NetlinesBMJ 1997; 314 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7085.954 (Published 29 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:954
- Mark Pallenhttp://www.qmw.ac.uk/rhbm001/mpallen.html
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CafÉ HerpÉ (www.cafeherpe.com/) is a new web site launched by SmithKline Beecham providing medical information on genital herpes in a friendly virtual cafÉ environment. Inside CafÉ HerpÉ you will find a reading lounge, a buffet, an espresso bar, a terrace, and a gallery. You can even summon “the waiter” to help you find information.
Seek and ye shall find
Filez (www.filez.com/) is a new web site aimed at helping you find software on the Internet. The site claims that you can search over 75 million files for specific titles. Category headings let you limit your search for titles to Windows, Macintosh, OS/2, and other platforms.
The Medical World Search site (www.mwsearch.com/) is a useful addition to the list of sites that allow you to search for medical material on the web. The site not only searches its own index of the major medical sites on the web but can pass on your query to other search facilities on the web. The site also features a powerful set of tools to help you refine your query.
Words, words, words
One of the problems in mastering a new subject is the jargon. Fortunately, there are several dictionaries or glossaries available on line covering a variety of subjects. Julian Dow's Dictionary of Cell Biology is available on www.mblab.gla.ac.uk/~julian/dict.html (and in book format for the netphobic). You can access the Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing on wombat.doc.ic.ac.uk/. There is an Epidemiology Dictionary on http://epidem13.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/~js/glossary/course-gloss96.html. And if you have dealings with continental Europe, you may find the Multilingual Glossary of medical terms useful on http://allserv.rug.ac.be/~rvdstich/eugloss/welcome.html.
Oasis without blur
The Mayo Health [email protected] (http://healthnet.ivi.com/) is an online health network and newsletter sponsored by the Mayo Clinic. The site is fully searchable and contains useful information and advice for the general public, some of which is also of interest to biomedical professionals. I particularly liked the article on the psychopathology of life on line (http://healthnet.ivi.com/ivi/mayo/9702/htm/shyness.htm).
Clinical chemistry on line
The Association of Clinical Biochemists' web site (www.leeds.ac.uk/acb/) houses various items of general medical interest including an assay finder to help researchers find methods or labs to measure a wide variety of hormones, metals, enzymes, and drugs in bodily fluids. There is also free software on offer and some ready made PowerPoint presentations on osteoporosis, inborn errors of metabolism, and other subjects that should prove useful for teaching.
Boil your water
At the time of writing water supplies in Hertfordshire are contaminated with the protozoal parasite Cryptosporidium parvum. For more information on cryptosporidiosis see the New York Department of Health's fact sheet on www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/consumer/crypto.htm or the entry in the Bad Bug Book (http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/chap24.html). Also available on line are a report on public health threats associated with waterborne cryptosporidiosis (http://wonder.cdc.gov/) and the US Centers for Disease Control's fact sheet (www.cdc.gov/ncidod/publications/brochures/cryptos.htm). For a selection of reported outbreaks see (http://www4.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/htbin-post/Entrez/query?db=m=6=8854449=m).
Mailbase (www.mailbase.ac.uk/) is Britain's major electronic mailing list service for research in higher education. It hosts a range of medical mailing lists (www.mailbase.ac.uk/other/medi-class.html) and provides hypertext archives of all its lists. Perhaps the most useful for those interested in medicine on the Internet is the medical-it list (www.mailbase.ac.uk/lists/medical-it/). British academics can start their own lists via the Mailbase service.
Irish Medical Directory
Irish readers may be interested to visit the Irish Medical Directory's site on http://ireland.iol.ie/imd/. The site contains Irish medical news, information on new products and job vacancies, an email directory of Irish doctors, and links to other Irish medical sites.
Brush up on your Netskills
If you are still a little nervous about using the Internet, then visit the Netskills site (www.netskills.ac.uk/). Netskills aims to help the British higher education community make effective use of the Internet for teaching, research, and administration. Of particular interest here is the Online Netskills Interactive Tutorial (www.netskills.ac.uk/TONIC/), which will help you develop your online skills.
You are what you eat?
If you or your children are regular visitors to McDonalds, you might be interested to visit the McSpotlight site on www.mcspotlight.org/. The site has grown out of the longest and arguably one of the most important trials in English legal history, the so called “McLibel case.” The trial has already lasted over 300 days, with the judge's verdict due some time after Easter. One of the central issues of the case is the nutritional value of fast food. Judge the evidence for yourself (and there's plenty of it on both sides of the case) on www.mcspotlight.org/issues/nutrition/index.html.