Synthetic Biology

BBC 1 10 o’clock News on the 27th and 28th March 2012, has been explaining and reporting on developments in synthetic biology.  Students and staff of U. U. have access to a wealth of knowledge on synthetic biology in its databases. For thousands of full text articles, or article citations, search Biology Digest, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, ScienceDirect, SpringerLink , Web of Science and other databases for scholarly scientific information on the developments in synthetic biology, its potential, its security, environmental health applications, ethical ramifications, industrial processing possibilities, the public perception  and much more. Electronic journals, and the databases which are hosts to the journals, are a rich source of information with varying perspectives and depth. Follow developments and the latest research by setting up database alerts.

Your Paintings

“Art lovers will now be able to see a host of oil paintings, normally only on display at museums, on a BBC website.  Your Paintings is a project to create a complete online catalogue of every oil painting in the national collection and 1,600 from National Museums Northern Ireland have now been added…The BBC is working with the Public Catalogue Foundation to create the collection which provides a unique insight into the history and artistic heritage of Northern Ireland”.  BBC News Northern Ireland 26 March 2012

David Rumsey Map Collection

Map of Ireland published by G. W & C. B. Colton & Co., New York ,1869. From David Rumsey Map Collection.

The David Rumsey Map Collection contains more than 150,000 digitised maps. It focuses on rare 18th and 19th century maps of North and South America, although it also has maps of the World, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania. For more information on the Collection see State of the Art an article which originally appeared in Mercator’s World Magazine (Sept./Oct. 2000). Images may be reproduced or transmitted, but not for commercial use. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


IEEE Xplore – Important Information for Users

On 1 April 2012 IEEE will release their new Platform which includes key enhancements to IEEE Xplore. While many new features will be added to IEEE Xplore with this release, please note this important item:

Saved Searches and Search History will be deleted: All current saved searches will be DELETED with this release. We encourage you to copy and paste your saved searches into a document so they can be recreated after launch.

New features incorporated into IEEE Xplore with this release include:

  • Enhanced and more streamlined abstract page
  • Enhanced browsing by title with the inclusion of refinements
  • Browsing by topic
  • New and improved IEEE personal account registration process
  • New citation diagram
  • And more

Learn more about all the new features at here:

Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports. Health Issues

The Foreign Broadcast Information Service  Daily Reports is a useful U. U. Library database, not only for politics and world events, but also for health issues. For example in its Science and Health in the News section there are the following: Babies’ Earaches Cause Reversible Hearing Loss; Folic acid :helpful or harmful?; Pain may cause arthritis; Dopamine: your inner compass; Spit better than morphine for pain; Restoring eyesight with stem cells and many more articles. There are also Special Reports such as, Facts about smallpox; Genes linked to intestinal infection and Easing the stigma of mental illness. There are health related videos and images and links to relevant websites.

Web of Knowledge BiologyBrowser

BiologyBrowser is a free database which offers access to evaluated and curated digital resources of interest to the scientific researcher. It is accessible via the Web of Knowledge database. Click on the Additional Resources tab at the Web of Knowledge search page.  For example you can read news on American research into gel which could help repair tissue damaged by heart attack; or how researchers in York have used ancient DNA to shed new light on the realism of horses depicted in prehistoric cave paintings, or about  MIT research pursuing cancer treatments based on RNA interference.  In BiologyBrowser you can access Pharma Knowledge Hub‘s free Pharma Archive.  There is also a Guide to the animal kingdom for students and educators  with links to useful internet resources for each major animal group. 

The database is now enhanced with digital resources relating to Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities.

Academic blogging – is it time to join in?

Ever wondered whether you should be blogging?  

Ahead of the launch of the new EUROPP blog next week (an academic blog dealing with European policy and politics) Professor Patrick Dunleavy and Chris Gilson from LSE argue that “Blogging is quite simply, one of the most important things that an academic should be doing right now”.

Read more about their reasons in their post  for LSE Impact of  Social Sciences blog.

Biography (U. U. Library online resources)

For authoritative biographical detail check UU Library databases: American National Biography (American); Dictionary of Irish Biography (Irish); Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (British and Irish); LION – Literature Online – (literary biography); IEEE Global History Network (for scientists, engineers and business people in technology); the University of Oxford’s, First World War Poetry Digital Archive (biographies of poets and with links to the ODNB biographies); Classical Music Reference Library ( includes Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians); Garland Encyclopedia of World Music Online (music biography); Music Online (music biography); Oxford Reference Online Premium (includes, The Oxford Dictionary of American Art and Artists, The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists, A Dictionary of Scientists, Who’s Who in the Classical World, The Kings and Queens of Britain, A Dictionary of Political Biography, A Dictionary of Popes, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, Who’s Who in the Twentieth Century, A Dictionary of Writers and Their Works, and The Oxford Essential Dictionary of the U.S. Military); Oxford Art Online (art biography); Oxford Music Online (music biography); Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ( biography of philosophers); Nexis (includes, Biographies of Ams [Welsh Assembly], Biographies of Civil Servants, Biographies of Members of the European Parliament, Biographies of MLAs [N.I. Assembly], Biographies of MSPs [Scottish Parliament], Biographies of Peers, Biographies of Westminster Members of Parliament, Executive Biographies, Entertainment Biographies, Debrett’s People of Today, Directory of Directories, ICC Directors, Marquis Who’s Who Biographies,  UK Biographies, and  Who’s Who in European Business and Industry).

For U. U. Library print resources on biography check the Libray Catalogue.

IEEExplore Societies

The IEEE MORE SITES tab in the IEEE Home page offers links to over 40 IEEE Society and Council sites, such as the IEEE Computational Intelligence Society, IEEE Industry Applications Society and IEEE Nanotechnology Council. The IEEE Computer Society site, for example has links to publications, conferences, and a digital library including blogs, images podcasts and videos.

Derry Corporation Minute Books

A partnership was established in December 2009 between the Public Record Office Northern Ireland and Derry City Council Archive to produce digital copies of the Derry Corporation Minute Books and Freemen Records. There are 23 volumes ranging from 1673-1901. The first minute book in this Collection records the development of the city following the Ulster Plantation and the sieges of 1649 and 1689. For historical background see this PRONI introduction