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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. Sex chromosomes are typically viewed as having originated from a pair of autosomes, and differentiated as the sex-limited chromosome (e.g. Y) has degenerated by losing most genes through cessation of recombina...

    Authors: Aivars Cīrulis, Bengt Hansson and Jessica K. Abbott
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:156
  2. Marine sponges (phylum Porifera) form symbioses with diverse microbial communities that can be transmitted between generations through their developmental stages. Here, we integrate embryology and microbiology...

    Authors: Tyler J. Carrier, Manuel Maldonado, Lara Schmittmann, Lucía Pita, Thomas C. G. Bosch and Ute Hentschel
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:100
  3. Stem cells (SCs) in vertebrates typically reside in “stem cell niches” (SCNs), morphologically restricted tissue microenvironments that are important for SC survival and proliferation. SCNs are broadly defined...

    Authors: P. Martinez, L. Ballarin, A. V. Ereskovsky, E. Gazave, B. Hobmayer, L. Manni, E. Rottinger, S. G. Sprecher, S. Tiozzo, A. Varela-Coelho and B. Rinkevich
    Citation: BMC Biology 2022 20:23
  4. Plasma membrane integrity is essential for cellular homeostasis. In vivo, cells experience plasma membrane damage from a multitude of stressors in the extra- and intra-cellular environment. To avoid lethal con...

    Authors: Dustin A. Ammendolia, William M. Bement and John H. Brumell
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:71
  5. The preservative effects of low temperature on biological materials have been long recognised, and cryopreservation is now widely used in biomedicine, including in organ transplantation, regenerative medicine ...

    Authors: Sanja Bojic, Alex Murray, Barry L. Bentley, Ralf Spindler, Piotr Pawlik, José L. Cordeiro, Roman Bauer and João Pedro de Magalhães
    Citation: BMC Biology 2021 19:56
  6. The traditional view of protein aggregation as being strictly disease-related has been challenged by many examples of cellular aggregates that regulate beneficial biological functions. When coupled with the em...

    Authors: Giulio Chiesa, Szilvia Kiriakov and Ahmad S. Khalil
    Citation: BMC Biology 2020 18:35
  7. Recent developments within micro-computed tomography (μCT) imaging have combined to extend our capacity to image tissue in three (3D) and four (4D) dimensions at micron and sub-micron spatial resolutions, open...

    Authors: Shelley D. Rawson, Jekaterina Maksimcuka, Philip J. Withers and Sarah H. Cartmell
    Citation: BMC Biology 2020 18:21
  8. Nitrogen is an essential element of life, and nitrogen availability often limits crop yields. Since the Green Revolution, massive amounts of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers have been produced from atmospheric n...

    Authors: Vânia C. S. Pankievicz, Thomas B. Irving, Lucas G. S. Maia and Jean-Michel Ané
    Citation: BMC Biology 2019 17:99
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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