RefWorks 2.0: the new interface is here!

ScreenHunter_01 May. 27 13.46 Good news for RefWorks users: the 2.0 interface is now live! When you log in to your account, or sign up for a new one, you'll still see the "classic" interface for now, but you can switch to 2.0 anytime by following the link to "RefWorks 2.0" in the upper right corner of your RefWorks screen. In a few months, the new interface will become the default, and for now you can use whichever interface you prefer.

We've been playing with the new interface a lot at the Library, and so far we like it! The features are laid out well, and a lot of things are easier to find than before. Take a look for yourself – and if you'd like a guided tour, you can check out the different RefWorks webinars (both live and recorded) or ask us to show you. Later this summer, we'll be offering more classes too, so keep an eye on our class schedule.

We hope you like the new interface, and we'd love to hear what you think!

Archives Document of the Week: Al Lyons and the Physicians’ Wine Appreciation Society

The Archives Document of the Week recently featured a selection of material from Dr. Albert Lyons’s work with the United Ostomy Association. Today we present a selection from another interesting series of the Albert Lyons Papers, the records of the Physicians’ Wine Appreciation Society. Founded in 1961 by ophthalmologist Dr. Herbert Gould, the Society was made up of doctors throughout the New York metropolitan area who met regularly to enjoy high-quality imported wines. The Society’s wine tastings were a popular recreational activity for New York physicians during the 1960s; their success inspired the foundation of affiliated chapters in other major U.S. cities.


Wine Wheel 1961 PWAS Newsletter BordeauxFlyer

Left: The 1961 “Wine Wheel.” Center: Physicians’ Wine Appreciation Society newsletter, November-December 1967. Note Dr. Lyons’ name in the Executive Board directory. Right: Flyer for January 1969 wine tasting.


Dr. Lyons served as Historian of the Physicians’ Wine Appreciation Society. His papers in the Mount Sinai Archives contain a wide assortment of the Society’s publications, including newsletters, flyers and ephemera. Above left, a 1961 “Wine Wheel” allows the user to select an appropriately priced wine to complement a meal. Above center, the November-December 1967 issue of the Society’s newsletter describes several events including a tasting of Italian wines on the roof of the St. Moritz Hotel and a sampling of German wines onboard a Belgian freighter at Pier 36. Above right, a flyer for one of the Society’s January 1969 tastings promises “warm fellowship and wine enjoyment” during a tasting of “the great wines of Bordeaux.”

BrainNavigator: a customizable online brain atlas

Brainnav A question we answer frequently at the library is whether we have any mouse or rat brain atlases. And we sure do! One of our favorites is the online BrainNavigator, which takes information and images from print brain atlases and, thanks to technology from the Allen Institute for Brain Science, generates interactive 3D brain models for rat, mouse, human and rhesus. Not only can you turn the brain model around on the screen to look at it from different angles, you can also set markers, slice the model at various angles, and even simulate injections into the brain.

BrainNavigator is hosting on online seminar at 11 am on June 2 that will show you how to go beyond even those capabilities listed above and generate custom atlases to meet your needs. You can learn more about the webinar and register for it here.

Missing the New York Times?

Running into the new New York Times payment structure for articles?  You don't have to pay for access!  You can read any New York Times article ever written using the Levy Library's ProQuest database.  Either search the ProQuest Historical New York Times collection, with the full text of articles fro 1871-2007, or read today's articles in the current New York Times database.

Articles are available in ProQuest the same day they are published in the New York Times.  A word of warning, though: ProQuest does not include pictures for current articles.  You can also set up ProQuest article alerts to get an email notification any time articles on a certain topic come out in the New York Times.  The ProQuest search interface is also much better for finding a specific article than the New York Times website.

PqlogoTo get to ProQuest, go to the Levy Library Databases page:  Browse under News, Legal and Business, or just type ProQuest into the search box. 

Mount Sinai and the Case of the (Almost) Disappearing Disease

In 1919 Mount Sinai researchers Leo Loewe and Israel Strauss described the first experimental transmission of encephalitis lethargica, or acute epidemic encephalitis1, a disease first named in 1917 by the Austrian von Economo.  This disease had a brief moment of intense interest, but then disappeared by the 1940s.  Mount Sinai researchers treated many cases and were involved in the early efforts to describe its causation.  This was part of a larger, really New York based fascination with the disease.  This story is well told in a 2004 article by Kenton Kroker2, who uses epidemic encephalitis as a way to look at how the field of neurology was trying to re-define itself as the medical world became focused less on signs and symptoms and more on laboratory proof.

Mount Sinai's involvement can be seen in articles on encephalitis lethargica (EL) by Isador Abrahamson, Associate Neurologist and chief of clinic from 1904-19; Leo Loewe, who was an Intern and then a Research Fellow; and Israel Strauss, a Resident who went on to become Director of our Department of Neurology from 1925-38 and was the founder of Hillside Hospital in Queens.  William Thalheimer, a former member of Mount Sinai's house staff, had a role in confirming Loewe and Strauss' research.  A new medical organization, the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Diseases, as one of its first actions formed a group to study this disease and provide a consensus document on what was known3.  Involved in that publication was Dr. Strauss, as well as Bernard Sachs, then Director of Mount Sinai's Department of Neurology and known today for Tay-Sachs disease. Mount Sinai Hospital's own annual reports from 1919 into the early 1920s include information on our doctors' efforts in this area. 

Research here on epidemic encephalitis seems to have withered over the 1920s.  Simon Flexner, then at Rockefeller University, could not replicate Loewe and Strauss' findings, although it was replicated in Europe and by Thalheimer in Milwaukee.  Loewe left the staff and Strauss turned to new topics. Over the 1920s and 30s, the exact nature of epidemic encephalitis became less clear, and it fell by the wayside as a diagnosis. Today, encephalitis lethargica is described as:  "a CNS disorder that manifests with lethargy sleep cycle disturbances, extrapyramidal symptomatology, neuropsychiatric manifestations, ocular features and cardio-respiratory abnormalities.4"  A quick search of PubMed today will bring up 44 articles on the entity from 2005-2011. As noted in a 2009 study:  "Although there have been no reported outbreaks of EL recently, a number of reports show that cases of EL are still encountered regularly.4"

1 Loewe, L and Strauss, I. “Etiology of epidemic (lethargic) encephalitis. Preliminary note.” JAMA, 1919, 73: 1056-57.

2 Kroker K. Epidemic encephalitis and American neurology, 1919-1940. Bull Hist Med 2004 Spring;78(1):108-47.

3 Acute Epidemic Encephalitis (Lethargic Encephalitis): An Investigation by the Association for Research in Nervous and Mental Diseases; Report of the Papers and Discussions at the Meeting of the Association, New York City, December 28th and 29th, 1920.  New York: Paul P. Hoeber 1921.

4 Lopez-Alberola R, Georgiou M, Sfakianakis GN, Singer C, Papapetropoulos S. Contemporary Encephalitis Lethargica: phenotype, laboratory findings and treatment outcomes. J Neurol. 2009 Mar;256(3):396-404.

ENCODE usability survey

ENCODE_logo Do you use ENCODE (Encyclopedia of DNA Elements) data? If so, please participate in this survey to help make it more usable! Our friends at OpenHelix let us know about the survey, and have more information on their blog:

ENCODE usability survey is up: please share.

If you don't use ENCODE data right now, but the idea of a project to identify all the functional elements of the human genome sounds good to you, take a look at the ENCODE tutorial from OpenHelix, or the new article about it in PLoS Biology.