The Medical Section of the SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

2008 News

December 4, 2008
The Bookshelf update
The Bookshelf has added two new books entitled: The Epilepsies: Seizures, Syndromes, and Management and Essentials of Glycobiology. Books can be found here.
December 3, 2008
FDA Reports Significant Progress in Protecting the Food Supply
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released on December 1, 2008 a report on its implementation of the Food Protection Plan that was launched a year ago to protect both domestic and imported food from accidental and intentional contamination. The Plan, which outlines strategies for prevention, intervention and response, is designed to address food safety and food defense for both domestic and imported products and covers the full lifecycle of food, by encouraging the building of safety into every step of the food supply chain.
The entire One-Year Summary of Progress under the Food Protection Plan is posted here, and the Food Protection Plan is also available.
December 2, 2008
Milestones in Cytoskeleton
Nature Milestones are special supplements that aim to highlight remarkable achievements in a particular field. Milestones in Cytoskeleton, available online from December 1, 2008, covers key discoveries made over the past 60 years. Cytoskeletal research has provided valuable insights in areas — as diverse as nanotechnology and developmental biology — that are rapidly advancing and so we believe it is the perfect time to look back at the discoveries that have shaped the field.
Access selected content from this supplement.
December 1, 2008
Surgeon General's Family History Initiative
Because family health history is such a powerful screening tool, the Surgeon General has created a new computerized tool to help make it fun and easy for anyone to create a sophisticated portrait of their family's health.
This new, revised version of the tool, called "My Family Health Portrait" is a web-enabled program that runs on any computer that's connected to the web and running an up-to-date version of any major Internet browser. The new version of the tools offers numerous advantages over previous versions, which had to be downloaded to the user's computer, but only those running the Microsoft Windows operating system.
In addition to the Office of the Surgeon General, other HHS agencies involved in this project include the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) at the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).
Learn more .
November 29, 2008
Today in History Blog - November 29, 1944
"Today in History" Blog: John Hopkins hospital performs first open heart surgery. Working as a team, the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s chief surgeon, Dr. Alfred Blalock, African American surgical technician Vivien T. Thomas, and pediatric cardiologist Dr. Helen Taussig developed a method for improving the flow of oxygen into the blood by connecting one of the heart’s major arteries with another feeding into the lungs. First used on a young girl with a combination of heart defects that so starved her for oxygen that her skin was literally blue, it became known as the Blue Baby Operation. Learn more
November 21, 2008
Ginkgo biloba was found to be ineffective for dementia prevention
The dietary supplement Ginkgo biloba was found to be ineffective in reducing the development of dementia and Alzheimer's disease in older people, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association[1]. Researchers led by Stephen T. DeKosky, M.D., formerly of the University of Pittsburgh, vice president and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, conducted the trial known as the Ginkgo Evaluation of Memory (GEM) study at four clinical sites over the course of 8 years. GEM is the largest clinical trial ever to evaluate ginkgo's effect on the occurrence of dementia. This NIH News Release is available online .
[1] DeKosky ST, Williamson JD, Fitzpatrick AL, et al. "Ginkgo biloba for Prevention of Dementia." Journal of the American Medical Association. 2008 300(19): 2253-2262.
November 20, 2008
Clinical and Translational Science (CTSA)
CTSA initiative, led by the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health, draws from the experience of the NIH Roadmap for Medical Research and extensive community input, aims to create a definable academic home for the discipline of clinical and translational science at institutions across the country. This consortium includes 38 academic health centers (AHCs) located throughout the nation, although by 2012, it is anticipated to have about 60 institutions. The mission is to develop a transformative infrastructure that spans the spectrum from preclinical research to bench-to-bedside translation to community implementation. More information.
November 12, 2008
Forensic nursing
Boston College is starting a master’s degree program in forensic nursing. A forensic nurse is specifically trained to address the patient's health needs while also using investigative and legal skills to make sure evidence and testimony are preserved and collected in a manner that will aid in possible future legal proceedings. Recognized by the American Nurses Association in 1995, forensic nursing is an emerging field in the US.
More information.
November 11, 2008
Patient Safety Culture Surveys
As part of its goal to support a culture of patient safety and quality improvement in the Nation's health care system, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is sponsoring the development of patient safety culture assessment tools for hospitals, nursing homes, and ambulatory outpatient medical offices (1).
Health care organizations can use these survey assessment tools to:
* Assess their patient safety culture.
* Track changes in patient safety over time.
* Evaluate the impact of patient safety interventions.
(1) Patient Safety Culture Surveys. September 2008. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.
November 10, 2008
Assisted Living Disclosure Collaborative
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has established the “Assisted Living Disclosure Collaborative (ALDC)” to help assisted living consumers differentiate between individual facilities on several domains, including services available; pricing information; admission and discharge criteria; staffing information; and resident rights, house rules, and life safety. Workgroups are collaborating to develop uniform consensus information (data items and definitions) that can be used to describe the services and characteristics of individual assisted living residences. More information.
November 7, 2008
HIV vaccine failure explained?
Researchers have suggested that an experimental vaccine against AIDS might have failed in part because it made some people's immune cells more vulnerable to HIV infection.
The team, led by Eric Kremer of the University of Montpellier in France, examined why people participating in the STEP vaccine trial who had previously been exposed to a cold virus, adenovirus 5, seemed more likely to become infected with HIV-1 than those who hadn't been exposed to the virus. The trial was halted last September. Read full story.
October 31, 2008
2008 Albert Lasker Medical Research Awards
The Lasker Awards this year went to Akira Endo of Japan; David C. Baulcombe of England; and three Americans, Gary B. Ruvkun, Stanley Falkow and Victor R. Ambros.
Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award was awarded to Akira Endo, a Japanese scientist whose discovery of the first cholesterol-lowering statin drug helped extend the lives of millions of people. An American microbiologist, Stanley Falkow of Stanford University, was honored with the Lasker~Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science for greatly expanding knowledge of disease-causing microbes. A third award, Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award went to two Americans and a Briton for their pioneering look into a previously unknown universe of potent molecules, tiny ribonucleic acids known as micro-RNAs. The Americans are Victor R. Ambros, 54, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and Gary B. Ruvkun, 56, of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. The Briton is David C. Baulcombe, 56, of the University of Cambridge.
Read more here and here.
October 30, 2008
TOXLINE links directly to specific documents
National Library of Medicine TOXLINE users can now link directly, from those references, to EPA TSCA Inventory reports (TSCATS ) which is found in TOXLINE to the National Technical Information Service (NTIS) ordering page for the specific document. To locate all TSCATS records in TOXLINE, enter “TSCATS” into the TOXLINE search box, or select the TSCATS subset from TOXLINE “Limits” . The NTIS ordering interface link can be found under the “Order Information” field of TOXLINE TSCATS records.
October 29, 2008
The NIH Reform Act of 2006: Progress, Challenges, and the Next Steps
Elias A. Zerhouni, M.D., Director, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced the composition of the 2008 Scientific Management Review Board (SMRB Board), a panel mandated by the Act, to monitor the NIH's organization and performance over time.
Norman R. Augustine has been nominated to serve as the board's first chairman. Mr. Augustine is the former chairman of the executive committee of Lockhead Martin Corporation. This NIH News Release is available online.
October 28, 2008
Comparative Effectiveness News!
The “Comparative Effectiveness News” will provide researchers, policymakers, industry leaders, and others with this quarterly update on research findings and other developments of AHRQ's Effective Health Care Program. The inaugural issue can be found here.
October 22, 2008
“Molecular Libraries” realized to IDRI for TB
Eli Lilly and Merck released their 'Molecular Libraries' to the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) for TB Drug Development. Although the molecular libraries are valued and closely held assets, the drug companies "don't want to leave any stone unturned" in the search for effective TB treatments, according to Gail Cassell, Lilly's vice president of scientific affairs, during the Tuberculosis Drug Discovery Symposium, hosted by the Seattle Biomedical Research Institute. Learn more.
October 21, 2008
Focus on the gene scene
At the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, researchers recently made a breakthrough in the challenge of visualizing the massive amount of genomic data being generated by developing the Integrative Genomics Viewer (IGV), a visualization tool that helps users simultaneously integrate and analyze different types of genomic data. IGV also offers researchers the flexibility to zoom in on specific genomic regions of interest or to pan out for a broad, whole-genome view. IGV was inspired by the Google Maps’s credo: “Only feed the user the exact amount of information he or she is able to view on the screen at that particular moment in time.” Full story.
October 20, 2008
New NCBI Graphical Sequence Viewer
NCBI recently released a new Sequence Viewer that allows smooth zooming and browsing of records in a horizontal graphical format. Multiple horizontal tracks can display overlapping features such as assembly details, genes, transcripts, coding regions, protein products and polymorphisms. The NCBI Sequence Viewer is powerful new platform for displaying complex sequence features in an easily navigable system. The NCBI Sequence Viewer is being phased in to replace the graphical display option available from the Nucleotide and Protein databases. The functions included with the first release of this viewer are limited. This viewer will continue to evolve and is destined to assume a more central role as a general sequence display and navigation tool on the NCBI Web site. Read “Tips and documentation for the NCBI Sequence Viewer.”
October 15, 2008
Updated Mouse Clone Finder
The Clone Finder tool from NCBI, has been updated and supports mouse build 37, with more organisms coming shortly. Supported organisms will have a clone finder icon on the Map Viewer home page. Improvements to Clone Finder include: the addition of new libraries; improved searching and download mechanisms; and additional annotation. The mouse Clone Finder page is located here.
October 14, 2008
Interface improvements for TOXMAP
TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from the Division of Specialized Information Services of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Toxics Release Inventory and Superfund Program.
TOXMAP now includes several interface improvements, updated mortality data (2001-2005), and names and locations of hospitals when the map is zoomed to the most detailed level.
Other recent changes include: 1) Ability to view TRI facilities reporting releases in a particular TRI year, similar to TRI chemical releases, 2) Inclusion of links to TRI state fact sheets from EPA, 3) Ability to zoom to US national parks via "Zoom to a Place", 4) Ability to toggle on and off the "auto-zoom" behavior in the main Search page, 5) PubMed RSS feed, and 6) Section 508 compliance improvements.
October 13, 2008
Three brain circuits implicated in schizophrenia
A new study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that schizophrenia could result from a malfunction anywhere in the link between three brain circuits.
The research was conducted by Andres Buonanno, Ph.D., and his colleagues in the Section on Molecular Neurobiology in NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Other authors of the paper were: Oh Bin Kwon, Daniel Paredes, Carmen M. Gonzalez, Joerg Neddens, and Detlef Vullhorst; all of the NICHD; and Luis Hernandez, of the Universidad de los Andes, Merida, Venezuela. This NIH News Release is available online.
October 11, 2008
New NIH Policy to fund scientists
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) released a new policy on October 9, 2008 that will enhance success rates of new and resubmitted applications by decreasing the number of allowed grant application resubmissions from two to one. This policy is a part of a continuing series of changes to the NIH peer review system following an in depth review and a year long self-assessment that concluded in June 2008. This new policy will help ensure earlier funding of high-quality applications and improve efficiencies in the peer review system. This NIH News Release is available online.
October 10, 2008
SAP is key to long-lasting immunity after infection
NIH scientists have identified a protein that plays matchmaker between two key types of white blood cells, T and B cells, enabling them to interact in a way that is crucial to establishing long-lasting immunity after an infection. Their finding may also explain why some individuals who have a genetic defect that prevents them from making this protein -- called SAP -- suffer from lethal infections with a common virus that otherwise is rarely fatal (Epstein-Barr virus), while others with this genetic defect have problems with B-cell lymphomas.
This NIH News Release is available.
October 9, 2008
New additions to the Bookshelf
The Bookshelf has added three new books entitled: “PubMed Clinical Q&A”, “Drug Class Reviews”, and “Advances in Patient Safety: From Research to Implementation.”
Books can be found here.
October 8, 2008
New parasite genomes for malaria
More than six years after researchers sequenced the genome of the most virulent human malaria parasite, researchers now report the sequences of two more species, P. vivax (1) and P.knowlesi (2 , according to a pair of studies published in Nature this week.
By comparing the genetics of Plasmodium falciparum to that of the newly sequenced species, P. knowlesi, and P. vivax the two teams have begun to identify the different mechanisms by which each species maximizes its chances of evading the host immune system. Learn more at The Scientist Blog
(1) Carlton, Jane M. et al. (9 October 2008) “Comparative genomics of the neglected human malaria parasite Plasmodium vivax.” Nature 455, 757-763.
(2) Pain, A. et al. (9 October 2008) “The genome of the simian and human malaria parasite Plasmodium knowlesi.” Nature 455(7214):799-803.
October 7, 2008
BioMed Central sold to Springer
The world's largest open access publisher, BioMed Central, has been sold to Springer. There are no plans to change the journal publishing costs or fees, Matt McKay, director of public relations at BioMed Central, told The Scientist. "There are no plans to change the publishing model, as part of the terms and conditions of the agreement of the board of trustees," McKay added. "We are committed to open access and the open access publishing model remains the same." Learn more.
October 7, 2008
Emory psychiatrist steps down
Renowned psychiatrist Charles Nemeroff stepped down from his position as chairman of the psychiatry department at Emory University on Friday (Oct. 3) amid accusations that he's failed to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in pharmaceutical company payouts while receiving millions of dollars in federal research funding. Learn more.
October 2, 2008
Emergency Room Wait Times Continue to Increase
The number of emergency room visits in the United States increased by 20 percent between 1995 and 2005, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Wait times have also been on the rise. In 2006, the average ER wait time in an emergency department was 56 minutes -- almost 10 minutes longer than it was in 2004. Meanwhile, the number of emergency departments in the nation is shrinking. Learn more.
October 1, 2008
HHMI picks new president
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) has chosen a University of California, Berkeley, biochemist and stem cell researcher to serve as its next president. HHMI sent an E-mail to its investigators announcing the decision: "Bob Tjian is a distinguished and productive scientist who is also a committed teacher and mentor of young scientists," the E-mail read. "He is known as a person of impeccable taste in science who commands a great breadth of understanding across the life sciences."
Learn more.
September 30, 2008
Zerhouni resigns as NIH head
The 15th head of the National Institutes of Health, Elias Zerhouni says he'll depart the NIH at the end of October, to write. His announcement on the NIH Web site, follows the resignation of Conrad Lautenbacher, chief of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), another long-time Bush appointees, Zerhouni having served for six years and Lautenbach for seven. Though he opposed limits on federally funded stem-cell research, it wasn’t until last year that Zerhouni split with President Bush and told Congress that the Bush administration ban on research that used embryonic lines created after Aug. 9, 2001 should be lifted. Read story.
Learn more: Biographical Sketch of Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni
September 29, 2008
"HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Men” Slide set
The slide set "HIV/AIDS Surveillance in Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM)" has recently been updated, and can be downloaded for free.
This slide set conveys important information on new and prevalent HIV and AIDS diagnoses among MSM in the United States,, through 2006.
September 26, 2008
Tips That Help Women Stay Healthy
Carolyn M. Clancy, M.D., Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) offers brief, easy-to-understand advice columns for consumers to help navigate the health care system. In her latest column, Dr. Clancy offers tips that can help women stay healthy at any age. Dr. Clancy's latest column.
September 25, 2008
FDA Issues Guidelines for Genetically Engineered Animals
More than 20 years after the first genetically engineered (GE) animals were created, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is proposing guidelines to regulate their commercial use in a in a 25-page draft "guidance," FDA is especially interested in animals that might be eaten or whose blood or milk might be used to make drugs. Consumer groups and scientists are relieved that the agency is taking a stand, but some say the new guidance doesn't go far enough to safeguard human health or the environment.
In its new guidelines, FDA proposes regulating the genetic modifications as "animal drugs" because, as with traditional drugs, they alter the animal. The agency wants to know whether the genetic change is safe for animals and for humans if the animals are destined for the slaughterhouse. Companies will need to show that the additional DNA doesn't contain sequences that can hurt animals or humans, either on its own or by recombining with other DNA. "The technology has evolved to a point where commercialization of these animals is no longer over the horizon," said Randall Lutter, FDA's deputy commissioner for policy, in a press conference today. The public comment period closes 18 November.
Read story.
September 23, 2008
Qualitative Research series from the BMJ
An excellent series on qualitative research was published in the BMJ (Vol 337, No Aug 07), under the direction of Ayelet Kuper, Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto. Peruse the table of contents although you will not be able to read any article without a subscription.
September 22, 2008
New Veterans Disability Bill
On July 30, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Veterans Disability Benefits Claims Modernization Act of 2008, which was first introduced on April 24, 2008. This legislation includes provisions to modernize the disability benefits claims processing system of the Department of Veterans Affairs, reflecting recommendations from the 2007 Institute of Medicine report “A 21st Century System for Evaluating Veterans for Disability Benefits”. That report called for an updated system that incorporates more modern medical concepts. The House bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs; no vote has been scheduled.
September 16, 2008
2008 Lasker Awards announced
Three researchers, Victor Ambros, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Gary Ruvkun, at Massachusetts General Hospital, and David Baulcombe, at the University of Cambridge in the UK, will share the 2008 Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research for their discovery of microRNAs, the Albert and Mary Lasker Foundation announced on September 15, 2008. Learn more.
September 16, 2008
Hollywood & Health: Health Content in Entertainment Television
The study, titled “Television as a Health Educator: A Case Study of Grey’s Anatomy” included three national random-digit-dial telephone surveys of regular viewers of the show, conducted one week before, one week after, and – to test retention of the information – six weeks after the target episode aired. After six weeks, 45% of the episode’s viewers correctly responded about the chances of mother-to-child HIV transmission - down from the high of 61%, but still three times higher than before the episode aired. Learn more.
September 15, 2008
Hospital death rates unveiled, giving patients first-time opportunity to compare
USA TODAY created this graphic using data compiled by the federal government's Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The agency also has supplied the information to the more than 4,000 hospitals included and posted them on a government website called Hospital Compare.
September 12, 2008
Health Care and Long-Term Care Policy: Concerns Facing Older Women
In this narrated slide tutorial, Alina Salganicoff, Ph.D., vice president and director of women’s health policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, provides an overview of health care coverage and cost challenges for women over age 65. She discusses the role of Medicare and Medicaid as sources of coverage for older women and presents the health and socioeconomic factors that predispose older women to comprise the majority of the long-term care population. Long-term care financing and older women’s out-of-pocket health spending are also addressed.
September 9, 2008
Gathering to honor Hill on September 12 in New York
Dorothy R. Hill passed away on September 4, 2008 after a long illness. Noted medical librarian and co-author of the Brandon/Hill Selected Lists of Books and Journals for the Small Medical Library; Nursing; and Allied Health, her work influenced the development of medical library collections Worldwide. Daughter of the late Arthur T. and Ruth Hill, Dorothy received numerous awards for her work with medical libraries and had a long career building medical library collections at the University of Kentucky, Johns Hopkins, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine where she spent the last 33 years of her career.
A gathering in her honor will be held on Friday, September 12 at 11:00am at Frank E. Campbell, 1076 Madison Avenue at 81st Street.
Interment will be Saturday, September 13 in Springfield,MA.
September 9, 2008
“Smart Form” to Facilitate Clinical Decision Support (CDS)
Researchers, led by Jeffrey L. Schnipper, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA, suggest that integrating decision support into the workflow has the potential to improve the quality of decision making and improve the management of patients with acute and chronic medical conditions. Findings from the study, "”Smart Forms" in an Electronic Medical Record: Documentation-Based Clinical Decision Support to Improve Disease Management,” are published in the July/August issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.
(1) Schnipper JL, Linder JA, Palchuk MB, Einbinder JS, Li Q, Postilnik A, Middleton B. "Smart Forms in an Electronic Medical Record: documentation-based clinical decision support to improve disease management.” Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. 2008 Jul-Aug; 15(4):513-23. PMID: 18436911
September 8, 2008
Virtual medicine: Companies using webcams for real-time patient encounters
The virtual physician visit is becoming a reality. Companies that promise patients the chance to see a physician through video linkups are pushing into the mainstream. One is making it possible for anyone in the state of Hawaii to talk to a doctor of his or her choice via a webcam -- in a visit that could be reimbursed by the patient's health plan. Full story.
September 3, 2008
Entelos has launched on august 12, 2008 an intriguing website – – that suggests the company is testing the waters for a major push into the consumer world of personalized medicine and health. This new ‘personalized medicine’ offering might be delivered in any of several ways -- direct to the consumer; as a service to individual physicians to offer to their patients; as part of a partnership with another company such as 23andMe; or as a service to clinics and other such healthcare delivery organizations - no doubt there are more. David Ewing Duncan worked with Entelos to obtain a self-assessment as part his new book, “Experimental Man: What One Man's Body Reveals About His Future, Your Health, and Our Toxic World.” He was the first person to benefit from MyDigitalHealth, which will be featured in the book and is also included as part of the "Body" topic on the Experimental Man website. David recently covered his experience with MyDigitalHealth in his "Natural Selection" column on
Read full story.
September 2, 2008
Online doctors make house calls again
Devon Herrick, an analyst with the Dallas-based National Center for Policy Analysis, says more doctors need to embrace technology (Internet) and go online to give patients more access to health care. Herrick said his organization offers employees access to TelaDoc as one of its benefits. According to TelaDoc, the company hires licensed doctors to provide medical diagnosis after reviewing a patient's medical history and a telephone consult. It costs the patient $35 per consult.
Read full story.
September 1, 2008
Study Finds Surgical Errors Cost Nearly $1.5 Billion Annually
Potentially preventable medical errors that occur during or after surgery may cost employers nearly $1.5 billion a year, according to a new AHRQ-funded study published in the July issue Health Services Research (1). The study, “The Impact of Medical Errors on Ninety-Day Costs and Outcomes: An Examination of Surgical Patients,” also found that 1 of every 10 patients who died within 90 days of surgery did so because of a preventable error and that one-third of the deaths occurred after the initial hospital discharge. Read press release.
(1) Encinosa, William E. and Fred J. Hellinger. “The Impact of Medical Errors on Ninety-Day Costs and Outcomes: An Examination of Surgical Patients.” Health Services Research, 2008 Jul 25. [Epub ahead of print]
PMID: 18662169
August 26, 2008
Cancer Incidence in American Indians and Alaska Natives
CDC released the most comprehensive cancer data available for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN) across the United States. Cancer incidence rates, especially lung and colorectal, among AI/AN men and women varied greatly across six geographic regions of the country (Alaska, East, Northern Plains, Pacific Coast, Southern Plains, and Southwest). These findings, "Cancer Incidence in American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) Populations," appear in the September 1, 2008, supplement to Cancer, vol. 113(S5).
Read more.
August 25, 2008
Joint Commission Releases 2009 National Patient Safety Goals
The Joint Commission recently released its 2009 National Patient Safety Goals and elements of performance. There are three new requirements that deal with healthcare-associated infections resulting from multiple drug-resistant organisms, central line-associated bloodstream infections, and surgical site infections. These requirements have a 1-year phase in period during which facilities will be expected to meet quarterly deadlines, with full implementation expected by January 1, 2010. Additional changes and new requirements can be found in the goals relating to improving patient identification, improving the safety of using medications, medication reconciliation, patients' involvement in their own care, responding to changes in a patient's condition, and the Universal Protocol. The Joint Commission also published a new system for numbering and referring to the goals to more easily sort electronic editions of the goals, as well as to better allow for future goals.
Read more about the 2009 goals.
August 22, 2008
Hudson: State actions point to need for federal leadership
The AMA’s policy recommendations opposing direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing are in line with the American College of Medical Genetics’ (ACMG) and the American Society for Human Genetics’ (ASHG) statements on DTC genetic testing. However these bodies are not backed up by the legislative bodies.
Disparate state laws and state enforcement actions on DTC genetic tests are clearly consequences of a void at the federal level, writes the director Kathy Hudson of the Genetics and Public Policy Center (GPPC), at Johns Hopkins University. Read full story.
August 21, 2008
New AHRQ Tool Helps Hospitals Evaluate Disaster Drills
Ensuring that hospitals are prepared to respond appropriately during any type of disaster situation – manmade or natural – is a priority for HHS. Beginning in September, hospitals participating in the Hospital Preparedness Program, administered through HHS, will be required to provide executive summaries of the results of disaster drills they conduct. AHRQ’s new “Tool for Evaluating Core Elements of Hospital Disaster Drills” can help hospitals meet this requirement. Single, free copies can be ordered by sending an e-mail to or by calling 1-800-358-9295. Read press release.
August 20, 2008
CDC Launches CDC-TV On-Line Video Resource
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched CDC-TV, a new online video resource. CDC-TV videos will cover a variety of health, safety and preparedness topics.
The premiere series on CDC-TV is “Health Matters.” The first segment of the series, “Break the Silence: Stop the Violence,” addresses the topic of teen dating violence. In this video, parents and teens discuss the problem of dating violence and how to prevent it. The videos are available at
August 19, 2008
September is National Cholesterol Education Month!
High blood cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. An estimated 106 million American adults have total blood cholesterol levels of 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or higher, which is above desirable levels. CDC Division for Heart Disease & Stroke Prevention and partners have prepared a website with resource information about cholesterol for consumers.
August 18, 2008
Psychiatry researcher steps down
Embattled Stanford psychiatrist and president-elect of the American Psychiatric Association, Alan Schatzberg, has resigned leadership of an NIH-funded research project studying the effects of mifepristone (also known as RU-486) on patients with depression. The drug is made by Corcept Therapeutics, a company which Schatzberg co-founded, and in which he owns more than $6 million in stocks. His financial conflicts of interest have been scrutinized for several months by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA). Entry posted at 15th August 2008 on the blog.
August 15, 2008
Measure Index
The National Quality Measures Clearinghouse (NQMC), sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, provides a “Measure Index”, a complete list of measure summaries available through the NQMC Web site. The listing is organized alphabetically, by measure developer and/or submitter name (measure developers and submitters include both organizations and individuals). The National Quality Measures Clearinghouse currently contains 1515 individual measure summaries. You can browse the “Measure Index” by Disease / Condition; Treatment / Intervention; Domain; and Organization. Use “Most Viewed Browse” to find a listing of NQMC's most frequently viewed measures. You can sort this list of measures by the previous month, week, or day, and by the top 10, 20, or 30 measures.
August 14, 2008
Artificial pancreas developed
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is working on an artificial pancreas to do the job. It's based around existing technology for monitoring and moderating blood sugar levels, but "closes the loop," scratching out human error by feeding monitoring data, computer predictions and insulin injections into one system that doesn't require human intervention.
Read story
On Thursday, Aug. 7, CBS' The Early Show featured JDRF-funded researcher William Tamborlane, M.D., from Yale University and teen Kady Helme discussed the Artificial Pancreas Project. Read the JDRF Artificial Pancreas Project’s news.
August 13, 2008
Harms of promoting off-label uses to doctors
The FDA’s recent proposal to allow drug companies to send doctors journal articles about off-label drug use has come under major fire over the last few months. The FDA proposal “Guidance for Industry: Good Reprint Practices for the Distribution of Medical Journal Articles and Medical or Scientific Reference Publications on Unapproved New Uses of Approved Drugs and Approved or Cleared Medical Devices” is available.
But given that off-label prescribing is widespread in the US, what could be the harm of simply allowing drug companies to promote more of it? That’s a question answered by Andy Gass (University of California Berkeley) and Jennifer Wilson (University of California San Francisco) in a recent editorial in the American Journal of Bioethics.
Read full story
August 12, 2008
Papers of Alan Gregg and Paul Berg Added to NLM Profiles in Science
The Alan Gregg Papers and the Paul Berg Papers have recently been added to the NLM Profiles in Science Web site, a site dedicated to the lives and works of prominent 20th century biomedical scientists. Paul Berg (b. 1926) is an American biochemist who shared the 1980 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for his fundamental studies of the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with particular regard to recombinant-DNA." Alan Gregg (1890-1957) was a career Rockefeller Foundation officer, and a leader in the fields of public health, medical education and research.
August 11, 2008
Hooke's Books Exhibit
The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce a new web exhibit: "Hooke's Books: Books that Influenced or were Influenced by Robert Hooke."
Robert Hooke (1635-1703) was a remarkably versatile man — artist, biologist, physicist, engineer, architect, inventor, and more. However, his crowning glory was Micrographia: or Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies made by Magnifying Glasses, first published 1665. It was a masterpiece — an exquisitely illustrated introduction to the previously unknown microscopic world. This exhibit focuses on Hooke's influences and legacy in print, the pioneering books that stimulated Hooke's research, and the works he left for others — most famously the great Dutch microscopist, Antoni van Leeuwenhœk (1632-1723).
August 6, 2008
Scientists replicate diseases with new stem cell lines
A set of new stem cell lines will make it possible for researchers to explore ten different genetic disordersincluding muscular dystrophy, juvenile diabetes, and Parkinson's disease in a variety of cell and tissue types as they develop in laboratory cultures. Read full story
August 5, 2008
Vitamin C jabs may combat cancer
Excitement over the idea of treating cancer with vitamin C grew in the 1970s after the Nobel prize-winning chemist Linus Pauling suggested that it helped terminally ill patients survive for longer. In a current study, researchers led by Mark Levine of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland, gave vitamin C to mice intravenously (1). The results suggested that “although our preclinical mouse data showed that tumor growth was significantly decreased the use of pharmacologic ascorbate as a single agent was not curative.“ Read full story.
Chen, Q. et al. “Pharmacologic doses of ascorbate act as a prooxidant and decrease growth of aggressive tumor xenografts in mice.” PNAS 2008 Aug 4. [Epub ahead of print]
August 4, 2008
Defects you can fix with vitamins and minerals
Jasper Rine and colleagues report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that there are many genetic differences that make people’s enzymes less efficient than normal, and that simple supplementation with vitamins can often restore some of these deficient enzymes to full working order (1). Read full story.
(1) Nicholas J. Marini, Jennifer Gin, Janet Ziegle, Kathryn Hunkapiller Keho, * David Ginzinger, Dennis A. Gilbert, * and Jasper Rine. “The prevalence of folate-remedial MTHFR enzyme variants in humans.” PNAS 2008 105:8055-8060; published ahead of print June 3, 2008.
August 4, 2008
Understanding Internet Health-Related Search Patterns
The newest white paper from The Center for Media Design, Ball State University, explores public search behavior for health-related information in a new way: using the Google Trends. Results from the study show two distinct search patterns. The first is an annual cycle related to seasonal interests and culture specific such as illnesses or diseases experienced by some celebrities. The second emergent pattern was a weekly cycle, as search volumes for health-related terms tended to be higher during weekdays and lower on the weekends. Read full story and request report for free at:
July 31, 2008
A survey of hospital quality improvement activities
The Institute of Medicine's 2001 Crossing the Quality Chasm report defined an agenda for improving health care quality in the United States and provided an important stimulus for ongoing quality improvement (QI) efforts in the inpatient and outpatient settings (1).
This study, conducted 5 years after the IOM report, evaluated the extent and types of QI activities at a broad sample of hospitals by surveying hospital leadership. Hospitals are engaging in a wide variety of QI activities, targeting common safety problems such as hospital-acquired infections and medication reconciliation, and reported high levels of organizational commitment to improving quality. However, problems noted in prior research, such as lack of physician engagement in QI and limited use of information technology, continued to pose barriers to effective quality improvement (2).

(1) Committee on Quality of Health Care in America, Institute of Medicine. Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001.

(2) Cohen AB, Restuccia J, Shwartz M, Drake J, Kang R, Kralovec P, Holmes SK, Margolin F, Bohr D. 2008 May 29. “A Survey of Hospital Quality Improvement Activities.” Med Care Res Rev. 2008 May 29. [Epub ahead of print] Available.
July 30, 2008
A mouse with postpartum depression?
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles have developed for the first time a transgenic mouse model for postpartum depression which hints at medical interventions for the mood disorder, according to a study published this week in Neuron (1). Postpartum depression is thought to be caused when the high levels of reproductive hormones plummet just after birth. Researchers have shown that hormone levels and the expression of receptors that respond to these hormones fluctuate throughout the ovarian cycle. Read full story.
(1) Maguire, Jamie and Istvan Mody. July 2008. "GABAAR Plasticity during Pregnancy: Relevance to Postpartum Depression." Neuron, 59 (2): 207-213.
July 29, 2008
MedPedia Is Wikifying the Medical Search Space
MedPedia is a new project, currently in development, that will offer an online collaborative medical encyclopedia for use by the general public. In order to keep the content accurate and up-to-date, content editors and creators have to have an MD or a PhD. You can see a preview at Health organizations that have already signed up to give information or are encouraging their members to participate include: Harvard Medical School, Stanford School of Medicine, University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, University of Michigan Medical School, American College of Physicians (ACP), Oxford Health Alliance (, Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies, (FOCIS), and European Federation of Neurological Associations (EFNA).
Read story
July 29, 2008
EPA Releases Report on Climate Change and Health
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released a report that discusses the potential impacts of climate change on human health, human welfare, and communities in the U.S. The report, entitled "Analyses of the Effects of Global Change on Human Health and Welfare and Human Systems," also identifies adaptation strategies to help respond to the challenges of a changing climate and identifies near- and long-term research goals for addressing data and knowledge gaps. Read full announcement.
July 25, 2008
Dolly's Creator Moves Away from Cloning and Embryonic Stem Cells
Like many stem cell pioneers, Ian Wilmut, the creator of Dolly the sheep, has jumped to an alternative approach. Is this the beginning of the end for embryonic cloning? Read full story at:
July 24, 2008
New open access publication
After more than a decade as a leading forum of debate on global health and rights concerns, Health and Human Rights began its next chapter as an online, open access publication starting with Volume 10, Issue Number 1 (2008). The back issues of Health and Human Rights are now available in JSTOR, the not-for-profit online digital archive.
Full story at:
July 23, 2008
Genetics pioneer dies
Victor Almon McKusick, M.D., University Professor of Medical Genetics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, one of the two distinguished Johns Hopkins geneticists for whom the McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine was named, and a towering international figure in genetics research, diagnosis and treatment, died Tuesday, July 22 at home. He was 86.
McKusick published a compendium of genetic information entitled Mendelian Inheritance in Man (MIM) in 1966. This catalogue of genes and genetic conditions is the central reference book for inherited diseases, and the electronic version, Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), launched in 1995, is updated on a monthly basis.
Read full story at:
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July 18, 2008
Document Deposit Policy and Procedures for APA Journals
A new document deposit policy of the American Psychological Association (APA) requiring a publication fee of 2,500. to deposit manuscripts in PubMed Central based on research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is currently being re-examined and will not be implemented at this time. Read notification.
July 18, 2008
PubMed Central News
New journals added can be found at: PubMed Central New Journals
July 17, 2008
AHRQ and AARP Team to Help Adults Over 50 Stay Healthy
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and the AARP today released on July 15, 2008 two new checklists designed to help men and women over the age of 50 learn what they can do to stay healthy and prevent disease. Read full story.
Related publications:
Men: Stay Healthy at 50+
Women: Stay Healthy at 50+
July 17, 2008
New Book: Beer in Health and Disease Prevention
Just as wine in moderation has been proposed to promote health, a new book published by Academic Press, is showing that beer, and the ingredients in beer, can have a similar impact on improving health, and in some instances, preventing disease. Book information.
July 17, 2008
Research on octopuses sheds light on memory
Research on octopuses has shed new light on how our brains store and recall memory, says Dr. Benny Hochner in a recent article in the journal, Current Biology (March 11, 2008;18, 337-342).
Read the whole story.
July 16, 2008
How the malaria parasite hijacks human red blood cells
A new study—done on a scale an order of magnitude greater than anything previously attempted in the field of malaria—has uncovered an arsenal of proteins produced by the malaria parasite that allows it to hijack and remodel human red blood cells, leaving the oxygen-carrying cells stiff and sticky. Those effects on the blood cells play a major role in the development of malaria, a disease responsible for millions of deaths every year, the researchers report in the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication (July 11, 2008; 134:1, 48-61).
Read the whole story.
July 11, 2008
FDA Revises Process for Approving Drug Applications
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on July 9, 2008 that it is revising the way it communicates to drug companies when a marketing application cannot be approved as submitted.
The revision should not affect the overall time it takes the FDA to review new or generic drug applications or biologic license applications. These changes, which will become effective on Aug. 11, 2008, are not expected to directly affect consumers.
For more information, see:
Link to the Complete Response Final Rule
Link to the drug approval process page
This FDA news is available at:
July 11, 2008
HHS Releases Project BioShield Annual Report to Congress
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a report today stating its progress in implementing Project BioShield. HHS has used Project BioShield authorities to support, facilitate and expedite the research, development, acquisition and availability of medical countermeasures to respond to the adverse effects of public health emergencies involving chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. The annual report is available online at
The news release is available at
July 10, 2008
Training for human studies may become mandatory
The Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP) announced last week that it is soliciting comments on whether training in research ethics should be mandatory - and asking for estimates of what this would cost grantee institutions. "Over the past several years, OHRP has identified serious, systemic noncompliance with the requirements . for the protection of human subjects at a significant number of major institutions," OHRP regulators wrote in its Federal Register announcement on 1 July. Interested parties now have until 29 September to submit their comments to Read story at:
July 10, 2008
Social Networks that care about Health
CaringBridge, is a health-related social network service and a nonprofit web service that connects family and friends during a critical illness, treatment, or recovery. It was founded in 1997 by Sona Mehring, who had a friend who had a life-threatening pregnancy. To keep family and friends informed, she created a website so updates could be more easily shared, without the disruption and delay of phone calls or emails.
According to statistics published on the site, 100,000 families have created free, personalized CaringBridge websites. There have been more than half a billion visits by families and friends and more than 15 million guestbook messages of hope and encouragement. What CaringBridge lacks in the bells and whistles of more sophisticated, higher-budget social network site, they make up for in ease of use, remaining advertisement-free, and advancing their charitable, non-profit mission to help connect people around the world during difficult times. Read story at:
July 8, 2008
Broad Differences in Alcohol, Tobacco and Illegal Drug Use across Countries
A survey conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) research consortium found that the United States had among the highest lifetime rates of tobacco and alcohol use and led in the proportion of participants reporting cannabis (marijuana) or cocaine use at least once during their lifetime.
The authors point out that the survey is limited to those countries that had the resources and willingness to participate, and that efforts were made to account for possible cultural differences in participants' willingness to answer truthfully, which could impact measures of actual drug use. For more information about the survey "Toward a Global View of Alcohol, Tobacco, Cannabis and Cocaine Use: Findings from the WHO Mental Health Surveys," go to and
July 2, 2008
NIAID creates a new Vaccine Discovery Branch
To accelerate the translation of basic discoveries about HIV into advances in vaccine design and evaluation, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has formed a new Vaccine Discovery Branch within the Vaccine Research Program in the Division of AIDS (DAIDS).
The Vaccine Discovery Branch also will have chief oversight of the Center for HIV/AIDS Vaccine Immunology (CHAVI), a consortium of universities and academic medical centers established by NIAID to solve major problems in HIV vaccine development and design. A multidisciplinary group of scientists from across DAIDS will continue to participate in overseeing CHAVI.
This NIH News Release is available online at:
July 1, 2008
"Safe in the City" Video Intervention
A simple video-based waiting room intervention, "Safe in the City," lowers STD incidence among STD clinic patients by nearly 10% (Warner). The research study to evaluate the"Safe in the City" intervention was conducted among patients attending STD clinics in three US cities. All patients attending those clinics during a two-year period were included in the study. The intervention condition (i.e., the Safe in the City video and movie-style posters) and the control condition (i.e., standard waiting room experience) were systematically administered in alternating 4-week blocks of time. Clinical medical record data and external county sexually transmitted infections (STI) surveillance registries were reviewed to identify and compare incident infections between the two study groups. Read story at:
Warner L, Klausner JD, Rietmeijer CA, Malotte CK, O'Donnell L, et al. (2008). "Effect of a brief video intervention on incident infection among patients attending sexually transmitted disease clinics." PLoS Med, 5(6): e135.
July 1, 2008's New Look
On July 8th, the home page and 2nd level pages will have a slightly new look. The new visual design is intended to offer a clean and modern look and is based on user experience research. This visual design update includes:
. Update to the banner and footer
. Expanded Search box and relocation to upper right hand corner
. Repositioning of the A-Z Index across the top of the page
. New module designs for information groupings
. New page options, including Bookmark and Share, Email Page and Print Page; and a redesigned Text Sizer
Full story at:
June 27, 2008
PubMed Central' founder up for public service award
The director of the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), David Lipman was chosen as a finalist last week (June 18) to receive a national public service award for developing PubMed Central.
The award, called the Service to America Citizen Services Medal, has been presented annually for the last six years by the Washington DC-based nonprofit, "Partnership for Public Service", to a federal employee who is "making high-impact contributions critical to the safety, health, and well-being of Americans," according to the organization's web site.
Read full story at
June 25, 2008
Wireless hospitals systems can disrupt med devices
An article in Vol. 299 No. 24, June 25, 2008 of JAMA, has reported that wireless systems, used by many hospitals to keep track of medical equipment, can cause potentially deadly breakdowns in lifesaving devices such as breathing and dialysis machines.
Some of the microchip-based "smart" systems are touted as improving patient safety, but the Dutch study of equipment (without patients) suggests the wireless systems could actually cause harm.
A U.S. patient-safety expert said the study "is of urgent significance" and said hospitals should respond immediately to the "disturbing" results. See more details at: Yahoo News
June 23, 2008
Engaging Patients as Safety Partners
A new book, from the American Hospital Association, discusses strategies for health care professionals to improve patient-provider relationships and to involve patients in ensuring safety (1). The book aids health care professionals in understanding how patients and families can partner with practitioners to reduce medical errors and how practitioners can mitigate the effects of mistakes when they do occur. It helps health care professionals recognize and overcome barriers that inhibit consumer involvement in patient safety improvement. It also provides valuable advice on how to surmount legal concerns associated with patient/practitioner collaboration. The book is filled with advice, templates, and other solutions to problematic safety issues, such as overcoming the culture of individual accountability that can inhibit collaboration; introducing strategies and techniques for patients to safely navigate the health care system; breaking through barriers caused by low health literacy; overcoming legal, cultural, and regulatory issues that affect information sharing and disclosure, and mending an adversarial patient/caregiver relationship through patient-centered care and transparency.
(1) Spath P, ed. Engaging Patients as Safety Partners. Chicago, IL: AHA Press; 2008. ISBN: 9781556483530.
June 20, 2008
America's Best Children's Hospitals
This U.S. News & World Reports feature ranks children's hospitals in the U.S. with respect to various health conditions. View lists of hospitals for general pediatrics, cancer, digestive disorders, heart and heart surgery, neonatal care, neurology and neurosurgery, and respiratory disorders. Includes a description of methodology, glossary of terms used in the evaluation process, and links to related material. Full story at:
June 20, 2008
FDA Warns Individuals and Firms to Stop Selling Fake Cancer 'Cures'
Warning Letters have been sent to 23 U.S. companies and two foreign individuals marketing a wide range of products fraudulently claiming to prevent and cure cancer, according to the U.S. Food and Drug.
Those companies and individuals warned, the complete list of fake cancer 'cure' products and their manufacturers along with a consumer article on health scams can be found here,
To read about efforts in Canada to educate consumers about health scams, go to
June 20, 2008
Ethics and communication in human biomonitoring
The online journal from BioMed Central, Environmental Health, 2008, Volume 7, Supplement 1, has published the proceedings from the conference "Ethics and communication in human biomonitoring in Europe: results from preparation of pilot studies" , Copenhagen, Denmark, 11-13 March 2007.
The European Environment and Health Strategy adopted by the European Commission in 2003 presented a new vision on how to address environment and health in an integrated way by putting health in the centre of environmental policy. EU Commission launched the ESBIO (Expert team to support biomonitoring in Europe) project, scheduled for 2006 and 2007. The workshop in Copenhagen was part of the deliverables of ESBIO, which is further described in the presentations of Smolders et al. and Thomsen et al]. The workshop provided two days of debate on identifying major items for guidelines for ethical issues and communication in human biomonitoring. Almost 50 participants from most European countries and US attended the workshop and represented stakeholders of industry, regulators, academia and animal welfare. This special issue of Environmental Health includes manuscripts from some of the presenters at the workshop. Read issue at:
June 18, 2008
Hospital report cards: Making the grade
The latest "Advice Columns from Dr. Carolyn Clancy," the director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), describes resources that can help consumers choose a good hospital. Read story at:
June 17, 2008
2007 National Healthcare Quality & Disparities Reports
For the fifth year in a row, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has produced the National Healthcare Quality Report (NHQR) and the National Healthcare Disparities Report (NHDR). These reports measure trends in effectiveness of care, patient safety, timeliness of care, patient centeredness, and efficiency of care. The reports present, in chart form, the latest available findings on quality of and access to health care. Read the announcement at:
June 16, 2008
Updated Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs Now Available
A new, updated guide to finding local substance abuse treatment programs is now available from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). National Directory of Drug and Alcohol Abuse Treatment Programs 2008 provides information on thousands of alcohol and drug treatment programs located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and five U.S. territories. The Directory is available on the web at Hard copies of the Directory may be obtained free of charge from SAMHSA's Health Information Network at 1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727). Read notification at
June 16, 2008
NLM Enviro-Health Link on Disaster Recovery and Environmental Health
The National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services Division has released an Enviro-Health Links page on Disaster Recovery and Environmental Health (
This link provides information about recovering from natural and man-made disasters. It includes guides for state and local officials, links to state emergency management offices, information for emergency responders, guidelines for workers involved in environmental cleanup, and handling hazardous chemicals.
June 16, 2008
Drug Information Portal
The NLM Drug Information Portal, introduced on February 2008, gives the public, healthcare professionals and researchers a gateway to current, accurate and understandable drug information from the National Library of Medicine and other key government agencies.
More than 12,000 drug records are available for searching. The search interface is straightforward, requiring only a drug name as a search term, and successful searching is enhanced by the assistance of a spellchecker. Information buttons and balloon pop-ups guide the user by providing helpful hints or a description of the resource and links to the source website. Links to the following resources contribute to the search results: MedlinePlus®, AIDSinfo®, Medline/PubMed®, LactMed, HSDB®, Dietary Supplements Labels Database, TOXLINE®, DailyMed®,, PubChem, NIAID Anti-HIV/OI Database, ChemIDplus®, Drugs@FDA, DEA, and
The Drug Information Portal offers a varied selection of resources and focused topics in medicine and drug-related information, with links to individual resources with potential drug information and summaries tailored to various audiences. General drug categories from MeSH are also included in the Drug Portal records.
June 12, 2008
New on the NCBI Bookshelf
The NCBI Bookshelf has added several titles:

Drug Class Reviews.
The Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP) is a collaboration of organizations that have joined together to obtain the best available evidence on effectiveness and safety comparisons between drugs in the same class, and to apply the information to public policy and decision making in local settings. Contents: Agents for Overactive Bladder, Alzheimer's Drugs, Beta Adrenergic Blockers, Beta2-Agonists, Constipation Drugs, Cyclo-oxygenase (COX)-2 Inhibitors and Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), Disease-modifying drugs for Multiple Sclerosis, Fixed Dose Combination Drug Products for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes and Hyperlipidemia, HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors (Statins), Inhaled Corticosteroids, Newer Antiemetics, Newer Drugs for Insomnia, Pegylated Interferons for Chronic Hepatitis C Infection, Pharmacologic Treatments for ADHD, Second Generation Antidepressants, Skeletal Muscle Relaxants, Targeted Immune Modulators, and Triptans.
PubMed QandA
PubMed QandA is a collection of summaries of health information from the Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP), Oregon Health & Science University. A brief answer which highlights recent findings and compare treatments is available, along with a link back to the source of the evidence where more details can be found.
Health, United States.
Health, United States, 2007 is the 31st report on the health status of the Nation and is submitted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and the Congress of the United States in compliance with Section 308 of the Public Health Service Act. This report was compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics served in a review capacity.
June 12, 2008
Journal of Clinical Densitometry Announces New Title, Expanded Scope
Philadelphia, 29 May 2008 - The editors of the Journal of Clinical Densitometry, the official journal of the International Society for Clinical Densitometry (ISCD), have announced a new title, reflecting the expansion of the journal's scope to encompass not just bone density measurement but all aspects of evaluating skeletal strength and fracture risk. Read full story at:
June 12, 2008
Salmonellosis Outbreak in Certain Types of Tomatoes
FDA has issued a warning to consumers nationwide that an outbreak of Salmonella serotype Saintpaul, an uncommon type of Salmonella, has been linked to consumption of raw red plum, red Roma, round red tomatoes, and products containing these raw tomatoes. Types of tomatoes not linked to any illnesses are cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, and tomatoes with the vine still attached.

Since mid April, there have been 167 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon form of Salmonella. At least 23 hospitalizations have been reported. Read full story at
June 11, 2008
Will "botox" be the aspirin of the 21st century?
Botulinum toxin ("botox") is a very powerful and often fatal poison produced by a rare type of food poisoning bacteria. The toxin blocks the activity of 'cholinergic' nerves which control muscles and glands, causing glands to stop secretion and muscles to become paralyzed. But in tiny doses and applied to specific structures, "botox" has many medical uses. Lim and Seet's (1) paper describes the early medical use of botulinum toxin in treating eye-squint, then its wider role in treating pain, excess glandular secretion and muscle spasm disorders, and its best-known use as a wrinkle remover in cosmetic surgery. Read full story at:
1. Lim ECH, Seet RCS. Botulinum toxin, Quo Vadis? Medical Hypotheses. 2007; 69: 718-723.
June 10, 2008
Some Bird Flu Strains have Acquired Properties that Might Enhance Potential to Infect Humans
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released results of a study suggesting that some North American avian influenza A H7 virus strains have properties that might enhance their potential to infect humans as well as their potential to spread from human to human.
Press Release at
June 5, 2008
Journal publishes first-of-kind reference book
The Journal of Nuclear Medicine has published a general reference tool that offers practitioners unparalleled access to the most recent advancements in cancer diagnosis and patient care management through molecular imaging techniques. To order a copy, please visit or call (800) 513-6853. Price: $48.00 (STM Members $41.00)

Full story available at:
June 4, 2008
EQUATOR Network Launch Meeting & 1st Annual Lecture
The EQUATOR acronym stands for "Enhancing the QUAlity and Transparency Of health Research". The Network is a non-profit global centre providing resources and training for reporting health research and assistance in the development, dissemination and implementation of reporting guidelines. This website hosts a collection of more than 80 reporting guidelines for various study designs. Resources are being developed to suit particular needs of authors, journals, editors, and peer reviewers. The EQUATOR Network is funded by the NHS National Library for Health and National Institute for Health Research.

TheEQUATOR Network will hold its official launch meeting "Achieving Transparency in Reporting Health Research" on 26 June at the Royal Society of Medicine, London, UK. The meeting will focus on better understanding of problems associated with health research reporting and use of reporting guidelines and on finding potential solutions that can lead to the improvement of the health research literature. The latest news, including the programme and registration details, can be found on the meeting website

Read the full story at:
June 3, 2008
Experts Revive Debate over Cell phones and Cancer: What do brain surgeons know about cell phone safety that the rest of us don't?
According to the Food and Drug Administration, three large epidemiology studies since 2000 have shown no harmful effects. Read the full story at:
June 2, 2008
PMC Back Issue Digitization Project
A number of journals that joined PubMed Central (PMC) prior to 2008 have benefited from NLM's back issue digitization project, offered to publishers whose archival content was not yet available in electronic form.

Because of back issue digitization, several historically important works are now available in their entirety, including: Annals of Surgery from v.1, 1885; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A. from v. 1, 1915; and all of the titles published by the American Society for Microbiology, including the Journal of Bacteriology, from v.1, 1916. Scanning was completed for the American Journal of Public Health v. 2 1912, and very soon BMJ will be available back to v. 1, 1857 along with all of the specialty journals published by the British Medical Association. Each of these titles continues to participate in PMC by submitting current content in full-text electronic form for every issue.

By scanning back issues that were available only in print, NLM has helped create a complete digital archive of these journals in PMC. The details of the project, which is now in its final phase, can be found at and

A total of 358 journals ( ) have committed to make the final published version of every NIH-funded article publicly available in PubMed Central within 12 months of publication, without author involvement
May 28, 2008
PubMed's New Features ATM & Citation Sensor Introduced
PubMed has been modified frequently over the years to optimize retrieval or provide features that lead searchers to additional information. PubMed is undergoing two changes which continue this trend. One change is in the way Automatic Term Mapping (ATM) works and the other is a new feature called Citation Sensor. Full story at:
May 28, 2008
Medical Library Association 2008 Annual Meeting Theater Presentations from the National Library of Medicine
Missed MLA? Want to catch up using short (under 30 minutes each) online presentations? Look no further! The National Library of Medicine offers the captured live presentations offered at MLA at: (scroll about mid-way through the page).

View and learn any or all of the following:

Citing Medicine (14 min.)

DailyMed® (19 min.)

Health Services Research & Public Health: What's Happening? (27 min.)

LinkOut Update (23 min.)

NIH Manuscript Submission System (24 min.)

NLM Drug Information Portal (19 min.)

NLM Gateway Redesign (22 min.)

PubMed Central® Update (21 min.)

PubMed Review (25 min.)

The New "Images in the History of Medicine" Software (18 min)

What's New with Environmental Health & Toxicology Resources?(13 min.)

What's New with MedlinePlus & GoLocal (20 min.)

AND view a presentation on the NIH Manuscript Submission System! NIH Manuscript Submission System (24 min. video, MLA Annual Meeting Theater Presentation, May 2008)
May 28, 2008
eTBLAST helps thwart questionable publication practices
eTBLAST: a text similarity-based engine for searching literature collections developed by UT Southwestern Medical Center, is a unique search engine for searching biomedical literature. While PubMed searches for "keywords", eTBLAST search engine lets you input an entire paragraph and returns Medline abstracts that are similar to it.

This computer-based text-searching tool offeres scientific journal editors a new tool to thwart questionable publication practices.

In the first phase of the study, published in Bioinformatics (Sep 15, 2006; 22: 2298-2304), researchers used eTBLAST to analyze more than 62,000 abstracts from the past 12 years, randomly selected from Medline, one of the largest databases of biomedical research articles. They found that 0.04 percent of papers with no shared authors were highly similar and cases representing potential plagiarism. The small percentage found in the sample may appear insignificant, but when extrapolated to the 17 million scientific papers currently cited in the database, the number of potential plagiarism cases grow.
May 28, 2008
Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act becomes law!
GINA was signed into law on May 21, 2008. GINA provides vital protection for Americans against the misuse of genetic test results by heath insurers and employers. The Genetics and Public Policy Center has compiled a table showing what GINA does and does not do.

Read full story at
May 21, 2008
Researchers develop first transgenic monkey model of Huntington's disease
Scientists have developed the first genetically altered monkey model that replicates some symptoms observed in patients with Huntington's disease, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Researchers are now able to better understand this complex, devastating and incurable genetic disorder affecting the brain. This NIH News Release is available online at:
May 16, 2008
The Hazards of Mercury
The effects of mercury on human health are a common concern. The new NLM Enviro-Health Links page, “Mercury and Human Health,” includes links to sites about mercury reduction, occupational exposure, compact fluorescent light bulbs, mercury in health care, regulations and state legislation, and preformed TOXLINE and MEDLINE/PubMed searches.
May 15, 2008
The patient's perspective appears in peer-review journals!
"Journal of Medical Case Reports" has now opened its doors to accepting case reports with comments from the patient in question. The 'Patient's perspective' feature is a simple way to add another dimension to a case report. 'Patient's perspectives' are of course also welcome in JMCR's new sister publication, Cases Journal. Richard Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Cases Journal (best known for his previous role as Editor of the BMJ), said of the new journal "Health care is in some ways nothing more than an accumulation of case reports just as a population is a collection of people. And just as every person is important and different so is every case. In Cases Journal, everybody who sees a patient, and everybody who is a patient can contribute and I urge you to do so".

All case reports published in both journals will eventually be aggregated into a database, which will allow users to search for case reports by disease, drug, patient demographics and more, to find cases of most relevance to their clinical practice or research interests.

Richard Smith's editorials are available online:
Why do we need Cases Journal?
The policies of Cases Journal:
Beijing cough: a case report:
May 14, 2008
NIH Launches Undiagnosed Diseases Program
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will host a teleconference beginning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, May 19, 2008, to introduce The NIH Undiagnosed Diseases Program, a new program to study some of the most difficult-to-diagnose medical cases. The Undiagnosed Diseases Program is an unprecedented trans-NIH clinical initiative that will engage a wide range of consulting specialists to evaluate patients who suffer from conditions that have resisted diagnosis. See the news release.
May 13, 2008
FDA Approved New Medical Adhesive to Treat Burn Patients
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved on March 19, 2008 a new medical adhesive (a fibrin sealant) called Artiss for use in attaching skin grafts onto burn patients.

Fibrin sealants are tissue adhesives that contain the proteins fibrinogen and thrombin, which are essential in the clotting of blood. Artiss (Fibrin Sealant, VH S/D 4) differs from other fibrin sealants in that it contains a lower concentration of thrombin. This lower concentration allows surgeons more time to position skin grafts over burns before the graft begins to adhere to the skin. Artiss also contains aprotinin, a synthetic protein that delays the break down of blood clots.
May 5, 2008
Safety of nanomaterials in cosmetic products
The EU's Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) looked at the safety evaluation of nanomaterials for use in cosmetic products and considered the implications on animal testing and whether the previous opinions on nanomaterials currently used in sunscreen products would need to be revised. It reported its findings in March 2008 in a report titled "The Safety of Nanomaterials in Cosmetic Products "

The SCCP report differentiates between soluble and/or biodegradable nanoparticles which disintegrate upon application to skin into their molecular components (e.g. liposomes, microemulsions, nanoemulsions), and and insoluble and/or biopersistent particles (e.g. TiO2, fullerenes, quantum dots). It finds that for the former, conventional risk assessment methodologies based on mass metrics may be adequate, whereas for the insoluble particles other metrics, such as the number of particles, and their surface area as well as their distribution are also required. It is crucial when assessing possible risks associated with nanoparticles to consider their uptake. While many uptake and translocation routes have been demonstrated, others are still hypothetical and need to be investigated. For topical applications, the route of exposure is essentially through the skin but exposure via inhalation, ingestion, conjunctival and mucosal surfaces may sometimes be relevant.
May 5, 2008
PubMed Central recently added 42 new journals
PubMed has recently added 42 new journals to their database.

You can view a list of these titles at:
May 3, 2008
Even a six-minute snooze boosts memory
A recent article by Lahl et. al. (1) found that memory performance was significantly enhanced after napping as opposed to waking.

(1) Lahl O, Wispel C, Willigens B, Pietrowsky R. "An ultra short episode of sleep is sufficient to promote declarative memory performance." J Sleep Res. 2008 Mar; 17(1):3-10. PMID: 18275549
May 3, 2008
Using nanotechnology to improve hearing
NanoBioMagnetics Inc. (NBMI) has been issued its first patent, titled "Method and Apparatus for Improving Hearing." The patent is based on the use of magnetically responsive nanoparticles implanted in the organs of the middle ear to drive tissue vibrations in the amplification of sound.

The technology was the first demonstration of the nanomechanical movement of tissue and operates in principle much like a typical commercial electromagnetic hearing aid. Development and validation was done from 2002 to 2004. The company now will move the technology through commercialization partnerships
May 1, 2008
Librarians' Outcry Returns "Abortion" to Federal Health Database
The March 31 discovery by an academic librarian that the administrator of the reproductive-health database Popline (Population Information Online) had placed the search word "abortion" on its stop list, or file of blocked terms, has led to the dean of Johns Hopkins University's Bloomberg School of Public Health reversing the decision a scant five days later.

Administered by JHU, Popline is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and contains more than 360,000 items about family planning and sexually transmitted disease. However, federal laws dating back to 1973 prohibit the use of federal funds for abortion advocacy or supplies, according to the April 10 Johns Hopkins University News-Letter.

After finding that a routine Popline search on the word "abortion" retrieved fewer citations at the end of March than it had in January, librarian Gloria Won of the Medical Center of the University of San Francisco e-mailed database officials to ask about the discrepancy. Popline Database Manager/Administrator Debra L. Dickson replied April 1, "We recently made all abortion terms stop words. As a federally funded project, we decided this was best for now." She went on to suggest that librarians could substitute the terms "fertility control, postconception" or "pregnancy, unwanted." An outraged Won and her supervisor Gail L. Sorrough alerted the library community on a medical-librarian discussion list and soon word had spread to the biblioblogosphere and the mainstream news media. On April 4, Michael Klag, dean of the public health school, stated that he "could not disagree more strongly with this decision," adding that he had "directed that the Popline administrators restore 'abortion' as a search term immediately."

Reporting on the findings of an investigation he had ordered, Klag explained April 8 that the stop-listing of the word "abortion" began in February; Popline officials took the action unilaterally after USAID inquired about two articles in the Winter 2008 issue of A, the Abortion Magazine characterizing the termination of pregnancy as a human right. Popline officials also pulled the two articles, plus another five from the same issue of A, from the database. Pledging to "work with our staff to reinforce their appreciation of the importance of academic integrity," Klag said, "Unfettered access to information is essential for informed debate and rational choices in any field, especially in family planning."
April 30, 2008
NLM Classification updated
The online National Library of Medicine Classification has been issued in a newly revised edition as of April 24, 2008.

Twenty-six new class numbers were added to the schedules and seventy-one MeSH terms were added to the index, including forty-one new to the MeSH vocabulary as of 2008; in addition, forty-eight schedule records and four hundred and forty-four index entries were updated since the 2007 edition was published on April 19, 2007.

Contact NLM for further information, questions, or comments.
April 18, 2008
EPA Launches Environmental Indicators Gateway
EPA launched the Environmental Indicators Gateway Web site to provide enhanced public access to environmental and health information generated by EPA. Information is presented in the context of "environmental indicators," numerical values that provide insights into the status and trends of environmental and public health conditions over time.

This NIH News Release is available online at:
April 14, 2008
NLM will open exhibit with special program on April 16.
The National Library of Medicine will open a new interactive exhibition, "Against the Odds: Making a Difference in Global Health" with a special program Wednesday, April 16, 10:00-11:00 a.m. in Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38A, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Md. The exhibition opens to the public April 17.

"Against the Odds" presents a look at the public health problems posed by Hurricane Katrina. It showcases the barefoot doctors program, which trained over one million young people to treat the common ailments of residents of rural China in the 1960s and 1970s. The exhibition also profiles a campaign for oral rehydration in Bangladesh that was so successful that it has been adopted in Afghanistan as well. In another example of nation-to-nation collaboration, "Against the Odds" shows how the Pholela Health Center in South Africa inspired the community health center movement in the U.S.

The entire NIH News Release is available online at:
April 9, 2008
No laughing matter..... New study finds anticipating a laugh reduces our stress hormones
New study finds anticipating a laugh reduces our stress hormones. Dr. Berk and his team investigating the interaction between the brain, behavior, and the immune system, found in 2006 that simply anticipating a mirthful laughter experience boosted health-protecting hormones. Now, two years later the same researchers reported at the 121st Annual Meeting of the American Physiological Society in San Diego, California that the anticipation of a positive humorous laughter experience also reduces potentially detrimental stress hormones.
April 9, 2008
The NCBI Bookshelf has added a new book to it's collection
The NCBI Bookshelf has added one new book entitled, "Bioinformatics in Tropical Disease Research: A Practical and Case Study Approach."

This book is intended to serve both as a textbook for short bioinformatics courses, and as a base for a self-teaching endeavor. It is divided in two sections: A. Bioinformatics Techniques and B. Case Studies.

Each chapter in the first section addresses a specific problem in bioinformatics and contains a theoretical part and a detailed tutorial, with practical applications of that theory using software freely available on the Internet. All of the authors who were selected for this section of the book have extensive experience in teaching Bioinformatics, either at WHO-TDR and other short-term courses, at universities around the world, or at both. In the second section, renowned researchers were invited to write chapters that represent up-to-date reviews of particular human diseases, including biological aspects and bioinformatics approaches that helped solve specific problems.
April 2, 2008
MLA Awards to DBIO members
MLA has announced its awards, grants and scholarship winners for 2008, and congratulations are in order for a number of DBIO members including:

Logan Ludwig - Virginia L. and William K. Beatty MLA Volunteer Service Award
J. Michael Homan - Janet Doe Lectureship for 2009
Karen Albert - Medical Informatics Section/MLA Career Development Grant
Lisa O'Keefe - MLA Scholarship

For a complete list of winners, visit For a list of DBIO winners of MLA awards from previous years, go to:
March 31, 2008
Health Care Notification Network (HCNN) is a free service for healthcare providers
A coalition of medical societies, malpractice insurers, pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, health plans, and government agencies is trying to end the era of paper patient-safety alerts with the launch of the Health Care Notification Network (HCNN).

HCNN is an electronic network to disseminate wide-scale drug and device recalls and warnings to healthcare providers.
March 25, 2008
Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC)
The National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce a new web resource for its Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC). The aim of the DIMRC web site is to provide access to quality disaster health information to the nation at all stages of preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. The initial phase of this web site focuses on NLM and NLM-supported resources and activities. The web site will expand to include other sources of authoritative disaster health information.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has a long history of providing health information during times of disaster. Recognizing the potential for the use of libraries as major untapped resources in preparing for disasters, and responding to the current increased need for disaster health information, the Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) has been created to aid the nation's disaster management efforts. DIMRC is tasked with the effective collection, organization, and dissemination of health information for natural, accidental, or deliberate disasters. DIMRC is committed to providing this essential information as part of the Federal effort to help prepare, respond to, recover from, and mitigate the adverse health effects of disasters in conjunction with Federal, State, local government, private organizations, and local communities. To accomplish this, DIMRC will focus its efforts on providing disaster health information resources and informatics research that will be directly beneficial for public health officials, healthcare providers, special populations, and the public.
March 25, 2008
The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine is looking for unique historical collections
Invitation to participate in NLM’s Directory of History of Medicine Collections

Unique historical collections – if held by a library, archives or museum – are not listed in the Directory of History of Medicine Collections. NLM would like to ensure that a listing is made for the collection. Please contact Crystal Smith, reference librarian, History of Medicine Division for additional information at

The History of Medicine Division identifies collections of unique materials that are pertinent to the history of medicine, and tries to ensure that these are placed within trustworthy and reputable repositories, including but not limited to the National Library of Medicine. Such collections may include books, personal papers, archival records, oral histories, sound recordings, posters, photographs, films, videos, or electronic materials.

If the libraries in your region are aware of collections that would shed light on the history of medicine and related fields, and are not currently placed in a repository, we ask that you forward the information to Kathel Dunn, Associate Director, NN/LM MAR and to Paul Theerman, Head, Images and Archives, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine
March 19, 2008
Opportunity Available: Medical Librarians to Serve as Selectors of Doody's Core Titles 2008
Doody Enterprises is seeking qualified collection development specialists OR subject specialists from the medical library community to serve as final selectors for Doody's Core Titles 2008, the 5th edition of this collection development tool. These individuals will work collaboratively with the publisher's editorial staff and with up to two other librarians to make core title selections in their specialty areas. The work will take place between March 21 and April 28, 2008. Selectors have a little over two weeks to select titles and two weeks to score the final selections.

Specifics of the work flow are as follows:

1) Librarian selectors will be working in their specialties with an initial list of core titles selected by content specialists in each specialty.
2) Librarian selectors will be able to add titles to the list provided by the content specialist and then will be asked to score five characteristics of each core title on a 3-point scale. Finally, each librarian will select what they would consider the "Essential Purchase" titles for a small library.
3) The entire selection and scoring process is done online in a user-friendly system designed by Doody Enterprises staff exclusively for the purpose of getting expert input from library selectors in a time-efficient manner.
4) Librarian selectors will be acknowledged as members of the Editorial Board of Doody's Core Titles.

Doody's Core Titles 2008, featuring core title selections in 121 basic, clinical, nursing and allied health specialties, will be published on May 14, 2008.

If you are interested in participating as a librarian selector, please contact Anne Hennessy, Editor-in-Chief at Doody Enterprises with the following information:
Name, degrees, and full address and contact information
List of specialties for which you are qualified to select core titles.
March 5, 2008
Women's Health Resources from the National Library of Medicine
A new Web resource providing scientists and consumers with the latest information on significant topics in women's health research from scientific journals and other peer-reviewed sources is now available through the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The NLM Division of Specialized Information Services, Office of Outreach and Special Populations has partnered with the NIH Office of Research on Women's Health (ORWH) to create this one-stop resource.

The 2008 National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Priorities for Women's Health were used to identify overarching themes, specific health topics, and research initiatives in women's health. Within each section of the Web site are topics with links to relevant and authoritative resources and research initiatives for women's health.

Women's Health Resources from the NLM Web site can be found at:
February 29, 2008
Google's Rx for Health Data
Its new site is a different approach to health-care data than Microsoft's HealthVault service. Cooperation may be key to the success of both.

Google debuted a long-anticipated health Web site at the Healthcare Information & Management Systems Society conference in Orlando. That came just three days after Microsoft announced the launch of a $3 million fund to fuel development of Web programs for its four-month-old HealthVault record keeping service.

Both are designed to help keep better track of patients' medical data. As any patient who has switched doctors or visited a specialist knows, health records are frequently stored in paper files that are neither easy to read nor transfer from one physician to the next.

From BusinessWeek February 29, 2008
February 28, 2008
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently formed a new Alliance with the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP), the Council on Certification of Health, Environmental and Safety Technologists (CCHEST) and the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH). The groups will work collectively to help enhance the education and expertise of safety professionals and industrial hygienists, as well as promote the value of safety and health accredited certifications.
January 22, 2008
The 1000 Genome Project launched
An international consortium, supported by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England, the Beijing Genomics Institute, Shenzhen (BGI Shenzhen) in China, and the National Institutes of Health's National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI). announced today a plan to sequence at least 1000 genomes from people all over the world. "The 1000 Genome Project" seeks to assemble the most comprehensive map yet of human genetic variation.

The genomic data will be available to the public through the National Center for Biotechnology Information's and the European Bioinformatics Institute's online databases, and organizers expect the project to cost between $30 million and $50 million.

January 8, 2008
OLDMEDLINE Content Continues to Extend Back in Time
Beginning on December 28, 2007, citations from the 1949 Current List of Medical Literature (CLML) were added to the OLDMEDLINE subset in PubMed®. These 55,557 citations have not yet been mapped to current MeSH®. To search PubMed for citations originating from OLDMEDLINE use jsubsetom. For additional information about the OLDMEDLINE data project, see:

From NLM Technical Bulletin, January 8, 2008

Rev. May 2008