We love an offbeat holiday here at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library, and we learned recently that May is Zombie Awareness Month. This is probably a good thing, since most of use go through our everyday lives without much regard to zombieism (or zombiism), even though the concept has both a rich cultural history and a handful of real-life scientific examples.

I’m not ashamed to admit that my first exposure to zombies was from the Scooby Doo cartoons that I watched as a kid. Based on the fine scholarship of my 6-year-old self, I knew for certain that zombies were nothing more than bumbling robbers in disguise, and easily foiled by groovy teenagers and their dog.

Many years later, I learned about the concept of the zombie in Haitian folklore and its connection to the brutal New World slave trade, which you can learn more about from this NPR Code Switch story. Now, zombies are chic. They’re hip. They’re everywhere. Even the CDC has a cheeky Zombie Preparedness website.

Yet REAL zombies walk among us, in the form of parasites. Fungi of the genus Ophiocordyceps require ants to complete their life-cycles, and turns the hapless arthropods unlucky enough to encounter fungal spores into slaves that give their lives to spread the fungus. After exposure, the fungus manipulates an ant’s brain, bidding it to climb high. Then it digests the internal organs, and grows a spike out of the head of the ant, which serves as a delivery mechanism for more spores. Read about it here; it’s both fascinating and totally disgusting.

Many other examples of this phenomenon exist, from Toxoplasmosis making rodents lose their fear of cats to a bacteria that causes a flower in Madagascar to change it’s bloom so as to attract the exact insect the parasite needs to spread. And my favorite, the flatworm Leucochloridium paradoxum, pictured below with its unfortunate garden snail host.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/marioqa/16020719562/in/photolist-qpGnLN-dtEE7y-bDPTj5-4MVZ1h-73c5TX

Zombie by Mario Quevedo is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

After ingesting the flatworm in bird feces, the parasite invades the snails digestive system and brain, taking over an eyestalk, filling it with offspring and creating an appendage that looks like a delicious worm. The zombified snail shuns its instinctive fear of light and travels to areas where the wiggling, wormy appendage attracts the attention of a hungry bird. After ingesting the parasite, it matures in the gut of the bird, and the process begins anew.

This is worse than the brain-eating humanoids on TV, right?

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Please join us in welcoming our newest Research and Instruction Librarian, Laura Pavlech!  Laura comes to us from Brown University where she was the Biomedical and Life Sciences Librarian.  While pursuing her degree in library science, she worked at the University of North Carolina Health Sciences Library in Chapel Hill.  She is already familiar with Tufts as she is a 2008 graduate of the Vet School!  Laura will be the primary outreach liaison to the Sackler School.  Please say hello if you see her around the library!

 

Laura

We hope you all have a nice unofficial kick off to the summer this holiday weekend!  The service desk will have limited hours on Monday, May 25th  from 12pm-7pm for Memorial Day.  We remember those who have lost their lives.

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Moving this summer? Wondering what to do with all those books you no longer use? Why, give them to the library of course!

The library will take the study aids you no longer need as well as textbooks, flash cards, models, and even leisure reading.

While we’re sorry that we can’t take any furniture (!), the library has boxes in front of the library service desk (Sackler 4th floor) for clothing donations and for used activity trackers.

 

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(Photo credit: MyGuysMoving.com/ www.myguysmoving.com/Creative Commons)

 

 
Congratulations to all of our 2015 graduates!

 

Duette . "Commencement, 1966." UA136.002.DO.01322r. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Duette . “Commencement, 1966.” UA136.002.DO.01322r. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

 

Celebrate all of your hard work and accomplishments!  We look forward to the great work we know you will do in the future!

 

*Please note that this Saturday, May 16, the Service Desk on the 4th floor of Sackler will be closed, as there is a reception for graduates that will be taking place.*
 

Summer Café Hours begins May 15th!

Summer Hours are: Mon-Fri 7:30am – 3pm

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As National Nurses Week 2015 comes to a close, the Hirsh Library would like to give a HUGE “thank you” to nurses for all of the amazing work they do to keep us healthy and whole!

In the spirit of this week, we would like to challenge our readers to see how much they really know about famous nurses. Take this quiz and find out about awesome nurses!

We also want to remind people of the injury risks to which nurses are subjected in the course of carrying out their critical work. Earlier this year National Public Radio ran a special series investigating the very real and very high physical costs of the nursing profession.  Check out this important series and understand why it is so important for us to work towards safeguarding nurses in their work environments: Injured Nurses (an NPR special series) http://www.npr.org/series/385540559/injured-nurses

Lastly, several of the Hirsh Library staff were either raised by nurses or have a very close relative who was a nurse. So our appreciation of nurses is very personal, too.Let’s face it, taking care of children after a long shiftof taking care of patients take A LOT of “oomph”!!!  You’ve got to be tough to be a nurse – and we that why we LOVE them! Thank you!

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uploaded by We hope / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

 

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Taking the dental boards this summer? Get up to speed with Board Vitals!

The Hirsh Library has recently licensed a study tool for Parts I & II of the National Dental Board Examination. Its question bank is comprised of questions with answers (this many) in the following sections:

Part I

  • Anatomy, Embryology & Histology (199)
  • Biochemistry (110)
  • Dental Anatomy & Occlusion (247)
  • Microbiology (103)
  • Pathology (131)
  • Physiology (123)

Part II

  • Endodontics (97)
  • Operative Dentistry (154)
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery/Pain Control (158)
  • Oral Diagnosis (137)
  • Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry (171)
  • Patient Management, Behavioral Science, Dental Public Health & Occupational Safety (85)
  • Periodontics (63)
  • Pharmacology (120)
  • Prosthodontics (103)

Design Options

  • Select categories or specialties to cover
  • Set a timer (or not)
  • Display questions randomly or ranked by question difficulty.

Cool Features

  • If your answer is incorrect, you can guess again until you click Show Explanation.
  • Your account will keep track of your scores for each category, so you can focus on your weaknesses.
  • You can search for questions by keywords.
  • You can flag and rank questions for further study.
  • Its explanations refer to chapters in textbooks we license or hold, so you can study in more depth.
  • Its Exam Review shows the explanation, your answer, the correct answer, and the percentage of exam takers who got each question right.

Access

  • Go to http://www.boardvitals.com/
  • Click Sign Up and register with your Tufts email.
  • Check your email for its activation link.
  • Board Vitals should launch with Go buttons for NBDE I & II above trials you can ignore.

Faculty may request administrative accounts by contacting elizabeth . richardson @ tufts . edu.  Elizabeth Richardson will also be presenting this resource to D’18 students at the Board Review session this Friday, 5/8/15, at 12pm in Merritt Auditorium.

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The month of April was a busy one for us, with much time spent getting new books to add to our ever-growing collection. Here’s a sampling of some of our new reads for you to enjoy, so stop by the library and check out the new book section on the 4th floor!

We’re always looking for book and resource suggestions, so if you’ve got one please let us know by recommending a purchase.

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