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NIGMS RSS Feeds and RSS Help

What is RSS?
What are the benefits of RSS?
How does RSS work?
What kinds of RSS readers are available?
What do I do with RSS feeds after I have chosen an RSS reader?
How do I find out about RSS?
What RSS feeds are available on the NIGMS Web site?
Why is the RSS feed not showing properly on my Google Chrome browser?

What is RSS?

RSS stands for "Really Simple Syndication." It is one of the newest information technology formats being used today by news and data Web sites to distribute "feeds"—lists of headlines, update notices, and sometimes content—to a wide number of people.

What are the benefits of RSS?

RSS benefits organizations who update their content and users who want frequent updates to news, calendars, or text they select.

With RSS, organizations can distribute updated content in a clear and concise manner, avoiding the confusion and disorganization of a mass e-mail notifying users about updated content.

Users can get the latest headlines and articles (or even audio files, photographs, or video) from one place as soon as it's published, without having to visit several different Web sites every day.

How does RSS work?

RSS is based on Extensible Markup Language (XML), a language designed to store, carry, and exchange data over the Web. Information is placed into a file (usually with an .xml or .rss file extension) that is stored on a Web server.

Web site publishers create an XML or RSS file containing, for example, updated headlines, along with the URLs to the specific Web pages and a description of the updated content.

Users can then access an RSS reader—a program to collect and monitor their favorite Web sites or feeds in one centralized location. This reader can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds. Feed readers provide a simple way to consolidate content as well as to notify users when changes have been made.

Please note: The information coded into the XML file is intended to be used by an RSS feed reader or aggregator, not read by a person like a normal Web page. If you look at an XML file with your browser, it will look like raw code. If you view an XML file through other programs, you will see the updated content in the manner it was intended to be displayed.

What kinds of RSS readers are available?

There are many different types of RSS readers—some Web-based and some that need to be downloaded to your local computer. Each have different advantages.

Browser-based RSS readers allow you to check your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer.

Software-based RSS readers let you store feeds on your main computer in the same way that you download your e-mail using Microsoft Outlook.

If you are not sure which RSS reader to choose, you can find extensive lists of RSS readers on Wikipedia Link to external Web site. To assist you in finding the reader that is best for you, both sites organize their list of RSS readers by readers that are Web-based, PC-based, Macintosh-based, e-mail-based, handheld-based, etc. NIGMS does not recommend or endorse any reader in particular.

What do I do with RSS feeds after I have chosen an RSS reader?

Once you have chosen an RSS reader, you have to decide what content you want to receive by finding and subscribing to the relevant RSS feeds. For example, if you would like to receive the latest NIGMS news releases, simply visit the News section on the NIGMS home page and you will notice an orange RSS button on the right hand side.

You can add an RSS feed to your favorite personal Web site portal, like My Yahoo, MyMSN, My AOL or Google, so when you call up that personalized page you will always see the latest news from NIGMS.

To add an RSS feed you will need the URL. Simply copy the URL and paste it into your particular news reader/aggregator to subscribe.

How do I find out about RSS?

More and more sites are offering RSS. Sites offering RSS feeds indicate they have these feeds by displaying one of the following icons on their site: RSS Waves icon, XML icon, or RSS icon. The buttons are often linked directly to the RSS feed files themselves.

The RSS feeds available on the NIGMS Web site are indicated by the RSS icon icon.

What RSS feeds are available on the NIGMS Web site?

At this time, the following RSS feeds are available:

Go to Web page | RSS icon  NIGMS - What's New on the Site
Go to Web page | RSS icon  NIGMS - Results
Go to Web page | RSS icon  NIGMS - Biomedical Beat
Go to Web page | RSS icon  NIGMS - Feedback Loop
Go to Web page | RSS icon  NIGMS - Findings
Go to Web page | RSS icon  NIGMS - Interviews with Scientists
Go to Web page | RSS icon  NIGMS - ChemHealthWeb
Go to Web page | RSS icon  NIGMS - Inside Life Science

Why is the RSS feed not showing properly on my Google Chrome browser?

By default Google Chrome does not display/render XML content on the browser. Instead, you see the RSS feed source code displayed on the page. This is because, as of version 16, Chrome does not have a proper XML parser yet. There are extensions you can download and install to view RSS feeds in Chrome. Visit the Google Chrome Extensions Link to external Web site site for available RSS feed parsers.

If you would like to suggest a new feed please let us know!

This page last reviewed on December 20, 2012