Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Rather a random collection of thoughts:

I think there are sparrows nesting in my roof (or under the tiles), which is Very Good. And we have a regular visit from at least one bat, at dusk.

And, forgot to mention, on a recent trip to Rutland Water (which I appear not to have blogged about), heard, but did not see, a cuckoo. My first cuckoo ever, I think, let alone the first one of spring.

Researcher ID

I had an "invitation" to sign up for this Thomson Reuters service, allied to Web of Science. Basically it assigns you a unique ID, and gives you the chance to make a page about yourself and your publications. You need to sign into Web of Science first, then create an account in ResearcherID. This seemed fairly straightforward. I have had a WoS account for so long that my password doesn't obey their rather strict rules, but had to create a password obeying those rules for ResearcherID.

You can then import your publications list from EndNote (I did this) and also search WoS for things what you wrote. Not too complicated in my case, as there are not too many K Nockels, and I can easily spot the two things in WoS that are mine.

Researcher ID will calculate your personal metrics - no, not shoe size, but citation data. Zero, in my case.

ResearcherID is at http://www.researcherid.com/, where you can search for people, and see their publications.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Friends of the Suriname Medical Library

Justus Krabshuis brings this to my attention - a website to gather donations for textbooks for the Medische Bibliotheek Suriname at the Anton de Kom University Library in Surinam. You can pledge to sponsor a particular book (there is a wishlist) or to contribute generally.

The website is at http://www.mbsuriname.org/index.html

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

National Knowledge Week for Rhinitis

Is this week, 12-16 May, with resources available via http://www.library.nhs.uk/ent/ - click Contents under National Knowledge Week for Rhinitis.

25 years since discovery of HIV as cause of AIDS

When I was working in my first library job, a one year post between University and library diploma, there was much talk of AIDS, not all of it terribly enlightening. There had recently been the two research groups that had isolated HIV - HTLV-3, I think was a name that was given to it by one group - and I had work colleagues who could stop themselves thinking about it seriously by viewing it only as a "gay disease" (straight colleagues, presumably - perhaps there still are such people). Anyway, I am made to ramble like this by an editorial in Science, looking at where HIV and AIDS research has got to in those 25 years.

The editorial is:

Bernstein A. AIDS and the Next 25 Years. Science 2008; 320(5877): 717. Available at: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/summary/320/5877/717

This will work on campus only for University of Leicester members.

Scalpel injuries in the operating theatre

Hitch with subscription prevents me from seeing full text, but an editorial in the BMJ discusses this:

Watt AM et al. Scalpel injuries in the operating theatre. BMJ 2008; 336:1031. Available from http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/extract/336/7652/1031?etoc

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The role of healthcare workers in MRSA transmission

Is discussed in a paper in the Lancet Infectious Diseases - are healthcare workers the source of the infection, or a vector, or something else?

Conclusions (looking quickly) seem to be that they are important as a vector, but possibly not as a source.

I think I am a little worried by the search strategy, which doesn't seem to include alternative terms for "MRSA", just "MRSA" (does this matter, I wonder?), and doesn't seem to include specific healthcare workers, only the phrase "healthcare worker(s)". The authors did however use the Outbreak Database, http://www.outbreak-database.com/, which was new to me. Not sure if this is a current database - it seems to have started with information from a Medline search done up until 2002. The search page doesn't seem to be working at the moment.

Paper is:

Albrich WC, Harbarth S. Health-care workers: source, vector, or victim of MRSA? Lancet Infectious Diseases 2008; 8(5): 289-301.

Link accessible to Science Direct subscribers (University of Leicester members, this is you!):

University of Leicester members: I can advise if you have problems with this link.

Buzzards and ducklings

Saturday 3rd May - two buzzards circling over the house then flying off to the East. And, on the river, the first ducklings I have seen.

Sunday 4th May - starlings feeding young in next door's roof?

Posted this on Sunday 4th and it ended up dated 20th April, for some reason.

Later edit: baby thrush in nest outside office, and blackbirds busy nest building in back garden.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Stenotrophomonas maltophilia

A study by the Sanger Institute makes the papers today, including the front page of "Metro", which I don't usually read, but which did catch my eye.

This microbe ("new hospital superbug"), also known as pseudomonas maltophilia, likes wet areas like shower heads and taps, and IV drips, and can affect hospital patients who have lung diseases, cystic fibrosis, or who are on chemotherapy. It usually colonises, rather than infects, and to infect must bypass normal host defences.

Here are some links:

The story in the Guardian
British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Sanger Institute project to sequence genome of S. maltophilia
Information on cysticfibrosis.com

And the map of the genome referred to in the Guardian story is in this:

Crossman LC et al. The complete genome, comparative and functional analysis of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia reveals an organism heavily shielded by drug resistance determinants. Genome Biology 2008 Apr 17;9(4):R74 http://genomebiology.com/2008/9/4/R74

Not sure immediately where the figure of 1000 reports of "steno" blood poisoning a year come from: if you know, you can leave me a comment!