Hillcroft LRC

Archive for June 2016

Lots of amazing stories have been coming into the public domain in recent weeks about the use of 3D printing and human medicine. If you are unclear about what 3D printing is and what it is capable of, look at these Science Museum webpages.  They even h3D printerave a special supplement specifically directed to 3D printing and medicine if you scroll down to the section called ‘How will 3D printing really shape your future?’

In the U.K., Guys and St Thomas’s hospital group appear to be leading the way with this ground breaking technology. In January 2016, it was reported that 3D printing was used to assist with a familial renal transplant and in May this year, it assisted a robotic removal of a prostate gland for cancer.

Further afield in Australia, jaw surgery was enhanced by 3D printing – a collaboration between the University of Melbourne and St Vincent’s Hospital.

There is more information to read on our VLE. Go to the Library and Learning Resources block then the Eresources section and select Encyclopedia Britannica. Type in ‘3D printing’. Click on their associated web links too.

The current issue of the New Scientist has a special feature about Sleep.

There aSleep + womanre nine pages that start with a graphic about the key to good sleep, noting the effects of aspects like light pollution, pets and temperature control. It continues with answers to questions such as – ‘How much shut-eye do I need? Can I cheat by sleeping in bits? What’s the best way to get to sleep?’

The final section is written by Russell Foster who is the director of the Sleep and Circadian Neuroscience Institute and discusses the links between sleep and mental health.

If you want to know more about sleep after reading this article, try these materials available in the LRC:

Sleep and electroencephalograms (EEG) Advanced Biology (2000) by Roberts, Reiss & Monger.

Sleep deprivation The Private Life of the Brain (2000) by Greenfield.

Sleep disorders The Oxford Companion to the Body (2001) by Blakemore & Jennett (editors).

Insomnia The Stressed Sex: uncovering the truth about men, women and mental health (2013) by Freeman & Freeman.

Sleep and the Biological approach Psychology: the science of the mind and behaviour (2015) 7th edn. by Gross. Also as an ebook. Additionally, AQA A-level Psychology Book 1 (2015) by Lawton et al.


Quick Reads on DawsoneraLast week we added some Quick Reads onto our Dawsonera ebook platform. We love Quick Reads as not only do they suit our students from entry level 3 but we also find them a relaxing easy read as well. Plus we promote them as part of the Reading Ahead scheme we run annually at our college to boost reading and literacy.

Up until now Quick Reads have only been available to us as Kindle editions. Take for instance Lucy Diamond’s A Baby at the Beach Cafe which we gave away at our World Book Night 2016 event. The snag with that for our learners is we currently only let our learners use the Kindles in the classroom. So if they want to read an ebook at home they then need to turn to our ebrary or Dawsonera ebook platform platforms. These platforms mainly offer academic text books which don’t suit our learners doing entry level 3 – level 1 courses.

Now that we can start offering Quick Reads as ebooks this will benefit students on our literacy, dyslexia and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses who can access these on or offsite on laptops or PCs or even download them to smartphones and tablets. Because we have Single Sign On (SSO) students can get straight to the ebook either through logging onto the network and either going through the catalogue record or the VLE Eresources Dawsonera link.

The three we’ve bought this week are:

We Won the Lottery by Danny Buckland

Black-eyed Devils by Catrin Collier

Trouble on the Heath by  Terry Jones.

If you are not a Hillcroft student you will find Quick Reads to borrow in most UK public libraries.



Vitamin D & sunshineOver the weekend, I read an article about vitamin D. Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin D deficiency is on the increase in modern society. When the sun hits human skin, it is the shorter ultraviolet B rays that helps (via a long convoluted mechanism) vitamin D in the body to enable calcium to enter every body cell. Calcium helps to create and maintain strong teeth and bones.

Summer sunshine makes many more times more vitamin D than the body requires if you expose your arms and legs without sunscreen for 10 – 15 minutes in the middle of the day 2 – 3 times a week. This short amount of time however is still controversial among scientists due to the risks of skin cancer. Fair skinned people make vitamin D the fastest. Darker skinned people can have difficulty during the winter months because of the tilt of the earth in relation to the sun. To supplement this shortfall, people resort to vitamin D tablets when increasing foods high in vitamin D could be more beneficial. Such foods include fatty fish like sardines, salmon and mackerel, fortified (added vitamin D) margarine and egg yokes.

Medically, a lack of vitamin D and its link with calcium can lead to bone and muscle pain, neurological problems (particularly in the elderly) and an increase in the risk of cancer.

LRC links to Vitamin D

Ross & Wilson anatomy and physiology in health and illness 10th edn (2006) by A. Waugh & A. Grant

Food: the chemistry of its components 6th edn (2016) by Coultate

Trust me I’m a doctor DVD (2014) by the BBC

NHS Choices: how to get Vitamin D from sunlight

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