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1.  Bioglycans and Natural Glycosides As a Promising Research Topic in Bioorganic Chemistriy 
Acta Naturae  2010;2(2):28-36.
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.
PMCID: PMC3347557  PMID: 22649639
bioglycans; natural glycosides; low-molecular-weight bioregulators
2.  There ain't nothing like a Dame: a commentary on Lonsdale (1947) ‘Divergent beam X-ray photography of crystals’ 
Prof. Dame Kathleen Lonsdale was one of the two first female Fellows of the Royal Society, having originally been a student of that great British scientist and Nobel Laureate William Henry Bragg. She came to fame initially for her solution of the crystal structure of hexamethyl benzene, thus demonstrating that the benzene ring was flat, of considerable importance to organic chemistry, where it had been proposed before but without proof. This was at a time when the solution of crystal structures was in its infancy, and in its day this work was considered a triumph. As a rare example then of a female physicist, Lonsdale became interested in various aspects of the diffraction of X-rays, and in particular published an important paper on a form of diffraction in which a strongly divergent source was used rather than the usual highly collimated beam. The photographs thus obtained showed a series of arcs and circles, whose positions were so sensitive that they could be used to determine the quality of crystals such as diamond, and even to calculate their lattice dimensions, and hence carbon–carbon bond lengths, to hitherto extraordinary precision. Lonsdale also became known not just as a scientist but as a peace activist and an active member of the Society of Friends. This commentary was written to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.
doi:10.1098/rsta.2014.0232
PMCID: PMC4360086  PMID: 25750139
X-ray diffraction; divergent beam; Kossel patterns; diamond
3.  The 20th anniversary of EMBnet: 20 years of bioinformatics for the Life Sciences community 
BMC Bioinformatics  2009;10(Suppl 6):S1.
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2105-10-S6-S1
PMCID: PMC2697632  PMID: 19534734
4.  Neoplasia: An Anniversary of Progress 
Neoplasia (New York, N.Y.)  2007;9(12):993-1002.
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.
PMCID: PMC2134896
5.  BMC Medicine celebrates its 5th anniversary 
BMC Medicine  2009;7:3.
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.
doi:10.1186/1741-7015-7-3
PMCID: PMC2630313
6.  An interview with Mark G. Hans 
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
doi:10.1590/2176-9451.19.3.026-035.int
PMCID: PMC4296620  PMID: 25162563
7.  Adventures in public data 
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)
Editorial preface
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.
doi:10.1186/1758-2946-3-34
PMCID: PMC3198951  PMID: 22017861
8.  FRET microscopy in 2010: The legacy of Theodor Förster on the 100th anniversary of his birth 
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.
doi:10.1002/cphc.201000664
PMCID: PMC3422661  PMID: 21344587
Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET); FRET microscopy; Fluorescence Lifetime Imaging (FLIM)-FRET; Protein-protein Interactions; Three-color FRET Microscopy
9.  Silent Spring, the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book 
BMC Ecology  2012;12:20.
Editorial
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.
doi:10.1186/1472-6785-12-20
PMCID: PMC3459743  PMID: 23016519
10.  25th Anniversary Article: Organic Field-Effect Transistors: The Path Beyond Amorphous Silicon 
Over the past 25 years, organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) have witnessed impressive improvements in materials performance by 3–4 orders of magnitude, and many of the key materials discoveries have been published in Advanced Materials. This includes some of the most recent demonstrations of organic field-effect transistors with performance that clearly exceeds that of benchmark amorphous silicon-based devices. In this article, state-of-the-art in OFETs are reviewed in light of requirements for demanding future applications, in particular active-matrix addressing for flexible organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays. An overview is provided over both small molecule and conjugated polymer materials for which field-effect mobilities exceeding > 1 cm2 V–1 s–1 have been reported. Current understanding is also reviewed of their charge transport physics that allows reaching such unexpectedly high mobilities in these weakly van der Waals bonded and structurally comparatively disordered materials with a view towards understanding the potential for further improvement in performance in the future.
doi:10.1002/adma.201304346
PMCID: PMC4515091  PMID: 24443057
organic semiconductors; organic field-effect transistors; organic light-emitting diode displays
11.  Letter from the Editor 
Biomatter  2012;2(3):114.
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.
doi:10.4161/biom.22011
PMCID: PMC3549864  PMID: 23507862
12.  The Jubilee of Medical Informatics in Bosnia and Herzegovina - 20 Years Anniversary 
Materia Socio-Medica  2009;21(2):110-117.
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.
doi:10.5455/msm.2009.21.110-117
PMCID: PMC3796780  PMID: 24133382
medical informatics; history; Bosnia and Herzegovina
13.  Presentation of the 2009 Morris F Collen Award to Betsy L Humphreys, with remarks from the recipient 
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.
doi:10.1136/jamia.2010.005728
PMCID: PMC2995660  PMID: 20595319
14.  Reflections on the United States Military 1941-1987 
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.
Susan Roche
doi:10.1186/1754-6834-2-20
PMCID: PMC2745381  PMID: 19723297
15.  Respiratory medicine and research at McGill University: A historical perspective 
The history of respiratory medicine and research at McGill University (Montreal, Quebec) is tightly linked with the growth of academic medicine within its teaching hospitals. Dr Jonathan Meakins, a McGill medical graduate, was recruited to the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1924; as McGill’s first full-time clinical professor and Physician-in-Chief at the Royal Victoria Hospital. His focus on respiratory medicine led to the publication of his first book, Respiratory Function in Disease, in 1925. Meakins moved clinical laboratories from the Department of Pathology and placed them within the hospital. As such, he was responsible for the development of hospital-based research.
Dr Ronald Christie was recruited as a postdoctoral fellow by Meakins in the early 1930s. After his fellowship, he returned to Britain but came back to McGill from St Bartholomew’s Hospital (London, United Kingdom) to become Chair of the Department of Medicine in 1955; he occupied the post for 10 years. He published extensively on the mechanical properties of the lung in common diseases such as emphysema and heart failure.
Dr David Bates was among Dr Christie’s notable recruits; Bates in turn, recruited Drs Maurice McGregor, Margaret Becklake, William Thurlbeck, Joseph Milic-Emili, Nicholas Anthonisen, Charles Bryan and Peter Macklem. Bates published extensively in the area of respiratory physiology and, with Macklem and Christie, coauthored the book Respiratory Function in Disease, which integrated physiology into the analysis of disease.
Dr JA Peter Paré joined the attending staff of the Royal Victoria Hospital and the Royal Edward Laurentian Hospital in 1949. A consummate clinician and teacher, he worked closely with Dr Robert Fraser, the Chair of Radiology, to write the reference text Diagnosis of Diseases of the Chest. This was a sentinel contribution in its focus on radiographic findings as the foundation for a systematic approach to diagnosis, and the correlation of these findings with pathological and clinical observations.
Dr Margaret Becklake immigrated to Montreal from South Africa in 1957. Her research focused on occupational lung disease. She established the respiratory epidemiology research unit at McGill. She was renowned for her insistence on the importance of a clearly stated, relevant research question and for her clarity and insight.
Dr William Thurlbeck, another South African, had developed an interest in emphysema and chronic bronchitis and applied a structure-function approach in collaboration with Peter Macklem and other respirologists. As chief of the Royal Victoria autopsy service, he used pathological specimens to develop a semiquantitative grading system of gross emphysema severity. He promoted the use of morphometry to quantify structural abnormalities.
Dr James Hogg studied the functional consequences of pathological processes for lung function during his PhD studies under the joint supervision of Drs Macklem and Thurlbeck. His contributions to understanding the structural basis for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are numerous, reflecting his transdisciplinary knowledge of respiratory pathology and physiology. He trained other outstanding investigators such as Peter Paré Jr, with whom he founded the Pulmonary Research Laboratory in St Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver (British Columbia) in 1977.
A signal event in the evolution of respiratory research at McGill was the construction of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories in 1972. These laboratories were directed by Dr Peter Macklem, a trainee of Dr Becklake’s. The research within the laboratory initially focused on respiratory mechanics, gas distribution within the lung and the contribution of airways of different sizes to the overall mechanical behaviour of the lungs. The effects of cigarette smoking on lung dysfunction, mechanisms of possible loss of lung elastic recoil in asthma and control of bronchomotor tone were all additional areas of active investigation. Dr Macklem pioneered the study of the physiological consequences of small airway pathology.
Dr Joseph Milic-Emili succeeded Dr Macklem as director of the Meakins-Christie Laboratories in 1979. Milic-Emili was renowned for his work on ventilation distribution and the assessment of pleural pressure. He led the development of convenient tools for the assessment of respiratory drive. He clarified the physiological basis for carbon dioxide retention in patients with COPD placed on high inspired oxygen concentrations.
Another area that captured many investigators’ attention in the 1980s was the notion of respiratory failure as a consequence of respiratory muscle fatigue. Dr Charalambos (‘Charis’) Roussos made seminal contributions in this field. These studies triggered a long-lasting interest in respiratory muscle training, in rehabilitation, and in noninvasive mechanical ventilation for acute and chronic respiratory failure.
Dr Ludwig Engel obtained his PhD under the supervision of Peter Macklem and established himself in the area of ventilation distribution in health and in bronchoconstriction and the mechanics of breathing in asthma; he trained many investigators including one of the authors, Dr Jim Martin, who succeeded Milic-Emili as director of the Meakins Christie Laboratories from 1993 to 2008. Dr Martin developed small animal models of allergic asthma, and adopted a recruitment strategy that diversified the research programs at the Meakins Christie Laboratories.
Dr Manuel Cosio built on earlier work with Macklem and Hogg in his development of key structure-function studies of COPD. He was instrumental in recruiting a new generation of young investigators with interests in sleep medicine and neuromuscular diseases.
The 1970s and 1980s also witnessed the emergence of a topnotch respiratory division at the Montreal General Hospital, in large part reflecting the leadership of Dr Neil Colman, later a lead author of the revised Fraser and Paré textbook. At the Montreal General, areas of particular clinical strength and investigation included asthma, occupational and immunological lung diseases.
In 1989, the Meakins Christie Laboratories relocated to its current site on Rue St Urbain, adjacent to the Montreal Chest Institute. Dr Qutayba Hamid, on faculty at the Brompton Hospital, joined the Meakins-Christie Labs in 1994. In addition to an outstanding career in the area of the immunopathology of human asthma, he broadened the array of techniques routinely applied at the labs and has ably led the Meakins-Christie Labs from 2008 to the present.
The Meakins Christie Laboratories have had a remarkable track record that continues to this day. The basis for its enduring success is not immediately clear but it has almost certainly been linked to the balance of MD and PhD scientists that brought perspective and rigour. The diverse disciplines and research programs also facilitated adaptation to changing external research priorities.
The late 1990s and the early 21st century also saw the flourishing of the Respiratory Epidemiology Unit, under the leadership of Drs Pierre Ernst, Dick Menzies and Jean Bourbeau. It moved from McGill University to the Montreal Chest Institute in 2004. This paved the way for expanded clinical and translational research programs in COPD, tuberculosis, asthma, respiratory sleep disorders and other pulmonary diseases. The faculty now comprises respiratory clinician-researchers and PhD scientists with expertise in epidemiological methods and biostatistics.
Respiratory physiology and medicine at McGill benefitted from a strong start through the influence of Meakins and Christie, and a tight linkage between clinical observation and physiological research. The subsequent recruitment of talented and creative faculty members with absolute dedication to academic medicine continued the legacy. No matter how significant the scientific contributions of the individuals themselves, their most important impact resulted from the training of a large cohort of other gifted physicians and graduate students. Some of these are further described in the accompanying full-length online article.
PMCID: PMC4324519  PMID: 25664457
16.  A response to Gadarowski’s letter to the editor 
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.
doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-53
PMCID: PMC3639958  PMID: 23577955
Infertility; Psychology; Sexuality; Sexual dysfunction; Assisted reproductive technology; Sexual disorders; Sexual behavior; Psycho-sexology
17.  The Life of Jorjani: One of the Persian Pioneers of Medical Encyclopedia Compiling: On the Occasion of His 1000th Birthday Anniversary (434, A.H. - 1434, A.H.) 
Background
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.
Results
The biography of Hakim Jorjani has been well reviewed and described precisely.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.5812/ircmj.8080
PMCID: PMC3929806  PMID: 24616781
Jorjani; Islamic Traditional Medicine; Iranian Traditional Medicine; Zakhireh Khwarazmshahi
18.  In Memoriam Mila Rainof, MD 
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.
PMCID: PMC2496696
19.  On 50th Anniversary of the Global Carbon Dioxide Record 
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.
doi:10.1186/1750-0680-2-11
PMCID: PMC2186331  PMID: 18088414
20.  Sustaining the Effective Use of Health Care Data: A Message from the Editors 
eGEMs  2014;2(2):1141.
Introduction:
Over the past decade, several initiatives have funded large projects to develop clinical research data infrastructures totaling several hundred million dollars. While most of this funding has ended or is expected to end soon, the projects themselves must struggle to continue operations beyond the initial funding. Examples of sustained research-data infrastructures are lacking, and recommended approaches to improve sustainability of developing infrastructures are even rarer. Early on, the Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum—and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as its sponsor—recognized the need to study strategies for sustainability.
Themes:
Three prominent themes relating to sustainability arise among the articles in this special issue: the importance of project maturity, commercialization activities, and stakeholder support. Maturity was relevant to all the papers since a project’s maturity directly influences the opportunities that are available, while commercialization and stakeholder support emerged from comparisons among subsets of articles.
Next Steps:
The papers in this issue create a useful initial set of case studies to help in understanding sustainability issues for data infrastructures needed for research and QI. Each paper includes important lessons learned from the authors’ experience with the different projects that should resonate with the broader fields of clinical research and clinical research informatics. There is an ongoing need for greater understanding of sustainability beyond what this issue provides. As more case studies of sustainability are accumulated, it is expected even more important themes will emerge from qualitative reviews that can eventually be demonstrated quantitatively.
doi:10.13063/2327-9214.1141
PMCID: PMC4371399  PMID: 25848611
Sustainability; shared resources; research networks; learning health system; quality improvement; governance; EDM Forum; AHRQ
21.  Anniversary of the discovery/isolation of the yeast centromere by Clarke and Carbon 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2015;26(9):1575-1577.
The first centromere was isolated 35 years ago by Louise Clarke and John Carbon from budding yeast. They embarked on their journey with rudimentary molecular tools (by today's standards) and little knowledge of the structure of a chromosome, much less the nature of a centromere. Their discovery opened up a new field, as centromeres have now been isolated from fungi and numerous plants and animals, including mammals. Budding yeast and several other fungi have small centromeres with short, well-defined sequences, known as point centromeres, whereas regional centromeres span several kilobases up to megabases and do not seem to have DNA sequence specificity. Centromeres are at the heart of artificial chromosomes, and we have seen the birth of synthetic centromeres in budding and fission yeast and mammals. The diversity in centromeres throughout phylogeny belie conserved functions that are only beginning to be understood.
doi:10.1091/mbc.E14-11-1512
PMCID: PMC4436770  PMID: 25926702
22.  Twentieth anniversary of the European Union health mandate: taking stock of perceived achievements, failures and missed opportunities – a qualitative study 
BMC Public Health  2013;13:1074.
Background
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.
Methods
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.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-1074
PMCID: PMC3833669  PMID: 24225055
European Union; EU health mandate; Health policy; Assessment; Qualitative research
23.  What do letters to the editor publish about randomized controlled trials? A cross-sectional study 
BMC Research Notes  2013;6:414.
Background
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.
Methods
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).
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-414
PMCID: PMC3852599  PMID: 24124753
Letters to the editor; Randomized controlled trials; Journalogy
24.  The 30th anniversary of Campylobacter, Helicobacter, and Related Organisms workshops—what have we learned in three decades? 
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.
doi:10.3389/fcimb.2012.00020
PMCID: PMC3417558  PMID: 22919612
campylobacter; helicobacter; related organisms; genome diversity; control measures; fundamental biology; host responses; pathogenesis

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