Monthly Archives: February 2014

Yes, the extra “g” was intentional. You see, 2014 is the International Year of Crystallography declared by the United Nations. So, Crystallographers are “Bragg”ing about it! [You see what I did there? 🙂 ]

In this month’s issue (February 2014) of Biophysical Journal, the biophysicist couple Prof. Jane RIchardson and David Richardson came out with an article that commemorates this special year. The number 54 gains value here.

  • In this issue they highlight 54 protein structures that basically, as they put it, “illuminated” the field of biophysics.
  • The number 54 also denotes the number of years since the structure of myoglobin was solved.
  • Additionally, If you wanted a year long celebration, you need at least one structure solved by X-ray crystallography per week. So, you can look at one molecular structure at a time and marvel at it. (As a bonus, you get two more.)

As I read the article, I was squeeing with delight, as it had hand drawn pictures of the earliest solved structures! Those pictures definitely upped the oomph factor for these proteins. The best part is this article is open access. So, I can make a slideshow of these structures! Lo and Behold!

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If you want to add some unique information about any of these proteins, look out for the list to be available in WIkipedia.

Wait, that’s NOT all. If you go to IYCR2014 website, there is tons of information there. For example, if you go to events, you can look at the year long celebrations happening around the world.

If you point your browser to you will find a good list of things about crystallography one can learn about!


  2. Jane S. Richardson and David C. Richardson (2014). Biophysical Highlights from 54 Years of Macromolecular Crystallography Biophysical Journal, 106 (3), 510-525 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2014.01.001

ResearchBlogging.orgTwo nature news articles make this post. The first one is titled “Scientists may be reading a peak in reading habits”. Read the full news here. With the widespread reading turning towards online rather than the good old library hunting, this is not a shocker. The average time spent on reading is half an hour per article. Now, what they read is not asked. For eg: Did reading a scholarly article mean reading every section or just the valuable snippets of information, mainly from the figure legends? We don’t know.

…The survey defines ‘reading’ as going beyond titles or abstracts to the main body of an article, and so it does not reveal whether researchers are quickly skimming over more articles than they did before…

…Further details from the study reveal that scholars now read more than half their articles on an electronic screen, whereas in 2005, just one-fifth of readings took place on screen…

…Now that researchers can look for articles online, it is clearer that they “power-browse”, says Nicholas, bouncing through a terrain of articles with four or five browser windows open at any one time…

So, what kind of reader are we looking at. IMO, I think I will be looking more into articles that are blogged about. No, I am not saying that the articles need to be have a marketing strategy.  Heavens, No! What I am saying is this lacuna of reading is what research blogging can fill. Whatcha thinking?

The second nature news is a snippet that says that blog citations count towards a research paper!

For 7 of the 12 scientific journals examined in 2009, and 13 of 19 journals analysed in 2010, papers cited in blog posts aggregated by received more subsequent citations than did papers from the same journal in the same year that had not been cited by blogs.

Isn’t that amazing? In fact, the power of research blogging is yet to catch up with (Ahem!) the people who make decisions.

Hiring and tenure-review committees could use blog citations to assess the impact of recently published papers, suggests co-author Hadas Shema

Anyone listening in the hiring committee? 🙂

Read the full article published in Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology here.

  3. Hadas Shema,, Judit Bar-Ilan,, & Mike Thelwal (2014). Do blog citations correlate with a higher number of future citations? Research blogs as a potential source for alternative metrics Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology DOI: 10.1002/asi.23037