Bentham Science Finalizes Agreement with JISC

Bentham Science Publishers (BSP) announced earlier this year that they have finalized a “Read and Publish” agreement with the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC). JISC is a non-profit company that provides digital solutions and IT services for UK education and research. JISC’s members span across 160 universities, libraries, and research centers.

Through this agreement, JISC authors received discounted publishing options to BSP’s Hybrid and Golden Open Access Journals. BSP also offered discounted access to the Bentham Science journals and ebooks collections for participating libraries and universities. For more information, member institutions can contact either BSP of JISC for details of the agreement. 

Bentham Science is a science, technology, and medical publisher, providing academic researchers and industrial professionals with the latest information in diverse fields of science and technology. Bentham Science currently publishes more than 120 journals in both electronic and printed formats. Our journals cover various disciplines in pharmaceutical research and development, medical subspecialties, engineering, technology, and social sciences. The journals are indexed in recognized indexing services, such as Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, MEDLINE/Index Medicus, PubMed, Scopus, Chemical Abstracts, and EMBASE.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: https://bit.ly/39B8xam

Bentham Science Publishers: Your Questions Answered Regarding Beall’s List

Who are Bentham Science Publishers (BSP)? 

Bentham Science is a science, technology, and medical publisher, providing academic researchers and industrial professionals with the latest information in diverse fields of science and technology. Our peer-reviewed scholarly journals and books have an ever-increasing readership of millions of researchers worldwide. 

Bentham Science currently publishes more than 170 journals in both electronic and printed formats. Our journals cover various disciplines in pharmaceutical research and development, medical subspecialties, engineering, technology, and social sciences. The journals are indexed in recognized indexing agencies, Information on our journals’ indexation, by various indexing agencies, can be viewed at https://benthamscience.com/indexing-agencies.php  

A division of BSP, Bentham Open, publishes a number of peer-reviewed, open access journals. These free-to-view online journals cover all major disciplines of science, medicine, technology and social sciences. Bentham Open provides researchers a platform to rapidly publish their research in a good-quality peer-reviewed journal. 

As we will outline in this Article, all peer-reviewed accepted submissions to Bentham Open meeting high research and ethical standards are published with free access to all. 

Why did Bentham Open have an issue with Beall’s List? 

Bentham Open was reviewed by Jeffery Beall, a well-known librarian from the University of Colorado Denver on 15th May, 2009. The review score composite encompassed the following areas: 

  1. Content quality
  2. Publication fees / membership fees
  3. Search and navigation functionalities 
  4. Open access license

Beall entered BSP onto his self-maintained list because inexperienced Bentham editors accepted two fake papers for peer review. These articles were never actually published; the BSP peer review process caught them and rejected them. However, shortly thereafter Beall stopped updating his list, and so now a frozen version is floating around on Internet, making it impossible for BSP to leave the list. This is an important starting point for our discussion and we ask readers to also note that Cabell’s International, who maintain an updated list of predatory publishers, have never listed BSP journals. 

The publishing industry is largely self-policing in regard to Predatory Publishers and has, in our view, not kept pace with academic developments. We illustrate this with a personal example: The unfortunate case of Bentham Science Publishers (BSP) remaining ‘frozen’ in the (now defunct) Beall’s List (2008-2018) (archived here: https://beallslist.net/). The clear case presented in this commentary is that Bentham Science Publishers is a reputable publisher of subscription and open access journals, based on all industry and academia based benchmarks available, including those initially used by Beall himself (Beall, 2016). 

What have we done to fix this issue? Are BSP Open Access journals predatory? Here are some facts 

Since 2009 Bentham Open has taken serious measures to improve in all above areas which we discuss with evidence.  

1. BSP receives about 25,000 submitted papers annually and about 8,000 of these papers are published each year. This means that more than two thirds of the papers received are rejected after editorial scrutiny and external peer review. This includes papers for both subscription/hybrid journals and the Bentham Open, Open Access journals. 

2. Bentham publishes 44 Open Access journals and 132 subscription/hybrid journals. Bentham has drastically reduced the number of Open Access journals published, from over 150, ten years ago, to just 44 journals now. 

3. BSP have 98 Editors in Chief with H index above 30, and 5,692 Editorial Board members with H index above 20 for the subscription/hybrid and Open Access journals. 

4. The following indexing agencies are involved in indexing the various BSP journals:

(1) Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch)®, (2) Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, (3) Science Citation Index, (4) Biochemistry & Biophysics Citation Index®, (5) ISI Biochemistry,(6) BIOSIS, (7) BIOSIS Previews, (8) Biological Abstracts, (9) MEDLINE/PubMed/Index Medicus, (10) Scopus, (11) EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, (12) Chemical Abstracts; Service/SciFinder, (13) ChemWeb, (14) Google Scholar, (15) BIOBASE, (16) Biomed Link, (17) EMBiology, (18) Genamics JournalSeek, (19) Cabell’s Directory, (20) MediaFinder®- Standard Periodical Directory, (21) PubsHub, (22) Index Copernicus, (23) J-Gate, (24) CNKI Scholar, (25) Suweco CZm (26) TOC Premier, (27) EBSCO, (28) Ulrich’s Periodicals Directory, (29) JournalTOCs, (30) InCites, (31) Index to Scientific Reviews®, (32) Biochemistry and Biophysics Citation Index®, (33) Current Contents® – Life Sciences, (34) Research Alert, (35) BIOSIS Reviews Reports and Meetings, (36) Prous Science Integrity®, (37) ProQuest, (38) Reference Update, 39) British Library, (40) Medical Documentation Service, (41) Custom Information Services®, (42) Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA)/ProQuest, (43) SciSearch, (44) Current Contents®(Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences) (45) Chemistry Citation Index®, (46) Engineering Village/Chimica, (47) PubMed/PubMed Central, (48) Europe PMC, (49) BIOBASE, (50) Current Contents® – Clinical Medicine, (51) Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), (52) EMBASE, (53) PsycINFO. 

5. BSP has published 102,030 papers over the last 20 years without one single documented case of a paper ever being published without rigorous peer review. BSP faced a situation similar to several publishers when the review process was compromised by fraudulent interventions and many publishers including Elsevier, Springer, Bentham and others discovered this and retracted all those papers (e.g., https://www.elsevier.com/connect/china-reigns-in-on-identity-fraud-over-concernsof-author-reviewer-authenticity; https://www.editage.com/insights/springerannounces-mass-retraction-of-107-papers-by-chinese-authors/1493198456; https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/china-cracks-down-after-investigationfinds-massive-peer-review-fraud). 

6. BSP openly notes two incidents of fake papers being accepted for peer review by BSP 10 years ago; this attempted fraud was discovered by BSP in time and these papers were caught in the peer review process and never published. 

7. BSP are members of COPE and adhere to all internationally recognized practices. (https://publicationethics.org/category/publisher/bentham-science-publishers). 

How papers submitted to Bentham Open are evaluated

We will explain how the manuscripts submitted to Bentham Open journals are evaluated. Evaluation of manuscripts is carried out by the journal’s Editors and the invited external peer reviewers according to the following procedures.

Both the editorial process and peer-review workflow for each journal are taken care of by a team of Senior Editors, Editorial Board Members (EABMs) who have expertise in their specific fields, and the publication managers. Bentham follows a single blind peer review process. The services of Senior Editors and Editorial Board Members are sought through invitations to organize and conduct the peer-review of a submitted manuscript, keeping in view the scope of the manuscript and the expertise of Editors. Manuscripts are forwarded for evaluation to Editors initially and then subsequently to independent external reviewers to check if the research work presented in the manuscript:

1. Falls within the scope of the journal and 

2. Meets the editorial criteria of Bentham Open in terms of originality and quality. 

Bentham Open carries out independent review of all articles. The reviewers are selected according to their expertise, from our, regularly updated, referee database.

On the basis of reviewer comments, the Editors may recommend acceptance, revision or rejection of a manuscript.

After review of the manuscript by at least three independent experts, in addition to the views of the Editor, the decision is relayed to the authors, which may be categorized as:

  • Requires minor changes 
  • Requires major changes 
  • Rejected but may be resubmitted 
  • Rejected with no resubmission 

Selection of reviewers

The Editor-in-Chief (EiC) and Senior Editors of a journal together with the publication manager have the right to select reviewers for a particular manuscript considering the knowledge and experience of the reviewers.

Before sending the manuscripts to a reviewer, Bentham Open seeks consent from potential reviewers about their availability and willingness to carry out a review. The correspondence between the editorial office of the journal and reviewers is kept strictly confidential. The author does not know who has conducted the review on his or her manuscript (except in the case when the author and the reviewer have accepted to the “Open Reviewer Option”, in which case this information becomes available to the public after publication).

The purpose of a review at Bentham Open

A review report provides the Editor-in-Chief/Senior Editor with an expert opinion on the quality of the manuscript under consideration. It also supplies authors with explicit feedback on how to improve their papers to make them acceptable for publication in the journal. Although confidential comments to the editors are not relayed to authors, any remarks that may help improve the quality of the manuscript are forwarded to the authors for their consideration. A good review report answers the following important areas:

  • Is the work novel and of high standards?
  • What are the main findings of the paper? Is relevant work of other authors in the field appropriately acknowledged and references given to the previous literature? 
  • Do the experimental data support the declarations? If not, what other evidence may prove fruitful? 
  • What kind of readers would benefit from the manuscript and why? 
  • In what further directions would it be feasible to take the current research? 

Bentham Open publication fees 

Beall mentioned fees. This is standard for any Open Access publication.

Bentham Open is committed to disseminating research and scholarly publications as widely as possible. It supports the principle that ‘the results of research that have been publicly funded should be freely accessible in the public domain’ and therefore it encourages researchers to make their research available through Open Access (OA). 

Open access publishing is not without costs. To provide open access, Bentham Open journals partly defray the expenses of journal production, and online hosting and archiving from authors and their research sponsors by charging a publication fee for each article they publish. 

 These fees vary by journal, as is standard in OA publishing. 

The publication fee for each article published in Bentham Open journals are US $950 which is below the average publication fees of other open access publishers. The largest publishers of Open Access journals (BioMed Central and PLoS) charge between US$ 1,350 to US$ 2,250 to publish peer-reviewed articles. However, this figure can go up to US$ 2,700 or even US$ 2,900 for articles published in more renowned journals, for reference please view the below link:  https://blog.scielo.org/en/2013/09/18/how-much-does-it-cost-to-publish-in-openaccess/#.Yg94cOhBxPY

Additionally, Bentham Open also offers a significant discount to authors from developing countries and the editorial board members of a journal. 

The following special discounts are offered to authors and editorial board members: 

  • Authors from developing countries are entitled to 30% discount of their article publication fee submitted to any of the Bentham Open journals. 
  • Authors from Bentham Open member institutes are entitled to 30% discount of their article publication fee submitted to any of the Bentham Open journals. 
  • All Editors and Editorial Board Members of Bentham Open journals are entitled to publish their articles free of charge. 
  • Subsequent submissions from the Bentham Open authors will receive a discount of US$ 100 on the total publication charges providing their previous submission did not avail any discount off the listed full author open access fee rate. 
  • Waiver and additional discount requests are decided on the basis of the author’s country of origin and quality of the submitted article. Editors and reviewers have no access to whether authors are able to pay; decisions to publish are only based on meeting the editorial criteria. 
  • Bentham Open does not charge submission charges. 

The publication fee includes professional copy editing charges.  For reference, https://benthamopen.com/publication-fee.php   

Membership fees 

In addition to standard fees, Bentham Open offers a free membership program to benefit institutions that have researchers who want to publish frequently. 

The Bentham Open membership program has been revised and offers ‘Complimentary Membership’ to International R & D organizations, institutes and universities. Bentham Open Membership entitles authors from different member institutes to a special discount of 20% on the open access publication fee on their submissions to Bentham Open journals. 

 For reference: https://benthamopen.com/membership.php  

Search and navigation functionalities 

Beall’s initial 2009 criticism was that navigation to a PDF took too much time. He cites 6-7 clicks to reach downloadable content.

The site layout has changed since 2009. The search functionalities and navigation seems to work now. It takes 3 clicks to download a PDF from search. Each journal has its own dedicated website with advanced and simple search options.  

The website layout is very simple and easy to navigate, a user can search and track his manuscript online. All latest articles are listed on the homepage which makes easier to find the content without going into many tabs. 

For reference: https://opendentistryjournal.com/  

Open access license 

We have added details of the license on our website.

Articles are licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode), which permits unrestricted, distribution and reproduction in any medium, ensuring that the work is properly cited.

Rapid publication

The articles are peer-reviewed and published rapidly. Submission generally appear online within 15-30 days of the manuscripts being revised and accepted, after a rigorous peer review process.

Authors retain copyright

The use of a Creative Commons License enables authors to retain copyright to their work.

Self-archiving

Authors can deposit the final published article in any other institutional, disciplinary or governmental repository.

CrossMark:

The articles are published with CrossMark® to maintain the publication record.

For reference: https://benthamopen.com/about-us.php  

This information can also be found here.

https://benthamopen.com/editorial-policies.php

In conclusion 

This Article shows that BSP open journals has an excellent track record comparable with that of any reputable international publisher.  

Newsletter: Join the Conversation

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We’re attending some events, after the long COVID-19 break.find out more

Follow @BenthamSciencePublishers on Facebook and @BenthamScienceP on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest news and research.

Follow us on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and research:

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Subscribe to our YouTube Channel:

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Newsletter: Bentham Science News roundup

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Read and Publish Updates

The University of Genova, is our latest Read and Publish subscriber. Through this partnership the faculty, library and others affiliated with the university can access the Bentham Chemistry Collection of journals, articles and books, including archival access to the older volumes of the titles. The subscription also provides the opportunity to the associated authors and researchers from the university to publish their research under an Open Access license, free of any Article Processing Charges. The University of Genova (UniGe) is one of the largest universities in Italy. It is located in the city of Genoa, on the Italian Riviera in the Liguria region of northwestern Italy. It comprises five schools having twenty-two departments that cover studies and research in various fields of applied sciences, medical and pharmaceutical sciences, engineering, information technology and social & humanitarian sciences among other fields. The University of Genova is currently ranked as the 278th best university globally, whereas in Europe and its country of origin, Italy, the university stands at 119th and 10th ranks respectively. Learn more about our Read and Publish program. Access here: https://bit.ly/3sK8ajk

Current Radiopharmaceuticals now indexed in SCIE – Web of Science

In addition to the strong journal impact factor rankings we mentioned recently, Bentham Science is pleased to announce that Current Radiopharmaceuticals is now indexed in Clarivate’s Science Citation Index Expanded (in the categories of Pharmacology & Pharmacy and Radiology, Nuclear Medicine & Medical Imaging) from 2021, onwards. Read our full press release here.
Learn more about Current Radiopharmaceuticals here.

Current Green Chemistry Indexed in Cabells Journalytics

Current Green Chemistry has been indexed in Cabells Journalytics. Bentham Science would like to congratulate all scholarly contributors involved with the journal. Read our full press release here.

Call for Papers – New Journals

Bentham Science is always striving to share the latest research from the scientific community to researchers around the world. Part of this effort is the coverage of new topics, which Bentham Science aims to cover in new journals. These are some new journals we are ready to launch in the near future.

Current Probiotics

Editor-in-Chief:Evandro L. de Souza, Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil

Current Probiotics is devoted to all aspects of the science and technology of prebiotics and probiotics. The journal publishes review articles and research articles which cover the biological functionalities, performance analytical methodology, and applications or prebiotics and probiotics relevant to humans, animals and plants. The topics covered in the journal include both fundamental and applied research areas such as:

  • Analytical methodology related to the chemistry, physics, physical chemistry and genomics research which is part of studying probiotics.
  • Clinical research on the nutritional and therapeutic use of probiotics
  • Biochemical mechanisms mediated by microbial action in the gut
  • Sources and applications in food and non-food areas, including human health, veterinary, cosmetics, agriculture, and aquaculture.
  • Technological and regulatory aspects covering product categories, formulation, and manufacturing processes, dealing particularly with packaging and preservation techniques

Current Probiotics

will be an informative source of information for health care practitioners (medical students, residents and consultants), nutritionists and microbiologists seeking new insights on the use of probiotics.

More information about the journal can be found here.

Current Forensic Science

Editor-in-Chief:Ricardo Jorge Dinis-Oliveira, University Institute of Health Sciences of CESPU Paredes, Portugal

Current Forensic Science publishes the latest researches in various disciplines of forensic science in a broad spectrum of fields. Commentaries, letter articles, case reports, and original research and review articles will be published in this journal.

These are some areas of interest that are included:

  • Dactyloscopy
  • Food Toxicology Analysis
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • Forensic Entomology in Estimation Post Mortem Interval
  • Forensic Genetics and Guidelines for Sample Collection
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Forensic Toxicology and Guidelines for Sample Collection
  • Guidelines and Harmonized Procedures in Forensic Sciences
  • Investigation of Environmental Crimes
  • Laboratorial, Biochemical and Molecular Biology Methods in Forensic Sciences
  • Legal Medical Autopsy
  • Mathematical and Computational Methods of Data Analysis in Forensic Sciences
  • Phytochemistry and Forensic Botanics
  • Techniques of Analytical Chemistry

Learn more about Current Forensic Sciencehere.

Current Applied Materials

Editor-in-Chief:Yong Liu, School of Ophthalmology & Optometry, School of Biomedical Engineering Wenzhou Medical University, China

Current Applied Materials publishes original research articles, letters, reviews/mini-reviews and guest edited thematic issues dealing with various topics related to Materials Science.

is not limited to a specific aspect of the field but is instead devoted to a wide range of sub fields in the field. Articles of interdisciplinary nature are particularly welcome. Submission in the following areas are of special interest to the readers of this journal:

  • Biomaterials
  • Biological Materials
  • Magnetic Materials
  • Medical Implant Materials
  • Nanomaterials
  • Shape Memory Alloys
  • Dielectric Elastomers
  • Magneto-caloric & Magneto-strictive
  • Polymeric Materials
  • Fluorescent Materials
  • Electroactive Materials
  • Ophthalmic Materials
  • Aggregation-induced Emission Materials

Learn more about Current Forensic Science here.

Current Indian Science

Editor-in-Chief:Dr. Deepak Pathania, Central University of Jammu, India

Current Indian Sciencepublishes original research articles, letters, case reports, reviews/mini-reviews, editorials, commentaries, perspectives, letters to the editor and guest edited thematic issues in various disciplines focused largely on science in India. Contributions from abroad are also welcome.

Current Indian Science is not limited to a specific field but instead covers all major fields of science, technology, information technology, agricultural sciences, earth sciences and medicine. The journal is scheduled to be launched in 2023.

Learn more about the journal here.

Here is the complete list of journals to be launched in 2022:

We have more journals scheduled for 2023, such as the Journal of Environmental Materials and Sustainable Energy.

Researchers who want to publish their work to these journals can send us their articles through our online Manuscript Processing System here.

Qualified researchers are also welcome to join our Editorial team in the following roles:

  • Editorial Board Member
  • Executive Guest Editor (For Thematic Issues)
  • Section Editor (Specific for each journal)
  • Reviewer

Interested researchers can sign up to join the journal boards by referring to our journal homepages or write to us at info@benthamscience.net.

New books

We’ve been busy adding more books to our catalog. Here’s a list of some of latest books.

Books Indexed in Web of Science

Here is a list of books indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection.

#Title
1Inositol & its Phosphates: Basic Science to Practical ApplicationsBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
2Echography in Ocular PathologyBook Citation Index
3Artificial Neural Systems: Principle and PracticeBook Citation Index
4Flagellar Mechanics and Sperm GuidanceBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews;
Zoological Record
5Natural Products in Clinical Trials Volume 1Book Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
6Classical Neurotransmitters and Neuropeptides Involved in Schizoaffective Disorder:
Focus on Prophylactic Medication
Book Citation Index
7Biotechnological Production of Natural Ingredients for Food Industry,
1st Edition
Book Citation Index
8Practical Notions on Fish Health and ProductionBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews;
Zoological Record
9Computational Intelligence, Evolutionary Computing
and Evolutionary Clustering Algorithms
Book Citation Index
10Comparative BioacousticsBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews;
Zoological Record
11Antiprotozoal Drug Discovery: A Challenge That RemainsBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
12Stem Cells Between Regeneration and TumorigenesisBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
13Molecular and Cellular Biology of Pathogenic TrypanosomatidsBook Citation Index
14Buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) – Production and ResearchBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews;
Zoological Record
15Petrogenic Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons in the Aquatic
Environment: Analysis, Synthesis, Toxicity and Environmental Impact
Book Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews;
Zoological Record
16Water-Borne Protozoa in HumansBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews;
Zoological Record
17Plant-Based Genetic Tools for Biofuels ProductionBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
18Cancer Preventive and Therapeutic CompoundsBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
19New Trends In Biomarkers and Diseases Research: An OverviewBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
20New Trends In Biomarkers and Diseases Research: An OverviewBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
21New Trends In Biomarkers and Diseases Research: An OverviewBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
22New Trends In Biomarkers and Diseases Research: An OverviewBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
23Molecular Bases of Neurodegenerative Disorders of the RetinaBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
24Trends in Fisheries and Aquatic Animal HealthBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews;
Zoological Record
25Tropical Diseases: An Overview of Major Diseases Occurring in the AmericasBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews
26250 Years of Industrial Consumption and Transformation of NatureBook Citation Index; BIOSIS Previews

Newsletter: Articles with Impact

Blog Post

Here is a selection of recent articles from Bentham Science which are impacting research [Free to Read Until March 3.] We have also highlighted a selection of Open Access Articles which are free to download and read.

Open Access Articles

Here is a selection of free articles on Alzheimer’s disease and other topics which you can download and ready immediately.

Society Spotlight

Access here: https://bit.ly/3JtPET7

Newsletter: COVID-19 updates

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Cannabinoids and COVID-19: What is the deal?

Researchers from Oregon State university have conducted an in vitro assay on the effect of cannabinoids on SARS-CoV-2 entry into human epithelial cells. Their findings show that the small molecules inhibit viral entry into human cells. Specifically, compounds present in hemp (Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae), such as cannabidiolic acid and cannabigerolic acid show a high affinity for the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, preventing it from binding to the corresponding receptor ligands on the target cells. The study also showed that these chemicals are also effective against the original live SARS-CoV-2 virus and variants of concern, including the B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta) variants. Medical cannabis use is a much talked about topic and these developments with benefits for other conditions will help stimulate more research into its effects on COVID-19,

COVID-19 may cause more brain damage than Alzheimer’s disease

Studies have shown that SARS-CoV-2 can reach the brain and affect the central nervous system (CNS).More research on the neurological effects of the virus has revealed concerning information about the extent of the damage that it can cause to the brain. And it can get worse that Alzheimer’s disease in the case of the elderly. Researchers from NYU Grossman School of Medicine studied 251 elderly adults who had no record of dementia or cognitive decline before being hospitalized for COVID-19 over two months from March 2020 to May 2020. They measured biomarkers for neurodegenerative diseases and found out that the indications for brain damage biomarkers in Alzheimer’s disease were higher in these patients that Alzheimer’s disease patients who had not contracted COVID-19. Three blood markers which measure the death or disruption of neurons in the brain — ubiquitin carboxy-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCHL1), total tau, and phosphorylated-tau-181 (ptau181) — were indicated. Levels of neurofilament light chain increase when the brain’s axons take damage. These are branch-like extensions coming from the neurons. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels measure the damage to glial cells, another type of brain cell that supports the neurons. Lastly, amyloid beta 40 and 42 are common markers which usually build up in people with Alzheimer’s. Results show the seven brain damage markers were over 60 percent higher among the subset of COVID-19 patients in the study with toxic metabolic encephalopathy (TME) than those without the neurological symptoms. The researchers have emphasized on improving efforts to prevent COVID infections as there is potential for adverse conditions to manifest as a result of infectious which can become a burden on healthcare systems.

A Roundup on SARS-CoV-2 Variants

Since we last covered the coronavirus variants, another variant of concern – the Omicron variant – has been making headlines around the world. This variant (also designated as B.1.1.529 and associated with BA lineages) was declared a variant of concern by the US SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) on 30 November 2021 based on available data on its transmission to residents in several countries (some of whom who have no recent travel history), significant changes in the spike proteins and the available data for other variants with fewer substitutions that show some resistance to existing antibody treatments, among other factors. Since being first detected on 24 November 2021, the virus has been confirmed to have spread to at least 150 countries.

Among the 50 mutations in the Omicron variants, a number of spike protein mutations in particular have been noted to confer its virulence including D614G, N501Y and K417N. The Omicron variant has been observed to multiply 70 times faster in the bronchi than the Delta variant, but 10 times as much in the lungs. The lower infection rate in the lungs has been confirmed by multiple independent studies. The mortality and hospitalization rates of this variant are much lesser compared to the Delta variant (91% and 51%, respectively) but its ability to infect persons even after double vaccinations is a concerning. Recent information on the effectiveness on COVID-19 vaccines suggests that a third dose of mRNA vaccines can reduce the risk of Omicron infection by 75%.

Researchers have observed at least 5775 distinct SARS-CoV-2 variants . 2 major variants are still considered variants of interest. These are the Lambda and Mu variants. The Mu variant was first identified in Colombia in January 2021. It has been identified in at least 50 countries up to January 2022, and has over 20 known mutations in its genetic sequence. Access here: https://bit.ly/3Jx1L22

For further reading on research on coronaviruses, read the latest articles from these Bentham journals:
Coronaviruses – The World’s First International Journal Dedicated to Coronaviruses
Coronavirus Article Collection
The Open COVID Journal
Also check out our COVID-19 resource center.

Newsletter: Neuroscience Spotlight

Blog Post

Despite decades of research on neurodegenerative disease, effective treatments still elude the researchers involved. There is no shortage of research efforts, however, and scientists are hopeful for a breakthrough in treating these conditions. We take a look at some recent developments in the field that have made headlines.

More ways to recognize cognitive impairment

A reduced ability to perform mental tasks or memorize tasks an events is the main symptom of all cognitive disorders. Early detection of cognitive impairment is important for managing symptoms of this class of disorders and also helps researchers to study the diseases at an earlier stage to understand the underlying mechanisms. Researchers and clinicians have identified many ways to identify cognitive impairment and its progressive decline in patients. The recent issue of Current Alzheimer Research, presents updates on ways to measure cognitive decline. Researchers on the University of Sapienza, Rome, have observed blink rates for individuals with Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) and those with Alzheimer’s Disease. Their findings appear to explain the occurrence of high blink rates as a compensatory mechanism for the onset of cognitive impairment as well as the involvement of the dopaminergic system in the progression of such disorders. In another study conducted by a group of researchers in Shanghai, finger tapping measurements have been suggested as a way to measure cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Disease patients. Another group of researchers have published a report on the validity of Computerized Brief Cognitive Screening (CBCogS) tests for diagnosing MCI in elderly patients. These studies add to the body of knowledge of different techniques to measure cognitive impairment and can be used in clinics and diagnostic algorithms for robust biomedical systems. .

Sniffing out Alzheimer’s disease for good

Researchers in Osaka City University have been able to improve cognitive function in mice using a mixture of rifampicin (an antibiotic) in very small dosage and resveratrol (a natural phenol). The research group administered a fixed dose combination of rifampicin and resveratrol intranasally five days a week over four weeks to mice, and observed their cognitive functions and brain pathology. The results of their showed that the combination significantly improved the cognitive function of the mice, inhibited the accumulation of oligomers, and restored synaptophysin levels – presynaptic proteins that facilitate synapses. The advantage of this regimen was that it uses the property of rifampicin which removes oligomers from the brain, without any notable liver damage that normally occurs with the drug. The team hopes to use this method, also known as drug repositioning, to prevent neurons from dying early so that more studies can be conducted on neurons in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia. It is also worth mentioning that this treatment is different from the vaccine being tested at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, which is designed to elicit an immune response to target the Alzheimer’s diseases process.

A boost for ALS research

Researchers in Japan, led by Takeo Kato, chief of the Yamagata National Hospital’s ALS treatment research center at Yamagata University have been working on a drug that may give hope to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. The fatal disease is characterized by the aggregation of ubiquitinated proteins in affected motor neurons, but the research team was successful in reducing the aggregation of proteins in mice with lab-grown ALS by administering the drug candidate. The compound, codenamed GT863 is derived from curcumin, and was initially being studied to treat Alzheimer’s disease. Even though the research has been conducted on SOD1 mouse model of the disease (a model which has produced few drugs effective for humans), the research team aims to start clinical trials in 2024. Across the pacific, the Access to Critical Therapies for ALS Act was also passed into US law in December 2021, giving a much needed funding boost for ALS and rare neurodegenerative disease research and therapy.

Gene Therapy for Epilepsy

Over the years, researchers have been trying to find ways to treat epilepsy, a disease characterized by seizures due to excitatory neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Current medications focus on either control extra excitation in brain neurons, or increasing inhibitory activity to prevent seizures. But these treatments are not a cure, and they have side effects on the rest of the central nervous system. With gene therapy, a viral vector can be introduced into the brain to target the mechanisms which can reduce epilepsy symptoms. Scientists at the university of Lund co-founded the CombiGene venture to commercially implement gene therapy technology for this purpose. Their initial strategy revolved around overexpressing the NPY protein (heavily expressed in epilepsy patients as a natural response) through the introduction of the relevant gene along with the gene for the inhibitory receptor (Y2) in mouse models. This NPY–Y2 combination therapy, also called CG01, works on other rodent models and has also been replicated in human brain cells taken from epilepsy patients. While several challenges remain amidst the different research avenues through which gene therapy can be used to treat epilepsy, researchers are optimistic about starting human clinical trials in some years. Access here: https://bit.ly/3sIXOAd

An old fellow in the Alzheimer’s Disease community becomes a new knight.

Professor John Hardy, who is a geneticist at Queen Square Institute of Neurology at University College London, was recently awarded knighthood for his services to human health in improving understanding of dementia and neurodegenerative diseases. Professor Hardy has published important research about the amyloid cascade hypothesis, positing that Aβ deposition kick-starts a pathological cascade that leads to neurofibrillary tangles and eventually neuron loss and dementia. His research has received more than 23,000 citations.

Several congratulatory messages from many researchers have already come pouring in for Professor Hardy, including a detailed comment from Dr. Debomoy K. Lahiri, editor-in-chief of Current Alzheimer Research. Dr. Lahiri’s comment highlights some of their collaborative work on Alzheimer’s disease pathology in the past with a list of citations. The list includes professor Hardy’s article Has the amyloid cascade hypothesis for Alzheimer’s disease been proved?, which was published in Current Alzheimer Research.

For further reading, explore the latest articles from the some of the leading journals from Bentham Science:
CNS & Neurological Disorders – Drug Targets
Central Nervous System Agents in Medicinal Chemistry
Current Neuropharmacology
Current Alzheimer Research
Current Neurovascular Research Current Aging Science

Also view our Central Nervous Collection.

Most Cited Articles: Plant-Mediated Synthesis of Iron Oxide Nanoparticles and Evaluation of the Antimicrobial Activity: A Review

Journal Name: Mini-Reviews in Organic Chemistry

Author(s):Abderrhmane Bouafia* and Salah Eddine Laouini

DOI: 10.2174/1570193X17999200908091139

Abstract

In this review, we examine ‘greener’ routes to nanoparticles of iron oxides, in the recent years; nanotechnology has emerged as a state-of-the-art and cutting edge technology with multifarious applications in a wide array of fields. Natural products or extracted from natural products, such as different plant extracts, have been used as reductants and as capping agents during synthesis. A very easy, efficient, and environment-friendly protocol was developed to synthesize green nanoparticles (NPs) with an aqueous extract of various plant, phenolic compounds extracted from plants play a major role as non-toxic reducing and capping agents for nanoparticles. Nanoparticles and their compounds are known to exert a strong inhibitory and microbial activity on bacteria, viruses, and fungi. In today’s world, because of the epidemic of infectious diseases caused by different pathogenic bacteria and the development of antibiotic resistance, green synthesis, characterization, and application of nanoparticles (NPs) are becoming an important challenge in nanotechnology. Green synthesis of nanoparticles is made in large quantities worldwide for a wide range of applications. This technique is very safe and environmentally friendly. Access here: https://bit.ly/3H4gxvd

A Podcast by Dr. Ashish Srivastava: CRISPR/ Cas9 Off-targets: Computational Analysis of Causes, Prediction, Detection, and Overcoming Strategies 

CRISPR/ Cas9 Off-targets: Computational Analysis of Causes, Prediction, Detection, and Overcoming Strategies

Author(s): Roshan Kumar Roy, Ipsita Debashree, Sonal Srivastava, Narayan Rishi and Ashish Srivastava*

Abstract

CRISPR/Cas9 technology is a highly flexible RNA-guided endonuclease (RGEN) based gene-editing tool that has transformed the field of genomics, gene therapy, and genome/ epigenome imaging. Its wide range of applications provides immense scope for understanding as well as manipulating genetic/epigenetic elements. However, the RGEN is prone to off-target mutagenesis that leads to deleterious effects. This review details the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the off-target activity, various available detection tools and prediction methodology ranging from sequencing to machine learning approaches, and the strategies to overcome/minimise off-targets. A coherent and concise method increasing target precision would prove indispensable to concrete manipulation and interpretation of genome editing results that can revolutionise therapeutics, including clarity in genome regulatory mechanisms during development. Listen in: https://bit.ly/3JF9D1k

Most Cited Articles: Recent Advances and Applications of tert-Butyl Nitrite (TBN) in Organic Synthesis

Journal Name: Mini-Reviews in Organic Chemistry

Author(s):Nader Ghaffari Khaligh*

DOI: 10.2174/1570193X15666181029141019

Abstract

This mini-review will present the recent applications of Tert-Butyl Nitrite (TBN) in organic synthesis. Due to its unique structural feature and wide application, TBN holds a prominent and great potential in organic synthesis. The applications of TBN in three areas viz. aerobic oxidation, annulation, and diazotization were reviewed recently; now, the current mini-review will describe the studies carried out to date in areas such as nitration of alkane, alkene, alkyne, and aromatic compounds, nitrosylation and sequential nitrosylation reactions, using TBN as source of oxygen and nitrogen. The mechanisms of these transformations will be briefly described in this mini-review. Access here: https://bit.ly/3p2p4sm

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