Nov 30

HIPPOCRATech on Medutainment

Neat post from HIPPOCRATech reviewing several Games Used to Train Medical Doctors.

This falls into the category of what blog author Michelle Nguyen calls “Medutainment.”

Among the other interesting posts from this relatively new blog is The “Youtubes” of Health, highlighting biomedical video sites like, icYou, Dramatic Health (YouTube channel) and Jove.

One suggestion for Michelle: How about an “About” page telling readers who you are? Are you this Gastroenterologist? This ObGyn? This IT Support Generalist?

Nov 29

BioMed Search (for images)


The worst thing I can say about BioMed Search is that it has an iffy name. The name doesn’t capture attention or memory and doesn’t indicate that it is a search engine for IMAGES. That nit-pick aside, it’s pretty neat.

Built by Alex Ksikes (a Ph. D. student at the University of Cambridge), BioMed Search’s goal is to “organize figures, images or schema found in biomedical articles.”

It has indexed over 1 million images.

Nov 29

Poster: PubMed Alternative Interfaces

From the Wiki des Bibliothèques Universitaires de Médecine et Santé Publique – Lausanne, check out this great poster on Alternative interfaces for PubMed searches by Isabelle de Kaenel and Pablo Iriarte.

Thanks for pointing this out, Gaétan!

Other posts about Third-Party PubMed/MEDLINE Tools

(Perhaps it is time I made this a WordPress category…?)

Nov 28

Social Technologies for eHealth (presentation slides)

Patricia Anderson keeps posting slides for presentations she gives. If her slides are any indications, these presentations must be really, really good.

Created as a podcast for the Dental Informatics Online Community, this is snapshot of what is going on with social technologies and Web 2.0 in various healthcare communities.

Nov 28

Contribution d’un francophone (to the List of Medical Wikis)

Gaétan Kerdelhué, a medical librarian at Rouen University Hospital and author of this list of French-language medical wikis has translated entries into English so I could add them to my list. Thanks so much, Gaétan! The list of medical wikis is up to 56 entries now.

Also- Gaétan blogs here– so if you read French you’ll want to check it out. If you don’t read French, you read a version translated into English by Yahoo Pipes. Heck, you can do what I just did and subscribe to this English language version of its feed. 🙂

Below is an embedded Grazr thingamabob you can browse to preview the sort of stuff Gaétan blogs about:

Nov 28

Pubconn (Firefox Plugin for Connotea in PubMed)

If you use Connotea, Pubconn might be a useful tool.

Different scenarios in which Pubconn might prove useful:

– When you are doing a Pubmed search, you are interested to see if other people have bookmarked any of the papers you have in your search results. Currently, you should query Connotea for each and every record returned by Pubmed. Using Pubconn, any of the Pubmed records that have been bookmarked are highlighted within your search results.

– You are doing a search in Pubmed and find an article familiar to you. Have you bookmarked this paper before? Currently, the best way to do this is to have a Connotea page open and search for the Pubmed record in your bookmarks (e.g. using PMID), or press the ‘add to Connotea’ button to see if you have already bookmarked that paper; the latter option is severly limited due to Buggotea . Using Pubconn, your bookmarked records in Pubmed are highlighted and the tags and descriptions you have provided for the bookmarked are displayed next to the Pubmed record.

– You are doing a literature review in a collaborative project with several other people, you have created a user group in Connotea and are bookmarking relevant papers in that group. When you start searching, you are interested in knowing whether a particular paper has already been reviewed by one of your teammates. Using Pubconn, all the bookmarks highlighted by your colleagues are highlighted.

Screen captures:

Unfortunately, the Google, Google Scholar and Clipboard buttons don’t work for me.

See Also: PubMed2Connotea

Nov 27

Elsevier’s Digg Clone

[Edit #1:Mr. Gunn is absolutely right. 2collab is more a Connotea or clone than a Digg clone. I’ve corrected the title of this post.]

[Edit #2: It turns out I’m not alone in my current view of 2collab]

Science Library Pad has a post all about 2Collab, Elsevier’s Digg Connotea(/ clone.

what is 2collab?

2collab is a social bookmarking site where you can store and organize your favorite internet resources – such as blogs, websites, research articles, and more. Then, in private or public groups you can decide to share your bookmarks with others – stimulating debate and discussion. Members of groups can evaluate these resources (by rating bookmarks, tagging and adding comments), or add their own bookmarks. You can browse public groups and bookmarks, but must register (your name and email address) to access the full functionality – such as creating groups, adding comments, and adding bookmarks.

I find myself again asking: Why use Elsevier’s tool when there are so many other, similar tools available that don’t benefit for-profit companies?

Nov 26

Harken, Helpful Francophones

If you’re a Francophone, I’d be grateful if you’d consider helping me expand the list of medical wikis to include these French-language Wikis.

Barbara Braun kindly translated and reported on DocCheck Flexikon, a German-Language medical wiki I had wanted to add to the list. If a Francophone would be willing to provide the same sorts of details for each of the French-language medical wikis, I’d be pleased to add a link to that Francophone’s Web site to credit the work at the top of each listed French wiki.

Merci beaucoup!

Nov 26

Subscribe to the JAMA Report via RSS

I knew that the The JAMA Report, “a weekly video and audio medical news service from the Journal of the American Medical Association,” was available from its home page at, but The MARquee points out that JAMA also posts episodes to at Even better, you can subscribe to these videos as an RSS feed.

If you want, you can even embed’s player in your Web site and let your library’s patrons watch these videos from the comfort of your library’s own intranet presence. Easy instructions on how to do this are here.

Edit: Sorry! I failed at first to link the post at The MARquee! This has been remedied above.

Nov 26

How to: Get Exactly What You Want From YouTube via RSS

Berci asked:

David, do you know how can we subscribe to searches on Youtube? I mean, I’d like to follow the RSS feed of the search term genetics on Youtube, for example.

Jan answered:

You can create RSS feeds for tags. FI: rss for genetics will be

For search related rss-feeds on YouTube you could try

The feed that Jan suggests will only contain videos that have been tagged “genetic.” It won’t contain videos that have the word “genetics” elsewhere in their metadata.

To capture videos that have “genetics” anywhere in their metadata, try this feed:

Unfortunately, this simple way of creating a search-based YouTube feed ([search terms].rss) will limit the search results to 20 items.

If we want to get more than 20 results in our feed, we need to use the YouTube API,
which is powerful and not especially difficult to play with.

If we want a feed that captures the most recent 50 videos, we can use this feed:

Neat, huh? Still, I don’t subscribe to these sorts of feeds.
Unfortunately, both the feed for the tag “genetics” and the feed for the search term “genetics” are too full of junk (including spammy, awful ringtone advertising) for me to deal with efficiently. I once had search feeds like these from YouTube fed into LibWorm, but removed them because the results returned for the search term “library” were frequently inappropriate and wildly distant from Librar*/LIS topics.

If one was determined to make such a feed useful, one could use a tool like Yahoo Pipes to filter out the worst and most obvious of the junk items, producing a feed like this one. It is far from perfect, but most of the junk is gone and little of the good stuff is missing.

(Please feel free to copy this Pipe.)

However, a Pipe used for this purpose would probably need semi-routine maintenance and updates to its Filter module to keep the junk out.Note for nit-pickers: Yes, I considered more aggressive filtering by category either through the API or Pipes, but there are valid hits across a number of unexpected categories.

Okay, that was fun! Any other feed questions?

Nov 26

BioMed Central on YouTube

BioMed Central announced on Friday that they’ve launched a YouTube Channel.

In addition to our YouTube channel, we are working with SciVee to ensure the visibility and linking of PubCasts featuring BioMed Central articles. For example, SciVee currently features a pubcast by Apostol Gramada in which he describes the research he published in BMC Bioinformatics.

Berci seems pretty excited about the prospect of more publishers doing the same, but I find myself wondering how much money and time publishers (or writers/editors) are going to invest in producing video content to compliment or promote their written works.

Should be interesting to keep an eye on, regardless.

Fun Little Hack:
If you’d like to subscribe to new videos that are posted in this channel without having to log into YouTube, you can subscribe to this RSS feed.

Nov 23

House MD and the Writers Strike

I really, really like House M.D..

Hugh Laurie is fantastic as the eponymous Dr. Gregory House, a vicodin-addicted misanthrope and diagnostic genius. Even when the medicine (or even the writing) isn’t great, Laurie makes the show worth watching.Also interesting: My wife says she plans to leave me for Hugh Laurie if ever the opportunity should arise. I can only applaud her good taste and advance planning.

If you have seen at least two episodes of the show, keep reading. If you haven’t, you may want to skip this post.

A Metafilter user wonders how hard it can be to write an episode of House.

CHASE: House, we need to cure this patient. He is very sick.
HOUSE: Did you try the medicine drug?
CHASE: I did try the medicine drug.
HOUSE: Only stupid people try the medicine drug. You are stupid.
PATIENT: I would rather not be sick.
HOUSE: You are stupid too. Did you take stupid drug?
FOREMAN: I gave patient stupid drug.
HOUSE: You are a black man.
FOREMAN: This vexes me.
PATIENT: I have blood from my nose that is dripping.
CAMERON: That’s bad!
PATIENT: Also I was bitten by mice due to my poor hygiene.
CUTTY: You need hygiene drug. Also, I have not spoken in awhile.
HOUSE: No! Hygiene drug will kill Patient! He needs mouse bites to live!
CHASE: [Shocked]
CAMERON: [Shocked]
FOREMAN: [Vexed]
HOUSE: More mouse bites!
CUTTY: I forbid this.
HOUSE: Don’t care.
CHASE: [Gets mice]
HOUSE: [Makes mouse bite serum]
PATIENT: I feel better. No more nose blood! Thank you doctor!
HOUSE: I am very smart.
WILSON: I, too, am in this episode.
FOREMAN: This vexes me.


By Drew Meger (a librarian!)
Found here

I laughed myself silly the first three times I read this.

Related: I wouldn’t enjoy House nearly as much if Scott at Polite Dissent (one of my favorite blogs) didn’t provide a medical review of each epsiode. I like to record House, wait a day, then read Scott’s review immediately after watching the episode.

Nov 23

Make Your Own YouTube Clone (FOSS)

Recently stumbled across Medical Videos (“Your Online Medical Video Tube”) and found it interesting. Interesting not because I expect it to turn into a useful resource (I sort of doubt it, actually), but because of how it was made.

About a month ago, I wrote:

…Tools like Pligg let anyone make a Digg clone, so I’m betting we’ll eventually see an open-source package for making YouTube clones…

Well, Medical Videos was made with PHPmotion.

PHPmotion is a free video sharing software application that will allow you to create and run your very own video sharing website. With very little knowledge required you can now have website just like and and best of all, its 100% free to download and use.

It is free, open source software.

It has been around for at least a few months, so I’m just a doofus for not having noticed it sooner.

Whaddaya’ think? Got any ideas for a niche video sharing site?

Nov 23

My Consumer Health CSE has been Federated

(Just for the record: My original title for this post was “I’m in Ur Feteratid Serch, Getin’ You Sum Consumr Helth Info,” but I figured that this would only amuse a handful of people and annoy everyone else. If the joke doesn’t make sense to you, check out ICanHasCheezburger.)

Back in August I was contacted by Sue Ostergren, Internet Systems Specialist at the Clarian Health Medical Library in Indianapolis.

Sue had the clever idea of of incorporating my Consumer Health and Patient Education Search Engine into her library’s Federated Search Engine (powered by WebFeat).

I didn’t think that she needed my permission, but I was delighted to give it anyway in exchange for a few screen captures of the CSE being used inside Clarian’s system. Because she rocks, Sue recently sent me those screen captures.

There are 12 resources that can be searched in Clarian’s system. In the screen capture below, “Consumer Health” (my CSE) is selected.

And below are some search results:

Thanks so much, Sue!

Previous posts on Google Custom Search Engines here

Nov 22

PubPals: PubMed Greasemonkey Facebookery/LinkedInnery

PubPals is a fun little Greasemonkey script that inserts buttons in PubMed abstracts next to each author’s name to let the user quickly and easily look the author up on Facebook or LinkedIn.

Previous posts mentioning Greasemonkey

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