Information In Practice


BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 30 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1659

Ophthalmology trainees' site

• Bill Newman has put together a website “Information for Ophthalmic Trainees (UK)” (, complete with newsletters, exam timetables, and ophthalmology links.

Millennium bug countdown

• Having just read Edward and Jennifer Yourdon's book Timebomb 2000 (, coupled with rumours about non-Y2K compliant medical equipment such as defibrillators and ventilators, I am more worried than ever about the millennium bug and its potential consequences.

These anxieties are only partly mitigated by the UK government's Action 2000 campaign ( aimed at businesses; by the latest Y2K advice from the Health and Safety Executive (available in Adobe Acrobat format on; the recent report by the Comptroller and Auditor General, Managing the Millennium Threat II (; and the recent Department of Health press release (, which sums it all up by saying that “resolving the Year 2000 problem is the highest non-clinical priority for the National Health Service.”

Palestinian and Israeli medicine and memorials online

• With Israel reaching its half century, Israeli medicine and biomedical research are thriving on the web. The Israel Physician's Guide ( provides a good starting point for exploration, as does Israel's Academic Web, with its brilliantly terse web address The Hebrew University's Faculty of Medicine is on, and the Weizmann Institute is on A searchable index of all Israeli sites can be found on

The Palestinian Birzeit University has an excellent website on, with a comprehensive guide to Palestinian websites ( Palestinian medical sites include the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (; the Health, Development, Information and Policy Institute (; and the Union of Palestinian Medical Relief Committees (

For online memorials to the victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict see,, and Yad Vashem, the Israeli memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, is online at Other war memorial sites can be found on the War Memorial page ( of the Grief and Loss Resource Centre (

DNA and protein music

• Some time ago I wondered how to turn DNA and protein sequences into music, only to discover that John Dunn and Mary Clark had already done so—for reviews of their work see To sample DNA and protein music, visit Dunn's or Clark's websites ( and respectively).

Online reference desk

• The creators of the I-tools website have put together Research-IT (, an impressive web interface to a swathe of internet reference resources, ranging from rhyming dictionaries to road maps, French conjugations to online biographies.

Animated GIFs

• If you are creating departmental web pages or online presentations, you may wish to visit Debby's free GIF Animation Page ( to sample a vast range of animated images. But be warned, too many animated images can distract the reader and simply clutter up your web page.

New trauma moulage

• A new “trauma moulage” has been added to the existing interactive trauma scenarios on Moulage Four will test your ability to assess and clear a patient's cervical spine. But you are probably best off reviewing's Protocol for Evaluation of the Cervical Spine ( before you begin.


• As a dermatologist and a film buff, Vail Reese has put together a “Dermatology in the cinema” web site ( Skin lesions and conditions found in movies are discussed displayed under three categories: skin conditions used to convey evil (the “baddies” usually have scars), actors with skin conditions (Joan Crawford had solar lentigos), and realistic depiction of skin findings (Michele Pfeiffer has oral herpes in the Witches of Eastwick), plus there are additional features, such as a section on skin conditions in music (does Michael Jackson really have vitiligo?).

Swiss quiz

• Most biomolecular scientists will have heard of the protein sequence database SwissProt (, but I suspect relatively few will have tried the related quiz, Swiss-Quiz ( Participants must answer 10 questions chosen randomly among a large database of questions from the fields of molecular biology, biochemistry and genetics. The questions are tough, but I did manage to win a box of chocolates, albeit only once.

Compiled by Mark Pallen

email m.pallen{at}

web page

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