans fats should be replaced in food products. The study by Sundram et al. (Nutrition & Metabolism 2007, 4:3) reporting the effect on CVD risk factors of interesterified fat (IE) and partially hydrogenated soybean oil (PHSO) compared to palm olein (POL) has been critically analyzed. The study design and in particular the composition of the tested fats was not suitable to properly answer the question raised regarding the effect of alternative ingredients to trans fats on plasma lipids. The observed effects are divergent with predicted data derived from the literature model consolidated using the individual results of 60 randomized clinical trials. The results of the study published by Sundram and co-workers have to be considered with awareness.
One of the goals of the 2011 International Year of Chemistry is to celebrate the contributions of women to science. A question that has been frequently asked in this regard is... Why is it necessary to highlight women in the "age of equality"? The reasons are varied but the facts are that many women scientists worked in obscurity throughout the 19th and even well into the 20th century, sometimes publishing anonymously to be heard. This celebration of Women in Science is one way to recognize both the resiliency and passion of these women. As part of this celebration, Chemistry Central Journal's Thematic Series of "Women in Chemistry" includes this article describing the path several women took as they pursued chemistry careers spanning the latter part of the 20th century and into the early 21st century. Sharon Haynie, Nancy Jones, Cheryl Martin, Paula Olsiewski, Mary Roberts and Amber Hinkle each have unique story of their personal journey from childhood to adulthood. As you read these stories, listen generously, and feel free to share your own stories, comments and thoughts.