Scientists do not rely on textbooks to provide current information on a particular subject. Instead,

they rely on the exchange of information through articles published in Journals. The internet has

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made it easier to access the various Journals. In particular, abstracts (short summaries) of articles

appearing in a large number of Journals are available, for perusal. A particular useful database of

medically relevant journal articles is MEDLINE. In this exercise, you are to search the Journals

in MEDLINE, using PubMed, for papers that are relevant to the subject you have chosen. You

are to print out the abstract and then, IN YOUR OWN WORDS, write a summary of the abstract.




1. Decide on a topic that you would like to learn more about and think of key words that would

be used to search for information concerning that topic.. The topic has to be related to

microbiology and may include things such as specific microorganisms, specific diseases,

treatments, structures, experimental procedures etc.

2. Go to the web site, “”. This is a good gateway site to many

other information sites. For your purposes, at the top, use the drop-down menu and change “Search all databases” to “Search pubmed”. Then in the search field enter your search terms and click search. A list of articles should appear.

3. Click on the title(s) you find most interesting and this should call up “the abstract(s). Decide on an

abstract that you like and print it out. For example, type “fossil spore revival” in the search area.

This should return a single paper. Click on the title to produce the abstract.

4. In your own words summarize the abstract you have chosen.

5. TURN IN: Next class period

1. A printout of the abstract.

2. Your typed summary, using your own words, of the abstract.

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