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Saturday, May 23, 2015   6:55 AM   |   78°F

Basic Sciences

FDA Sets New Standards for Labels

The FDA released a new rule yesterday regarding the labeling of prescriptions and biological products which affect pregnancy, lactation and reproduction.

From the press release: “The final rule replaces the current product letter categories – A, B, C, D and X – used to classify the risks of using prescription drugs during pregnancy with three detailed subsections that describe risks within the real-world context of caring for pregnant women who may need medication.”

The new rule will go into effect by June 20, 2015.

Faculty Publications May Display

The Library’s Faculty Publications display, located on the first floor of the Library, has been updated with eight new articles for the months of May and June. The new article array covers topics from alcohol intoxication’s impact on spinal injuries, to the linkage between schizophrenia and chronic LSD usage, to nursing in catastrophe.

LSUHSC-NO authors are shown in bold print:

  1. Crutcher CL, Ugiliweneza B, Hodes JE, Kong M, Boakye M. Alcohol intoxication and its effects on traumatic spinal cord injury outcomes. J Neurotrauma. 2014.
  2. Hong S, Alapure BV, Lu Y, Tian H, Wang Q. 12/15-lipoxygenase deficiency reduces densities of mesenchymal stem cells in the dermis of wounded and unwounded skin. Br J Dermatol. 2014.
  3. Leblanc KG, Jr, Monheit GD. Understanding and use of the American Joint Committee on Cancer seventh edition guidelines for cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: A survey of dermatologic surgeons. Dermatol Surg. 2014.
  4. Martin DA, Marona-Lewicka D, Nichols DE, Nichols CD. Chronic LSD alters gene expression profiles in the mPFC relevant to schizophrenia. Neuropharmacology. 2014.
  5. Molina PE, Amedee AM, Lecapitaine NJ, Zabaleta J, Mohan M, Winsauer P, Vande Stouwe C, McGoey R, Auten MW, Lamotte L, Chandra LC, Birke L. Modulation of gut-specific mechanisms by chronic Delta9-THC administration in male rhesus macaques infected with simian immunodeficiency virus: A systems biology analysis. AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2014.
  6. Park EP, Boulmay BC. Images in clinical medicine. herpes labialis and facial-nerve paralysis. N Engl J Med. 2014 ;370(11):1048.
  7. Polhemus DJ, Lefer DJ. Emergence of hydrogen sulfide as an endogenous gaseous signaling molecule in cardiovascular disease. Circ Res. 2014; 114(4):730-737.
  8. Sterling YM. Nursing ‘caring’ during catastrophic events: Theoretical, research, and clinical insights. Int J Human Caring. 2014; 18(1):60-65.

These articles are part of the Library’s Faculty Publications Database, which is maintained by Reference Librarian, Kathy Kerdolff. The database includes publications authored by LSUHSC-New Orleans faculty, researchers, and students since 1998. It is updated weekly with new articles harvested from a variety of citation sources: PubMed, Scopus, and CINAHL, etc.

The display highlights sixteen articles at a time, rotating eight new articles each month. You can find more information about the database and listings for our current and past displays from Library’s Faculty Publications landing page: http://www.lsuhsc.edu/library/databases/facpubs.aspx.

To add your faculty publications to the database and display, or for questions about either, please contact Kathy Kerdolff.

Happy Belated Birthday, Andeas Vesalius

Page 164 of Andreas Vesalius: De corporis humani fabrica libri septem

 

We missed the 499th birthday?áof Andreas Vesalius who was born on December 31, 1514. 500th year?ácelebrations of the man and his accomplishments are in the works.

The LSUHSC Libraries is lucky enough to own a 1568 edition?áof his De humani corporis fabrica libri septem which is housed in the Isch?® Library Rare Books Room (and is available by appointment only). The first edition of this title is from 1543.

For more information, see this post from NLM’s Circulating Now blog.

Also, you can view the digitized?á1543 edition of De humani corporis fabrica libri septemat the NLM’s Historical Anatomies on the Web?ápage.

 

It’s AcWriMo 2013!

Inspired by the hugely successful NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), PhD2Published, a blog dedicated to helping academics publish, has announced that November is also AcWriMo (Academic Writing Month).

AcWriMo is a month long academic write-a-thon for academics at all stages of their careers. ?áPhD2Published will support writers with dedicated posts about academic writing and thousands of Tweets to encourage you to keep going throughout the month.

acwrimo1-01-e1352027638907

 

 

 

According to their website:

“There are 6 basic rules:

1. Decide on your goal. You might count words, hours put in or projects achieved ÔÇô itÔÇÖs up to you. But try and push yourself a bit. (And if you need help counting our?áPhDometer app?áÔÇô the proceeds from which help fund this month-long writing extravaganza ÔÇô was designed for just that!)

2. Declare it! Basically, just sign up on the?áAcWriMo 2013 Writing Accountability Spreadsheet?áand fill in the sections on what youÔÇÖd like to achieve by the end of the month. Being accountable is key to this working for you. You need to feel a bit of pressure to get the work done. So sign up and add your goals as soon as you can.

3. Draft a strategy. DonÔÇÖt start AcWriMo without doing a bit of planning and preparation. Get some reading done, carve out time slots in your schedule to dedicate to writing, even buy your favorite coffee. Sort out whatever youÔÇÖll need to write, and get it done now, there wonÔÇÖt be time when November comes around.

4. Discuss your progress. OK so being on Twitter and Facebook with us all day isn’t acceptable ÔÇô you’ve got work to do ÔÇô but checking-in at certain times is really important! We want to know how youÔÇÖre getting on? What is working for you and what isn’t? Do you need help? Do you want to share a writing triumph? (YouÔÇÖll find most discussion about AcWriMo on Twitter using the?á#AcWriMo?áhashtag, but if?áFacebook?áis more your thing, go there. Or use your own blog to keep in touch. You can even write little updates you want to share in the?áspreadsheet.)

5. DonÔÇÖt slack off. As participant Bettina said of the first AcWriMo, you must ÔÇÿwrite like thereÔÇÖs no December!ÔÇÖ If you push yourself, youÔÇÖll quickly discover the tips and techniques that work best for YOU and thatÔÇÖll save you even more time in the long-run.

6. Declare your results. ItÔÇÖs great to use the spreadsheet everyday (or as often as you can) to chart how youÔÇÖre getting on, but even if you canÔÇÖt do that, you MUST announce your results at the end of the month. Our writing community benefits not only from sharing in your achievements, but knowing what didn’t work and being reminded that, at the end of the day, weÔÇÖre all human!”

So everyone should go forth and WRITE… That’s what I’ll be doing this month!

This Month in History: Don’t Just Grin and Bear It

“A woman’s first responsibility is to make an effort to do what she wants to do.” —sage advice?áfrom?áDr. Winston Weese, Emeritus Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at LSU Medical School

You never know what you will chance upon when you browse the LibraryÔÇÖs Newspaper Clippings Collection. Trolling for this monthÔÇÖs topic took me on a journey through various strange perspectives on womenÔÇÖs health.

In 1959, convention speakers discussed ÔÇ£gyno-psychiatry,ÔÇØ ÔÇ£a very basic and superficial type of psychiatry [that] is primarily reassurance. Sometimes a woman is infertile because she believes her husband does not love her. Or vice versa. What we are trying to do today is to make the infertile woman realize that help is possible: that they donÔÇÖt have to just grin and bear it.ÔÇØ One article from 1961 blames men for womenÔÇÖs anxieties: ÔÇ£The American man isnÔÇÖt asserting his male dominance.ÔÇØ The piece is full of quotable gems like, ÔÇ£The wise woman of course, vocally credits her husband with leadership even when he does not have itÔÇØ and ÔÇ£boosts her husbandÔÇÖs ego even though she may be far superior to him in intelligence.ÔÇØ

Some answered the call for by entering the medical field.?áIn 1931, The Southern Medical Association fielded questions about the rise of women as doctors. At the time, women doctors still combated some suppositions about their patients: ÔÇ£Why should they be all women?ÔÇØ and about their personhood with ÔÇ£frequent assertions that such professions as social work and medicine destroy many of the gentler attributes of the feminine nature.ÔÇØ One of the doctors interviewed was the remarkable Dr. Moss of New Orleans, who said, ÔÇ£ThatÔÇÖs a lot of foolishness on the part of people who donÔÇÖt know us.ÔÇØ

Dr. Emma Sadler Moss rejected a teaching career because she was ÔÇ£not gentle enoughÔÇØ and stood as is a?áshining example?áof a woman doing what she wants. She brushed aside the hackneyed image of the young, gentle Southern woman, preferring the allure of the medical profession, where she excelled. After a stint as a medical technologist, Dr. Moss studied for her M. D., which she earned in 1935 from LSU. From there, she earned the title of Director of Pathology at Charity Hospital, clinical professor of pathology at LSU Medical School, and President of the American Society of Clinical Pathology (notably, the first woman President of the society).

Dr. MossÔÇÖ commitment to these institutions lasted for over thirty years until her death in 1970. She received numerous awards for her work in pathology including being recognized as the 1954 Medical Woman of the Year and as one of ÔÇ£The Six Most Successful Women of 1955.ÔÇØ The Library owns two editions of her lauded text, An Atlas of Medical Mycology, which she co-authored with Dr. Albert Louis McQuown. A full listing of her contributions to LSU Medical School and Charity Hospital can be viewed in A History of LSU School of Medicine New Orleans.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the?áLouisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

This Month in History: The Body of Art

As soon as the human body became an object of study and curiosity, art attempted to render it, inside and out. The recreational artist may depict a scene of illness or portraiture, while the specially-commissioned medical artist records anatomical structure and surgical procedure for purposes of instruction, collaboration, and publishing. Well-known pioneers of the modern practice of medical illustration include Leonardo Da Vinci and Andreas Vesalius; their legacy continues well into contemporary culture in tandem with advances in photography and various other image-capturing technology to create a comprehensive visual understanding of medical practice.

LSU Medical School employed its own Medical Arts Department, headed by William Branks Stewart from 1933 until his death in 1950, to observe and document cases as needed. ÔÇ£Would You Like a Portrait of Your Appendix?ÔÇØ asks a Times-Picayune article from 1946–a memorable keepsake, indeed (though you might enjoy this plush version more). Mr. StewartÔÇÖs body of art includes drawings, paintings, photographs, plaster molds, and even animations for use as visual aids in demonstration, in print, and in the classroom. Our Library has made available a digitized collection, aptly named the William Branks Stewart Collection, as a sampling of his works.

Mr. StewartÔÇÖs services were often requested in order to document rare cases and new procedures for later study and review. According to the above article, he would often take the time to familiarize himself with the entire operation in as many as twelve separate instances. A firm understanding of the techniques involved in a procedure and how best to communicate those steps to a student, he found, are necessary skills for the successful medical illustrator. When asked to contextualize his work, Mr. Stewart related his duties to those of an archaeologist with one important difference:” none of them ever had to look down a gastroscope!”

In addition to his professional position as Head of Medical Arts and contributor of drawings to the LSU student-run newspaper, The Tiger, William Branks Stewart was a member of the New Orleans Arts League and the Association of Medical Illustrators. By 1946, he had illustrated eleven textbooks by LSU professors, made plastic prosthetic eyes to replace glass ones, taken moulages (plaster or wax casts) of skin lesions, and even painted names on office doors. He submitted artwork to the Delgado Museum (now the New Orleans Museum of Art), an example of which can be seen here (be sure to take a look at the inscription on the reverse side).

A graduate of the Glasgow School of Arts in Scotland, it appears Mr. Stewart was destined for great things. In a prompted address to readers of The Tiger (page two), he candidly states, “Why did I study art? To make big money? Am I making it? To dodge work? Am I dodging it? Have I failed? No, I am doing something I enjoy, among people I enjoy, and in what I consider to the be most interesting city in America. So what the h—.”

Medical illustrations continue to be of great importance to our students as often photographs alone cannot provide a clear picture of the field under observation. Or, if you are like me, you may appreciate less “icky” renderings of our vicera.

Interested in learning more about the history of medical illustration, art in medicine, or anatomy study? Be sure to take a look at our Library Catalog!

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

This Month in History: The Hardened Artery Blues

ÔÇ£We first make our habits, and then our habits make us.ÔÇØÔÇöJohn Dryden

Integral to a discussion of health is a discussion of habit. This excerpt from Dryden points out the consequences of habit-forming. Health-wise, each personÔÇÖs habits contribute to that personÔÇÖs overall health including but not limited to how they eat, drink, smoke, and exercise. While this is now a well-known fact of life, bad habits persist.

The 1960s were no stranger to poor health and heart disease. A Times-Picayune article highlights the LSU Medical SchoolÔÇÖs pathology unit of the 1960s and their research into atherosclerosis, a hardening of the arteries due to plaque formation. Dr. Jack C. Geer and Dr. Henry C. McGill, Jr. sought to study the effects of exercise and diet habits, saturated fat intake, geographic and economic environment, genetic predisposition, and stress levels on arterial health. Scientists began to understand that a low-fat diet is not enough to ensure a strong heart, but is only one aspect of leading a healthy lifestyle.

Along with Dr. Jack P. Strong, Dr. Geer and Dr. McGill were known as “The Three Amigos.” Dr. Strong would become Chair of Pathology from 1966 to 2009 and receive numerous awards and honors. Dr. Geer graduated from LSU Medical School in 1956 and took on the role of Professor from 1956-1966, eventually serving as Chair and Professor of Pathology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. McGill served as Head and Professor of Pathology at LSU Medical School from 1960 to 1966 and became one of the founding faculty members at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio.

Research for this post lead me to a video interview of Dr. McGill on his lengthy career in pathology. He describes his ideal pathology department as comprehensive: with anatomy, laboratory, and surgery. Dr. McGill endearingly and vehemently promotes preventive care as opposed to treatment plans applied after the damage has been done.?á Unfortunately, he says, ÔÇ£There is no moneyÔÇØ in that game in a familiar trend of “No Pills, No Profit.”?á He mourns the fact that by middle age, it is often too late to prevent the type of lifelong damage done to your arteries as they form the fibrous plaque that leads to heart disease. Watching the video is worth the pearls of wisdom that he offers. One such instance is a life philosophy: “Everybody needs to get fired once in their life.” In describing his classroom experience, he tells that, “The style was to quiz a student until he admitted to absolute ignorance and that was the lesson for the day.”

According to the 2011 edition of The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy, atherosclerosis ÔÇ£is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the US and in most developed countries.ÔÇØ A big thanks to the work of LSU Medical School’s “The Three Amigos” for doing their part along the line of pathology research to help combat our bad habits.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

 

The 6th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day

Got Drugs? ThatÔÇÖs the question the National Prescription Drug Take Back Initiative is asking. The program promotes an opportunity to properly dispose of expired and unneeded prescription drugs. In recent years, over 2 million pounds of prescription drugs were taken out of circulation and disposed of properly. ?áAccording to the Environmental Protection Agency, there has been no evidence of human health effects from prescription drug remnants on the environment thus far, however precautionary measures are still in affect to prevent cases from developing. So while you embark on this year’s spring cleaning, keep prescription drugs in mind.

Save the Date:

Saturday, April 27, 2013
10:00 am – 2:00 pm

 

For more info, visit:

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/

To find a drop off location near you, visit:

https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/NTBI/NTBI-PUB.pub;jsessionid=F97E8C13E24A4F4158917E505D922D9A?_flowExecutionKey=_c3781D16F-8320-60D6-9549-1E08043E201E_k2BCC5296-9265-E6B3-A22D-C9656693160A

 

 

 

LSUHSC Doctor Gives Hope for PTSD Prevention

In exciting research news, a recent study by a group of doctors including Dr. Ya-Ping Tang, Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at LSUHSC, has linked the transgene CCKR-2 to adult-onset post-traumatic stress disorder.

This discovery provides a link between genetics and environment and opens the possibility for prevention of the disorder through ÔÇ£manipulation of a certain neurotransmitter system in the brain during the stage of traumatic exposureÔÇØ according to articles in EurekAlert! and WWL. View the full text of the research piece, ÔÇ£Temporal association of the elevated cholecystokininergic tone and adolescent trauma is critical for posttraumatic stress disorder-like behavior in adult mice,ÔÇØ?á here in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the United States of America.

Link to the pdf of the article is available to LSUHSC faculty, staff & students. It can be accessed off-campus with a valid LSUHSC library barcode & PIN. You can find more information at our remote access webpage.

This Month in History: The Alligator Men

As a Louisiana native or even an adventurous visitor, youÔÇÖve probably fed an alligator a marshmallow or two. WhatÔÇÖs the allure of marshmallows to a wild swamp creature? We may never truly know, but for an animal that will scarf down turtle shells, rocks, lures, beer cans, and shoes, marshmallows are probably the least of its worries.

Profiled in the Times-Picayune for their project in 1951, the self-proclaimed LSU “alligator men” studied the production of acid gastric juice and self-induced hibernation in alligators, as compared to iguanas and chameleons. The stars of this ÔÇ£zooÔÇØ were Dr. Roland Coulson, LSUMC faculty (1944-2004), Dr. Thomas Hernandez, LSUMC faculty (1960-1977) and Chair of Pharmacology, Dr. Fred G. Brazda, LSUMC faculty (1939-1977) and Chair of Biochemistry, and their graduate student, Dr. Herbert C. Dessauer. In the preface of a later work, Alligator Metabolism, Coulson and Hernandez speak to the origin of their honorary titles”: “It is not possible to have done research on alligators for many years without having gained a reputation for eccentricity as a consequence of the choice of experimental animal. One accepts this and learns to live with it. […] By some, an alligator man is tolerated (as a harmless eccentric should be), and by others he is admired for the fearless manner in which he confronts such a ‘terrifying’ beast.”

Though certainly fearless, these doctors chose smaller gators to reduce the risk of injury, and by the time the animals reached a rowdy 20 pounds, they were returned to the swamp. Because alligators produce a large amount of hydrochloric acid during digestion, they perform a more dramatic and more readily observable process of digestion. Alligators are also tougher physically and less prone to blood poisoning, making them easier to study. In addition to their excellent acid production, the test gators self-induced a sort of hibernation in winter despite the fact that researchers kept them in windowless rooms with automatic lights; by abstaining from food and decreasing sugar in the bloodstream, the test subjects did not grow.

The practical application of the research of the “alligator men” may not seem readily apparent, but as Dr. Coulson explains in the newspaper article, ÔÇ£The scientist doesnÔÇÖt have to be working toward the cure of any specific malady [ÔǪ] but often he stumbles upon it by accident, through just a study as ours.ÔÇØ They developed enough material to write numerous journal articles (PubMed author search results hyperlinked above) and monographs. Two books co-authored by Dr. Coulson and Dr. Hernandez are available in the Library: Alligator Metabolism: Studies on Chemical Reactions in Vivo and Biochemistry of the Alligator: A Study of Metabolism in Slow Motion.

Dr. Herbert Dessauer, who began as a humble graduate student and would go on to become Professor Emeritus of molecular biology at LSU Medical Center, passed away earlier this month after a brief illness. We would like to recognize his contributions to not only the scientific community, but also to LSU.?á For more information on the contributions of each of the renowned doctors mentioned in this post, please consult A History of LSU School of Medicine New Orleans, which is available in the Library. When you stop by, be sure to check out our display cases, which are home to various medical artifacts including an analytical balance used by Coulson, Hernandez, and Dessauer.

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

The Poetry of Dr. George William Cooper

Dr. Cooper, a one-time anatomy Professor at the LSU Medical School, was also well-renowned for his poetry.?á Recognized for his ÔÇ£consistently good work in poetryÔÇØ by a forum of the National Writers Club in 1951 and awarded the position of Louisiana Poet Laureate from 1973-1976, Dr. Cooper is a?ácommon subject of our Newspaper Clippings Digital Collection. Though the Isch?® Library does not own any of his poetry collections, they are available through InterLibrary Loan.

Excerpted below?á is a poem from one of?áhis collections dedicated to a previous ÔÇ£Glimpse of the PastÔÇØ honoree, Dr. Frank N. Low. I would like to?áshare this poem with our new and returning students, who will surely feel the ÔÇ£grindÔÇØ immediately upon returning to classes:

2,000-year-old Medicine Discovered in a Shipwreck

Would you trust a medicine that’s been under water for a couple of millennia??áAn early edition article (and a link straight to the PDF) in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences analyzes tablets found in a sealed container that was part of the material recovered from the a wreck in the Mediterranean sea off the coast of Tuscany in Italy. The abstract for the article states, “The composition and the form of the Pozzino tablets seem to indicate that they were used for ophthalmic purposes.”

The article is certainly generating a lot of press, from Wired to the Smithsonian to the BBC?áto the Washington Post.

Link to the pdf of the article is available to LSUHSC faculty, staff & students. It can be accessed off-campus with a valid LSUHSC library barcode & PIN. You can find more information at our remote access webpage.

This Month in History: Pay No Attention to the Doctor Behind the Iron Curtain

A young, bespectacled version of the Wizard of Oz, Dr. Frank N. Low, lived up to the great and powerful legacy as a member of LSUMCÔÇÖs anatomy faculty, venturing behind the Iron Curtain in 1958. His travels came at a time of international tension, but in the name of science, Dr. LowÔÇÖs survey of electron microscope usage in laboratories across Europe proved invaluable in transcending the iron divide and promoting cross-cultural cooperation.

Cover Art for “Klop” the Bedbug; http://tinyurl.com/8h3hycr

Remarking on the ÔÇ£exoticÔÇØ subway of Moscow, the ÔÇ£finely developedÔÇØ Russian sense of humor, and the popularity of the play, ÔÇ£Klop” the Bedbug, in his interview with the Times-Picayune, Dr. Low appears to have enjoyed his surroundings overseas. He even brought home an object known as the ÔÇ£Tartar MenaceÔÇØ that would turn out not only to be lucky for Low, but also for his research assistant, a previous ÔÇ£Glimpse of the PastÔÇØ honoree, Dr. Marilyn Zimny, who upon receipt of the figurine received news that she had been awarded a research grant for $28,000. The ÔÇ£Tartar MenaceÔÇØ appears to refer either to a group of indigenous Mongol peoples called the Tatars or Tartars, or the Greek myth of Tartarus, a section of the underworld. Despite its violent etymology, the figurine kept Dr. Low safe from even a stubbed toe on his journey.

And lucky we are that it did, for Dr. Frank N. LowÔÇÖs contributions to the scientific world were momentous. As of a 1953 article, ÔÇ£Dr. LowÔÇÖs study provide[d] proof of the existence of a complete covering of the tiny blood vessels in the lung. The presence of this covering, medically known as a pulmonary epithelium has long been in doubt. The significance of [his] discovery is that it is an explanation of how air is excluded from the lung tissue, a destructive process. This is why lung surgery is so cautiously practiced.ÔÇØ

His triumphs also include authoring a renowned text, Electron Microscope: Atlas of Normal and Leukemic Human Blood, acquiring an electron microscope for LSUMC, and pioneering scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and freeze-etch/freeze-fracture technology. His impressive career culminated in his later life with the establishment of the Annual Dr. Frank N. Low Research Day at the University of North Dakota. He returned to LSU at the end of his career to work under Dr. Zimny in the anatomy department until his death in 1998. This memorial article shows how truly respected and loved he was. Now, if only we could find his ÔÇ£Tartar Menace!ÔÇØ

 

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

This Month in History: Dr. Hamlett & Zoological Treasure Hunting

Ever wondered how to catch a lizard? You might think to consult wikiHow or you might look up an instructional video on YouTube. Consulting our Digital Collection of newspaper clippings, however, would reveal quite an interesting portrait of a rugged, LSU Indiana Jones in pursuit of a rare treasure: the live-birthing lizard.

In 1953, the Times-Picayune ran an article on one Dr. George W. D. Hamlett, faculty of the LSU Medical School Department of Anatomy, whose research practices involved catching his subjects in the American Southwest rather than in a lab. Nets are all well and good for the casual lizard hunter, but Dr. HamlettÔÇÖs methods included an elaborate system of hammer, chisel, stick noose, and rifle. In order to capture the illusive live-birthing female lizard, he donned the traditional gear: khakis, hiking boots, and traded a fedora for a sun hat; armoring himself thus, he chiseled lizards out of rock formations and sought the mammal-like desert lizard among the trees. His interest in these lizards lay in their ability to produce young not through external development in an egg, but within the female of the species, an oddity for the reptile. Though Dr. Hamlett lacked the Indiana Jones bullwhip and the characteristic fear of snakes, his adventures were nevertheless harrowing.

The character of Dr. Jones is perhaps based on Sir Arthur Conan DoyleÔÇÖs character, Professor Challenger (a figure in turn based on his own Professor Sir William Rutherford) who is famous for having combined several areas of study such as archaeology, anthropology, and zoology in the pursuit of a totalizing knowledgeÔÇöÔÇ£Science seeks knowledge. Let knowledge lead us where it will, we still must seek it. To know once for all what we are, why we are, where we are, is that not in itself the greatest of all human aspirations?ÔÇ£(When the World Screamed). In the same way, Dr. HamlettÔÇÖs study of embryology continued on many divergent paths as he explored the complexities of the long-tongued bat, the badger, the armadillo, the cat, the coyote, and the American monkey, finally culminating in his study of humans.?á Some of his published works, ÔÇ£Embryology of the Molossoid Bat,ÔÇØ ÔÇ£Some Notes on Embryological Technique,ÔÇØ and ÔÇ£Human Twinning in the United StatesÔÇØ can be accessed through PubMed.

Though the similarities between Dr. Hamlett and Dr. Jones may not be many, there is an air of adventure to every quest for knowledge. Why can the scientist not leap across cliff faces and come to the rescue every now and then? But please be aware that there are no catacombs beneath this libraryÔÇÖs floorÔÇöyouÔÇÖll have to go to Venice for that.

 

Glimpse of the Past is an ongoing project to promote the Louisiana Digital Library effort. This Month in History will present for your reading pleasure a closer look into a newspaper clipping of note from our Digital Collections and articles relating to the LSU Medical School.

14 Android Apps for Scientists

BiteSizeBio blog has a new post on Android apps for scientists. From timers to tables to Twitter, if you use and Android device and spend time in the lab, you might find these useful.

http://bitesizebio.com/articles/14-android-apps-for-scientists/