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Category: internet

A.D.A.M. Symptom Navigator for iPhone

Recently I wrote about native medical applications soon to be available for iPhone. Until you wait for them to come out, why not try some already available medical web applications for iPhone.

A.D.A.M. Symptoms Navigator is one such application.

With this tool, you can easily find out what to do about any symptoms — wherever you are! Learn self care, when to go to the doctor, and when it is an emergency. Whether you are traveling on vacation with your family, or on a business trip and feeling ill, an extensive library of symptom guidance is at your fingers – all within just a couple of taps.

Take a look at the video demonstration I made.

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Internet Addiction

From Wired Magazine: WTF!? Internet Addiction Nominated for Entry in the Manual of Mental Disorders.

First, we all had mild Asperger’s. Now, Internet addiction disorder? Give a geek a break. In the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Jerald Block proposed that Web abuse be added to his field’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Block cites research from South Korea, where, he says, the affliction is considered a serious public health problem, and the government estimates that 168,000 children may require psychotropic medications. In China, the Beijing Military Region Central Hospital puts the number of teenage pathological computer users at 10 million.

Like other addicts, users reportedly experience cravings (for better software, faster machines), withdrawal (logging off may cause irritability), a loss of sense of time (wee-hour fixes), and negative social repercussions (it’s so much easier to date an avatar). Sound familiar? Your friend the World Wide Web may be a monkey on your back. Or not. Just ask yourself this: If Google were a drug, would I smoke it?

My name is Ivor, and I am an addict. Where do I sign up?

Read the article mentioned by Wired: Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction.

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280 Slides

A new tool for online creation of slide presentations is out. It is called 280 Slides and it is very easy and fun to use. You should definitely consider trying it the next time you have to present. I made a little presentation myself, just to show that you can design pretty nice looking slides and publish them online in under 20 minutes.

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Recently I wrote about PubReMiner, an online application designed to help you search PubMed. Now I present a similar and even more powerful application named GoPubMed.


When you search PubMed the conventional way, via the Entrez system, two things happen. First your query is translated with identification of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms and secondly this translated query is matched with words from all the abstracts. The second part is performed by term matching, which ultimately means that keyword synonyms are not used in the search. This way you can lose a lot of important articles. Finally, found abstracts are listed in the reverse chronological order. In most of the cases this is not what you want, and you are forced to manually go through all the abstracts to find those relevant to you.  

GopubmedGoPubMed can help you with the mentioned problems. When you submit the query, it retrieves the abstracts from PubMed but then does something extra. It categorizes them based on the relevance provided by the ontology terms used in MeSH and Gene Ontology (GO). Results are sorted in 4 categories: what, who, where and when. The what category is where abstracts are sorted according to the concept hierarchies of GO and MeSH enabling the combined search in molecular biology and medicine. This helps to systematically explore the results. The who category helps you identify leading scientists and centers in specific biomedical areas. The where category provides information about geographic localization of persons, centres, universities, together with journals in which found papers were published. Finally, the when category is all about distribution of publications through time.

To use GoPubMed simply enter the search query like you were using Entrez. After completing the search GoPubMed will inform you of the total number of articles found, and by default analyze the latest 1 000 abstracts. You can then go through these abstracts, choose to show statistics for these results or refine your search using the 4 categories (what, who, where and when). Choosing to show statistics will analyze results according to the 4 categories and present them in a clear manner. Especially interesting are graphs, depicting publications over time, and maps, indicating localizations of authors.  World map

I like the design of the application, it feels very web 2.0. It takes some time to get used to it, but after a short learning period you start to enjoy it. This feeling is even more reinforced when you get good search results and ideas how to use it creatively start popping to your mind. 

Here are some examples of the ways you can use GoPubMed, as proposed by the authors. I am sure you can come up with others to really boost your PubMed search. 

Which diseases are associated with HIV?

Type “HIV”. Go to “What” and click on “more of Diseases”. Among others hepatitis and tuberculosis are mentioned. Clicking on tuberculosis retrieves the relevant articles including statements such as “Despite the synergy between the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics, the public health responses have largely been separate”.

Where are leading centers and who are scientists for liver transplantation in Germany?

Type “liver transplantation Germany[AD]”. At the top of the “Who” category the result shows the top author “Neuhaus P” and the city is “Berlin”. Prof. Peter Neuhaus works at the Charite Hospital in Berlin, Germany, is a leading specialist in the field.

Do you know in which topics Craig C. Mello and Andrew Z. Fire are working on?

Search for “Mello C[au] Fire A[au]”. Now inspect What, Where, Who and When categories!
Following the top categories the answer is automatically extracted:
Caenorhabditis elegans
RNA, Double-Stranded
RNA interference

Which disease is rhodopsin involved in?

Search for “rhodopsin ” and in just one mouse click on “Diseases ” your question is quickly found.
The group of more important diseases related to rhodopsin are shown under this ontological category.
Retinal Degeneration
Retinitis Pigmentosa

Which biological processes are inhibited by aspirin?

Search for “aspirin inhibits ”.
By inspecting the most frequent term “biological processes ” you can very quickly understand that “cyclooxygenase pathway ” is the pathway related to this biological process. GoPubmed found more than 30% papers verifying that “cyclooxygenase pathway ” is inhibited by aspirin.

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Resources for finding a PhD position in medical sciences

I have been trying to find a suitable PhD position, preferably in European Union or North America, for the last three months. Until today I had no luck, but I am not complaining because medical research is a highly competitive field and three months are rarely enough to get a fantastic position.
However, what I did manage to do during this period is to find, try and evaluate numerous websites designed to help you find research positions (PhD, post doc or anything else). I am bringing you a little review of these websites enriched by my own observations and some tips on how to use them in the most efficient manner. There are also other resources you can find and use, but I believe the ones presented here will get you off on a good start. I wish you luck in finding your dream position.

If by any chance you are an employer looking for a PhD student with MD degree, be sure to take a look at my CV.

Resources are listed in alphabetical order.

The Dutch Academic Career Network

Academic Transfer
AcademicTransfer is a website for finding academic positions in the Netherlands. Don’t worry, they also have an english version of their site. 

The good thing: up to date listings of academic positions in the Netherlands, good search engine, email newsletter with latest vacancies, various RSS feeds (by job discipline, job type and specific organization)

The bad thing: includes only positions in the Netherlands (although sometimes they list some positions from other countries) 

Tips: Go to their extended search where an interface designed in Flash will appear, allowing you to tweak your search query to the last detail. Also, subscribe to their RSS feeds. is a job board for the international research and academic community. It is used by scientists at over 600 institutions in 38 countries.

The good thing: allows you to register, submit your CV, save jobs you like, create email job alerts

The bad thing: small number of jobs, no advance search, no RSS feed, email alerts not specific enough

Tips: Visit from time to time, as you may find jobs not listed elswhere

EMBO Life Sciences Mobility Portal

EMBO Mobility

EMBO Life Sciences Mobility Portal essentially provides a list of international PhD programs in life sciences. It also includes links for grants, courses and events.

The good thing: lots of high quality jobs

The bad thing: this is essentially just a list, don’t expect advance search, lot of listed jobs already expired, no email newsletter and RSS feeds for jobs

Tips: Worth visiting because sometimes you can find positions not listed elsewhere, although you can get very frustrated when you realize deadlines for lots of listed jobs have expired a long time ago.

The European Researcher’s Mobility Portal

EU mobility portal

The European Researcher’s Mobility Portal is a joint initiative of the European Commission and the 34 countries participating in the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research. It stores research jobs in the EU, but also has a list of fellowships and grants.

The good thing: at one place you can find jobs from 34 countries and some useful practical info about each participating country

The bad thing: one would expect more PhD vacancies, no email newsletter, no RSS feeds

Tips: No email newsletter and RSS feeds means that you will just have to visit this site regularly. Go to advance search, enter PhD into a free text field, select your main research fields and other options, and then search.


Find a phd

FindAPhD is a large database of worldwide PhD positions, but I have noticed that most of the included jobs are from the United Kingdom. This makes it somewhat redundant to site. They also provide databases for master courses, postdoc positions and other academic jobs.

The good thing: lots of jobs, funding flags assigned to each position providing you with a quick funding information (self funded, only UK students, international students, etc.)

The bad thing: no email newsletter, no RSS feeds, lots of jobs have no deadlines (applications accepted all year round), but when you contact employers you will find that some of them are already taken, sometimes no contact information is provided, so you have to send enquires to the employer through FindAPhD site, form designed to do that does not allow for your attached CV to be larger than 150 KB

Tips: No email newsletter and RSS feeds means regular visits to the site. Use advance search and select research fields of interest. When search results return sort them by funding type, so you don’t read about those you can’t apply to.

Jobs UK will find you jobs in research, science, academic and related professions. Although this site lists some jobs in other countries, it primarily exist to help you find a job in the United Kingdom.

The good thing: frequently updated with many jobs from the UK, probably the best source of academic jobs in the UK, email newsletter, RSS feeds, career advice, podcasts, blogs

The bad thing: email newsletter and RSS feeds are general, and there is no way to receive only the jobs you prefer

Tips: Subscribe to Health & Medical category either by email newsletter or RSS feed. When new jobs arrive to your inbox you will have to do a little bit of work by yourself, to scan through all of them and find PhD studentships.


Nature jobs
Naturejobs is a part of a Nature publishing group, publisher of Nature (the world’s foremost weekly scientific journal), web portal. It is much more than a mere database for research jobs, as here you can find career podcasts and vodcast, news, magazines, advice etc.

The good thing: daily updated directory of numerous prestigious research positions from across the globe, lot of jobs, tags assigned to each job, RSS feeds, additional services offered to job posters, extra content like career advice

The bad thing: to receive email alerts you need to register

Tips: You can look for jobs by opening a category, for example studentships, or you can use their advance search to really pin point jobs you are looking for. Their RSS feed service is excellent. You can transform any search query into a feed.

International Scholarships is an international scholarships and financial aid website. Their scholarship database is developed by international students in order to help fellow students.

The good thing: a substantial number of PhD scholarships from around the World, lot of jobs not listed elsewhere, email newsletter, RSS feed, forum, comments 

The bad thing: many old, expired studentships, no advance search, no specific email newsletters and RSS feeds

Tips: Worth visiting because sometimes you can find positions not listed elsewhere, although you can get very frustrated when you realize deadlines for lots of listed studentships have expired a long time ago.

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Neonatology vodcast

Couple of months ago my colleague Ileana Lulic, also a medical doctor from Croatia, and myself started to produce a vodcast in collaboration with Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the University Hospital Rijeka. Vodcast is essentially a video podcast, online delivery of video on demand content via RSS feeds. Our vodcast was conceived with an idea to offer a quick review of the clinical examination of the newborn infant. Until today we have published 11 videos, in both Croatian and English, demonstrating the proper way to inspect primitive reflexes in the newborn infant, and 2 videos demonstrating procedures in neonatology (lumbar puncture and umbilical vein catheterization), currently only in Croatian.

You can view our videos here. To change between videos just change the slide at the left bottom.

Additionally you can visit our YouTube channel, our page at the iTunes store or subscribe to our RSS feed.

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