SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

2008 News

Latest Medical News

December 3, 2008
Guest Blogger Gloria Zamora: The Results Are In
Changes to the SLA Bylaws affecting the composition of our Board of Directors have been approved. Learn more.
December 3, 2008
2008 SLA Annual Salary Survey Now Available
This publication enables information professionals to assess their own salaries in light of measurable characteristics, such as level of education, year of experience, job responsibilities, and geographic location.
The 2008 SLA Salary Survey results show that the average salary increases for SLA members have again outpaced inflation. Based on salaries as of April 1, the mean percent increase in salaries for 2008 over 2007 was 5.3% for U.S. based respondents. This is slightly higher (0.2%) than the mean percent increase from 2006 to 2007. For the same 12 month period, the Consumer Price Index rose less than 4%. Salaries for Canadian members were 5.4% higher on April 1, 2008, than a year earlier, while the CPI had increased just less than 4% in the same period.
The average salary for U.S. members who answered the survey was $71,812, compared with $69,426 in 2007 and $67,400 in 2006. The mean for Canadian members was Can$ 69,971 compared with Can$ 67,171 in 2007 and Can$ $65,522 in 2006. The SLA Salary Survey also includes data from members of SLA Europe. These data are separated into two categories: U.K. and other European members. The average salary for U.K. respondents was £42,674, with a reported increase of 4.2% over the previous year. For other European members, the average salary was €64,986, an increase of 7.0% from 2007.
Use promotional code 08SALPRO and save 15%! Purchase here.
December 2, 2008
Questions Raised About Google Library Project
Bernie Sloan, Sora Associates, Bloomington, IN has brought this blog comment to our attention.
New, William. Questions Raised About Google Library Project’s Impact On Knowledge Access. Intellectual Property Watch. 26 November 2008.
"What has been heralded as a breakthrough in the digitisation of human knowledge is also raising questions about how most humans will access that knowledge, according to an expert in copyright and the public interest." Full text.
December 1, 2008
State Fiscal Distress Data has recently added new and updated data on Demographics & the Economy.State Fiscal Distress has “New Measures of State Fiscal Distress Data, including state-by-state data on housing foreclosure rates for September 2008 and recent changes in unemployment (September 2007- September 2008) and food stamp participation (August 2007-2008) based on Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured (KCMU) analysis of data from RealtyTrac, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and United States Department of Agriculture are now available. Information on projected state budget shortfalls for state fiscal year 2009 from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is also available.
November 26, 2008
SLA Centennial Web site
SLA is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2009! As we move closer to the year-long SLA Centennial Celebration, the SLA Centennial Commission would like to get you started on your way NOW, with the launch of the SLA Centennial Web site. Learn more about SLA and its members through a collection of profiles, recollections, and oral histories.
November 12, 2008
New, lower, SLA Dues Tier for Info Pros Making Less than $18K
SLA announced today a third tier of membership dues for the full member class of membership. Members with incomes less than US$18,000 annually will now pay US$35 annually with full membership benefits. This will help unemployed, retired, part-timers members or those living in Asia or elsewhere who do not make the equivalent of US$18, 000 gain or retain membership.
Full story.
November 12, 2008
Google settles book scan suit for $125 million
The agreement ends a two-year class action suit over Google’s scanning of in-copyright books and other written property for its Google Book Search. The settlement also covers a separate lawsuit from five large publishers. In a nutshell, Google gets to scan books as long as it offers the ability to purchase them, provide institutional subscriptions and give authors and publishers control over access to their works. Google will also fund a non-profit Books Rights Registry that will distribute payments, locate rights holders, maintain a database and keep track of whether publishers and authors want their works online or not. The potential revenue models include subscriptions, book sales and ad revenue. Read full story.
For more information about this agreement, please visit the settlement administration website for the Google Book Search Copyright Class Action Settlement.
November 11, 2008
Online edition of “Guide to Reference”
The Guide to Reference, formerly Guide to reference books, has a long history in print as a core publication of librarianship in the United States. This new Guide is the first to be published electronically and the first to engage the Web as a medium for reference publishing and services. Read full story.
November 10, 2008
Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has released the final report from a study that ARL commissioned Ithaka to conduct, Current Models of Digital Scholarly Communication, by Nancy L. Maron and K. Kirby Smith, along with the database of exemplars that the study produced.
Ithaka’s findings are based on a collection of resources identified by a volunteer field team of over 300 librarians at 46 academic institutions in the US and Canada. Field librarians talked with faculty members on their campuses about the digital scholarly resources they find most useful and reported the works they identified. The authors evaluated each resource gathered by the field team and conducted interviews of project leaders of 11 representative resources. Ultimately, 206 unique digital resources spanning eight formats were identified that met the study’s criteria. Read more. The report is freely available on the ARL Web site.
November 5-24, 2008
Bylaws Amendments Vote Nov 5-24, 2008
SLA's Board of Directors has approved a recommendation from the Bylaws Committee, and is referring to the voting membership for e-vote, changes to the bylaws affecting the composition of the board and the terms of its members. All members* eligible to vote and in good standing as of 28 October may participate in the election. Learn more.
*Excludes organizational and honorary members of SLA
November 4, 2008
Chemical can transform human skin cells into pluripotent cells
Researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute have successfully used valproic acid to transform human skin cells into pluripotent cells, a finding which could lead to the use of chemicals to reprogram cells instead of genes and viruses, according to a recent study. The study, published Oct. 12 in the Nature Publishing Group journal Nature Biotechnology, presents the possibility of reprogramming through purely chemical means, “which would make therapeutic use of reprogrammed cells safer and more practical” (1). Eliminating the use of genes—and the viruses being used to insert them into target cells—is a goal of scientists doing reprogramming work, because the genes become integrated into the genome of the target cells and may change them in ways not yet understood or anticipated.
Read full story.
(1) Huangfu D, Osafune K, Maehr R, Guo W, Eijkelenboom A, Chen S, Muhlestein W, Melton DA. “Induction of pluripotent stem cells from primary human fibroblasts with only Oct4 and Sox2.” Nat Biotechnol. 2008 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 18849973
November 3, 2008
Europeana - European digital library
November 20, 2008 will mark the launching of Europeana, a prototype providing direct online access to at least 2 million items. Europeana is the common access point to the collections of European libraries, archives and museums from all around Europe. By 2010 over 6 million digital items should be accessible. The single access point ("portal") will be run by the European Digital Library Foundation. Created on November 8, 2007, the Foundation is a collection of European cultural institutions – all committed to the project but retaining their independence, for example in hiring staff or seeking sponsorship. More information.
October 28, 2008
Many Eyes: Open access visualization software
At an experimental Web site, Many Eyes, users can upload the data they want to visualize, and then try sophisticated tools to generate interactive displays. The site is the brainchild of Martin Wattenberg and Fernanda B. Viégas, two I.B.M. researchers at the Cambridge lab. Dr. Wattenberg, a computer scientist and mathematician, says sophisticated visualization tools have historically been the province of professionals in academia, business and government. “We want to bring visualization to a whole new audience,” he said — to people who have had relatively few ways to create and discuss such use of data. Read full story.
October 27, 2008
Brumidi Corridors: "To Make Beautiful the Capitol"
Constantino Brumidi (1805-1880) included designs for more than 350 individual birds of at least 100 species in the Senate corridors that today bear his name. This finely rendered aviary is part of a sophisticated decorative scheme inspired by early 15th-century Renaissance frescoes in the Vatican Palace. Brumidi's interpretation in the U.S. Capitol integrates classical and Renaissance imagery with flora and fauna specific to America, including hundreds of accurately rendered and identifiable native bird species. See here.
October 24, 2008
2008 Webometrics Ranking of World Universities
The "Webometrics Ranking of World Universities" is an initiative of the Cybermetrics Lab, a research group belonging to the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientficas (CSIC), the largest public research body in Spain. The aim of the Ranking is to promote web publication in terms of open access initiatives, electronic access to scientific publications and to other academic materials, not to rank institutions. See the New! July 2008 edition
October 23, 2008
New Collaboration Project of Publishers, Repositories, and Researchers Launched—PEER
PEER (Publishing and the Ecology of European Research), supported by the European Union (EU), will investigate the effects of the large-scale, systematic depositing of authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts (so-called Green Open Access or stage-two research output) on reader access, author visibility, and journal viability, as well as on the broader ecology of European research. The project is collaboration among publishers, repositories, and researchers and will last from 2008 to 2011. Full story.
October 22, 2008
Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report
Technorati’s 2008 State of the Blogosphere report has been released. The report includes blogger demographics, motivations, tools used, and implications for brands.
October 21, 2008
Settlement is near in Google/Publisher Lawsuit
Nearly three years after its initial filing, it appears a settlement may finally be near in publisher lawsuit over Google controversial program to scan books from library shelves. Published on Library Journal's website. Full text.
October 20, 2008
No Nobel for You: Top 10 Nobel Snubs
Every year since 1901, the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden, announces up to three winners each in the scientific disciplines of chemistry, physics, and physiology or medicine. There are 780 individuals have joined the hallowed ranks of Nobel laureates in these and other categories. However there are many Nobel-worthy scientists who were overlooked. The Scientific American Blog probes the scientists who have been ignored.
October 15, 2008
Promise for Paralyzing Neurological Diseases
Researchers in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have demonstrated for the first time that a direct artificial connection from the brain to muscles can restore voluntary movement in monkeys whose arms have been temporarily anesthetized. The results may have promising implications for the quarter of a million Americans affected by spinal cord injuries and thousands of others with paralyzing neurological diseases, although clinical applications are years away.
This NIH News Release is available online.
October 15, 2008
Lichens may be canaries in the coal mine
In recent years, nitrogen deposition effects have been documented for various ecosystems of western North America (Fenn et al., 2003), (Geiser et al., 2007) and (Fenn et al., 2007), including impacts on lichen communities. In a nitrogen-rich environment like the Seven-Mile site, some lichens, including the crusty-appearing green-gold Xanthoria, thrive. But more sensitive lichens tend to grow slowly, in dense clusters. In contrast, healthy lichen in a low-nitrogen environment will leaf out in abundant lettuce-like layers or miniature branches. Learn more.
Fenn, M. E., L. H. Geiser, R. Bachman, T.J. Blubaugh, A. Bytnerowic. (March 2007) “Atmospheric deposition inputs and effects on lichen chemistry and indicator species in the Columbia River Gorge, USA.” Environmental Pollution, 146(1): 77-91.
Geiser, L. H., P. N. Neitlich. (January 2007) “Air pollution and climate gradients in western Oregon and Washington indicated by epiphytic macrolichens.” Environmental Pollution, 145 (1): 203-218.
Fenn M.E., Baron J.S., Allen E.B., Rueth H.M., Nydick K.R., Geiser L., Bowman W.D., Neitlich P., (April 2003) “Ecological effects of nitrogen deposition in the western United States.” BioScience, 53 (4): 404-420.
October 11, 2008
Publish and be wrong
One group of researchers thinks headline-grabbing scientific reports are the most likely to turn out to be wrong The group’s more general argument is that scientific research is so difficult—the sample sizes must be big and the analysis rigorous—that most research may end up being wrong. And the “hotter” the field, the greater the competition is and the more likely it is that published research in top journals could be wrong. From The Economist print edition (Oct 9th 2008). Read full story.
October 10, 2008
Biofeedback Announcement and Publications Compiler requires resubmission
Due to email account issues, the Biofeedback Announcement and Publications Compiler requires resubmission of all entries made for the Winter issue of Biofeedback. Anyone who missed the original deadline can use this opportunity to submit as well.
The is no longer in service. Please use this email account The Alanna Jenkins link on the DBIO webpage leads to the old address at present but is in the process of being changed - this time* do not* use that link.
I apologise for any inconvience this may cause you. Hopefully, your message is stored away in your sentmail and can simply be forwarded it to
Please resubmit by Monday Oct 13, 2008.
October 10, 2008
CDTree, NCBI’s versatile protein domain hierarchy viewer, has released version 3.1. The new version is now supported on Apple computers running OSX and higher. Other new features include an annotation matrix viewer, multi-CD operations, sequence tree coloring for greater flexibility, and higher efficiency in working with large hierarchies. Find more information.
October 9, 2008
“Dead Zones” Expand in the World's Oceans
The number of coastal areas known as dead zones is on the rise. A new study published in Science counted more than 400 dead zones globally, including 166 in U.S. waters, covering 245,000 square kilometers. Once filled with fish and many other organisms, these ocean waters are no longer habitable (1). Learn more.
(1) Diaz, Robert J. and Rutger Rosenberg. “Spreading Dead Zones and Consequences for Marine Ecosystems.” Science, 15 August 2008, 321: 926-929.
October 8, 2008
Audubon: Early Drawings
Reproductions of all of Harvard’s early drawings (1805-1815) by John James Audubon are available for the first time in a hardcover volume, Audubon: Early Drawings. This volume is a splendid display of some of the young naturalist's first bird drawings. It illustrates Audubon's talents as an observer of living things. The introduction was written by Richard Rhodes, the award-winning author of numerous works of nonfiction, fiction, and biography, including John James Audubon: the Making of an American, and The Making of the Atomic Bomb, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
Learn more here and here. and
See also “The Harvard University's Houghton Library and Museum of Comparative Zoology” web site.
October 7, 2008
New Resource on Research Integrity and Scientific Misconduct
Committed to protecting the integrity of science, AAAS, in collaboration with the National Academies, has established a Web site on scientific misconduct and research integrity. Subjects covered include conflicts of interest, plagiarism, use of research animals, and protecting human subjects, among others.
Not only are the materials diverse, but so are the topics they cover. Neither scientific misconduct nor research integrity can be defined by one act, such as fraud, or confined to one actor. Instead, they encompass a range of issues, including authorship, use of research animals, peer review, data sharing and collaboration, protection of human subjects, conflict of interest, and responsible conduct education.
The resources have been divided into seven sections: A) Upcoming Events; B) Recent Literature; C) AAAS and National Academies Resources; D) Web and Media Resources; E) Policies, Codes, and Guidelines; F) Past Conferences; and G) International Resources with each section sub-divided into relevant categories. Scroll down below to a section to read more about its contents and organization. Please use the “Table of Contents” on the right-hand side to navigate through the website See also The AAAS - Office of Research Integrity (ORI) Bibliography
October 6, 2008
Everglades Restoration Effort Making Scant Progress
Complex project planning and funding processes are hindering a federal and state effort to restore the Florida Everglades, says a new report from the National Research Council. Good science has been developed to support efforts, but to begin reversing decades of decline, managers should first move forward with projects that have the most potential to restore the natural ecosystem.
Learn more.
October 2, 2008
Open call from semantic search engine Hakia
Open call from semantic search engine Hakia to Librarians and Information Professionals to participate in a new program to unlock credible and free Web resources to Web searchers.
Currently, Hakia is generating credibility-stamped results for health and medical searches. Now, Hakia is aiming to further its coverage to all topics, with the participation of librarians and information professionals.
Librarians and information professionals can suggest URLs leading to the most credible websites on a given topic. Hakia will process the sites with its proprietary QDEX (Query Detection and Extraction) technology and make them available to web searchers in credibility-stamped search results. Each month Hakia will give away thank you prizes, ranging from a book donation to two conference grants, to participants.
Read more.
Learn more here and/or here
October 1, 2008
SLA Connections features DBIO Blog entries
SLA Connections, the E-News Source for Information Professionals features on a regular basis the topics from the DBIO Blog. DBIO has acquired increased visibility and preeminence due to the creative efforts of our member Tony Stankus, Life Sciences Librarian & Professor, University of Arkansas Libraries.
The SLA Connections Web page is your source for the most up-to-date bites of news and information from SLA. The page consists of blog feeds from several SLA blogs that are updated weekly.
The SLA Connections e-newsletter is sent out once a week so you can keep abreast of information from the association on a regular basis. If you are not currently subscribed to the SLA Connection e-newsletter, go here to sign up today.
September 29, 2008
Elsevier helps librarians develop their collections
Elsevier has developed a website to help librarians develop their collections. This site is free and you are encouraged to try it out and see how easy it is to search. You can also save your searches and set yourself up to receive automatic emails when a book comes on the site that meets your search criteria. For example, if you want to make sure you have the latest anatomy titles, you can save that search. New titles come on the system six months in advance of publication and you will get notified when a new anatomy title shows up. How cool is that?
Another helpful spot on the site is the Thematic Lists banners. Here you will find topical lists, as well as titles with Doody ratings. If you look now, you will find the rural medicine and infectious disease lists, among others.
September 26, 2008
Higher Education Opportunity Act Signed Into Law
The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (H.R. 4137) was signed into law on August 14, 2008. Passed by the House on July 31, 2008 by a vote of 380-49, this law overhauls our nation's higher education laws, advancing key reforms that address the soaring price of college and remove other obstacles that make it harder for qualified students to go to college.
The provision to make textbook costs more manageable for students offers librarians an opportunity to work closely with faculty in providing information on textbook pricing.
Learn more.
September 23, 2008
New collection on Aldo Leopold in the Encyclopedia of Earth
The Encyclopedia of Earth is pleased to announce the launch of its new collection on Aldo Leopold, one of the most important figures in ecology and conservation in 20th century America and best-known as the author of “A Sand County Almanac.”
A collaborative effort between the Encyclopedia of Earth and the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the collection provides readers with a sense of who Aldo Leopold was and the broad range of his continuing influence in many fields, including conservation, wildlife ecology, wilderness preservation, agriculture, environmental ethics and public policy.
September 22, 2008
Need (science) news?
Dissatisfied with the quality of science articles listed on the Google news aggregator, Canadian HIV researcher Michael Imbeault has launched e! Science News — a site that gathers news specifically for scientists. Using mathematical modelling, clustering algorithms and Bayesian statistics, e! Science News scans, collates and ranks the contents of 40 top science news sources, such as the NY Times Science section, the Guardian Science section, Popular Science and ScienceNow. The fully automated site continuously sorts articles, considering factors such as timeliness and frequency of appearance on the web.
September 20, 2008
US may scale back reviews of endangered species listings
The US Department of the Interior has announced plans to relax federal planning procedures under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), reviving a long-stalled debate over the nation’s most vulnerable species. The rule would make it easier for federal agencies to build roads, approve pipelines or conduct logging operations — without seeking scientific consultations regarding impacts on threatened and endangered species. Learn more.
September 18, 2008
ProQuest and Google Strike Deal To Digitize Newspaper Pages
Hoping to do for newspapers what Google Book Search has done for monographs, ProQuest and search giant Google have reached an agreement to digitize millions of pages of content from ProQuest’s vast newspaper microfilm archives. Learn more .
September 17, 2008
Challenging Conventional Wisdom on STEM Supply
Michael S. Teitelbaum, a demographer at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, looked at what he called five “mysteries” of the STEM (STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics) work force issue. For example, why do employers claim a shortage of qualified STEM graduates while prospects for Ph.D.s remain “poor"? Why do retention and completion rates for STEM fields remain low compared with students’ aspirations? Why is there a “serious” funding crisis at the National Institutes of Health after its budget doubled from 1998 to 2003? Learn more.
September 13, 2008
DBIO Blog surpasses the 5,000 hit mark!
DBIO Blog has celebrated recently its first year anniversary with wonderful results. It surpassed the 5,000 hit mark. The DBIO Blog is run by Tony Stankus. Tony is a Life Sciences Librarian and holds the rank of full Professor at the University of Arkansas. He is also the 2005 winner of the SLA's Rose L. Vormelker Award for exceptional services in the area of mentoring students and/or working professionals.
DBIO Blog has acquired unique characteristics due entirely to Tony’s extraordinary expertise, talent and enthusiasm. Tony is one of the world’s most published authors on research and professional journals in the sciences. He has published 10 books and more than 100 articles, and also has served as the editor of the Science and Technology Libraries, and contributing editor of Technicalities.
DBIO Blog posts analyses and commentaries on biomedical and life sciences peer-reviewed articles. DBIO Blog is the only blog within SLA community dedicated to the scientific communication and dissemination of scholarly publications. Tony has undoubtedly proven that blogging is a useful catalyst for academic, reliable, evidence-based discourse. Moreover he has proven that blogging can offer an enormous potential for education and professional development of science librarians.
September 13, 2008
New BLAST 2 Sequences Interface
The NCBI BLAST web pages have a new option to align a query against a set of target sequences, rather than a BLAST database. This option allows you to align your query to one or more subject sequences and still use the standard BLAST web interface to optimize your search and change algorithm parameters. Each search is assigned a "Request ID" (RID) and is also listed under the "Recent Results" tab that you can access from the BLAST home page at The results are formatted as a standard BLAST report, except a "Dot Matrix view" (a "dot-plot" like graphic of the alignments) is available in the new report design if only one subject sequence was searched. Step-by-step instructions.
September 10- October 1, 2008
Let your voice be heard...VOTE!
SLA eVoting for the 2009 Board of Directors Election is now open! Voting will continue through 1 October, 2008 at 5:00 p.m. EDT. The candidates for the 2009 SLA Board of Directors are:
President-Elect: Janice C. Anderson and Anne Caputo Chapter Cabinet Chair-Elect: Cynthia Barrancotto and Ruth Wolfish Division Cabinet Chair-Elect: Holly Chong-Williams and Ann Sweeney Director (vote for two candidates): Jessica Baumgart, Michael Kim, Daniel Lee, Nettie Seaberry All SLA members in good standing as of 25 August 2008 may participate in the election; exception applies to organizational, honorary and virtual members of SLA.
Learn more by visiting the 2009 Board of Directors Election
September 3-30, 2008
2009 Slate Announced - Biomedical and Life Sciences Division of SLA
This past spring, the Nominations and Elections Committee issued a call for nominations for the positions of Chair-Elect and Treasurer of the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division of SLA, on the division discussion list as well as at the Annual Meeting in Seattle. As SLA is now running on the calendar year, this election is for officers to serve for the calendar year 2009.
The Nominations and Elections Committee met in mid-July to discuss the potential candidates and is announcing henceforth a slate of candidates for the upcoming elections:

Chair-Elect: Diane Schmidt
Treasurer: Jonathan Nabe

Thank you to each of the DBIO members for their willingness to serve in these important volunteer positions! Thank you to the Nominations and Elections Committee: Janet Cooper Weiss, Chair, David Duggar, Linda Maddux for working hard to present a slate of candidates that have some phenomenal expertise and experience to share!

Please visit Nominations and Elections for information regarding additional nominations by petition. The dateline for those nominations is September 30, 2008.

After October 1, 2008, DBIO members will receive a ballot via the email address on record, at SLA Headquarters, and will be able to cast their vote via Survey Monkey.
September 10, 2008
Friend or Foe? Crows Never Forget a Face, It Seems
John M. Marzluff, a wildlife biologist at the University of Washington, has studied crows and ravens for more than 20 years and has long wondered if the birds could identify individual researchers. Though Dr. Marzluff’s is the first formal study of human face recognition in wild birds, his preliminary findings confirm the suspicions of many other researchers who have observed similar abilities in crows, ravens, gulls and other species. A version of this article appeared in print on August 26, 2008, on page F2 of the New York edition.
Read full story.
September 9, 2008
Seal for Open Access Journals
In order for open access journals to be even more useful and thus receive more exposure and provide more value to the research community it is very important that open access journals offer standardized, easily retrievable information about what kinds of reuse are allowed. Therefore, we are advising that all journals provide clear and unambiguous statements regarding the copyright statement of the papers they publish. To qualify for the SPARC Europe Seal a journal must use the Creative Commons By (CC-BY) license which is the most user-friendly license and corresponds to the ethos of the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Read press release.
September 8, 2008
Experimental Man Project
Experimental Man Project is a book, website, portal and multimedia program exploring what cutting-edge technologies in personalized medicine can tell us about individual health and life -- past, present and future: genes, environment, brain and body. This new website will be added to over the coming months. It will include data from author David Ewing Duncan's tests covering his genes, environment, brain and body, along with commentary, analysis and musings about the usefulness and impact of this information on an individual human. The Experimental Man project will be working with the new Center for Life Science Policy at the University of California at Berkeley -- scheduled to launch late summer, 2008 -- to develop this site into a resource for the public and scientists wanting to download information, data, articles and thoughts about their own work or results on the topics of genes, environment, brain and body.
David Ewing Duncan worked with Entelos to obtain a self-assessment as part his new book, “Experimental Man: What One Man's Body Reveals About His Future, Your Health, and Our Toxic World.” He was the first person to benefit from MyDigitalHealth, which will be featured in the book and is also included as part of the "Body" topic on the Experimental Man website. David recently covered his experience with MyDigitalHealth in his "Natural Selection" column on
September 2, 2008
World’s first genome-wide map of the mouse spinal cord
The Allen Institute for Brain Science unveiled the groundbreaking Allen Spinal Cord Atlas, the world’s first genome-wide map of the mouse spinal cord. Researchers can immediately access the free online data to advance their research surrounding spinal cord diseases and disorders.
Until now, the scientific community’s efforts to research spinal cord injury and disease have been hindered by the absence of a genome-wide map of gene expression. From start to finish, the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas will be completed within a swift, twelve-month timeframe. While inaugural data—approximately 2,000 genes—from the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas is now available, the Institute will continue to follow its founding mission and upload additional information until the projected completion in early 2009. It is estimated that hundreds of users from universities, research institutes, pharmaceutical companies and government organizations will use the atlas. The Institute’s data and tools are available on the Web free of charge. Read press release.
September 1, 2008
EPA's Hurricane Gustav Website
Please visit EPA's Hurricane Gustav website for the latest information, flyers and audio files
August 28, 2008
Meet the Candidates
Date: Wednesday, 3 September 2008
Time: 1:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -04:00, New York)
Join President-elect Gloria Zamora on 3 September at 1:00 p.m. EDT for a 30 minute virtual Q&A with president-elect candidates, Janice C. Anderson and Anne Caputo. This forum will be your opportunity to ask each of the candidates’ questions about the profession, the industry, or any topic you choose to discuss.

Use the information below to dial in.

To join the teleconference
Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada): 1.866.469.3239
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1.650.429.3300
Call-in toll number if the primary number does not work. (US/Canada)*: 1.408.856.9570
Attendee access code (Full Speaking): 56782007
For assistance: Contact Jeff Leach or call 1.703.647.4922.

August 26, 2008
Polar bears
Photographs taken by Kathy Crane on an Arctic Research Office-Ocean Exploration cruise in 2003 to the Chukchi Plateau.
Polar Bears Are Seen Swimming in Open Water
Polar bears management is guided by the "International Agreement on the Conservation of Polar Bears" that was signed in Oslo, Norway in 1973 by the five polar range states (Canada, Denmark, Norway, USA, and the former USSR). In May 2008, Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne put the United States polar bear (Ursus maritimus) population under the protections of the Endangered Species Act, primarily because of the loss of its habitat.

Susanne Miller, the biologist in charge of the polar bear project for the federal Fish and Wildlife Service, said 8 of the 10 bears spotted in the aerial survey by plane in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska on August 16, 2008, had been within 15 miles of shore. One was 35 miles from shore and another one 50, but neither was more than 20 miles from the nearest arctic ice.

Read more in a New York Times article and a related New York Times science blog post.

It is important to note that "the surveyors were working for the US Minerals Management Service, the agency that oversees exploratory and production drilling leases to oil companies," according to AP writer Dan Joling.

More information about polar bears:
Relevant web links from the The IUCN Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG)
Polar bears at risk
IPY — International Polar Year (March 2007 to March 2009)
August 26, 2008
Free Will vs. the Programmed Brain
In a clever study, psychologists Vohs and Schooler tested this question by giving participants passages from The Astonishing Hypothesis, a popular science book by Francis Crick (1). Two experiments examined whether inducing participants to believe that human behavior is predetermined would encourage cheating. The study’s findings "findings suggest that the debate over free will has societal, as well as scientific and theoretical, implications." Read story.

(1) Vohs KD, Schooler JW. “The value of believing in free will: encouraging a belief in determinism increases cheating.” Psychological Science, 2008 Jan; 19 (1):49-54. PMID: 18181791
August 25, 2008
A Trained Eye Finally Solved the Anthrax Puzzle
The scientific chase began in late 2001 as the first person to contract anthrax from powder in a letter lay dying in a Florida hospital. The victim, Robert Stevens, 63, a photo editor at The Sun, a tabloid, was suffering from pulmonary anthrax, and the F.B.I. needed to know whether the anthrax in the attacks, which began a week after Sept. 11, was natural, or a biological weapon. Dr. Paul Keim a biologist at Northern Arizona University confirmed the fears of intelligence agencies: it was the Ames strain, the most virulent was one that infected and eventually killed Mr. Stevens. Dr. Keim said he believed the bureau had correctly identified the source of the attack anthrax. “The science on that is pretty solid,” he said. As to whether Dr. Ivins was the perpetrator, Dr. Keim said that only a jury could make that decision. He said Dr. Ivins had been a friend and he faulted the F.B.I. for not having prevented his suicide. “Whether Bruce did it or not I prefer not to think about,” he said. Read full story.
August 22, 2008
Financial Security Website
A website that helps you develop a personal risk management plan has been updated and redesigned by University of Illinois Extension. "Is Your Financial Security At Risk?" was developed by Karen Chan, a U of I Extension consumer and family economics educator. This website "will help you to:
  • Identify those events which pose a financial risk to you or your family.
  • Learn the four basic methods of managing risk.
  • Determine which methods you are currently using to manage your risks.
  • Identify gaps in your current risk management strategies."
August 21, 2008
FBI releases scientific data regarding anthrax case
Despite new evidence, scientists are still skeptical about the F.B.I.'s case against the suspected Anthrax killer. Federal Bureau of Investigation officials presented scientific evidence on August 18, 2008 which led them to believe that military researcher Bruce E. Ivins was responsible for the 2001 anthrax attacks. The release of information follows last week’s criticism by congressmen, colleagues, and independent scientists of the Bureau and the US Department of Justice’s investigation into Ivins, who committed suicide just as authorities were preparing to file charges against him. Read full story
Related: August 12, 2008
Related: August 1, 2008
August 20, 2008
ARL Report Wants to Help Authors Deal with Embargo Policies
The ARL report focuses on the requirements of the recently revised National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy. NIH now requires those authors who received grants from them to deposit their articles in PubMed Central, the institutes’ online archive, within 12 months of publication. The document, which includes tables showing similarities and differences across agreements, is available for free at the ARL Web site. Read full story.
August 19, 2008
New E-Scams & Warnings
This page from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) lists alerts about scams and other warnings concerning malicious software (malware), viruses, phishing, e-mail schemes, threat and extortion e-mail messages, and more. Includes an option to get e-mail alerts when new warnings are posted on the page. Posted by the LII Item.
August 18, 2008
Biology Videos Now Available on PubMed
The National Library of Medicine added video clips from the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). This is a major milestone for new methods of science communication in general. Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is an online open access research journal employing visualization to increase reproducibility and transparency in biological sciences. Read full story.
August 13, 2008
Vadlo search engine caters to all branches of life sciences
Vadlo is brought to you by two biology scientists who wish to make it easier to locate biology research related information on the web. This beta offering allows users to search within five categories: Protocols, Online Tools, Seminars, Databases and Software.

Protocols category will let you search for methods, techniques, assays, procedures, reagent recipes, plasmid maps, etc. Online Tools will cater calculators, servers, prediction tools, sequence alignment and manipulation tools, primer design etc. Seminars are essentially powerpoint files for presentations, lectures and talks. Databases will take you to, well, databases, resources, compilations, lists etc. It is here that you can also search for your favorite genes and proteins. Software category is for bioinformatics experts who are looking for codes, scripts, algorithms, executables, downloadable programs and collaborations.
August 13, 2008
Parts of the Endangered Species Act may soon be extinct
The Bush administration wants federal agencies to decide for themselves whether highways, dams, mines and other construction projects might harm endangered animals and plants.
The rule changes unveiled Monday, August 11, 2008 would apply to any project a federal agency would fund, build or authorize that the agency itself determines is unlikely to harm endangered wildlife and their habitat.

The National Wildlife Federation has a pdf of the leaked proposal. Read a blog and/or story.
August 12, 2008
Bringing Good Things to Life (Science)?
A series of purchases is turning General Electric, the world's second largest company, into a major supplier of life sciences equipment. Last year, GE Healthcare had $17 billion in sales, with $1.3 billion coming from the Life Sciences division. Its competitors include Invitrogen and Thermo Fisher Scientific, which respectively claimed $1.3 billion and $9.8 billion in sales in 2007, although the three companies compete only in specific market segments. Full story.
August 11, 2008
Primer-BLAST now available
Primer-BLAST combines primer design (using Primer3) and a specificity check with BLAST.Primer-BLAST was developed to help users make primers specific to a PCR template. Primer-BLAST combines primer design (using Primer3) and a specificity check via a BLAST search. The specificity check against user selected databases can avoid primer pairs that amplify targets other than the input template. Primer-BLAST can also used with pre-designed primers.

To get started with Primer-BLAST go to and enter FASTA, an accession or a GI into the PCR Template box. Or alternately fill in the forward and reverse primers in the "Primer Parameters" area. By default the only human sequences are checked, but you may change this to other organisms in the " Primer Pair Specificity Checking Parameters". Use the "Get Primers" button at the bottom of the page to submit your search.

Please send question and comments about Primer-BLAST to
August 11, 2008
The Future of Reading: Digital versus Print
The New York Times published on July 27, 2008, the first in a series of articles that will look at how the Internet and other technological and social forces are changing the way people read. This piece can be seen here.
August 7, 2008
Poland to open museum for cousin of T-Rex
Last week the scientists of the Polish Science Academy dug up an incomplete skeleton of a predator dinosaur that lived around 200 million years ago. Given the working name "Dragon", the dinosaur was around 5 meters (yards) long and moved on two legs. Its longest teeth were 7 centimeters (2 inches) long. It will be exhibited to the many world paleontologists who have flocked to the area. Read full story.
August 6, 2008
Gorillas Discovered In Republic Of Congo
The world's population of critically endangered western lowland gorillas recently received a huge boost when the Wildlife Conservation Society released a census showing massive numbers of these secretive great apes alive and well in the Republic of Congo. Full story.
August 5, 2008
First Map of Earth’s Freshwater Ecoregions
Freshwater species and habitats are, on average around the world, more imperiled than their terrestrial counterparts. Yet, large-scale conservation planning efforts have rarely targeted freshwater biodiversity. A paper published in BioScience presents the first global biogeographic map of Earth’s freshwater ecoregions (1). Authored by scientists from WWF, TNC, and an international group of researchers, the map is based on freshwater fish species distributions and incorporates major ecological and evolutionary patterns.

(1) Paulo Petry, P et. al. May 2008. “Freshwater Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Biogeographic Units for Freshwater Biodiversity Conservation.“ BioScience, Vol. 58 (5): 403-414.
August 4, 2008
Pioneering research shows ‘Google Generation’ is a myth
A new study overturns the common assumption that the ‘Google Generation' – youngsters born or brought up in the Internet age – is the most web-literate. The first ever virtual longitudinal study carried out by the CIBER research team at University College London claims that, although young people demonstrate an apparent ease and familiarity with computers, they rely heavily on search engines, view rather than read and do not possess the critical and analytical skills to assess the information that they find on the web. The report “Information Behavior of the Researcher of the Future” was commissioned by the British Library. Read full story.
July 31, 2008
EPA Funds $2.25 Million to Research Connection between Biodiversity And Disease
Changing land use and development have altered natural ecosystems greatly in the last 50 years, contributing to a decline in biodiversity. At the same time, there has been a rise in new infectious diseases as well as infectious diseases previously thought to be under control. To find out if there is a connection; EPA has funded three interdisciplinary teams to explore the links between biodiversity and human health. Full story.
For more information on these grants:
EPA's Biodiversity Research:
EPA's Office of Research and Development:
July 30, 2008
The Scientist wins Magazine of the Year
The Scientist, magazine of the life sciences, was awarded the prestigious Azbee Award for "Magazine of the Year" presented by The American Society of Business Publication Editors. Full story.
July 30, 2008
2008 Face of SLA photo project is ready to access
The official photographs from Mark Reinertson of The Photo Group are up on the Web and ready to access and download for a fee. Please be sure to go through the site below and follow these directions.

1. Go to the site,
2. Select Online Proofing
3. Your password is sla08
4. You'll be brought to a page of categories organized based on the events in Seattle - to view a category click on it.
5. You'll be brought to a page of thumbnails - to enlarge a thumbnail, click on the image. To download an image, enlarge the thumbnail and use the link to the right of the enlarged image.
July 30, 2008
Drug Discovery Databases Released to Public
The Wellcome Trust has awarded £4.7 million (€5.8 million) to EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) to support the transfer of a large collection of information on the properties and activities of drugs and a large set of drug-like small molecules from publicly listed company Galapagos NV to the public domain. It will be incorporated into the EMBL-EBI’s collection of open-access data resources for biomedical research and will be maintained by a newly established team of scientists at the EMBL-EBI. These data lie at the heart of translating information from the human genome into successful new drugs in the clinic.
Read more
July 29, 2008
SLA Research Grant Application Dateline is October 1, 2008
SLA has posted its 2008 SLA Research Grant guidelines and application materials at Read more details
July 29, 2008
New SLA Division Proposed for Academics
Creating a new Academic Division would provide an appropriate venue for the type of programming necessary to support our academic members, as well as providing a strong incentive to recruit non-members to join SLA. Read more
July 29, 2008
Launch of a new global online science gateway
The British Library has announced the agreement by 38 countries to launch a new global online science gateway -
is designed to accelerate scientific discovery by using multilateral partnerships to enable federated searching of national and international scientific databases and portals. United States is participating with
More info at
July 25, 2008
The Importance of Stupidity in Scientific Research
This is a title of a paper in a scientific journal that will make one's eyebrows go up. I am not sure what he wrote is really what he meant, but anyway, this was a nice way for Schwartz to start the article. What he is talking about is not really stupidity (1). Read full story at:

(1) Schwartz MA. 2008. “The importance of stupidity in scientific research.” J Cell Sci. 121 (Pt 11):1771.
July 24, 2008
Birds of a feather
In the largest ever study of bird genetics; a five-year international collaboration has redrawn the avian family tree. The report, published in Science on June 27, 2008, proposes surprising new classifications and suggests that environmental adaptations arose multiple times in bird history (1) The results challenge a major 2004 study that concluded the avian evolutionary tree was nothing more than a bush, an irresolvable mass of "extremely short (in some cases zero-length) branches" resulting from simultaneous radiation of multiple families. But, said Hackett, it is possible to recover early relationships (2). Read full story at:

(1) Hackett SJ, Kimball RT, Reddy S, Bowie RC, Braun EL, Braun MJ, Chojnowski JL, Cox WA, Han KL, Harshman J, Huddleston CJ, Marks BD, Miglia KJ, Moore WS, Sheldon FH, Steadman DW, Witt CC, Yuri T. 2008. “A phylogenomic study of birds reveals their evolutionary history.” Science, 320(5884):1763-8.

(2) Poe S, Chubb AL. 2004. “Birds in a bush: five genes indicate explosive evolution of avian orders.” Evolution, 58(2):404-15.
July 23, 2008
Creating a second genetic code
Japanese researchers have made artificial DNA that acts like the real thing, even forming right-handed duplexes with complementary artificial strands. The team, led by Masahiko Inouye at the University of Toyama, made the new strands from four artificial DNA bases, which they attached to a sugar backbone using ethyne bonds.
Read full story at:
July 18, 2008
Creating a new approach to archiving human genetic information
Researchers plan to create a library of human genetics, with entries on the workings of individual genes, and make it available for anyone in Wikipedia rather than in an obscure academic format. The group outlined its aims this week in a paper published on the Public Library of Science's online journal, PLoS Biology (1). Read full story
(1) Huss JW, Orozco C, Goodale J, Wu C, Batalov S, Vickers TJ, Valafar F, Su AI. A Gene Wiki for Community Annotation of Gene Function. PLoS Biol. 2008 Jul 8; 6(7):e175. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 18613750
July 18, 2008
Corporations can profit from being environmentally friendly
Though many policymakers have argued that environmental regulations can negatively impact an organization's bottom line, a new study by George Mason University shows that companies that develop green production processes can not only offset the costs of regulations, but can also reap further benefits (1). The study looked at more than 2,600 manufacturing facilities in seven different countries. For more information, read full story.
(1) Darnall, Nicole. 2009. Environmental regulations, green production offsets and organizations' financial performance. Public Administration Review: 69(1), forthcoming.
July 18, 2008
Snake venom tells tales about geography
Just as people give away their origins by that southern drawl or New England twang, poisonous snakes produce venom that differs distinctly from one geographic area to another, the first study of the "snake venomics" of one of the most common pit vipers in Latin America has found. The study is scheduled for the August 1 issue of ACS' monthly Journal of Proteome Research (1). For more information, go to:
(1) Alape-Giro et al. 2008. Snake Venomics of the Lancehead Pitviper Bothrops asper: Geographic, Individual, and Ontogenetic Variations. Journal of Proteome Research, 7(8), forthcoming.
July 17, 2008
A Local Museum Becomes a Global Project
In his presidential address to the AAAS Pacific Division, Terry Gosliner described the unexpected global impact of building a new coral tank at the California Academy of Sciences. Not only is it a showcase for the incredible beauty and diversity of nature, but it also is an exhibit about sustainability and stewardship. And it has allowed the museum to build important new relationships with communities in the Philippines and with Filipino-Americans in California. For more information, read the full story:
July 16, 2008
Restoration of A Tropical Rain Forest Ecosystem Successful On Small-scale
Half a century after most of Costa Rica's rain forests were cut down, researchers from the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Sciences (BTI) on the Cornell campus are attempting what many thought was impossible -- restoring a tropical rain forest ecosystem.
Read the whole story at:
July 16, 2008
2nd oldest US wildlife refuge in jeopardy
The nation's second oldest national wildlife refuge, a chain of barrier islands southeast of New Orleans, is in danger of being lost unless the islands are restored, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Friday., July 11, 2008. The Chandeleur and Breton islands have been battered by hurricanes in the past four years and they took a pounding from Hurricane Katrina, which "reduced the islands by one-half of their pre-storm size," the agency said in a new report. Friday's report was part of the agency's nationwide effort to draw up 15-year conservation plans for every wildlife refuge by 2012.
Read the whole story at:
July 10, 2008
Cite Check
Like any self-enclosed, loosely policed network, citations are far from perfect. The shortcomings of “incorrect references” are reviewed and discussed in an article by J. Scott Armstrong and Malcolm Wright published this year in the management science journal Interfaces. The article is available here.

The authors indicate in the abstract “this paper is especially useful in testing for quotation errors because it provides specific operational recommendations on adjusting for nonresponse bias; therefore, it allows us to determine whether the citing papers properly used the findings. Read story at:
July 10, 2008
Fish fossils plug hole in evolutionary theory
Some odd-looking fish fossils discovered in the bowels of several European museums may help solve a lingering question about evolutionary theory. "The important thing about this study is it delivers evidence of those intermediates," said Matt Friedman of The Field Museum and the University of Chicago, whose study appeared in the journal Nature, vol. 454, 209 – 212 (10 Jul 2008). Read story at
July 10, 2008
World Bank secret report: Biofuels lift food prices 75 percent
Demand for biofuels in Europe and the United States has forced up food prices 75 percent around the world, according to a World Bank report that was leaked and published in The Guardian newspaper on Friday July 4, 2008. Read more.

This number stands in sharp contrast to the 3 percent contribution to higher food pricing estimated by the United States Department of Agriculture. Read more.

Meanwhile, a study commissioned by food manufacturers pegs the contribution of biofuels on food prices at between 25 percent and 35 percent. Read more.

Food prices are being impacted by several major factors which are interconnected in global feedback loops — the price of commodities, petroleum prices, mandated demand for biofuels, increased demand for meat in some developing countries as well as our own over consumption of meats, costs of production including rapidly rising fertilizer prices, climate and weather, transportation, hoarding of commodities, speculation, perceptions of shortages, and overall economic conditions. Placing an exact measure for any particular factor would be difficult to isolate due to all these interacting factors and feedbacks. The timing of the big increase in ethanol production just prior to the big increases in corn and soybean prices does tend to put a big target on the ethanol industry. Read more.
July 08, 2008
Transplanting eelgrass may help crab, salmon
Scientists don't know a lot about why eelgrass grows in certain underwater environments and not others.

They do know the aquatic plants provide valuable shelter for juvenile salmon and Dungeness crab and attract a buffet of critters for them to eat.

To study the possibility of growing more eelgrass in the Columbia River estuary, researchers with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed models detailing the current locations of eelgrass beds and the places where light, salinity and current conditions would support eelgrass growth.

Read the whole story.
July 08, 2008
DBIO 2008 Awards
The 2008 DBIO awards were presented at the Seattle conference during the annual business meeting and breakfast on Tuesday, June 17, 2008. Please join the Awards Committee in congratulating these exceptional colleagues:

Distinguished Member Award: Janet Cooper Weiss
Winifred Sewell Prize) : Diane Schmidt
Chair’s Recognition Award : Carol Lepzelter Berry

Look in the next issue of Biofeedback and soon on the DBIO website for the presentation texts that were read for each awardee.

Congratulations Janet, Diane and Carol!
The DBIO Awards Committee
Michele Tennant, Chair
Nancy Stimson
Louisa Worthington Rogers
July 1, 2008
Update on the Georgia State University copyright lawsuit
In a closely watched copyright-infringement lawsuit, Georgia State University fired back (June 24, 2008) at its accusers, three academic publishers that say the institution invites students to illegally download and print readings from thousands of works. The university asserts that its online distribution of course material is permitted under copyright law's fair-use exemption. Read story at:
July 1, 2008
University Presses Start to Sell Via Kindle
By the beginning of the fall, Princeton plans to have several hundred books available for sale through Kindle, Amazon's New Wireless Reading Device. Yale University Press and Oxford University Press already have a similar presence there. The University of California Press recently had about 40 of its volumes placed on Kindle and is ramping up. Read full story at:
June 30, 2008
SLA Announces Discount Insurance Program
SLA Announces Discount Insurance Program Designed to Provide Relief for Independent Information Professionals and Small Businesses in Face of Rising Costs. Read notice at:
June 27, 2008
ASTM Votes to Approve Specifications for Biodiesel Blends
The National Biodiesel Board has announced on June 24, 2008 the vote of the ASTM International D02 Main Committee to approve a trio of long-awaited ASTM specifications for biodiesel blends. After more than five years of extensive research and subsequent balloting by the ASTM fuel experts in the blended fuel process, ASTM has approved three key sets of biodiesel specifications that are predicted to bolster automaker support and consumer demand for biodiesel. Read full story at
June 27, 2008
What neo-creationists get right?
Two and a half years ago, in what is so far the "trial of this century," federal district judge John Jones III ruled that it was unconstitutional for a school board in Dover, PA to teach intelligent design (ID) theory in a public high school science class.
The Dover trial seemed, for a brief moment, to be a wooden stake driven into the heart of creationism. But ID is once again back up and on the march. So far in 2008, legislators in Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Michigan, and Missouri have tried to require that classrooms teach both "the scientific strengths and weaknesses of Darwinian theory," code for unteaching evolution. Similar legislation passed both houses of the Louisiana legislature this month and is coming perilously close to passing in Texas. Read full entry at
June 24, 2008
2008 Darwin-Wallace Medals
July 1, 2008 will mark the 150th anniversary of the reading of the Darwin-Wallace paper: "On the Tendency of Species to form Varieties; and the Perpetuation of Varieties and Species by Natural Means of Selection” outlining, for the first time, the theory of evolution by natural selection(1).
The Darwin-Wallace Medal, presented every 50 years for "major advances in evolutionary biology since 1958," will be awarded on Thursday 12th February 2009, the 200th birthday of Charles Robert Darwin by the Council of the Linnean Society of London to the following: Professor Nick Barton FRS, Professor M W Chase FRS, FLS, Professor B C Clarke FRS, FLS, Professor Joseph Felsenstein, the late Professor Stephen Jay Gould, Professor P R Grant FRS, FLS, Dr Rosemary Grant FRS, Professor J L B Mallet FLS, Professor Lynn Margulis FLS, the late Professor John Maynard-Smith FRS, FLS, Professor Mohamed Noor, Professor H Allen Orr and Professor Linda Partridge FRS. Read announcement at:
June 23, 2008
Create PDFs from RSS feeds for your summer reading
Feedbooks is a universal e-paper platform compatible with all e-paper devices where you can download thousands of free e-books, publish and share your own content, and create customized newspapers from RSS feeds and widgets. According to one of the founders “the RSS feature is still experimental and in a beta-ish state compared to the rest of the website. We'll update this feature later this month, with much better overall speed, and 3 output formats instead of PDF only: Mobipocket/Kindle, ePub and PDF”. In the meantime, I would recommend browsing Feedbooks for public domain books instead.” Read full story.
June 20, 2008
Putting Open Access Publishing into Practice
Presentations from ARMA/INORMS session: Putting Open Access Publishing into Practice: funding mechanisms, institutional collaboration and building repositories is now available at the BioMed Central Blog. This power point presentation was delivered by Matthew Cockerill, Publisher. He has been involved with BioMed Central since its launch in 1999, serving first as Technical Director and later as Director of Operations. Prior to BioMed Central, he played a major role in the creation of BioMedNet, a pioneering web site for biologists which incorporated the Trends and the Current Opinion review journals. He has a PhD in Biochemistry, which he obtained working under the guidance of Tim Hunt at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund. He also has a long-standing interest in the use of technology to structure and manage biological and medical knowledge.
June 20, 2008
Research Methods ‘Beyond Google’
When “Google” has become a synonym for “research,” how should faculty respond? And if the answer doesn’t lie in musty books and stacks of journals, are libraries still part of the answer?
The problem is near-universal for professors who discover, upon assigning research projects, that superficial searches on the Internet and facts gleaned from Wikipedia are the extent — or a significant portion — of far too many of their students’ investigations....
Instead of expecting students to wander into the library themselves, some professors are bringing the stacks into the classroom. In an effort to nudge curriculums in the direction of incorporating research methodology into the fabric of courses themselves, two universities are experimenting with voluntary programs that encourage cooperation between faculty and research specialists to develop assignments that will serve as a hands-on and collaborative introduction to the relevant skills and practices...
For the full article, see:
June 19, 2008
Transfer of journal content from Blackwell Synergy to Wiley InterScience
Transfer of journal content from Blackwell Synergy to Wiley InterScience from June 30th 2008.
No new Wiley-Blackwell content will be published online from June 21st until July 7th. After July 7th, publication schedules will resume as usual.
Read notification at:
June 18, 2008
Science Magazine examines the future of forests
Science Magazine ( has dedicated a special issue on 13 June 2008 (Vol. 320. no. 5882) to the future of forests, covering such topics as climate change, sustainable forest management and how humans have reshaped wooded landscapes across the globe. Read full story at:
June 17, 2008
Mathematicians Critique Journal Rankings
Three international math groups joined forces to issue a report last week decrying the use of citation statistics to evaluate scientific journals, research institutions and individual scientists. These statistics, sometimes called “bibliometrics,” measure how frequently a given journal articles are cited by other journals. The report is available at:
June 13, 2008
DBIO Strategic Plan--Call For Participation!!!
The Second Division Board Meeting at the SLA Annual Conference in Seattle on June 18, 2008 from 8:00 to 9:30 PST in the Convention Center (Room 206) will be devoted entirely to this topic.
We hope that many of you will participate, either by coming to the meeting if you are in Seattle, or by calling in and viewing the webinar. Here are the instructions.
The DBIO Strategic Planning Committee has worked vigorously to ensure that the June 18 meeting in Seattle is participatory, user-friendly and productive. The DBIO Strategic Plan Workbook is intended to help the planning process run smoothly. Print out the workbook or/ and follow along during the meeting/ webinar.
June 13 - July 7, 2008
DBIO Strategic Plan Survey— Please respond!!!!
To solicit feedback for the new strategic plan, DBIO Strategic Planning Committee would like you to complete a very brief survey. You have until July 7th, 2008 to participate. The purpose of this survey is to gather feedback from DBIO members about their experiences with the Division. It consists of eleven questions
You have until July 7, 2008 to respond. Your responses will help us determine DBIO member priorities
June 13, 2008
Open Education’s Landmark Agreement: MIT, Elsevier offer free content from more than 2,000 journals
In a move to encourage open education, MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) and Elsevier have agreed to make available figures and text selections from any of Elsevier’s more than 2,000 journal titles for use on OCW.
As a result of this landmark agreement, select Elsevier content can now be included within the open access OCW course materials – to be freely downloaded, used and shared under a Creative Commons license. The Elsevier content includes up to three figures (including tables and illustrations) per individual article (or ten per journal volume) and up to 100 words from a single text extract (or 300 words from a series of extracts). Read full story at:
June 12, 2008
New journals announced for 2009
Integrative Biology: Quantitative biosciences from nano to macro, will be launched in January 2009 by RSC Publishing. The Editorial Board Chair for this prestigious new journal will be Distinguished Scientist Dr Mina J. Bissell, Life Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA. Read full story at:

Bioscience Hypotheses, a new journal for radical hypotheses on topics throughout the life sciences will be launched in January 2009 by Elsevier. Read full story at:
June 11, 2008
Indiana LIS Student receives the DBIO Travel Stipend
Brian J Winterman, Student Relations Committee Chair announced that Jacquelyn Petzold is the recipient of the DBIO Travel Stipend to attend the 2008 Annual SLA Conference.

Jacquelyn Petzold received a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in biopsychology from Grand Valley State University. She is currently attending Indiana University's School of Library and Information Science where she is the graduate assistant for the Life Sciences and Chemistry Libraries. She hopes to eventually become an academic science librarian.
June 11, 2008
Feeling the gasoline price crunch?
" can help you find cheap gas prices in your city. It is a network of [over] 180 gas price information web sites that helps you find low gasoline prices." Search for prices by ZIP code." Information is member-supplied. Registration (free) required to post gas prices on most of the gas sites or to create a fuel log for tracking your expenses. Includes tips for conserving gas, links to news stories, and other resources.
June 10, 2008
NextBio embraces the Open Biology paradigm
NextBio embraces the Open Biology paradigm by providing open access to its search engine for the entire life science community. NextBio's goal is to address the explosion of information in the life sciences by enabling seamless and easy search and correlation, import and sharing of large-scale experimental data. Through NextBio, researchers and clinicians can discover new findings from their own as well as publicly available data, and can formulate and test new hypotheses. Using NextBio, any researcher or clinician can search the world's public life sciences data and literature - over 10,000 experiments, 16 million articles, and literally billions of data points. Moreover, users can import their own experimental data into the NextBio search engine, share it with the community, and collaborate with others as never before. Press release
June 9, 2008
Join the Dialogue for better access of environmental information
The EPA is interested in obtaining your views on how to improve access to environmental information. Your input will help EPA develop a strategy to provide better access and delivery to environmental information.
How can you participate?
Use the method that you prefer:
* Discussion board – tell us what you think, learn what others say, comment on what you read
* Email your comments to us
* EPA Partner Blog -- This blog will be open for comment for one week (June 9-13, 2008). The blog will then be closed and a summary report will be posted on the “What We’ve Learned” section of the National Dialogue website by June 20th.
June 3, 2008
SLA Blogs disseminate 2008 Conference Information
SLA is operating several blogs, where members can catch up on the latest information and leave comments on the upcoming Annual Conference in Seattle, WA.

SLA Blog
Inside the Box Connections
Conference 08 Connections

Attending the SLA Annual Conference and want to blog for SLA? Contact Carolyn Sosnowski, SLA's Information Specialist, to get more information and sign up!
June 3, 2008
2008 SLA Conference Handouts
SLA Conference is going green in the Emerald City. All the handouts are posted online. You can search by Date, by Last Name, by Program Title, and by Lead Unit Click Here to Search (
June 2, 2008
New Journal links to Genetic Database, FINDbase
Human Genomics and Proteomics is the first offering from SAGE-Hindawi Access to Research, a partnership designed to create a family of open access journals between publishers SAGE and Hindawi. HGP will be linked to FINDbase, a public, population-specific genetic database that charts mutations and their associated disorders in several countries around the world.

"As the first journal with an affiliated database in this discipline, HGP offers a unique opportunity to authors to open up access to their research to the widest possible community," Patrinos, the newly appointed joint editor-in-chief of the journal, said in a press release. Read the entire story at:
May 28, 2008
Announcing a second set of Bioinformatics Tutorials
The second installment of BioInformatics Tutorials Series (BITS) covers sequence similarity searching tools developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information such as BLAST, BLAST Link, and Related Sequences.

Watch these videos to learn more about sequence similarity searching. Learn when to use and not use BLAST, the differences between BLAST databases and algorithms, and how to optimize your BLAST searching.

The BITS group encourages you to pass this new opportunity for learning on to your users.

BITS are available here: MIT Engineering and Science Libraries
Harvard's Countway Library of Medicine:

MIT Engineering and Science Libraries Harvard's Countway Library of Medicine
May 28, 2008
Nanotechnology-Based Biosensor Developed
NASA has developed a revolutionary nanotechnology-based biosensor that can detect trace amounts of specific bacteria, viruses and parasites. This biosensor will be used to help prevent the spread of potentially deadly biohazards in water, food and other contaminated sources. Full story at:
May 22, 2008
Novel Approach for Protecting Privacy in Assessing Public Databases
NEW YORK - Sergey Yekhanin, a researcher at Microsoft Research Silicon Valley Lab, has won the 2007 Doctoral Dissertation Award from ACM (the Association for Computing Machinery) for developing a novel approach to protecting the privacy of users' queries when they are accessing a public database. Read the entire announcement.
May 22, 2008
Closed EPA Libraries to return in lavatory-sized spaces
Washington, DC - Ordered by Congress to re-open its shuttered libraries, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is grudgingly allocating only minimal space and resources, according to agency documents released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). At the same time, EPA is issuing a series of edicts placing virtually every aspect of library operations under centralized control of a political appointee. In a May 8, 2008 e-mail to EPA employee unions, the agency announced its plan for re-opening four of the closed libraries effective September 1. The unions were given until May 22 to reply or object. From PEER:
May 21, 2008
European regulators approve Glaxo's bird flu vaccine!
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced on May 19, 2008 that the European Commission has granted a marketing authorization for its H5N1 adjuvanted pre-pandemic vaccine, Prepandrix™, in all 27 EU member states. GSK is the first company to obtain a European license for a pre-pandemic vaccine, thereby offering European governments the potential for protecting their population in advance or at the onset of an officially declared influenza pandemic.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), vaccines are the most important intervention for preventing influenza and reducing its health consequences during a pandemic. There are two vaccine-based approaches that could be used in the event of a pandemic – a pandemic vaccine and a pre-pandemic vaccine.

Pandemic vaccines are produced as soon as a pandemic is declared, using the specific pandemic influenza strain. These vaccines will however, due to long manufacturing lead times, only be available four to six months after the onset of a pandemic, which will likely be too late for many of the victims of the first pandemic wave.

A pre-pandemic vaccine is produced in advance of a pandemic. Such a vaccine is based on the currently circulating avian H5N1 influenza virus likely to cause a pandemic and has the ability to raise immune protection against potential drift H5N1 strains. Pre-pandemic vaccines therefore play a critical role in pandemic preparedness planning, with experts citing that immunization with such stockpiled vaccines in advance or at the onset of a pandemic is the most effective strategy for protecting entire populations.

Glaxo, which has spent some $2 billion developing the vaccine that targets the H5N1 virus, already has orders for 8 million doses from Switzerland, enough to cover that country's entire population, and an order for 27.5 million doses from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

May 19, 2008
Jo Anne Boorkman will be retiring from Carlson Library!
Brain nerve cells
Jo Anne Boorkman
Jo Anne Boorkman will be retiring June 27, 2008, after 23 years at the helm of the Carlson Health Sciences Library at the University of California, Davis. A reception will be held on May 29, 2008, 3:30pm-5:30pm, at the Carlson Health Sciences Library. RSVPs for the reception to Rebecca Davis, 916-734-3529.

Jo Anne has been active both locally and nationally in the Medical Library Association and the Special Libraries Association. Her contributions to both groups have been recognized by her being named a Fellow of the Medical Library Association in 1999, and a Fellow of the Special Libraries Association in 2000.

Nancy R. Curtis, Chair of the Awards Committee presented Jo Ann with the Biomedical & Life Sciences Division the 2002 Distinguished Member Award for her innovative leadership and support of the Division, and her contributions to the literature of special librarianship. Following is the transcript of the meeting which was published in the Biofeedback, 28(2): 4-5.

"Jo Anne Boorkman has served the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division with ability, grace and humor as a member of the Executive Board and numerous committees. As Chair-elect she headed the fledgling Fund Development Committee and set guidelines for development of our effective fundraising process for Division programs. During her tenure as Division Chair, she championed the first peer-reviewed Contributed Papers Session, now a permanent addition to annual conference programming, and established the BSDNET-L listserv.

She has been an effective leader and proponent of the Division's activities and initiatives for over a decade. During that time, she has actively advised all Division Executive Boards during a period of great change within both the Division and the Special Libraries Association. Her ability to analyze situations and her rock solid competence in decision-making has made her a sought after advisor to all who know her.

She served for many years as Biomedical and Life Sciences Division Liaison to MLA and concurrently as MLA's Representative to the Division. She has, with Dr. Fred Roper, authored and edited three editions of Introduction to Reference Sources in the Health Sciences, and has served since 1986 on the editorial board of Medical Reference Services Quarterly. She has also been active in SLA at the Chapter level, serving as President and Treasurer of the Sierra Nevada Chapter and as Secretary of the North Carolina Chapter.

As Head of the Carlson Health Sciences Library at the University of California at Davis, she is a recognized leader in biomedical and life sciences librarianship and has contributed to others through professional activities in local, state, and regional organizations, and through her many publications and presentations. No one reflects better the meaning of the words "Distinguished Member" than Jo Anne Boorkman. A member of the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division since 1971 and a charter member of the Medical Section in 1996, Jo Anne has served the Division, the Association, her colleagues, and the profession with distinction."
May 16, 2008
Open Access to Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings
The Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management ( is pleased to announce that it has finished scanning and posting the first 16 volumes of the Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings, spanning 32 years, to its Digital Commons site

The Vertebrate Pest Conference is the longest running animal damage control conference in North America. These proceedings contain valuable information on the management of a variety of animal species that have had negative impacts on human health and safety. It is a veritable gold mine of information for researchers and practioners.
May 16, 2008
NIH Updates its Public Access Policy FAQ
The NIH has made significant revisions to its NIH Public Access Policy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page. These revisions were posted on May 2, 2008.

For your reference, SPARC has detailed the revisions - which include one blanket change, a series of added questions and answers, and some revisions on its website at:
May 15, 2008
C&RL preprints go open access
College & Research Libraries (C&RL), the bi-monthly scholarly journal of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), is pleased to announce the launch of an open access, pre-publication service for accepted articles. The pre-print service, which made its debut in March 2008, moved to an open access model in an effort to make timely new research articles available to a wider audience. C&RL pre-print articles are now freely available on the ACRL Website at
May 13, 2008
BLAST report improvements
A new version of the BLAST report features better organization, download links and collapsible sections. To use the new report select the link "Please, try our new design!" at the top right corner of the report. In this modified report the information at the top of the BLAST report is better organized so as to be easier to read and take up less space. Links to other information about the BLAST results (such as tree view and taxonomy) are now grouped together and there is a new "Search summary" link. The different sections such as Graphic summary, Descriptions, and Alignments are also now collapsible. Formatting options can also now be opened on the report page and a new "Download" link includes a CSV format that works well with spreadsheet programs such as Excel.
May 6, 2008
BioInformatics Series Tutorials Launched!
Introducing BioInformatics Series Tutorials (BITS) brought to you by MIT Engineering and Science Libraries and Harvard’s Countway Library of Medicine.

These video tutorials highlight bioinformatics resources such as NCBI Entrez, BLAST, and the UCSC Genome Browser and focus on specific activities for conducting genomic research. BITS can be viewed at a user’s own pace and own convenience.

The first installment of BITS covers the UCSC Genome Browser, which contains reference sequences and working draft assemblies for a large collection of genomes. Users will learn how to retrieve DNA sequence, display and configure the annotation tracks, identify gene intron-exon boundaries, and use the BLAT tool.

The BITS group encourages you to pass this new opportunity for learning on to your users.

BITS are available here (These videos require the Adobe Flash Player):

----MIT Engineering and Science Libraries ----Harvard’s Countway Library of Medicine:
May 2, 2008
Rockefeller U. Press Uses CC Licenses to Reduce Permission Barriers
Citing growing demand from the public and the scientific community for access to research data, The Rockefeller University Press has revised its copyright policy to allow authors to retain the rights to work published in its three journals. The policy, which became effective May 1, applies to all three Rockefeller University Press journals: The Journal of Cell Biology, The Journal of Experimental Medicine and The Journal of General Physiology. See for more information.
April 30, 2008
NCBI's Course for Librarians Available Online!
A recording of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) "Introduction to Molecular Biology Information Resources" course, held in New York, NY on April 2-4, 2008, is now available online for public use from the NLM Distance Education Program Resources at:

The course had been offered in person until April 2008 when NCBI suspended their educational programs due to budget constraints.

The recordings, created in Adobe(r) Connect(tm) and available in Flash(tm) format with captions, are made available by NLM(r) with the support of the Middle Atlantic Region, NN/LM and the National Training Center and Clearinghouse (NTCC).

We are all extremely grateful the to the class instructors for their participation and cooperation in this endeavor:****Kristine Alpi, Veterinary Medicine Library, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC ****David Osterbur, Countway Library of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA .
New BLAST URL available at the NCB
"The NCBI has activated a new URL for BLAST ( Searches sent to this URL can take advantage of a larger number of machines for searches and the system has a better overall fault tolerance. Links on the NCBI and BLAST home pages will start to change in the coming weeks. At this point in time the plans are to also maintain the current BLAST URL (
April 18, 2008's First Annual Blog Index
"From millions of blogs about nothing, has selected the 25 best about something -- from politics and global affairs to shopping and sports." This "first annual blog index" provides a brief description of each blog, with a link to the blog and to a sample post.,28757,1725323,00.html
April 18, 2008
NEW! SLA Conference Closing Reception
NEW! SLA Conference Closing Reception
Wednesday, 18 June, 4:30 - 6 p.m., South Lobby Atrium

A great way to close out the conference and say a final farewell to fellow attendees. Music, fun, and beverages will be highlights of this special event.

Freddy Pink has been delighting audiences for over 25 years with a blend of Northwest rock n' soul. Led by singer-songwriter and composer Gordon Yancey, Freddy Pink's vocals have been likened to that of Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, and to no surprise, the band's roots are deeply steeped in the rhythm and blues vein. The members of Freddy Pink have shared the stage with a host of touring greats including Tina Turner, The Miracles, The Drifters, Little Richard, Tower of Power, Sly Stone, Natalie Cole, and many others.
April 8, 2008
Call for participants for the research study "Library-based Support for Genetics-, Molecular- and Bioinformatics-related Researchers: Perspectives on Who and How"
You are invited to participate in a research project exploring genetics-, molecular- and bioinformatics-related library services. Issues to be considered in the study include the roles of libraries, librarians and scientists in providing these services, skills and personal attributes required for successful service provision, and educational, training and other related issues.

Four separate surveys exist. Please answer ONLY the survey that corresponds to your role in your organization:

Survey 1:Role - You are a library-based bioinformatics support specialist (employee whose primary responsibility is to provide bioinformatics-related support to library clients)

Please complete the consent form and survey at

Survey 2: Role - You are a library director at a library that employs at least one bioinformatics support specialist.

Please complete the consent form and survey at

Survey 3: Role - You are a library director at a library that employs no bioinformatics support specialists.

Please complete the consent form and survey at

Survey 4: Role - You are a public services librarian (reference librarian, liaison librarian, instructional librarian, etc) who works at a library that serves genetics-, molecular-, or bioinformatics-related research scientists, but you are NOT considered a bioinformatics support specialist.

Please complete the consent form and survey at

If you have any questions regarding this study, please contact the principal investigator, Michele Tennant..
April 7, 2008
Today, April 7, 2008 is the start day of the National Institutes of Health mandate requiring that all research funded by NIH dollars be deposited into PubMed Central within one year of publication.

Any articles arising from NIH funds that are accepted for publication starting today must be submitted to the database. The policy is part of a mandate issued in January by the NIH in accordance with the 2008 Appropriations Bill, (H.R. 2764).

The following is the specific language of the new law: "The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine's PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law."
April 4, 2008
HuGE Navigator is now connected with Entrez Gene
HuGE Navigator is now connected with Entrez Gene, a database of NIH's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). HuGE Navigator is an integrated, searchable knowledge base of genetic associations and human genome epidemiology. A link to HuGE Navigator has been added to the menu at the right side of the full report page in Entrez Gene. From HuGE Navigator, there is a link back to Entrez Gene. HuGE Navigator supplies Entrez Gene with the PubMed identifiers for citations HuGE Navigator staff curated for human genes.
March 31, 2008
We have some great news.  We are able to expand registration for the 3-day Introduction to Molecular Biology Resources course which will be held at Washington University School of Medicine in ST. Louis, MO, April 14-16, 2008. As you know, this will be the last chance to take this class in the foreseeable future, so I encourage you to sign up for training and take advantage of one of the best learning/sharing/networking opportunities around.
Please let me know if you have any questions and I will try to help.

Kristi L. Holmes, Ph.D.
The Bernard Becker Medical Library<
Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine
Campus Box 8132 ~ 660 S. Euclid Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63110-1093
March 27, 2008
The SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division invites submissions for its annual Contributed Papers Session at the Washington, D.C. Conference in June 2009.

The Contributed Papers Committee invites proposals for papers presenting original research, innovative projects or other professional activities of interest to the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division of SLA. See the flyer.
March 25, 2008
This is not a scholarly site....but it is very fascinating. Check it out, I guarantee you will see some sites you did not know existed.
March 21, 2008
Publishers ask NIH to delay open access
At the National Institutes of Health open meeting on the new public access mandate on March 20, 2008, publishers continued to criticize the open access plan and called for the NIH to delay implementing it. Read more at
March 10, 2008
DBIO-sponsored SLA Continuing Education Course
DBIO is sponsoring a continuing education course during the upcoming annual meeting in Seattle. This will be a half day course held on Saturday, June 14th from 1:00-5:00 and the cost will be $199 for SLA members and $299 for non-members - a course description is listed below.

"Journal Survival School: Knowing How Publications and Publishers Compete Enables You to Make Smarter Choices"

*"The need to succeed in understanding the world of journals ties the twelve major research fields and health professions represented within the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division together with each other, and with their scientific and clinical clientele. This course traces the co-evolution of biomedical specialties and the journals that target them, in a way that will enable information professionals to anticipate journal births, deaths, takeovers, and changes in pecking order, and make smarter choices proactively. In particular, by knowing what goes into a package plan, they can make a more informed decision whether or not to buy it."

If you have any questions, please contact :
Tom Harrod, Chair for Professional Development
March 6, 2008
Notification of Suspension of NCBI Courses
Although NCBI will offer two courses that are already scheduled for April, no additional courses will be offered at this time. The courses on the dates and at the locations below are the LAST courses that will be scheduled.

*******April 2-4, 2008 New York University, New York, NY
*******April 14-16, 2008 Washington University, St. Louis, MO

Because of budgetary constraints, NCBI has made reductions in some of its programs, and the education programs are affected. In fact, all outreach education programs (Field Guide, Introduction to Molecular Biology, Structures, PubChem) are terminated effective immediately.
March 5, 2008
2008 Results Announced: Best Places to Work for Postdocs
"..The Scientist, magazine of the life sciences, announced today the winners of its 6th annual Best Places to Work for Postdocs survey. Winners of this year's awards represent the trailblazers in bettering postdocs' professional experience. The J. David Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco was ranked as the top U.S. institution, receiving high marks from The Scientist's readers for its strong infrastructure and opportunities for networking. The National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, CO, and Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM, also rank high among postdocs, coming in 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the U.S. Among international institutions, the University of Cambridge in the U.K. took top honors followed by 3 other U.K. institutions -- the Universities of Liverpool, Nottingham, and Edinburgh. Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada took the #5 spot...." Full story at MarketWire
February 29, 2008
AVIAN INFLUENZA: Flu Virus Research Yields Results but No Magic Bullet for Pandemic
As concerns wane that the bird flu strain H5N1 will spark a global pandemic, scientists are warning that the virus, perhaps less of a threat, is here to stay. In 2007, the virus surfaced in poultry flocks in eight new countries as widely separated as Bangladesh, Poland, and Ghana. Outbreaks returned in 23 countries stretching from Japan to the United Kingdom; in Indonesia and Nigeria, in particular, they are now more or less continuous. Although the number of human cases and deaths declined by 25% compared with 2006, Nigeria, Laos, and Pakistan had their first human cases last year, and Indonesia, the hardest-hit country, reported 42 cases and 32 deaths. As long as the virus is circulating in birds, experts warn, there will continue to be sporadic human cases, and most of them will be fatal. Full story at ScienceMag
February 15, 2008
PERI Patent Information course, Arlington VA, April 14-16, 2008
PERI, the Pharmaceutical Education and Research Institute, has posted its spring, 2008, courses on the Internet. Of particular interest to chemical and patent information specialists is Course #P14, Patent Information for Pharma/Biotech. The course will be held at the PERI Training Facility, in Arlington VA on April 14-16, 2008.

This is a 3-day workshop on patent law and patent information basics, intended for information specialists and others involved in searching patent information and applying it to corporate decision making. It differs from most patent information training in that it provides an overview of the fundamentals of patents and patent information resources rather than teaching how to use specific tools and databases. Although the focus of examples given in the course is on pharmaceutical patents, the basic principles apply to all technologies. The faculty is made up of experienced patent attorneys/agents and corporate patent information professionals.

For detailed information, check out the posting on the PERI website at
January 31, 2008
The DBIO Awards Committee is seeking nominations for two awards to be presented at the DBIO Annual Business Meeting in Seattle, June 2008
Distinguished Member Award - This award recognizes one outstanding member each year for his/her service and dedication to DBIO and accomplishments in the profession. Award criteria and nomination information are available at

Winifred Sewell Prize - This award is given to a DBIO member who has shown leadership and innovation in the development and/or use of advanced technologies in the organization or dissemination of biomedical and life sciences information. Award criteria and nomination information are available at .

March 25, 2008 is the deadline for nominations. The Division is fortunate to have as members so many dedicated and distinguished professionals, so please consider nominating a DBIO colleague for one of these awards.

Thanks, and looking forward to seeing those nominations pouring in!

Michele R. Tennant, Chair,
DBIO Awards Committee

DBIO Awards Committee Members:
Nancy Stimson
Louisa Worthington Rogers
January 29, 2008
University of Illinois librarian launches comprehensive Web database of field guides
Brain nerve cells
Diane Schmidt. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer, U. of I. News Bureau
DBIO member Diane Schmidt, former Distinguished Member Award winner and current biology librarian at U. of I., has built and launched the most complete database of field guides to date. The International Field Guides Web Site merges Schmidt’s own book, “A Guide to Field Guides: Identifying the Natural History of North America” (Libraries Unlimited, 1999), and its companion Web site, International Field Guides, plus 2,000 new titles.

"After the publisher returned copyright to the book, I decided to combine the two products and create a searchable database of field guides for plants, animals and other objects in North America and around the world,” Schmidt said, adding that she personally examined most of the guides in the database. This means she probably has seen “more field guides than anyone else in the world."

Schmidt said that while her book sold well “for such a specialized publication,” the associated International Field Guides Web site got thousands of hits a month, “so going Web-only has really expanded the availability of the data.”

“The new database is getting at least 5,000 hits per month,” Schmidt said.

From Today's News From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 1/29/08
January 22, 2008
Help protect wildlife for future generations by sending a message to your senators!
The National Wildlife Federation is working to pass an important new global warming bill in Congress called the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. This legislation not only reduces the global warming pollution that is impacting wildlife habitat across the country, it also puts billions of dollars to work to help wildlife survive a changing climate.

Your voice is essential to make our campaign to pass the Climate Security Act a success. Make sure both of your senators sign on to this bill and vote for its passage.

Thanks so much!

You can help change the forecast for wildlife!

Kristin Johnson
Grassroots Mobilization Coordinator
National Wildlife Federation
January 15, 2008
SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division Travel Stipends for Students
The Biomedical and Life Sciences Division of SLA will award travel stipends of $750 each to two library and information science students who wish to attend the 2008 Annual Conference in Seattle. Applicants must be current members of both SLA and its Biomedical and Life Sciences Division (DBIO) and must agree to serve on a DBIO committee for one year. If not currently a member of DBIO, applicants must join the division by May 15th.

Nominations for the stipends should include contact information for the nominee, a brief statement about his or her interest in and potential for serving SLA and/or the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division, and interest in pursuing a career as an information professional in the subject field of Biomedical or Life Sciences. Self-nominations will be accepted.

Nominations must be received via email or regular mail at the address below no later than 5:00pm EDT on March 21st. Winners will be notified by Friday, April 4th.

Brian Winterman
Jordan Hall A304
1001 E. 3rd St.
Bloomington, IN 47405

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact:
Brian Winterman, Chair
Student Relations Committee
SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division
January 14, 2008
NIH Public Access
All peer reviewed articles arising from NIH funds are required to be submitted to PubMed Central. See for initial NIH information on implementation of Mandatory public access policy.
January 14, 2008
SLA 2008 Annual Conference in Seattle
Registration Conference registration and hotel registration are now open!

Look for the preliminary conference program to be included in the February edition of Information Outlook and online at
January 3, 2008
In Search of Solutions: Using the Internet, Libraries and Government to Find Help
A new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, in partnership with the University of Illinois -Urbana-Champaign, challenges the assumption that libraries are losing relevance in the internet age.

However, in general, more people turn to the internet (at home, work, libraries or other places) than any other source of information and support, including experts and family members.

See the whole article at:

Rev. May 2008