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Posts from the ‘10 tips’ Category

Youtube: Top 10 Videos About Genetic Conditions

We all know how important it is to inform people about genetic conditions. I’ve created several articles and tried to list several sites and resources that could be useful for people with genetic conditions and for their relatives (see below). One of these resources is Youtube where I found some interesting videos focusing on the genetics of medical conditions. Please let me know if you happen to know more.

Further reading:

New Tips: How to search for genetic conditions

Last year, I came up with a list containg 10 tips on how to search for genetic conditions. Now, after weeks of tagging and browsing, I’d like to improve that list with some new tips. But this time, I’d like to show you databases dedicated not only to genetic conditions, but gene-disease associations and human genome epidemiology as well.

A global collaboration of individuals & organizations committed to the assessment of the impact of human genome variation on population health & how genetic information can be used to improve health & prevent disease.


It provides access to a continuously updated knowledge base in human genome epidemiology, including information on population prevalence of genetic variants, gene-disease associations, gene-gene and gene- environment interactions, and evaluation of genetic tests.


GAIN is taking the next step in the search to understand the genetic factors influencing risk for complex diseases. Through a series of whole genome association studies, using samples from existing case-control studies of patients with common diseases, GAIN will contribute to the identification of genetic pathways that make us more susceptible to these diseases and thus facilitate discovery of new molecular targets for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.


It archives and distributes the results of studies that have investigated the interaction of genotype and phenotype. Such studies include genome-wide association studies, medical sequencing, molecular diagnostic assays, as well as association between genotype and non-clinical traits.


A website which assigns molecular functional effects of non-synonymous SNPs based on structure and sequence analysis. You should also check out the Disease-Gene mapping tool.


It will conduct genome wide association studies and analyses in several large NHLBI Cohort studies to identify genes underlying cardiovascular and lung disease and other disorders like osteoporosis and diabetes.

Let’s finish with a great idea, the human disease network published at PNAS.

A network of disorders and disease genes linked by known disorder–gene associations offers a platform to explore in a single graph-theoretic framework all known phenotype and disease gene associations, indicating the common genetic origin of many diseases. Genes associated with similar disorders show both higher likelihood of physical interactions between their products and higher expression profiling similarity for their transcripts, supporting the existence of distinct disease-specific functional modules.

Let me know please if you happen to know more useful databases and tools.

Further reading:

10 Tips: Christmas Gifts for Science Geeks!

Just 2 days to go before Christmas, so here is a list of possible ideas and gifts that a real science geek should buy or should get…











What are your tips?

A couple of more ideas:

Top 20 Facebook Applications in Science and Medicine

logo_facebook.jpgFacebook is a social networking site with several thousands of applications that you can add to your profile. While some of the biggest stories in the news are about the future of this community site, I thought I should create a collection of useful applications from the field of medicine, science and web 2.0. Enjoy!

Health and Medicine:

  • Medline Publications: List your Medline-listed academic publications on your Facebook profile, and view your friends’ publications as well!


  • Med Tracker: Use Med Tracker to share your ratings of prescription and over the counter drugs.


  • Healia Health Challenge Quiz Game: You can test your health knowledge with this interactive health quiz game. Challenge your friends to see who knows more about health and medicine. You start with being Pre-Med, then you can become Medical Student and maybe, the “Chief of Medicine.”


  • Support the Red Cross: Every day that you click on the Donate button on the Red Cross toolbar, will donate money to the Red Cross. They’ll donate 1$ for every 200 points people submit each day.



  • Mobile Health Coach: It’s a health coach that gives you tips throughout the day on how to live a fuller, happier life.


  • Awareness Ribbons: Now you can wear your ribbons on your Facebook profile! You can choose from 300+ causes and concerns. Ribbons automatically link to Wikipedia so people can learn more about your causes.


  • Quit Smoking: This application helps you give up cigarettes and stop smoking. Set up your own quit smoking program in minutes, give yourself a reward target to spend the money that you’ve saved on and record your daily progress. If you follow the plan provided, you’ll be able to buy yourself that reward on the date indicated.


  • PersonalDNA: A personality test that combines thorough scientific analysis with novel questions and response techniques. Find out which one of the 256 personality types matches you, and get details that go beyond those categories, plus suggestions on how to be different.


  • Be an organ donor: There is always a desperate need for more organ donors. The success of transplants depends on the generosity of donors and their families. Residents of the UK and USA can become donors by filling out a form online.



  • Science Videos: A unique video search engine for science videos where every video is screened and approved based on accuracy and quality by scientists.


  • Family Tree: Build your Family Tree including your relatives both on and off Facebook. Add unlimited generations of all possible ancestors. Upload a photo for each relative or simply use their Facebook profile photo. Display your tree and feature your family and heritage directly on your profile page.


  • OneFamilyTree: Build your family tree online and share it among your friends and relatives. You can upload GEDCOM files, customize the family tree or search for your ancestors.

  • NASA Astro Photo of the Day: Displays the NASA Astro Photo of the Day. A daily display of fantastic astronomical images chosen by the NASA.


  • F@H Protein Researcher: Folding@Home is a computer program designed to aid scientists in medical research by distributing computationally-intensive tasks to home desktops all over the world. Specifically, the Stanford University developers’ goal is “to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases,” and has made progress in understanding diseases such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.


Web 2.0:

  • Blog RSS Feed Reader: It allows you to add a personal blog or corporate blog RSS Feed to your Facebook profile for your friends to read. It’s a great way to drive traffic to your blog. It works with popular blogging platforms such as Myspace, MSN Live Spaces, WordPress, Blogspot, Typepad, Movable Type, Textpattern and more.


  • My Wikipedia: It allows you to display sections of Wikipedia on your profile page. By default, My Wikipedia displays the daily “Featured Article” from Wikipedia’s main page, but can be customized to display any article of your choosing.


  • Second Life Link: This application integrates Facebook with the most popular Virtual World – Second Life™! You can show your Second Life Avatar to your friends, view online status of your Second Life friends or just share your virtual home and your favourite virtual places with them.


  • StumbleUpon: StumbleUpon is the best tool to discover and share great websites. If you add StumbleUpon to your Facebook profile, you can share your favourite weblinks and you can also Stumble your friends’ Favourites by checking out your What’s New tab.



I hope you enjoyed this selection and please let me know if you happen to know more Facebook applications in the field of medicine or science!

10 Reasons Why Nature is the Best in Science 2.0

In the era of web 2.0, we have plenty of opportunities of education and communication in either science or medicine. In this special field (often called science 2.0), Nature Publishing Group has become the leading force and I’ve got 10 reasons for that.

  • Scintilla: Scintilla collects data from hundreds of news outlets, scientific blogs, journals and databases and then makes it easy for you to organise, share and discover exactly the type of information that you’re interested in. You can rate items and recommend them to any colleagues who’ve also signed up to the site.


  • Precedings: Nature Precedings is a place for researchers to share pre-publication research, unpublished manuscripts, presentations, posters, white papers, technical papers, supplementary findings, and other scientific documents. Submissions are screened by professional curation team for relevance and quality, but are not subjected to peer review.


  • Nature Network: Nature Network is the online meeting place for scientists to gather, talk and find out about the latest scientific news and events. Science is an international endeavor and deserves a global stage for discussion. Scientists can also benefit from interactions at the local level.


  • Connotea: Free online reference management for all researchers, clinicians and scientists. Tags make the difference! Connotea can quickly save and organize links to your references, moreover you can follow the new additions to a tag by RSS.
  • connotea.jpg

  • Nature 2.0: Joanna Scott does a perfect job on Second Nature, the island of Nature Publishing Group in Second Life. Unique speakers, sessions, conferences. We hold our SciFoo lives on sessions on the Second Nature island as well.


  • Web feeds: You can follow easily the research, reviews, clinical practice and other NPG journals.


  • Podcasts: A podcast is an audio file with which it becomes even more easier to follow the content of a journal. Each week Nature publishes a free audio show in the field of genetics, physics, medicine and many more.. Every show features highlighted content from the week’s edition of Nature.


  • Dissect Medicine: Dissect Medicine is a collaborative medical news website, which indexes and ranks international medical news. It spans general interest articles to basic research. Dissect Medicine users submit news items for review with tags and keywords. These are then ranked by the user group. This ensures that only the most relevant, and influential articles will make it as a current headline story.


  • OTMI: It aims to enable scholarly publishers, among others, to disclose their full text for indexing and text-mining purposes but without giving it away in a form that is readily human-readable. It provides for a range of structured disclosure options, from word vectors (lists of word occurrences with frequency counts) and the presentation of text ‘snippets’ out of narrative order, to the presentation of full text in ‘raw’ or ‘reduced’ form.



I’m proud to be a member of Nature Group in Second Life. I’m pretty sure Nature will rule the next few years in science 2.0. Maybe, they should make some more steps in order to become the leading force in medicine 2.0 as well, but that’s my problem. Last, but not least, take a look at these interesting posts:

Leave a comment if you don’t agree with me and would like to present an other platform of science 2.0.

Medicine in Wikipedia: Reliable Information?

I’ve already talked a lot about the medical articles of Wikipedia and Citizendium. As an administrator, I’d like to provide some useful tips for those who, as a layman or a medical professional, would like to be involved in improving the medical articles of Wikipedia. Second, I’d like to show you how Wikipedia is improving in the aspect of credibility.


So, let’s see some tips on how you can join the medical editorial board in Wikipedia:

Why do I say bravely that Wikipedia is improving in the aspect of credibility and reliability? As I tried to be objective, I chose some of the first entries in the List of causes of death by rate article and determined the number of references and external links in each article now and a year ago. Here is the result:


For me, it proves that Wikipedia is still improving regarding the number of references which is one of the most important aims nowadays in this huge community.

Citizendium, the online encyclopaedia that only selected editors, professionals can edit, is, obviously, more reliable than Wikipedia, but Wikipedia is far more comprehensive than Citizendum. So both should serve as an additional source of information, but never as your last source

Further reading:

Open Letter to the Physicians of the World

Dear Medical Professionals,

I’m writing to you to describe why to use web 2.0’s features in your practice.

I’m pretty sure web 2.0, the new generation of web services, will play an important role in the future of medicine. These web tools, expert-based community sites, medical blogs and wikis can ease the work of physicians, scientists, medical students or medical librarians. We, medical bloggers, believe the new generation of web services will change the way medicine is practiced and healthcare is delivered.


In the field of medicine, the most important thing is to get the right information in time. With the tools, services and sites of web 2.0, it’s getting easier and even more comfortable. Those physicians, who want to be up-to-date in their fields, should be open to the improvements and new opportunities of the world wide web.

Let’s take a look at how you can use these tools in your own practice.

Most physicians and scientists I know, go back to PubMed from time to time and search for the old terms to see whether there are new additions to the database. If you use the Save Search function, you can get your PubMed updates via e-mail or RSS. You don’t have to search again and again, just sit back and wait for the next letter containing the newest articles in your field.

If you have to track more and more papers and online journals, then you should start using RSS. It’s the best and most comfortable way of getting the selected information automatically what means you can read the articles of medical journals in one place.


Medical blogs (web log or internet diary) provide content and express opinion on healthcare that you can never find in a medical paper. As there are plenty of medical blogs out there, and you definitely don’t have enough time to run through all of these blogs and other sites, so blog carnivals are created for you! These carnivals collect the best posts on a subject from time to time.

Reading blogs is even easier and more comfortable with podcasts and videocasts. A podcast is a portable audio file (a videocast is a video file) that you can listen to while working, doing exercises or just sitting in a traffic jam. And these are just some examples of the features of web 2.0, or the so-called medicine 2.0.

You can also take part in constructing the future of medical education in Second Life, the virtual world. Train medical students and nurses in the virtual medical center.


You can browse among the great medical wikis created and maintained by physicians from around the world (you may start with Ask Dr Wiki). These are databases specifically constructed for physicians who are not IT experts but would like to search easily for medical terms. Moreover, search engines (like Google, Yahoo) don’t select among sources, so many of the medical search results can’t be relevant. But medical search engines use peer-reviewed sources and sites selected by experts providing the most relevant and reliable medical information of the best quality.

Web 2.0 is based on communities and collaboration, that’s why you should join one of the best medical communities at Ask a mentor or become a mentor. Upload your CV and find collaborators from around the world, or find a job via this community.

I hope you’re going to be open to these opportunities and you’re going to understand why it’s so crucial to use these tools to keep yourself perfectly up-to-date in your field. Let me know please if you have any kind of questions or would like to know more about these tricks and methods. I’m looking forward to reading your answer.


Bertalan Meskó
Medical Student
Medical and Health Science Centre
University of Debrecen


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