Abstract

Healthline has over 5 million monthly visitors accessing health information. The service was founded in 1999 as YourDoctor.com and renamed as Healthline in 2005. The site is funded by incidental advertising for pharmaceutical, healthcare, and lifestyle products. Fortunately, it is the rich diversity of information that catches most attention at this site with the commercial connections relegated to appropriate contexts. The search and navigation interface is exemplary, and Healthline confidently aims to be the global leader in intelligent health information services. I arrived at the site serendipitously while searching for information on quadriplegia. The information here was commendably precise and written for an intelligent audience that need not be immersed in medical terminology. There are comprehensive links to data, topics, and excellent illustrations, and so there is no need to leave any unfamiliar term uninvestigated. The extensive cross-linked information at Healthline is described as “semantic taxonomy” and claimed to be the only resource of its kind. Semantic taxonomy at Healthline is the connection of multiple medical databases and interrelated concepts to provide contextual links within any medical information. Healthline has a terminology database of over one million medical terms and synonyms as well as 70,000 medical concepts that include diseases, conditions, causes, symptoms, diagnoses, and treatments. Browsing works very well with menus expanding into logical choices. For example, under Symptom Search you can start with a pull down list of everything from abdominal bloating to excessive yawning. I indulged my current self-interest in the symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection to read that coughing is an important way to keep the throat and airways clear. A productive cough is one that brings up mucus, also called phlegm or sputum. This is a trivialization of the substantial entries under cough and you should go to Healthline to check symptoms of interest against their information. Try their medical dictionaries, diagnostic test information, and medical encyclopedias. You can join their email alert service to be kept abreast of breaking news as well as any special health interests. All teaching on medical subjects should benefit from the resources amassed here. The Encyclopedia of Life is intended to facilitate the recognition of population patterns by creating a database of information on Earth's estimated 1.8 million known species. It is not a wiki, because posted information is edited with the aim of completion by 2017. At the time of review, the home page featured the organism pictured here, Pissodes strobi, the white pine weevil. These pine weevils are dark brown with lighter flecks and are the most destructive insects attacking white pine in North America. Their larvae hatch from eggs laid in the terminal leader of the host tree, tunneling and feeding toward the base of the leader, which is eventually killed. With a comprehensive catalog of organisms such as the pine weevil, we might be able to remediate new problems as our ecology changes. For example, the mature database could suggest alternative plant pollinators for places where honeybees no longer flourish. Perhaps, we can derive suggestions of biological control agents to slow the spread of invasive species. As more entries are made, the resource may help to map vectors of human disease or even reveal factors contributing to human longevity. The core team is located in California, but the project is global and reliant on voluntary editors and contributors. Althrough collaboration with the Catalogue of Life and Tree of Life projects, the encyclopaedia has created pages for 1 million species. The 30,000 current entries have detailed information derived from the data bases FishBase, AmphibiaWeb, and Solanaceae Source. Information from all types of media will be incorporated into a house-style that is yet to be established. At this site, I found the answer to my search for a simple illustration of the cellular structure of the human lens for a lecture to optometry students. The site explained that the lens is basically two layers of epithelium. In the front, toward the cornea, is a simple cuboidal epithelium and behind that is an exaggerated simple columnar epithelium. Each of the columnar cells extends across the entire thickness of the lens and constitutes a lens fiber, packed with lens protein. Because the lens fibers are so extremely long, this organization can be difficult to visualize microscopically in a mature lens, except at the radial margin of the lens. This web site presents a well-stained microscopic section showing all the relevant features with labels. Also shown is an embryonic eye, because it is easier to appreciate the structure during development when the lens begins to form from a bubble of epithelium. Given this histology, it is not surprising that, without a capillary bed, the lens is an anaerobic tissue producing lactate (the subject of the lecture that brought me to this site). In general, the sections are highly selected for good staining using specimens exhibiting uniform sectioning and displaying archetypal feature of the tissues. I have become so used to seeing cleverly rendered three-dimensional line drawings of tissue sections in textbooks that it is chastening to get back to real sections and see the genuine proportions of cells in relation to greater structures. In particular, I found the skin sections interesting to bring proportion and accuracy back to my knowledge based on stylized diagrams. The site has sections and information about tissues from the cardiovascular system, respiratory system, renal system, nervous tissue, skin, muscle, bone, cartilage, eye, ear, endocrine system, reproductive systems, and gastrointestinal system. At the bottom of the introduction to histology page at this web site, you will see a photograph of the genial gray-haired David King who provides this web resource. It is nice to have a face with which to associate this excellent work. The in-cites name is a pun on the insights that are give into highly cited papers and their authors. By following the menu choice to biographies of interviewed scientists you will find a feature on Michael Rossmann who is best known to me for his eponymous establishment of the Rossman fold in dehydrogenase enzymes. Rossman's highly regarded work includes 31 papers cited 1,069 times in the field of biology and biochemistry as well as 27 papers cited 668 times in the field of microbiology. Rossmann currently holds posts at Purdue University and Cornell University. It may surprise biochemists to learn that Rossman is fundamentally a virologist who luckily worked with Perutz on the hemoglobin structure and thereby came to establish better procedures in X-ray crystallography. In the posted interview with Rossman, my interest was attracted to his answer to the question “What unexpected or serendipitous events arose in the course of your research?” Rossman's answered “This just speaks to the question of what is originality. Where do ideas come from? As I told you, I worked with Max Perutz in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and we were working on the structure of hemoglobin. That had two alpha chains and two beta chains arranged with a certain kind of symmetry, and I got to asking, could we have determined that the alpha chain and beta chain actually have very similar structure? Could we have determined that more easily without the use of a method called isomorphic replacement? This question gave rise to the technique that is now known as molecular replacement, which is one of the major methods for solving structures these days. That really came to my mind because of work I was doing with Max on hemoglobin. In my own experience, there's always something that sparks an original idea, and some people call it serendipity, but it could also just be called originality.” Another featured scientist of interest to me is Professor Sir Philip Cohen of the University of Dundee who talks about his investigations of pathways of insulin signal transduction. Professor Cohen is currently the second most-cited scientist in the field of biology and biochemistry with 192 papers cited a total of 14,186 times. There are monthly interviews starting from 2001 making a total of 90 eminent people to peruse for their pictures and stories of successful careers in science. In addition to learning of (and from) the most cited scientists, in-cites also catalogs the most cited papers, institutions, journals, and countries. In-cites has a corporate heritage going back to the journal Biological Abstracts published by the Institute of Scientific Information and is now within the structure of Thompson Scientific. Aldehyde sugars are always aldoses and If there's a ketone we call them ketoses. Some will form structures in circular rings. Saccharides do some incredible things. The Sound of Glucose was also published with full lyrics in 2006 in this Journal [1]. An MP3 file of this song can be downloaded from the metabolic melodies site and the song is contained on a Metabolic Melodies CD available for sale. For more songs about all scientific fields try the Science Songwriters' Association site www.science-groove.org/lSSA/. Gwen Childs of the University of Arkansas has provided some of her lectures and other resources relating to normal and disease states of cell function. I suggest choosing Gwen Childs Web site as a starting point to acquire a feeling for the person who created the PowerPoint presentations at this site. I recommend you then take the menu choice Childs' 2002 Medical Cell Biology Handouts. This description is dated, because it leads to more recent compilations of her lecture slides and handouts. Using medical case studies and a dash of animation to keep student interest, Childs presents lectures on receptor-mediated endocytosis, mitochondrial architecture, mitochondrial transport, and mitochondrial genetics. Be sure to allow Active-X programs to run or the slide display will be blocked. The style of presentation demonstrates aspects that can be transferred to other lecture contexts. The similarity in total content to the previously reviewed site at the University of Texas is not accidental, because Childs participated in the early set up of the Texas site. These questions were edited by a person taking the alias Crisw from California who has a penchant for scientific trivia. Top of the list of subjects to choose from is 10 questions on the structure of DNA. With some apprehension, I clicked on Play Flash Quiz. The questions on the structure of DNA varied from such a low standard that anyone should be able to answer, up to mildly challenging. At the end, I was rewarded with “you scored 10/10 and the average score for this quiz is 7/10.” We all like being winners and the other categories to play through include multiple sets on carbohydrates, proteins, enzymes, lipids, RNA, and DNA. To whet your appetite for taking the quizzes, the root page poses a number of questions that you will encounter if you take the quizzes. What is the only macromolecule whose monomers do not undergo dehydration to become polymers? What enzyme do cows have that allows them to digest cellulose? What type of noncovalent interaction helps to stabilize the secondary structure of proteins? Which specific type of RNA includes the anticodon loop and is bound to a specific amino acid? The questions and answers may not be what we would set (cows do not have any cellulase enzymes in their genes), but overall they are fun. After taking the biochemistry challenges, there are trivia questions awaiting you on myriad subjects of your choice. YouTube is the world's leading repository of video clips with the number of offerings approaching 100 million. Biochemistry, as the search word, returned a mere 477 matches at the time of review. The first video I watched was 37 seconds of Biochemistry is fun. I can see that the students who made this had fun, but there is a lot of scope for improvement here. The second video I watched was an entirely professional promotional video from Montana titled MSU Chemistry and Biochemistry Graduate Recruit 2007 that really did make biochemistry in Montana look like a fulfilling life experience. Because some of my students had recently challenged me about intelligent design, I next chose to watch Biochemistry Proves the Existence of God. Unfortunately, for the presenter Lee Strobel, his claim that biochemistry clearly proves biblical creation and the existence of God would not stand the rigorous standards of Carl Sagan's “baloney detection kit” [3]. A colleague was keen to recommend the PCR bio rad commercial available from YouTube, and this clip is almost certain to bring a smile to your face as you listen to a choir singing the history and applications of PCR. If you want an animation of the PCR process try polymerase chain reaction that is fine apart from the misspelling of polymerase. All the metabolic pathways and organelles I entered into the search box returned multiple matches. Most of the material is student generated and adds humor and creativity in a form that tends to be lost from material generated by senior teaching staff. For a vicarious experience of sharing, the demolition of the building that I worked in for the last 17 years, look at the entry Demolition of the Biochemistry Theater. YouTube is described in Wikipedia as beginning in February 2005 to display a range of video content. This came at a time when many bloggers were having technical difficulties adding video to their own sites, and YouTube made it easy to mount and share visual material. In October 2006, Google acquired the company for US $1.65 billion in Google stock. In January 2008, nearly 79 million users watched over 3 billion videos on YouTube. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000.

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