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BMC Biology Reviews

Iconic imageBMC Biology publishes authoritative reviews on diverse topics. All reviews are open access and therefore free to read and share.

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  1. The human upper respiratory tract (URT) offers a variety of niches for microbial colonization. Local microbial communities are shaped by the different characteristics of the specific location within the URT, b...

    Authors: Christina Kumpitsch, Kaisa Koskinen, Veronika Schöpf and Christine Moissl-Eichinger

    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:87

    Content type: Review

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  2. The human gut harbors a complex ecosystem of microorganisms, including bacteria and viruses. With the rise of next-generation sequencing technologies, we have seen a quantum leap in the study of human-gut-inha...

    Authors: Sanzhima Garmaeva, Trishla Sinha, Alexander Kurilshikov, Jingyuan Fu, Cisca Wijmenga and Alexandra Zhernakova

    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:84

    Content type: Review

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  3. As a “holy grail” of neuroscience, optical imaging of membrane potential could enable high resolution measurements of spiking and synaptic activity in neuronal populations. This has been partly achieved using ...

    Authors: Yuki Bando, Christiane Grimm, Victor H Cornejo and Rafael Yuste

    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:71

    Content type: Review

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  4. Cell-free systems (CFS) have recently evolved into key platforms for synthetic biology applications. Many synthetic biology tools have traditionally relied on cell-based systems, and while their adoption has s...

    Authors: Aidan Tinafar, Katariina Jaenes and Keith Pardee

    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:64

    Content type: Review

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  5. This review discusses the current state of the viral metabolism field and gaps in knowledge that will be important for future studies to investigate. We discuss metabolic rewiring caused by viruses, the influe...

    Authors: Shivani K. Thaker, James Ch’ng and Heather R. Christofk

    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:59

    Content type: Review

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  6. Perturbed mitochondrial bioenergetics constitute a core pillar of cancer-associated metabolic dysfunction. While mitochondrial dysfunction in cancer may result from myriad biochemical causes, a historically ne...

    Authors: Payam A. Gammage and Christian Frezza

    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:53

    Content type: Review

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  7. Photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation became evolutionarily immutable as “frozen metabolic accidents” because multiple interactions between the proteins and protein complexes involved led to their co-evolution ...

    Authors: Dario Leister

    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:8

    Content type: Review

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  8. Between the 1930s and 50s, evolutionary biologists developed a successful theory of why organisms age, firmly rooted in population genetic principles. By the 1980s the evolution of aging had a secure experimen...

    Authors: Thomas Flatt and Linda Partridge

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:93

    Content type: Review

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  9. Spatial organization of membrane domains within cells and cells within tissues is key to the development of organisms and the maintenance of adult tissue. Cell polarization is crucial for correct cell–cell sig...

    Authors: Ana-Citlali Gradilla, David Sanchez-Hernandez, Lucy Brunt and Steffen Scholpp

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:37

    Content type: Review

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  10. The need for high-throughput, precise, and meaningful methods for measuring behavior has been amplified by our recent successes in measuring and manipulating neural circuitry. The largest challenges associated...

    Authors: Gordon J. Berman

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:23

    Content type: Review

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  11. Paraphrasing Dobzhansky’s famous dictum, I discuss how interrogating cancer through the lens of evolution has transformed our understanding of its development, causality and treatment resistance. The emerging ...

    Authors: Mel Greaves

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:22

    Content type: Review

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  12. Efficient movement of proteins across membranes is required for cell health. The translocation process is particularly challenging when the channel in the membrane through which proteins must pass is narrow—su...

    Authors: Elizabeth A. Craig

    Citation: BMC Biology 2018 16:11

    Content type: Review

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  13. The trillions of microbes living in the gut—the gut microbiota—play an important role in human biology and disease. While much has been done to explore its diversity, a full understanding of our microbiomes de...

    Authors: Emily R. Davenport, Jon G. Sanders, Se Jin Song, Katherine R. Amato, Andrew G. Clark and Rob Knight

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:127

    Content type: Review

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  14. The efficient production, folding, and secretion of proteins is critical for cancer cell survival. However, cancer cells thrive under stress conditions that damage proteins, so many cancer cells overexpress mo...

    Authors: Sara Sannino and Jeffrey L. Brodsky

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:109

    Content type: Review

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  15. Imaging as a means of scientific data storage has evolved rapidly over the past century from hand drawings, to photography, to digital images. Only recently can sufficiently large datasets be acquired, stored,...

    Authors: Josh L. Morgan and Jeff W. Lichtman

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:101

    Content type: Review

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  16. The MultiBac baculovirus/insect cell expression vector system was conceived as a user-friendly, modular tool-kit for producing multiprotein complexes for structural biology applications. MultiBac has allowed t...

    Authors: Martin Pelosse, Hannah Crocker, Barbara Gorda, Paul Lemaire, Jens Rauch and Imre Berger

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:99

    Content type: Review

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  17. Population geneticists have long sought to understand the contribution of natural selection to molecular evolution. A variety of approaches have been proposed that use population genetics theory to quantify th...

    Authors: Tom R. Booker, Benjamin C. Jackson and Peter D. Keightley

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:98

    Content type: Review

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  18. Signaling pathways direct organogenesis, often through concentration-dependent effects on cells. The hedgehog pathway enables cells to sense and respond to hedgehog ligands, of which the best studied is sonic ...

    Authors: Robert Blassberg and John Jacob

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:95

    Content type: Review

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  19. What made us human? Gene expression changes clearly played a significant part in human evolution, but pinpointing the causal regulatory mutations is hard. Comparative genomics enabled the identification of hum...

    Authors: Lucía F. Franchini and Katherine S. Pollard

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:89

    Content type: Review

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  20. Antibiotic natural products are ancient and so is resistance. Consequently, environmental bacteria harbor numerous and varied antibiotic resistance elements. Nevertheless, despite long histories of antibiotic ...

    Authors: Nicholas Waglechner and Gerard D. Wright

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:84

    Content type: Review

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  21. For a subset of genes in our genome a change in gene dosage, by duplication or deletion, causes a phenotypic effect. These dosage-sensitive genes may confer an advantage upon copy number change, but more typic...

    Authors: Alan M. Rice and Aoife McLysaght

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:78

    Content type: Review

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  22. There is increasing evidence that all cells sense mechanical forces in order to perform their functions. In animals, mechanotransduction has been studied during the establishment of cell polarity, fate, and di...

    Authors: Olivier Hamant and Elizabeth S. Haswell

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:59

    Content type: Review

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  23. Macrophages are present in all vertebrate tissues, from mid-gestation throughout life, constituting a widely dispersed organ system. They promote homeostasis by responding to internal and external changes with...

    Authors: Siamon Gordon and Annette Plüddemann

    Citation: BMC Biology 2017 15:53

    Content type: Review

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  24. Probing dynamic processes occurring within the cell nucleus at the quantitative level has long been a challenge in mammalian biology. Advances in bio-imaging techniques over the past decade have enabled us to ...

    Authors: Ziqing W. Zhao, Melanie D. White, Stephanie Bissiere, Valeria Levi and Nicolas Plachta

    Citation: BMC Biology 2016 14:115

    Content type: Review

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  25. In his splendid article “Can a biologist fix a radio? — or, what I learned while studying apoptosis,” Y. Lazebnik argues that when one uses the right tools, similarity between a biological system, like a signa...

    Authors: Mustafa Khammash

    Citation: BMC Biology 2016 14:22

    Content type: Review

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  26. The rod is a ubiquitous shape adopted by walled cells from diverse organisms ranging from bacteria to fungi to plants. Although rod-like shapes are found in cells of vastly different sizes and are constructed ...

    Authors: Fred Chang and Kerwyn Casey Huang

    Citation: BMC Biology 2014 12:54

    Content type: Review

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  27. Almost 20 years ago, the discovery that mitochondrial release of cytochrome c initiates a cascade that leads to cell death brought about a wholesale change in how cell biologists think of mitochondria. Formerl...

    Authors: Navdeep S Chandel

    Citation: BMC Biology 2014 12:34

    Content type: Review

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