July 2015 Classes by Miner Library

July 1, 2015

Classes at Miner Library

Here are the classes offered by Miner Library for the upcoming month:

Blackboard Basics for Academic Courses, Clerkships and Residencies
Date: Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
Blackboard Advanced Features: Tests and Surveys
Date: Thursday, July 9, 2015
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
BIO101: You Are What You Eat (and Drink and Breathe…)
Date: Monday, July 20, 2015
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm

For a full list of Miner Library’s classes, visit our Classes page.

Have a question? Contact Miner Library’s Answer Desk @ 585-275-3361.

Got bioinformatics support services? No? Well, we do!

June 22, 2015

We’d like to share an article, published in the June 19 edition of Research Connections, about our Bioinformatics Consulting and Education Service. Helene McMurray, head of the BCES and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Genetics, chatted with Bob Marcotte about this innovative and quickly growing service. Bob has done a great job with this overview.

Truly, we couldn’t have said it better ourselves. So we won’t.

And we won’t even make you click again.

The text (reading time: less than 2 minutes) in its entirety, is reproduced below.  Thanks, Bob!


Bioinformatics consultant offers help ‘anywhere in the life cycle of a project’

Jason Mendler, an Assistant Professor at the Wilmot Cancer Institute, is interested in the molecular drivers of chemotherapy refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML). With help from the University’s Genomics Research Center, he has done RNA sequencing of primitive hematopoietic cells from both healthy donors and AML patients.

When he needed help in refining his analysis of this data, he turned to Helene McMurray, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Genetics and head of the Bioinformatics Consulting and Education Service of the Edward G. Miner Library. He is not the only researcher who has done so.

A year ago, just after she was hired by Miner Library, McMurray averaged one consult a week. Now she’s been meeting with two to three research groups a week — and she’s eager to expand her “practice” even more.

“I’ve been amazed by the demand; it’s really clear that this is needed,” McMurray said.

Informatics involves analyzing large quantities of data to identify patterns and trends. McMurray applies informatics in support of basic and translational science at the Medical Center. She assists researchers investigating topics that range from the health of populations, to in-depth analyses of biological systems in order to better understand, for instance, the development of heart disease or the genetic factors involved in cancer.

We’re willing to help people anywhere in the life cycle of a project, from conception through publication,” McMurray said.

That could include directing researchers new to the field to a computer program or web-based software tool; helping them find, generate or analyze data sets; or engaging them with new collaborators, McMurray said.

Many of the faculty who come in to talk to me are busy with other activities. If they’re clinicians, they’re seeing patients; if they’re researchers they’re writing grants or supervising students. They wear a lot of hats already,” McMurray said. “They don’t necessarily want to learn a new computer language, so they may just want to understand how to better interface with people who know how to do those things.”

She also helps investigators who are already skilled in informatics, have lots of data in hand, but “have hit the wall for one reason or another. They need someone with a fresh set of eyes just to help them get unstuck.”

After receiving her PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from the University in 2003, McMurray did postdoctoral work with Prof. Hartmut “Hucky” Land, studying how genes work together to control cancer. This was her first immersion in genomics and informatics. Since 2009 she has been an assistant professor of Biomedical Genetics here.

The opening for a bioinformatics consultant at the Miner seemed “like a good fit,” given her experience in the field and her interest in teaching, McMurray said. “The data doesn’t scare me. I have knowledge of a lot of different ways to analyze data, but at the same time I know a lot of biology. So when I look at the biological aspects of a project, they also make sense to me.”

Mendler has met with McMurray and with student Sam Moore, who is also assisting Mendler, four times so far. He is well pleased with the advice he has received.

“They’ve been very helpful and available,” Mendler said. “Their help has enabled me to generate a very exciting, novel hypothesis about the basis of chemotherapy refractoriness in AML. I expect this to result in high impact papers and successful grant applications in the years to come.” Click here to learn more.


Have you heard of chikungunya? (Hint: It’s not a new southwestern dish.)

June 3, 2015

mosquitoIf you’re vacationing in the Caribbean, you may want to toss the bikini and wear long sleeves and long pants, instead.

Chikungunya (pronunciation: chik-en-gun-ye) is a virus similar to dengue, causing fever and joint pain. The fever and joint pain are more intense with chikungunya, however, affecting hands, feet, knees, and back, and making daily activities difficult. As of March 6, 2015, over 20 Caribbean countries have reported cases of chikungunya.

Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) website tells us that the disease rarely causes death, but joint pain can last months or even years for some people. Complications are more frequent in children under 1 and in people over 65 years of age and/or with chronic diseases (diabetes, hypertension, etc.). There is no specific treatment or vaccine to prevent infection by this virus.

When traveling to countries where chikungunya has been confirmed, take precautions. Use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or window and door screens.

Read the Traveler’s Health Yellow Book for more information on Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, Fleas & Other Insects and Arthropods. And check the CDC’s Travel Health website to see if the country you plan to visit has any travel health notices.


Posted by Susan Andersen

June 2015 Classes by Miner Library

June 3, 2015

Classes at Miner Library

Here are the classes offered by Miner Library for the upcoming month:

Blackboard Basics for Academic Courses, Clerkships and Residencies
Date: Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
Blackboard Advanced Features: Groups Creation and Management
Date: Monday, June 15, 2015
Time: 1:30pm – 2:30pm
BIO101: What is a Gene, Anyway?
Date: Thursday, June 18, 2015
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm

For a full list of Miner Library’s classes, visit our Classes page.

Have a question? Contact Miner Library’s Answer Desk @ 585-275-3361.

Want smarter, faster clinical answers? Check out ClinicalKey!

May 29, 2015

We’re pleased to announce that we now subscribe to ClinicalKey® (the former MD Consult database) but now with much more content.

ClinicalKey® includes:

♦ Elsevier medical and surgical textbooks (over 1,100) including:

◊ Campbell’s Operative Orthopaedics

◊ Mandell’s Principles & Practice of Infectious Diseases

◊ Nelson’s Textbook of Pediatrics

◊ Principles & Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases

♦ Medical and surgical clinics of North America

♦ Elsevier First Consult point-of-care clinical monographs

♦ Elsevier Procedures Consult content and associated videos

♦ Medical and surgical videos (over 9,000)

♦ Clinical Pharmacology drug monographs

♦ Practice Guidelines

♦ Patient Education information

♦ Over 600 Elsevier medical and surgical journals

You can access ClinicalKey® from our website under the Quick Links.

When you open ClinicalKey® you’ll see “Login” and “Register” in the upper-right corner of the screen. You don’t need to do either…Login or Register…unless you want to use some of ClinicalKey’s special features, like downloading a pdf or saving a search.

We think using ClinicalKey® is pretty intuitive, but here’s a short (2:45) “Clinical Key Overview” on YouTube to get you started.

Try it out and let us know if you have any questions or comments.

Traveling this summer? Take a look at these 5 free translation apps

May 14, 2015

What’s one of your biggest worries when traveling in a foreign country? Being able to communicate, right?

I mean, you get off the plane and…

– Where can I get a taxi?

– Where’s the bathroom?

– Is that snake poisonous?

One of my fave technology writers, Brien Posey, recently wrote a feature for TechRepublic that helped put my mind to rest. In “Overcome the language barrier with these five free translation apps,” Brien highlights:

1. Google Translate

2. iTranslate

3. Translate Me

4. Ask Ziggy

5. Online-translator.com

In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t have a smartphone; so I couldn’t personally put all these apps through their paces. But I trust Brien, and I do have access to an iPad. Two of the five are available on iOS, in addition to Android and Windows Phone.

I found iTranslate to be intuitive and easy to use, offering “80+ languages at your finger tips.” Many of the languages offer an audio option, as well as text.

So far I’ve had fun virtually traveling to dozens of countries, including Turkey, Denmark, Japan, Italy, and Greece, asking everyone my favorite question, “Where is the closest library?”

Wikipedia tells me that determining the origin of language in the human species is considered by some to be “the hardest problem in science.” Using iTranslate and these other apps? Pretty easy!

Posted by Susan Andersen

May 2015 Classes by Miner Library

May 6, 2015

Classes at Miner Library

Here are the classes offered by Miner Library for the upcoming month:

Cancer at the Systems Level
Date: Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Time: 3:30pm – 5:30pm
Blackboard Advanced Features: Discussion Boards, Wikis and Blogs
Date: Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Time: 10:00am – 11:30am
EndNote Basics
Date: Thursday, May 28, 2015
Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm

For a full list of Miner Library’s classes, visit our Classes page.

Have a question? Contact Miner Library’s Answer Desk @ 585-275-3361.


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