Posts by: Cameron Duval

The Hirsh Health Sciences Library offers full online access to The CRISPR Journal, a peer-reviewed publication dedicated to cutting-edge research in the field of gene editing. The bimonthly journal features research articles, perspectives and commentaries, editorials, and more written by experts in the field.

Green and white text reading "The CRISPR Journal" on a dark colorless background.

Topics covered by The CRISPR Journal include:

  • Bioethics
  • Bioinformatics
  • Cancer immunotherapy
  • Embryonic development
  • Gene drives
  • Gene therapy
  • Genetic diseases
  • Genetically modified foods
  • IP and patenting
  • Microbial immunity
  • Organ transplantation
  • Synthetic biology

Recent articles discuss the ongoing ethical debate around editing the genomes of human embryos, the merits of genetically modifying fish to meet food supply demands, and the development of a breed of hypoallergenic cat.

If you are interested in submitting an article to be published by CRISPR, you can find more information here.

A laptop stand on display against a white background. The stand is made of plastic and allows the user to prop up their laptop at an angle.

Prop your laptop at a more comfortable angle for your wrists with this laptop stand…

A laptop stand on display against a white and green background. The stand is made of metal and allows the user to place their laptop at a raised height above the table.

…or raise it to your eye level with this one!

By popular demand, the circulation desk now has laptop stands available for checkout. There are two varieties available: an angled laptop riser, and a laptop pedestal with adjustable height.

We encourage students to check these out at the circulation desk rather than using the books in the library’s collection to prop up their laptops while working.

Ergonomic support is proven to be good for your spine, but unfortunately the use of our books for non-research purposes increases the wear and tear on their spines. The next time you prepare for a long study session by checking out a laptop or phone charger from the circulation desk, ask us about the new laptop stands!

 

An American flag in the foreground of a blurred field of flags planted in the ground.

On Friday, November 11, the library will have reduced hours in observance of Veterans Day. The circulation desk will be open from 12:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The building will still have normal card swipe access and will be available for you to study in.

The service desk will return to normal hours on Saturday. Librarians will be available for consultations on Monday, November 14.

We hope you enjoy the long weekend!

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Our library assistant proudly posing with our course reserve collection

Sarah will be sorely missed here at Hirsh, and we wish her luck at Harvard!

Que Sarah, Sarah. Our favorite, longtime library reference assistant, Sarah Passinhas-Bergman, is moving on to greener (crimson-er?) pastures as the student services coordinator for the Committee on the Study of Religion and German Languages Department at Harvard University.

Sarah has been with Hirsh for just over three years, and her presence at the circulation desk will be sorely missed. If you’ve checked something out at the circulation desk in the last three years, you’ve most likely interacted with her!

Throughout Sarah’s time here, she has mastered the management of our course reserves system, helped with a myriad of research questions, and fought with JumboPrint on a daily basis. We’re particularly thankful to Sarah for her hand in the meticulous upkeep of our course reserves.

Sarah’s last day will be tomorrow, Wednesday, November 9th. Be sure to wish her luck and say goodbye!

 

On Monday, October 10, the library service desk will be open from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. in observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Loan and reserve services will be available during those hours, and librarians will answer reference questions and resume consultations on Tuesday, October 12.

In 2021, former Mayor Kim Janey signed an executive order to establish the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Boston. The observance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day seeks to honor the cultures and remember the history of Native Americans in this country. If you would like to know more about indigenous-led events in Boston celebrating Indigenous Peoples’ Day, please visit indigenouspeoplesdayma.org.

 

 
Our library reference assistant holding up her favorite heart anatomical model

Ariel holding up our heart model, just as she did when she first started!

What a bittersweet announcement! Our beloved part-time library reference assistant, Ariel Flowers, is leaving Hirsh! She has accepted a stellar contract at Brown University, aiding the Divide America Project as Supervising Archivist.

In her short time at Hirsh, she has worked at the desk, getting to know you all. Behind the scenes, she has helped manage our course reserve collection and supervise student assistants. She tells us that she has enjoyed working with the Hirsh team. So, we are going to take her word for it!

Her last day is Friday, September 23rd. Stop by the desk and wish her luck in Providence!

 

Summer’s already well underway, and we’ve got you covered for all your beach read needs. If you enjoy fiction, try one of these books available in the Hirsh Health Sciences Library leisure reading section!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51791252-the-vanishing-half

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

“The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.” (Goodreads)

 

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34467031-manhattan-beach

Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan

“Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to visit Dexter Styles, a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. She is mesmerized by the sea beyond the house and by some charged mystery between the two men.

‎Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Naval Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that once belonged to men, now soldiers abroad. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. One evening at a nightclub, she meets Dexter Styles again, and begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have vanished.

With the atmosphere of a noir thriller, Egan’s first historical novel follows Anna and Styles into a world populated by gangsters, sailors, divers, bankers, and union men. Manhattan Beach is a deft, dazzling, propulsive exploration of a transformative moment in the lives and identities of women and men, of America and the world.” (Goodreads)

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39927096-less?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=avQcQrcQiY&rank=1

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

“PROBLEM: You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years now engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would all be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of half-baked literary invitations you’ve received from around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

If you are Arthur Less.

Thus begins an around-the-world-in-eighty-days fantasia that will take Arthur Less to Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India and Japan and put thousands of miles between him and the problems he refuses to face. What could possibly go wrong?

Well: Arthur will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Sahara sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and arrive in Japan too late for the cherry blossoms. In between: science fiction fans, crazed academics, emergency rooms, starlets, doctors, exes and, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to see. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. The second phase of life, as he thinks of it, falling behind him like the second phase of a rocket. There will be his first love. And there will be his last.

A love story, a satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, by an author The New York Times has hailed as “inspired, lyrical,” “elegiac,” “ingenious,” as well as “too sappy by half,” Less shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.” (Goodreads)

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17333223-the-goldfinch?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=tWbAO6PNFJ&rank=1

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

“Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to the thing that most reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld. As he grows up, Theo learns to glide between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love – and his talisman, the painting, places him at the centre of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph – a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate.” (Goodreads)

Are you more of a non-fiction reader? There’s more than just textbooks in our stacks – try one of these books on medicine to feed your brain this summer!

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20696006-being-mortal?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=DdhKVZN6vt&rank=1

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

“In Being Mortal, author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.” (Goodreads)

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures by Anne Fadiman

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12609.The_Spirit_Catches_You_and_You_Fall_Down?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=FVBCZhWIGX&rank=1

The Spirit Catches You When You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman

“Lia Lee was born in 1982 to a family of recent Hmong immigrants, and soon developed symptoms of epilepsy. By 1988 she was living at home but was brain dead after a tragic cycle of misunderstanding, over-medication, and culture clash: “What the doctors viewed as clinical efficiency the Hmong viewed as frosty arrogance.” The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down is a tragedy of Shakespearean dimensions, written with the deepest of human feeling. Sherwin Nuland said of the account, “There are no villains in Fadiman’s tale, just as there are no heroes. People are presented as she saw them, in their humility and their frailty—and their nobility.” (Goodreads)

 

The MedOne Education ebook collection is now available to access through the Hirsh Health Sciences Library. You can easily find it by searching “MedOne collection” on our homepage. With this ebook collection, you have online access to a wide range of medical textbooks from Thieme Medical Publishers and a host of tools to customize your learning or teaching experience. These textbooks cover subjects which include:

  • Anatomy
  • Dentistry
  • Dermatology & Venerology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Orthopedics & Traumatology
  • Otolaryngology
  • Pediatrics
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Radiology

For students, a useful tool that the MedOne collecti0n features is a customizable Questions & Answers section that lets you track your performance statistics as you study at your pace. You can create a review session to see your results as you go, or take a practice exam to put yourself to the test.

For instructors, the MedOne ebook collection allows you to create customizable “playlists” to feature chapters and materials across different textbooks to better suit the needs of your class. This can also be useful for students who want to create personal study guides.

We hope you’ll take advantage of everything this ebook collection has to offer!

 

New adapters have arrived at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library circulation desk…or should we say dongles? If you’re using wired headphones but your phone or laptop doesn’t have a 35mm headphone jack, these are the dongles for you!

Apple dropped the headphone jack on their iPhones in 2016, and in recent years many cell phone manufacturers including Google have followed suit. Luckily, we have both the USB-C and Lightning variety of headphone dongle available for 4-hour loans at the circulation desk. We also have wired headphones available to check out, so if you lost your AirPods on the Orange Line, we’ve got the complete package for you here at Hirsh.

Speaking of dongles – why do we call them that? I hadn’t really thought about the origin of the word “dongle” until I sat down to write this post. I learned that the etymology of the word is disputed, but it first appeared in the 1980s as a catch-all for a small external piece of hardware that provides another device with enhanced functionality when plugged into an access port. That’s some word salad, isn’t it? And so the word “dongle” was invented – possibly by a Mr. Don Gall, and probably because the dongle dangled – and we still use it today.

 

We have recently put a number of exciting medical artifacts and curiosities from our special collection on display on the 6th floor. These items, mostly from the 19th and early 20th centuries and received through donations to the university, are sure to catch your eye as you exit the main elevators.

Among these items are a pocket surgical kit in a velvet-lined leather case, an 1800s blood transfusion kit, and a surgeon’s field amputation kit circa the American Civil War.

We also have on display a mysterious device known as a Phantasmagoric Magneto Machine, a quack medical device which purported to cure nervous diseases with a mild electric current generated by a hand crank.

Along with these eye-catching instruments, you can find two mortars and pestles and number of medicine bottles with their contents still inside – though well past their expiration date.

Take a look through our display case and see for yourself how medicine was practiced over a hundred years ago!

 
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