The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

The iPad and literature search

While waiting for the isolated caspase 9 protein to transfer from the polyacrylamide gel to the Western Blot membrane, there is a one hour waiting period. Incubation of the cell samples for a kinetic PCR protocol requires up to an hour and a half. Throughout the semester, the molecular biology protocols I carried out required a fair amount of waiting time to allow the reactions to proceed properly, and as such, I was left with a lot of time while waiting for these processes to occur. Aside from finishing the protocol summaries, there was sufficient time for me to get a start on other material. There is only a single machine in the classroom adjacent to the laboratory, and typically, it is occupied. I had some literature to look up…so guess who better to call upon than the ol’ iPad?

  • Users have the full power of MedLine available to them even on an iPad, giving the iPad one more useful function for students.

In order to effectively use the iPad for literature search on journal databases such as MedLine and Pubmed, one needs two items: an internet connection and Dropbox. The basic mode of operation is simple and assumes that one is merely hunting for papers at this stage (that is, the papers are to be read at a later time). First, run a search for your paper of interest here (in my case, it’s a paper about staurosporine and how it has been observed to induce apoptosis in bone cells), and open the paper. Then, when the .pdf opens in the browser window, a bar at the top will pop up, allowing you to open the file in another application. To upload it to Dropbox, simply choose “Open in Dropbox”. Once this is complete, a .pdf copy of the paper will be accessible from Dropbox, saving a student about several minutes of having to try and access the paper again at a later time.

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