June 5th-13th marks Boston Pride Week (http://www.bostonpride.org/calendar/), a weeklong celebration of the LGBTQ community. Started in 1970, this year marks the 45th anniversary of Boston Pride (http://www.bostonpride.org/about/). This year’s theme is “Wicked Proud” (gotta love it!).

Besides being one of the first cities to hold gay pride celebrations, did you know Boston is the home of the pioneering LGBTQ health centers, Fenway Health (http://fenwayhealth.org/) and the Sidney Borum Health Center (http://sidneyborum.org/)?

Learn more about Boston’s wicked awesome LGBT history at the History Project: http://www.historyproject.org/

Have a fabulous Pride week!

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Image credit:  http://www.bostonpride.org/theme/

 

We spoke too soon! It would seem that chilly weather is back for a bit. But there’s one benefit to this unwelcome temperature drop: fresh baked goods hot out of the oven are appealing again. And conveniently, there’s a holiday on June 6th that encourages enjoying just that: National Applesauce Cake Day.

Not familiar with it? Neither were we, but it seems that The Internet is. While the origins of National Applesauce Cake Day are unknown, it is agreed that June 6th is the day to celebrate it.  The consensus seems to be that it’s a celebration of the humble and delicious Applesauce Cake, which was lauded as a patriotic dessert during World War I and the Depression. It could be easily made at home and was more economical than other types of cakes, since applesauce reduces the amount of butter, sugar, and eggs needed in a recipe.

Easy and cheap? Sounds perfect for a busy student on a budget. Applesauce is also a healthier alternative to oil in a recipe or a vegan-friendly replacement for eggs and butter.

Intrigued? CNN has a brief discussion of the holiday and some tips for homemade applesauce and  National Day Calendar has some recipe suggestions.

Let us know if you have any recipe suggestions or know of another wacky food-related holiday!

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nature-reviews-disease-primersThe library has recently acquired a new journal, Nature Reviews Disease Primers, which you can now access electronically through the catalog. Here’s some information about this resource from the publisher’s website:

“Each Primer provides a global overview of the field and outlines key open research questions. Primers have a modular structure, covering epidemiology; disease mechanisms; diagnosis, screening and prevention; management; and quality of life.

Authored by an international panel of academic scientists, translational researchers and clinicians, new Primers are published every week.”

Happy reading and researching!

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Grinnin Gator

Grinnin’ Gator (Chandler Hummel) | CC by NC-ND 2.0

We did it! It finally seems safe to say that winter is over and it’s time to enjoy sunshine and warm temperatures. Now that you’ve packed away your sweaters, it’s also time to brush up on sun safety.  While sunlight helps us produce much-needed Vitamin D3, sun exposure also increases the risk of developing skin cancer.

Here are three quick and easy ways to refresh your knowledge!

1. The American Cancer Society has a rather onomatopoeic slogan to help you remember four key ways to enjoy the sun safely:

Slip! Slap! Slop!® and Wrap
Slip on a shirt  Slop on sunscreen  Slap on a hat
Wrap on sunglasses to protect your eyes and sensitive skin around them

2. Not sure what sunscreen to buy? Check out EWG’s 2015 Guide to Sunscreens to learn what to look for in a sunscreen and to see the effectiveness of different brands.

3. For more sun safety tips, you can also check out our infographic-filled post from last year.

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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.

Memorial_Day_Flagged_Crosses

 

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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