ICSM Human Genome: The Promise and the Perils

Finding a topic

Finding a topic will be your first challenge. These sources address science issues as current events, so they are good at presenting ideas for potential research topics. They usually provide a good background and summary of the issues involved in more everyday language than you will find in academic scientific journal articles. They often address some of the public policy concerns involved, as well.

Science News for web site or Science News for access through the Ithaca College Library.
Scientific research written in lay language.

Scientific American for web site or Scientific American for access through the Ithaca College Library.
All aspects of science and technology, with articles aimed at the general educated public.

New Scientist for web site or New Scientist for access through the Ithaca College Library.
Science for the scientist, written with humor and flair!

New York Times Science Section 
Well written reviews of recently published research. Note: The New York Times limits the number of times articles are accessed for free.

CQ Researcher
Provides an excellent starting point for current events issues, and many science and health topics are included. Each report provides an introductory overview; background and chronology on the topic; pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions; and other reporting and analysis. The bibliographies at the end can lead to to further reading.

General Periodical Databases

These databases index articles from both magazines, journals, and newspapers, so they can be used for both public policy issues as well as the science behind the issues.
  • Academic Search Premier
    Academic Search Premier is a large and very general database. It has information on nearly every field of study, so be focused in your search terms or you'll get a lot of results. If used correctly it can be very useful!
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context
    Opposing Viewpoints gives arguments and opinions from the opposite perspectives on controversial issues. It can be a good place to start thinking about issues, and you can follow its citations.
  • ProQuest Research Library
    ProQuest is another general source with a lot of good information. Be sure to pay attention to your source type if you're looking for peer-reviewed articles.
  • Health Reference Center Academic
    Articles and other sources on health-related issues. This is a great place to look for information, but be sure to use "subdivisions" to limit your search.

Scholarly Article Databases

Once you have some background about a topic, you may be ready to explore the scientific literature. These are some of the major peridical databases that index academic journals in different science disciplines.
  • PubMed
    Citations to biomedical articles from MEDLINE and additional life science journals back to the 1950s; incl. links to sites with full-text articles and other related resources. Help with searching PubMed is available here.
  • Biological Abstracts
    Provides abstracts and bibliographic references to journal items focusing on vital biological and medical research findings, pharmacological studies, and discoveries of new organisms. Includes some linked full text.
  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM)
    A catalog of human genes and genetic disorders. For help with this database, see this tutorial. Contains links to outside databases, including UCSC's Human Genome Browser (see below).
  • ScienceDirect
    Full-text scientific, technological, medical journals; subjects covered include biology, biochemistry, business management and accounting, chemistry, computer science, economics, finance, environmental science, mathematics, medicine, neuroscience, nursing, physics, psychology, education, and communication. Includes access to selected full-text reference books. Indexing/Abstracts to additional titles.
    JSTOR provides access to academic journals and primary sources in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences.

Public Policy

Hastings Center 
A non-partisan bioethics institute whose focus is health, medicine, and the enviornment. 

CDC Public Health Genomics
"Provides timely and credible information for the effective and responsible translation of genomics research into population health benefits."

Center for Genetics and Society
A non-profit public affairs organization that monitors the use of government of new technologies

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
A United States  government sponsored research institute which focuses on a broad range of genetic research. Most of their publications are free online.

The Presidental Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues
Provides meeting agenda, transcripts, reports and background materials.

The Science

Human Genome Project 
Begun formally in 1990, the U.S. Human Genome Project was a 13-year effort coordinated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.

Human Genome Browser (UCSC)
Examine the human genome from the chromosome level down to the individual nucleotide. OMIM often provides links into this database.

Nature Human Genome Collection
Collection of current and historic papers from Nature on the human genome. The chromosomes section lets you browse papers by chromosome number.

Contact Us

picture of Abby Juda

Abby Juda

Natural Sciences Librarian
(607) 274-3889

Search Argos

Popular Science Sources

These sites can help you get ideas and find popular science articles. Follow their citations/references to better sources!

Ars Technica Science

Popular science


Wired Science

How Stuff Works

Science Daily

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

Interlibrary loan expands what is available to you. If you don't already have one, I strongly recommend you create an Interlibrary Loan Account soon. Then when you find an article that is not immediately available, you can have it sent to you online. On average, the turn around time is under 48 hours.