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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.

  1. Content type: Review

    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

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  2. Content type: Review

    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

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  3. Content type: Review

    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

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  4. Content type: Review

    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

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  5. Content type: Review

    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

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  6. Content type: Review

    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

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  7. Content type: Review

    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

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  8. Content type: Review

    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

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  9. Content type: Review

    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

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  10. Content type: Review

    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

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  11. Content type: Review

    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

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  12. Content type: Review

    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

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  13. Content type: Review

    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

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  14. Content type: Review

    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

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  15. Content type: Review

    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

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  16. Content type: Review

    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

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  17. Content type: Review

    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

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  18. Content type: Review

    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

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  19. Content type: Review

    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

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  20. Content type: Review

    In a majority of cell types, mitochondria form highly dynamic, tubular networks. Maintaining the shape of this complex network is critical for both mitochondrial and cellular function and involves the activiti...

    Authors: Laura L Lackner

    Citation: BMC Biology 2014 12:35

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  21. Content type: Review

    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

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  22. Content type: Review

    The new field of viral dynamics, based on within-host modeling of viral infections, began with models of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but now includes many viral infections. Here we review developments ...

    Authors: Alan S Perelson and Ruy M Ribeiro

    Citation: BMC Biology 2013 11:96

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  23. Content type: Review

    The posttranslational modification of target proteins with ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins is accomplished by the sequential action of E1, E2, and E3 enzymes. Members of the E1 and E3 enzyme families can...

    Authors: Sonja Lorenz, Aaron J Cantor, Michael Rape and John Kuriyan

    Citation: BMC Biology 2013 11:65

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  24. Content type: Review

    Long non-protein-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are proposed to be the largest transcript class in the mouse and human transcriptomes. Two important questions are whether all lncRNAs are functional and how they could e...

    Authors: Aleksandra E Kornienko, Philipp M Guenzl, Denise P Barlow and Florian M Pauler

    Citation: BMC Biology 2013 11:59

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  25. Content type: Review

    First discovered in Drosophila, the Hedgehog signaling pathway controls a wide range of developmental processes and is implicated in a variety of cancers. The success of a screen for chemical modulators of this p...

    Authors: Tom J Carney and Philip W Ingham

    Citation: BMC Biology 2013 11:37

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