Modernization Hub

Modernization and Improvement
Medical Informatics

Medical Informatics


Welcome to the medical informatics
tutorial. In this tutorial, you will learn how to use various resources on medical
informatics. We’ll start with a library catalog and subject guide. Then we’ll
search in PubMed and other NCBI databases. You will see how all NCBI databases are
connected. In the beginning of research, you may want to browse books so that you can get a broad understanding of the topic. To find books on medical
informatics, we will search the library catalog. Under find books, click the
first one ‘New BU Libraries Search’. Type medical informatics in the search box.
Click search. You get a lot of entries. Let’s add cancer to find the books on
how medical informatics is used for cancer research. We still get a lot of
entries. Notice that most of them are journal articles. Let’s filter the results.
In the left side of the screen, find ‘Refine my results’. Click all books. We have now
only books – no journal articles. Some of them look very relevant. Next we’ll check
our subject guide. A subject guide is a great way to start your research. You can
find many different resources in a single place. Click Subjects A-Z on the
menu bar. Click I-O. Click on Informatics,
Medical. Here you’ll find e-books, databases, e-journals, and many other resources that
will help you find information on medical informatics. Check our other
relevant subject guides, such as genomics and proteomics or molecular biology. Next, we will search PubMed. The PubMed link is located under ‘Find articles’. Let’s search articles about BRCA1.
Type BRCA1 in the search box. Click search. We have a lot of results. Above the search results, you’ll find a suggestion from PubMed to help you find a BRCA1 in the Gene database. Since you have too many hits, let’s use MeSH to make our
search more precise. Choose MeSH from the drop down menu. Leave BRCA1 as it is. Click Search. Notice that we are in MeSH now. MeSH
stands for medical subject heading. The MeSH database contains the terms that
indexers used to describe subjects of an article. Let’s click the first one: Genes, BRCA1. Let’s examine the key features of a term
in MeSH. First it gives you a definition. It is important to read the definition
carefully in order to avoid choosing wrong MeSH term for research. Next it
gives you subheadings. Subheadings give you the options to focus on certain aspects of
the term. Scroll down at the bottom of the screen
you’ll find where the term is located in MeSH hierarchy. To use this term to
search PubMed, click ‘Add to search builder’ at the upper right corner of the
screen, and click the ‘Search PubMed’ button. Now we are back to PubMed. The search will find all the articles that have Genes, BRCA1 as a
subject. We can further refine the results using filters located in the left side
of the screen. We can limit to Review articles. You can limit to a particular
publication date. Under publication date click custom range. Type 2005, and leave
the list of boxes as they are. The search limits article publication since 2005. Wou
can limit to particular population. To do so, click ‘Show additional filters’. Check
ages. Notice other filters available. Click show to close. Notice that these
filters are shown, but not applied yet. Click Adult: 19+ years. Now the
filter is applied. We now have much more manageable number of hits. Next we will search BRCA1 in the
Gene database. We can go to the Gene database from PubMed. Choose Gene from the drop down menu. Type BRCA1 and search. Notice that we are in the Gene
database, not in PubMed anymore. The first to entry is BRCA1 in Human, and
second one is in mice, and the third one in rats. Click the first entry. Let’s take a look at key features of a
typical entry. First it’s a summary section. Notice that it has many other
names. In summary, you will find the disease information. Below you’ll find
the genomic context. It gives you a location and sequence information. You
find that the gene BRCA1 is located in chromosome 17. Notice to the link to
epigenomics and map viewer. Let’s check out map viewer. You can search the
genomes of many different organism using map viewer. In the left, you’ll find the
Zoom tool. The longest one shows full chromosome. The next one, one tenth and so forth. The ideogram below shows where in chromosome 17, the gene BRCA1 is located. Let’s examine the map. Here is BRCA1. Notice link to other
NCBI databases. Map view is useful to find the nearby genes. These are BRCA1’s nearby genes. On top of the screen, you will find a link to other NCBI
databases. Let’s continue to examine BRCA1 in the Gene database. Below genomic context, you’ll see Genomic regions, transcripts, and products. Here you can view the Intron/Exon coding region
organization of a gene, and its RNA product or the placement of pseudogenes. Below you’ll find the bibliography and
links to PubMed. On the right hand column, under ‘Related information’, you will find
the various links to other NCBI databases. Click OMIM. Now we are in OMIM: Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man. It is a catalogue of human genes and
genetic disorders. Click the third entry. Now we are looking at the complete woman record of BRCA1. Notice that the text contains links to references and other
women records. At the bottom of the record, you will find the bibliography. This ends the tutorial. Please review the
Gene, OMIM, and BLAST tutorials in Blackboard to learn more about each
database. If you have any questions, please contact the reference desk.

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