IUBio Biosequences .. Software .. Molbio soft .. Network News .. FTP

endorphin question: libraries & their usefulness.

Richard Kerr kerrr at CRYPTIC.RCH.UNIMELB.EDU.AU
Wed Nov 29 21:47:06 EST 1995

>In article <gpollack.41.00098F6A at bio1.lan.mcgill.ca>,
>gpollack at bio1.lan.mcgill.ca 
>>In article <199511281311.IAA02518 at kafka-s2.delphi.com>
>>orgera at mci.newscorp.com (
>>DAN GULLOTTI) writes:


quick summation:  Dan G has an assignment to complete that calls for
information on the production of B-endorphin from DNA to neuropeptide.
Include DNA sequence data and amino acid sequence data.

his request:
>>>If you could give me any information, or alternative web sites where I could
>>>get the data, I would really appreciate it.

reply #1>
>>I know that this might sound somewhat old-fogyish and reactionary, but I
>>guess that your professor intended for you to get this information from more 
>>traditional sources, i.e. books and journals. 

This is a presumption that Dan wants the whole assignment served up on a
platter which I think is untrue.  This has been addressed in reply #2 (
signposted below)

I can think of at least two 
>>reasons why this would be a good idea. (1) By ACTIVELY looking for this 
>>information, i.e. by searching through biological abstracts, your library's 
>>catalog, etc., rather than by asking for help right from the start, you will 
>>learn how to find the information you need yourself; (2) books and journals 
>>carry greater authority than most of the information on the net because 
>>unlike most of the latter they have been edited, i.e. reviewed by experts, 
>>checked for inaccuracies, etc. The internet is great, and certainly has its 
>>uses, but this sounds more like a job for the good old, hard-copy, library.

I agree that these are skills that everyone must develop.  Also refereed
publications are superior in terms of "cross-checking" but the net is a
good place to start.

>NOT true ! first the original poster did not ask for a ready made
>answer, he asked for hints and suggestions where to look.
>Secondly, I have obtained a lot of useful info by asking questions
>like his, and saved myself the walk to the library. 
>Thirdly, I have answered a lot of questions like these myself, and
>was happy to help somebody out, with my own expertise in certain
>areas (must admit, i can hardly contribute to his question).
>Fourthly I would be happy if one of my students would develop the 
>initiative to write to the net: most of them are so scared of a 
>keyboard that they prefer to spend thrice as long in the library, 
>valuable time that could be spend on experiments...
>And in the fifth place: I think that in the future, if any of us has
>any question at all about any subject, THE NET is the place to go 
>first. Forget books, they are a thing of the past.


I agree with clemems that people must manage their time & find the shortest
route to goal ( in this case , the source material for the assignment).
Also, the free exchange of hints & tips & references is one of the
strengths of the net. 

 However, I disagree with point #5.  Perhaps I am applying a harsh
enterpretation but this line that 'the net is the future " is guff! 
Remember when the dorks from microsoft unveiled the "paperless office"? 
what a laugh that was, it is standard to keep hard copy backups on paper of
really impt stuff.

 Forget books, they are a thing of the past. sounds like a line from a PC
repThe net is one tool in a toolkit. It may be  a big, often used tool but
it is still one of a selection.  The forget books line continues to piss me
off . In addition, I thought that being in this gAme meant checking &
X-referencing your data, which is best done against an authoritative source
such as a refereed book or journal.

don't write off the products of Guttenberg's genius just yet ! 

my $0.02 worth. 

Richard Kerr
The Murdoch Institute
Flemington Road
Parkville 3052 Victoria AUSTRALIA
PH:          (61 3) 9345 5045
FAX:        (61 3) 9348 1391
email:       kerrr at cryptic.rch.unimelb.edu.au
"In the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, beer & pizza."

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net