Losing your teeth linked to losing your mind

2 02 2011

A press release I recently wrote for BioMed Central’s open access journal Behavioral and Brain Functions has again hit the newstands. I can’t find an online archive of the original release I wrote, but some lazy journos have reproduced it verbatim, so I definitely know it’s mine!

The release describes a study from the Nara Medical University in Japan whereby elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease were found to lose more teeth than those without the degenerative neurological disorder. Not only is this tooth loss associated with failing to remember to brush one’s teeth and a general poor state of hygiene, but gum disease may in fact accelerate dementia by affecting the sensory neurones in the gums, leading to the brain.

Read the original article in Behavioural and Brain Functions: Relationship of tooth loss to mild memory impairment and cognitive impairment: findings from the fujiwara-kyo study

Read some of the news articles using this press release:

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Household bugs – a risk to human health?

27 01 2011

The evolution of antibiotic resistant bacteria – so-called “superbugs”, such as MRSA – is a real problem in our hospitals. People entering hospital for routine operations are more and more frequently suffering from complications arising from nosicomial infection with a strain of bacteria that is not killed with conventional antibiotics.

New research published in BMC Microbiology describes findings that implicate farm animals and insects in the propagation of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Because antibiotics are frequently given to farm animals in order to increase meat yield, the natural bacteria in their intestines is developing resistance to these antibiotics. The bacteria, which leave the animal’s body via the faeces, can be spread to humans by dung-dwelling cockroaches and flies.

Read the original article in BMC Microbiology: Insects in confined swine operations carry a large antibiotic resistant and potentially virulent enterococcal community

Read the press release I wrote on this story at EurekAlert: Household bugs – a risk to human health?

Read some of the news articles using this press release:





‘Mum! I’m hungry!’ Hungry chicks have unique calls to their parents

26 01 2011

Scientists studying Jackson’s Golden-Backed Weaver birds have discovered that not only can the parent birds identify their own chicks by the unique sound of their calls, but they can also tell if their chick is hungry, and how hungry.

A press release that I wrote for BioMed Central, following a study published in BMC Ecology, reveals that the more hungry a baby bird is, the more frenetic and unique the call becomes, so that parent birds not only know that they need to gather food for their young, but also how much.

Read the original article at BMC Ecology: The effect of hunger on the acoustic individuality in begging calls of a colonially breeding weaver bird

Read the press release I wrote at EurekAlert: ‘Mum! I’m hungry!’ Hungry chicks have unique calls to their parents

Read some of the press articles that used the press release:





DVT and pulmonary embolism linked to immune diseases

9 01 2011

Researchers at the University of Oxford have found that people with certain immune-related diseases such as type 1 diabetes, arthritis and lupus are much more likely to suffer complications due to vascular disease – even if they didnt have any cardiovascular problems before.

Having surgery and being laid up in bed increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism anyway, largely because immobility reduces the circulation. Taking certain medications for other diseases might also affect blood flow. Even taking these factors into consideration however, immune disease sufferers still had a significantly greater chance of developing DVT and embolism.

Read the original article at BMC Medicine: Risk of venous thromboembolism in people admitted to hospital with selected immune-mediated diseases: record-linkage study

Read the press release I wrote about this article at BioMed Central: DVT and pulmonary embolism linked to immune diseases

Read some of the stories that used my press release:





Back to square one? Mouse virus may have no role to play in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome after all

17 12 2010

A few years ago in 2006, scientists made what they felt was a breakthrough discovery: the mouse virus XMRV was found in a significant number of samples of prostate cancer. They felt they had stumbled upon something very exciting and if they were right – if this virus was in fact a cause of prostate cancer – the future looked very bright for the development of new treatments, cures and maybe even a vaccine.

A few years later in 2009 and a different group of researchers found the same virus in tissue samples from people with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS; also called myalgic encephalomyelitis, or ME). Sufferers of this syndrome have fought – and continue to fight – a long battle with the medical profession to have their disease recognised as a genuine medical condition with a tangible cause rather than being something psychological or all in their heads, so this news was exciting. In the States, chronic fatigue syndrome sufferers are even banned from donating blood because of the supposed viral link.

Four new research papers published this week in the journal Retrovirology however, have potentially quashed any hope that ME or prostate cancer sufferers may have garnered from the formerly suspected link between their conditions and the virus. One lab claims that rather than patients being infected with XMRV, their tissue or blood samples taken for diagnostic testing have been contaminated with mouse DNA, which itself may contain XMRV virus markers. Another group have gone so far as to blame a particular manufacturer of DNA testing kits with having mouse DNA-contaminated reagents.

I recently wrote a press release for Retrovirology that covered the publication of these four research articles, plus a Comment from Prof Robert Smith from the University of Washington. The story, which has been picked up by UK national newspaper, The Guardian, has caused quite some controversy (see the Virology blog article below and read the comments from disgruntled ME sufferers). I’m chuffed that one of my PRs has got into the national press – again!

Read the original articles at Retrovirology:

Read the press release I wrote at BioMed Central: Back to square one? Mouse virus may have no role to play in chronic fatigue syndrome and prostate cancer after all.

Read some of the news stories on these articles:





LogoBee press releases

15 12 2010

LogoBee graphic and logo design agencyThe team at LogoBee, a Canadian logo design agency, recently approached me to write a selection of press releases to promote their new-look website. The press releases have now been published and I wish LogoBee every success with their ongoing development and growth!

Read the press releases here:

LogoBee logo design press release written by Lisa A. Martin freelance press release writer





Happy birthday to me!

6 11 2010

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me!

Actually, it’s not *my* birthday (that was in September – remember that next year! :)), rather it’s my blog’s 1st anniversary and hopefully, by the end of today I will have had 10,000 site hits!! In the grand scheme of things I guess 10,000 hits isn’t a huge number, but I don’t think it’s too bad considering I have made almost zero effort to market my blog other than posting the odd link on Twitter or to my friends on Facebook!

I decided to start a blog this time last year because my boyfriend had started one (his blog’s here, by the way) and I was not to be outdone. Well that was part of the reason. Having tentatively just started out on my adventures in freelancing I figured blogging would be a good way to get some writing practice in, and if – IF – I should ever get anything published, I could build up a kind of portfolio. Check my portfolio now! I owe a lot of site traffic to my posts about Freelancer.com, but hopefully some of you read my other stuff too. If not, please do have a look!

Though I now work full time for BioMed Central, I run Lisa Martin Freelance around this job and am available for all kinds of writing and editing projects. My main area of interest is biomedical science, and I particularly enjoy writing scientific press releases, scientific articles and web copy, copyediting and proof reading scientific research manuscripts, theses and dissertations. However I am also a great writer and editor for all kinds of subjects and it would be my pleasure to help you with copywriting, copyediting, proof reading, press release and blurb writing, and even writing résumés. At the moment I’m writing copy for an online marketing company and a debt collection firm, blogging at LogoBee and Ecolicious Foods (as well as here, of course!), writing press releases, moderating the BMC Blog and co-editing BioMed Central’s staff magazine, as well as other projects that happen to come my way. I’m certainly busy, but I love what I do, so if it sounds like I can help you in any way, please do get in touch! 🙂








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