The Medical Section of the SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

2009 News

October 19, 2009

Transformational Change in Health Sciences Libraries
NN/LM MAR is pleased to announce the launch of the Transformational Change in Health Sciences Libraries: Space, Collection, Roles web page. This page reflects the presentations, panel sessions, and discussion that took place on April 22/09 at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library for this one day conference. The conference topics focused on reduction of print collections, reduction in library space, emerging roles for librarians, and new services for librarians. The web page includes presenters' PowerPoint slides, podcasts, video casts, photos from the day, and a bibliography for further information on these topics.
Librarians at the George T. Harrell Health Sciences Library, Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, won a competitive NN/LM MAR award to fund this conference.
October 16, 2009
Toxipedia.org, in partnership with the USA National Library of Medicine (NLM), the International Union of Toxicology (IUTOX), and the Institute of Neurotoxicology and Neurological Disorders (INND), announces the launch of the World Library of Toxicology, Chemical Safety, and Environmental Health, briefly referred to as the World Library of Toxicology. This free global Web portal provides the scientific community and public with links to major government agencies, non-governmental organizations, universities, professional societies, and other groups addressing issues related to toxicology, public health, and environmental health.
October 14, 2009
PubMed Search Strategies Blog
Cindy Schmidt, Reference Librarian, McGoogan Library of Medicine has created and developed the "PubMed Search Strategies" Blog.
The purpose of the blog is to make available to all, PubMed strategies to retrieve comprehensive search results. So far the blog contains 57 search strategies. Any librarian interested in adding comments, revising a posted strategy, or submitting a new strategy to the blog, can contact Cindy Schmidt, by email, call her 402-559-7077 or snail mail. Her address is: Cindy Schmidt, M.D., M.L.S. Reference Librarian, McGoogan Library of Medicine, 6006 WHM, 986705 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198-6705.
October 12, 2009
CDC Links Data on Health and Environment
A new tool launched in July by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) might help scientists, clinicians, and citizens complete some environmental public health queries in a matter of minutes (1) This Web-based tool, the CDC's Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, allows individuals for the first time to query data from an array of federal, state, and local databases that track health conditions or environmental exposures. It is freely available for use by anyone at the program's Web site, which also serves as a clearinghouse for environmental health information.
(1) Kuehn, Bridget M. "CDC Links Data on Health and Environment." JAMA. 2009; 302 (10):1049.
September 30, 2009
NLM Associate Fellowship program
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is accepting applications for its Associate Fellowship program, a one-year training program for recent MLS graduates and librarians early in their career.
In the first half of the year, a formal curriculum offers exposure to library operations, research and development, intramural and extramural research, development and lifecycle of NLM's web-based products and services and the extensive outreach and education program reaching consumers, special populations, health professionals and librarians. In the second half of the year, Associate Fellows have the opportunity to choose projects based on real-world problems proposed by library divisions and work with librarians and library staff over a six-seven month period. Successful projects have led to peer-review publications and to services that have become a regular part of library operations.
The September through August program also offers professional development and an introduction to the wider world of health sciences librarianship that may include:
· Supported attendance at national professional conferences, often including the Medical Library Association's annual meeting, the American Medical Informatics Association annual meeting and others
· Spring Practicum at a health sciences library in the contiguous United States
· Additional brown bags, seminars, field trips and learning opportunities available on the National Institutes of Health campus
· Opportunities to meet and interact with senior management at the National Library of Medicine
· Experienced preceptors from National Library of Medicine staff
· Potential to compete for a second year fellowship at a health sciences library in the United States
The Fellowship offers:
· A stipend equivalent to a U.S. Civil Service salary at the GS-9 level ($50,408 in 2009)
· Additional financial support for the purchase of health insurance
· Some relocation funding
· Assistance in finding housing
Who is eligible?
All U.S. and Canadian citizens who will have earned a MLS or equivalent degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited school by August 2010. Both recent graduates and librarians early in their career are welcome to apply. Priority is given to U.S. citizens.
Applications and additional information. Application deadline is February 5, 2010. Between 4 and 7 fellows will be selected for the program.
Contact Kathel Dunn, Associate Fellowship Coordinator, for further information. 301-435-4083
September 16, 2009
PNAS has a two-tiered peer review system
The editors of Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS) has announced that it is abandoning the two-tiered system in July 2010. At that point, all articles will go through a more traditional process in which submissions that pass an initial review will be sent to anonymous peer reviewers who are experts in appropriate fields. The system of "communicated submissions" -- in which National Academies members can set up their own peer review process for articles they endorse -- will end.
The announcement comes at a time when the journal is under intense criticism for an article published last month, by Donald I. Williamson -- via this route in which academy members can organize their own peer review panels -- claiming that caterpillars and butterflies do not have the same evolutionary history. Rather than viewing the butterfly and caterpillar as two life stages, the article views them as evidence of some sort of lasting mistake from a butterfly-like being accidentally mating with a worm at some point in the distant past.
Williamson's article was "communicated" to the PNAS by Lynn Margulis, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who as a National Academies member has the right to conduct her own peer review for articles she is referring. Williamson told The Times Higher that he and Margulis are friends. He stood by the work, but acknowledged that the paper had been rejected by seven other journals before PNAS published it.
Jonathan Lifland, a spokesman for the journal, said Sunday that the editorial board is reviewing the article to consider whether any action is appropriate. "We are aware of the situation and we are concerned about anything that could reflect poorly on the National Academies and the journal," he said. "The reaction we have seen from scientists has been what you would likely expect. The editorial group at PNAS is studying how to handle the situation." Read more.
September 15, 2009
Newborn Screening Coding and Terminology Guide
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) had launched the Newborn Screening Coding and Terminology Guide, an important step toward efficient electronic exchange of standard newborn screening data. The new Web site was created in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a number of professional organizations, to enable more effective use of newborn screening test results in assessing child health and improving lifelong health care.
The goal of the Newborn Screening Codes and Terminology Guide is to provide a standard framework for reporting the results of newborn screening tests whose contents can be accurately interpreted by recipient electronic systems for use in care, follow-up and analysis. This standard framework will also enable the use and comparison of data from different laboratories.
This NIH News Release is available online.
September 10, 2009
Drug Industry Document Archive (DIDA)
This archive is one that will be of particular importance to those with an interest in public health, public policy, and the general activities of pharmaceutical companies. The Drug Industry Document Archive (DIDA) was created by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and it contains over 1500 documents related to pharmaceutical industry clinical trials, publication of study results, pricing, marketing, and relations with physicians. Many of these documents were previously secret, and were only made public as a result of lawsuits filed against a number of prominent pharmaceutical companies. First-time visitors may wish to start by clicking on "The Documents" link on the homepage. Here they can read about some of the crucial lawsuits that generated the documents featured in this archive.
September 8, 2009
Electronic nose sniffs out toxins
Imagine a polka-dotted postage stamp-sized sensor that can sniff out some known poisonous gases and toxins and show the results simply by changing colors.
Support for the development and application of this electronic nose comes from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The new technology is discussed in this month's issue of Nature Chemistry and exemplifies the types of sensors that are being developed as part of the NIH Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI).
This NIH News Release is available online.
August 14, 2009
Ghostwriters Used in Biomedical Journals
Court documents show that 26 scientific articles in journals, all about hormone replacement therapy for women, were at least partly ghostwritten by a medical communications company paid by the pharmaceutical company Wyeth, The New York Times reported. The articles suggested a consensus on the value of the therapy, but that apparent consensus has since fallen apart. Eighteen journals published the articles -- without revealing Wyeth's role. Read more.
August 10, 2009
Global Aging examined in new census report
An Aging World: 2008” examines the demographic and socioeconomic trends accompanying this phenomenon. It was commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. It was released by the Census Bureau.
"An Aging World: 2008" contains detailed information on life expectancy, health, disability, gender balance, marital status, living arrangements, education and literacy, labor force participation and retirement, and pensions among older people around the world.
This NIH News Release is available online.
August 7, 2009
The BioSystems Database of Biological Pathways
NCBI BioSystems is a new database that collects information on interacting sets of biomolecules involved in metabolic and signaling pathways, disease states, and other biological processes. BioSystems currently contains biological pathways from the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and the EcoCyc (Escherichia coli K-12 MG1655) subset of the BioCyc databases and is designed to accommodate other data in the future. BioSystems is fully integrated with other databases in the Entrez system with links to related literature, genes, protein sequences, structures, chemical data, and to related BioSystems. Along with links to related data at the NCBI site, each BioSystem record provides links to detailed diagrams and annotations for individual pathways on the Web sites of the source databases. BioSystems adds an important new aspect to the NCBI system by linking many different kinds of molecular records in biochemical pathways and providing means to compare these pathways across organisms.
Read the entire review.
August 5, 2009
Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) launched an informational website about tobacco use aimed at providing additional information for community coalitions looking to take action. The website “Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation” further explains the recommendations from the 2007 IOM report “Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation” and provides examples of organizations that have applied those recommendations to their unique circumstances.
July 27, 2009
New NLM Image Database
The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine announces the launch of a new image platform for its premier database, Images from the History of Medicine (IHM). Using award winning software developed by Luna Imaging, Inc., NLM offers greatly enhanced searching and viewing capabilities to image researchers. Patrons can view search results in a multi-image display, download high resolution copies of their favorite images, zoomin on image details, move images into a patron-defined workspace for further manipulation, and create media groups for presenting images and sharing them via e-mail or posting on blogs. The records from the Images from the History of Medicine database are also searchable in LocatorPlus.
July 23, 2009
Database of women interested in participating in clinical trials
The National Cancer Institute is launching a 21st century information initiative that will transform the way we do cancer research by establishing "The National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid" -- caBIG.
caBIG -- announced plans to team up with the Susan Love Research Foundation to create a database of 1 million women interested in participating in clinical trials via the "Army of Women" website. These women, referred to as the Health of Women (HOW) cohort, can then be tapped by epidemiologists at will.
More information.
July 20, 2009
Grant for Online Post-Master's Degree Certificate in Health Sciences Librarianship
We are very pleased to announce that the School of Information Sciences (the iSchool) and the Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) at the University of Pittsburgh have been awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The three-year grant, for $911,311, will support the development of a "Post Master's Degree Certificate of Advanced Studies in Health Sciences Librarianship," to be managed jointly by the iSchool and HSLS. The program will offer specialized preparation for professional positions in health sciences libraries through online coursework, an applied research project, mentoring experiences, and attendance at a national conference. The grant from IMLS will support the costs of curriculum development and evaluation, online course delivery infrastructure, and student recruitment. In addition, the grant will provide tuition scholarships for 27 students located throughout the United States. Students will enroll in the program beginning in May 2010.
Coursework will address such issues as evidence-based medicine, teaching and instruction in a health care setting, clinical librarianship, expert searching in medical resources, and integration of information resources in electronic health records. Students, admitted in cohorts of 12-15, will complete the 15-credit program within one year. Students will plan and complete a 3-credit applied research project at their home institution under the guidance of a professional mentor. For full information about the grant, please visit.
June 29, 2009
Playing It Safe in Cancer Research
An article published in the New York Times on Sunday, June 28, 2009, noticed that "the fight against cancer is going slower than most had hoped, with only small changes in the death rate in the almost 40 years since it began." One explanation for this slow progression is the grant system. "We have a system that works over all pretty well, and is very good at ruling out bad things - we don't fund bad research," said Dr. Raynard S. Kington, acting director of the National Institutes of Health, which includes the cancer institute. "But given that, we also recognize that the system probably provides disincentives to funding really transformative research." Full story.
June 25, 2009
Tufts OpenCourseWare (OCW) project
The Tufts OpenCourseWare (OCW) project, is a web-based publication of educational material from a number of Tufts University courses, providing open sharing of free, searchable, high-quality course content to educators, students, and self-learners throughout the global community. First launched in June 2005, Tufts OCW provides materials from more than 45 courses, over 65% from the health sciences (Medical, Veterinary, Dental), some of which are equivalent to textbooks in depth. On its Open Educational Resources (OER) page are links to other Tufts open access websites, including SPIRAL (Selected Patient Information Resources in Asian Languages). All materials on the Tufts OCW site are accessible at any time, free of charge, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. As Tufts OCW is not a distance learning program, no registration, applications, prerequisites, or fees are required and no credit is granted. The project continues the Tufts tradition of knowledge sharing as a part of its non-profit mission and its leadership in civic engagement. Posted on MEDLIB-L by Eric D. Albright.
June 23, 2009
New Core Competencies Adopted for Public Health Professionals
On June 11, PHF's Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice unanimously adopted new core competencies for the "mid-tier" public health professional.
The Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (the Council) is a coalition of representatives from 17 national organizations - that has worked for 16 years to further academic/practice collaboration to assure a well-trained, competent workforce and a strong, evidence-based public health infrastructure.
Please note that information literacy plays an important role in several competencies:
o Analytic/Assessment Skills
5. References sources of public health data and information
o Policy Development/Program Planning Skills
1. Analyzes information relevant to specific public health policy issues
o Communication Skills
4. Utilizes a variety of approaches to disseminate public health information
o Public Health Sciences Skills
1. Describes the scientific foundation of the field of public health
2. Identifies prominent events in the history of the public health profession
3. Relates public health science skills to the Core Public Health Functions and Ten Essential Services of Public Health
4. Applies the basic public health sciences (including, but not limited to biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health services administration, and social and behavioral health sciences) to public health policies and programs
5. Conducts a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence related to a public health issue, concern, or, intervention
6. Retrieves scientific evidence from a variety of text and electronic sources
7. Determines the limitations of research findings
8. Determines the laws, regulations, policies and procedures for the ethical conduct of research
9. Contributes to building the scientific base of public health
June 22, 2009
Delays in diagnosing a premature, menopause-like condition
Women and young girls who experience delays in diagnosing a premature, menopause-like condition face increased risk of low bone density, according to new research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. A delay in diagnosing the condition, called primary ovarian insufficiency, may make women more susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures later in life, the researchers concluded.
Delays in diagnosis are common because the main symptom, irregular or stopped menstrual periods, is often disregarded by women and their doctors, the researchers said. The researchers also found that the beginning of menstrual irregularity before age 20 was a strong risk factor for lower bone density. The teen years are a critical period for developing healthy bones.
This NIH News Release is available online.

June 19, 2009
Survey: Company Health-Care Costs to Rise 9% in 2010
Despite the worst recession in 25 years, U.S. employers can expect to see their health-care costs rise by 9% next year. The increase is lower than that of the past two years, but the PricewaterhouseCoopers report shows employees are shouldering more of the burden As a result, 42% of employers expect to increase the amount that employees must contribute to health benefit plans, and 41% expect to increase the amount of co-pays, deductibles, and other health costs the employee must pay.
Source: Business Week, June 18, 2009.
June 12, 2009
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
This Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index "has been developed to provide the official measure for health and well-being [in the U.S.]. It's the voice of Americans and the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to measure what people believe constitutes a good life" and helps Americans "understand how work impacts life and health and conversely how life affects work and health." Finds national figures for well-being, emotional health, physical health, and other factors.

!! Thanks To Librarians' Internet Index for the information!!
June 10, 2009
Issue of the NCBI News on Swine Flu Virus Sequences
The May issue of NCBI News has a featured data section on 2009 H1N1 Influenza Sequences. It provides a brief tutorial on searching and obtaining the latest H1N1 sequences in NCBI's repository. The Influenza Virus Resource has 34 H1N1 influenza sequences listed here. The Featured Resource article this month is entitled, "Protein Multiple Alignment Tools Web Service." NCBI is the repository for the 2009 influenza virus sequences from the global H1N1 outbreak and is making every effort to make the sequences available as soon as possible. You can access the recent flu sequences and retrieve them individually from a special influenza virus resource page that is updated daily.
June 8, 2009
PubMed On Tap
PubMed On Tap is an application for your iPhone or iPod Touch that lets you search PubMed while on the go.

Specifics:
  • Specify fields and search mode, using AND, OR, and NOT logic operators
  • Specify option to find only articles with Full Text or Free Full Text
  • E-mail the results as formatted text or an RIS tagged record, ready to be imported into reference management applications like Bookends and EndNote
  • EZproxy support
  • Link to Full Text articles that open in Safari or Internal Web Browser (requires access privileges)
  • Internal Web Browser / Landscape view
  • Remember/recall recent searches
  • Navigation between references in the formatted view
  • Order full-text copies of articles using Loansome Doc Ordering System
Format: Software / Date: Mar 2009 / Version: 1.3.1 / License: Purchase /
Price: $2.99 / Platform: Mobile / System Req: iPhone or iPod touch /
Links to the iTunes Download Link AND Other Screen Prints

!! Thanks To The Distant Librarian for the information !!
June 5, 2009
$6 Billion for Cancer Research
President Obama sets a goal of devoting more than 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product to research and development in a speech delivered at the National Academy of Sciences' annual meeting, in Washington.

In addition to introducing the 3 percent figure Obama reiterated a number of goals in his speech, including doubling, over 10 years, the budget of the National Science Foundation, making the research and experimentation tax credit permanent, tripling the number of NSF graduate research fellowships, and adding $6 billion to the National Institutes of Health's pot for cancer research. NIH stands to get slightly more than $30.8 billion in 2010. This would represent a $443 million, or 1.5%, bump over the NIH's 2009 budget. It also received $10.4 billion the in the stimulus which must be spend in two years.

Read the story and the speech.
May 25, 2009
Nature News special: Swine Flu
Nature News covers the swine flu outbreak in an online special, that includes breaking news, blog posts from The Great Beyond and a timeline, as well as our coverage of past flu outbreaks. How might a potential pandemic be contained? And how might a vaccine for an emerging influenza strain be made?
May 22, 2009
Antimicrobial Products Registered for use against the H1N1
EPA registers pesticide products, including disinfectants. As part of the registration process, EPA evaluates the product efficacy to make sure the public health label claims are accurate. Currently, over 500 disinfectant products are registered for use on hard, non-porous surfaces against influenza A viruses. This is not a complete list since some products may have different distributor or product names and may not be referenced. Approved products specifically have label information which states they provide effectiveness against "Influenza A viruses."
Choose a product whose label states that it is effective against "Influenza A virus" and lists your specific site of concern, such as: farm premises, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, schools, offices or homes. These products are widely available and can be purchased at drugstores, supermarkets, and home maintenance/repair stores, among others.
As the CDC stresses, your first line of defense is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based cleaner. These registered disinfectant products are for use on hard, non-porous surfaces, such as door knobs, handles, tables, floors, etc. EPA emphasizes that these products are not to be used on the skin or to be taken orally. More information.
May 20, 2009
H1N1 Influenza Resources
Health News blog from Writers Write, Inc. provides H1N1 Influenza Resources arranged in the following categories: General Resources, Maps of Cases, U.S. City and State Resources, International Resources, Travel Resources, Historical Resources - 1918, Blog Resources, Twitter Resources, and News Resources.
May 18, 2009
Patient Safety and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsored a theme issue of the journal Health Services Research: April 2009 44 (2), Part II. Eight new studies in this issue, "Program Evaluation of the AHRQ Patient Safety Initiative," take an in-depth look at AHRQ's own patient safety initiative, including the findings from a 4-year RAND Corporation evaluation of more than 300 research projects and other activities. In the first paper, RAND researcher Donna Farley, Ph.D., and AHRQ researcher James Battles, Ph.D., describe the purpose for this supplemental issue, as well as the framework and approach to evaluating these patient safety initiatives.
Read more.
May 7, 2009
Book covering the 1976 swine flu outbreak
Harvey V. Fineberg has made his book on the 1976 swine flu outbreak, The Swine Flu Affair: Decision-Making on a Slippery Disease, available as a free PDF. The book examines the U.S. government's swine flu immunization program in the wake of an outbreak of the disease among a small group of soldiers at Fort Dix. The program was marked by controversy, delay, administrative troubles, legal complications, unforeseen side effects and a progressive loss of credibility for public health authorities. The book is dedicated to co-author Richard Neustadt, and extracts lessons to help cope with similar situations in the future.
May 7, 2009
IOM Releases Guide to Recent Work on Pandemic Flu
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a number of reports and workshop summaries related to major policy issues for pandemic influenza and other infectious disease threats similar to the current spread of H1N1 (SO) influenza. This guide highlights action and information that could be useful for near-term implementation of pandemic planning and response in the following areas:
Communicating with and engaging the public Use of masks and personal protective equipment Use of antiviral drugs and vaccines Outbreak mitigation (e.g., social distancing, school closures) Surveillance, research, and evaluation during a pandemic
The guide is available online or for download as a PDF
May 6, 2009
WHO Updates International H1N1 Situation Including Global Number of Laboratory Confirmed Cases
Mexico has reported 590 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 25 deaths. The United States has reported 286 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.
The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (101), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Costa Rica (1), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), El Salvador (2), France (4), Germany (8), Ireland (1), Israel (4), Italy (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (6), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (1), Spain (54), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (18). More information.
May 4, 2009
CDC updates U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
On May 3, CDC is scheduled to complete deployment of 25 percent of the supplies in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to all states in the continental United States. These supplies and medicines will help states and U.S. territories respond to the outbreak. In addition, the Federal Government and manufacturers have begun the process of developing a vaccine against the novel H1N1 flu virus. Full story.
April 27, 2009
Swine Flu Virus: A Public Health Emergency
HHS issued a nationwide public health emergency declaration today, April 26, 2009, in response to recent human infections with a newly discovered swine influenza A (swine flu) virus.
To date, there have been 20 confirmed cases of swine Influenza A (swH1N1) in California, Texas, Kansas, New York, and Ohio. No deaths in the U.S. have been reported due to the illness. Additional cases of the virus have been confirmed in Mexico and Canada.
Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans; however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses have been documented.
Public health emergency declaration.
***
For information on swine flu, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu.
This site is kept updated with recent facts and status on Swine Flu. There is a link on the page to the facts and figures about the current investigation.
For those of you who follow events on social media sites, CDC has a Twitter feed that contains updates on the Swine Flu
You can also add this RSS feed on Swine Flu to your feed reader to get regular updates.
Plus:
Latest CDC Health Advisory
Information updates from World Health Organization
From NYC Health Dept - Chart: steps required to confirm suspected cases of swine flu
CDC Releases Guidance for Reducing People’s Exposure to Swine Flu
HHS Declares Public Health Emergency for Swine Flu (April 26)
WHO Update on Swine Flu in the United States and Mexico (April 26)
Statement By Secretary Of Agriculture Vilsack Regarding Human Cases Of Swine Influenza A (April 26)
White House Press Briefing on Swine Flu (April 26)
April 24, 2009
Using No-nose Bicycle Saddles to Prevent Health Hazards
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a Workplace Solutions document titled "No-nose Saddles for Preventing Genital Numbness and Sexual Dysfunction in Occupational Bicycling," which summarizes NIOSH research and recommendations. NIOSH researchers began investigating this issue as an occupational health concern in 2000 when complaints of groin numbness were received from officers in a Long Beach, California police bicycle patrol unit. While most workers in jobs that involve bicycling are men, recent evidence suggests that no-nose bicycle saddles may also benefit women. Full story.
April 22, 2009
NIH Center for Interventional Oncology offers New Venue for Research
A new Center for Interventional Oncology has been established at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC). It offers new and expanded opportunities to investigate cancer therapies that use imaging technology to diagnose and treat localized cancers in ways that are precisely targeted and minimally or non-invasive.
Major program components of this initiative will include:
-- Interdisciplinary training and education in interventional oncology
-- Development of new image-guided for methods for personalized drug investigations
-- Image-guided dose-painting-tailoring drug delivery based on disease location
-- Use of 'medical GPS'
-- A system by which small micro coils are built onto invasive devices (like needles or catheters or cameras) and inserted into a patient to define, target, and track the position of tumors during thermal ablation (cooking tumors with needles) for tumor biopsy and treatment
-- First-in-human investigations involving new drugs, devices, molecular probes, nanoparticles, and targeted therapies
-- Interdisciplinary research involving novel technologies in interventional oncology.
This NIH News Release is available online.
April 20, 2009
The Cochrane Library is now free for all Canadians!
The Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre announced on April 15, 2009 that everyone in Canada with access to the Internet will be able to view the full content of The Cochrane Library, an online resource that provides evaluations on health treatments.
The Cochrane Library contains high-quality health care information, including systematic reviews from The Cochrane Collaboration. These reviews bring together research on the effects of health care and are considered the gold standard for determining the relative effectiveness of different interventions. Read more.
April 14, 2009
New Humanitarian Device Approval
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first implant designed to treat people with obsessive-compulsive disorder as a last-resort treatment. Medtronic's Reclaim device provides deep brain stimulation to areas of the brain that control mood and anxiety in an attempt to block abnormal brain signals. FDA approved this device under the Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) program. Read more.
April 12, 2009
New Law Makes Millions of Children Eligible for Health Insurance
A new law signed by President Barack Obama reauthorizes the Children's Health Insurance Program and provides funding to extend free or low cost insurance to millions of uninsured children. The new law took effect on April 1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services encourages parents across the country to visit www.insurekidsnow.gov and determine if their children are eligible for health insurance provided through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
April 10, 2009
FDA Clears Rapid Test for Avian Influenza A Virus in Humans
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared for marketing a new, more rapid test for the detection of influenza A/H5N1, a disease-causing subtype of the avian influenza A virus that can infect humans.
The test, called AVantage A/H5N1 Flu Test, detects influenza A/H5N1 in throat or nose swabs collected from patients who have flu-like symptoms. The test identifies in less than 40 minutes a specific protein (NS1) that indicates the presence of the influenza A/H5N1 virus subtype. Previous tests cleared by the FDA to detect this influenza A virus subtype can take three or four hours to produce results. More information.
April 8, 2009
New MedEdPORTAL 2.0 Repository
On April 7, 2009, the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) launched the MedEdPORTAL 2.0 repository and Web site. MedEdPORTAL is a free medical and dental publication service that promotes access to high-quality, peer-reviewed educational teaching and assessment resources online.
While the new MedEdPORTAL Web site may look familiar, the back-end of the system has undergone dramatic improvements. The Web site is now fully integrated with a powerful content and digital asset management system to host resources online. Through major enhancements, the new MedEdPORTAL site provides you with the ease of downloading resources directly from the Web site; allowing 90 percent of MedEdPORTAL¿s 1,300 publications to be available for download or by directly linking to external Web sites. The remaining 10 percent of publications will continue to be disseminated by MedEdPORTAL staff due to size limitations or because those publications are assessment tools in which authors have requested protection through a human firewall.
The new MedEdPORTAL Web site also features a robust search engine that will allow you to search for published resources through a greater number of metrics (e.g., the ¿Find¿ function searches the published abstract in addition to any text included in the published resource files, such as PowerPoints, Word documents, PDFs, etc.). In addition, the new Web site collects a variety of end-user data that can be used by authors to demonstrate the particular impact and utilization of their published materials. We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues and to disseminate it to your respective listserves. Please visit the new MedEdPORTAL 2.0 repository Web site.
April 6, 2009
Mednar: A federated search engine
Mednar is a free, publicly available medical research site that uses advanced technology to return high quality results. Using state-of-the-art federated search technology from Deep Web Technologies, each search is done in real-time, searching the sources you select as if you were entering the search term on each individual website yourself. Duplicates are removed, the results weighed for relevance and then ranked according to how closely it matches your search word or phrase. Clicking on any of the results will take you directly to the source website where you can view your information directly.
April 5, 2009
Assessing the Impact of Biomedical Research
Becker Medical Library is pleased to announce the launch of a new website, "Assessing the Impact of Research."
Realizing that now, more than ever, researchers need to be aware of the impact of their biomedical research, a team at the library has developed a Model for Assessment of Research Impact that provides a practical, do-it-yourself tool for tracking the post-publication effect/influence of that research.
In addition to the Model, the site provides an in-depth analysis of the different kinds of research impact and their importance. Included are both guidance for quantifying and documenting research impact and resources for locating evidence of research impact. The website also includes strategies that investigators can utilize in order to enhance the diffusion of research output generated by a clinical or bench study. The Model for Assessment of Research Impact project grew from an initial request from a principal investigator from the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS) for assistance in analyzing the citation impact of OHTS publications. The wide range of citation rates sparked an interest in delving deeper - why were some publications cited so often in other peer-reviewed journal articles and patents? And was this indicative of significant findings that may have resulted in translational outcomes? If so, what were those clinical outcomes and could they be revealed? What other evidence of research impact could be discovered by going beyond a mere citation analysis?
For more information about Assessing the Impact of Research, contact Cathy Sarli
April 3, 2009
TOXMAP: Now Includes TRI 2007
TOXMAP now includes the 2007 EPA Toxics Release Inventory data (TRI). In addition, TOXMAP now offers the ability to save one's search results, the ability to zoom to U.S. Indian reservations, and county and Congressional district boundaries that can be toggled on/off. 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.
April 1, 2009
Not Better
Multivitamins can do a lot of things, but researchers say there are limits. The researchers say multivitamins did not reduce postmenopausal women's risk of most common cancers, cardiovascular disease or death from any cause. Read more.
September 16, 2009
PNAS two-tiered peer review system
The editors of Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences (PNAS) has announced that it is abandoning the two-tiered system in July 2010. At that point, all articles will go through a more traditional process in which submissions that pass an initial review will be sent to anonymous peer reviewers who are experts in appropriate fields. The system of "communicated submissions" -- in which National Academies members can set up their own peer review process for articles they endorse -- will end.
The announcement comes at a time when the journal is under intense criticism for an article published last month, by Donald I. Williamson -- via this route in which academy members can organize their own peer review panels -- claiming that caterpillars and butterflies do not have the same evolutionary history. Rather than viewing the butterfly and caterpillar as two life stages, the article views them as evidence of some sort of lasting mistake from a butterfly-like being accidentally mating with a worm at some point in the distant past.
Williamson's article was "communicated" to the PNAS by Lynn Margulis, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who as a National Academies member has the right to conduct her own peer review for articles she is referring. Williamson told the The Times Higher that he and Margulis are friends. He stood by the work, but acknowledged that the paper had been rejected by seven other journals before PNAS published it.
Jonathan Lifland, a spokesman for the journal, said Sunday that the editorial board is reviewing the article to consider whether any action is appropriate. "We are aware of the situation and we are concerned about anything that could reflect poorly on the National Academies and the journal," he said. "The reaction we have seen from scientists has been what you would likely expect. The editorial group at PNAS is studying how to handle the situation." Read more.
September 15, 2009
Newborn Screening Coding and Terminology Guide
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) had launched the Newborn Screening Coding and Terminology Guide, an important step toward efficient electronic exchange of standard newborn screening data. The new Web site was created in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, all components of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a number of professional organizations, to enable more effective use of newborn screening test results in assessing child health and improving lifelong health care.
The goal of the Newborn Screening Codes and Terminology Guide is to provide a standard framework for reporting the results of newborn screening tests whose contents can be accurately interpreted by recipient electronic systems for use in care, follow-up and analysis. This standard framework will also enable the use and comparison of data from different laboratories.
This NIH News Release is available online.
September 10, 2009
Drug Industry Document Archive (DIDA)
This archive is one that will be of particular importance to those with an interest in public health, public policy, and the general activities of pharmaceutical companies. The Drug Industry Document Archive (DIDA) was created by the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and it contains over 1500 documents related to pharmaceutical industry clinical trials, publication of study results, pricing, marketing, and relations with physicians. Many of these documents were previously secret, and were only made public as a result of lawsuits filed against a number of prominent pharmaceutical companies. First-time visitors may wish to start by clicking on "The Documents" link on the homepage. Here they can read about some of the crucial lawsuits that generated the documents featured in this archive.
September 8, 2009
Electronic nose sniffs out toxins
Imagine a polka-dotted postage stamp-sized sensor that can sniff out some known poisonous gases and toxins and show the results simply by changing colors.
Support for the development and application of this electronic nose comes from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. The new technology is discussed in this month's issue of Nature Chemistry and exemplifies the types of sensors that are being developed as part of the NIH Genes, Environment and Health Initiative (GEI).
This NIH News Release is available online.
August 14, 2009
Ghostwriters Used in Biomedical Journals
Court documents show that 26 scientific articles in journals, all about hormone replacement therapy for women, were at least partly ghostwritten by a medical communications company paid by the pharmaceutical company Wyeth, The New York Times reported. The articles suggested a consensus on the value of the therapy, but that apparent consensus has since fallen apart. Eighteen journals published the articles -- without revealing Wyeth's role. Read more.
August 10, 2009
Global Aging examined in new census report
An Aging World: 2008” examines the demographic and socioeconomic trends accompanying this phenomenon. It was commissioned by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health, and produced by the U.S. Census Bureau. It was released by the Census Bureau.
"An Aging World: 2008" contains detailed information on life expectancy, health, disability, gender balance, marital status, living arrangements, education and literacy, labor force participation and retirement, and pensions among older people around the world.
This NIH News Release is available online.
August 7, 2009
The BioSystems Database of Biological Pathways
NCBI BioSystems is a new database that collects information on interacting sets of biomolecules involved in metabolic and signaling pathways, disease states, and other biological processes. BioSystems currently contains biological pathways from the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) and the EcoCyc (Escherichia coli K-12 MG1655) subset of the BioCyc databases and is designed to accommodate other data in the future. BioSystems is fully integrated with other databases in the Entrez system with links to related literature, genes, protein sequences, structures, chemical data, and to related BioSystems. Along with links to related data at the NCBI site, each BioSystem record provides links to detailed diagrams and annotations for individual pathways on the Web sites of the source databases. BioSystems adds an important new aspect to the NCBI system by linking many different kinds of molecular records in biochemical pathways and providing means to compare these pathways across organisms.
Read the entire review.
August 5, 2009
Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) launched an informational website about tobacco use aimed at providing additional information for community coalitions looking to take action. The website “Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation” further explains the recommendations from the 2007 IOM report “Ending the Tobacco Problem: A Blueprint for the Nation” and provides examples of organizations that have applied those recommendations to their unique circumstances.
July 27, 2009
New NLM Image Database
The History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine announces the launch of a new image platform for its premier database, Images from the History of Medicine (IHM). Using award winning software developed by Luna Imaging, Inc., NLM offers greatly enhanced searching and viewing capabilities to image researchers. Patrons can view search results in a multi-image display, download high resolution copies of their favorite images, zoomin on image details, move images into a patron-defined workspace for further manipulation, and create media groups for presenting images and sharing them via e-mail or posting on blogs. The records from the Images from the History of Medicine database are also searchable in LocatorPlus.
July 23, 2009
Database of women interested in participating in clinical trials
The National Cancer Institute is launching a 21st century information initiative that will transform the way we do cancer research by establishing "The National Cancer Institute's Cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid" -- caBIG.
caBIG -- announced plans to team up with the Susan Love Research Foundation to create a database of 1 million women interested in participating in clinical trials via the "Army of Women" website. These women, referred to as the Health of Women (HOW) cohort, can then be tapped by epidemiologists at will.
More information.
July 20, 2009
Grant for Online Post-Master's Degree Certificate in Health Sciences Librarianship
We are very pleased to announce that the School of Information Sciences (the iSchool) and the Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) at the University of Pittsburgh have been awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The three-year grant, for $911,311, will support the development of a "Post Master's Degree Certificate of Advanced Studies in Health Sciences Librarianship," to be managed jointly by the iSchool and HSLS. The program will offer specialized preparation for professional positions in health sciences libraries through online coursework, an applied research project, mentoring experiences, and attendance at a national conference. The grant from IMLS will support the costs of curriculum development and evaluation, online course delivery infrastructure, and student recruitment. In addition, the grant will provide tuition scholarships for 27 students located throughout the United States. Students will enroll in the program beginning in May 2010.
Coursework will address such issues as evidence-based medicine, teaching and instruction in a health care setting, clinical librarianship, expert searching in medical resources, and integration of information resources in electronic health records. Students, admitted in cohorts of 12-15, will complete the 15-credit program within one year. Students will plan and complete a 3-credit applied research project at their home institution under the guidance of a professional mentor. For full information about the grant, please visit.
June 29, 2009
Playing It Safe in Cancer Research
An article published in the New York Times on Sunday, June 28, 2009, noticed that "the fight against cancer is going slower than most had hoped, with only small changes in the death rate in the almost 40 years since it began." One explanation for this slow progression is the grant system. "We have a system that works over all pretty well, and is very good at ruling out bad things - we don't fund bad research," said Dr. Raynard S. Kington, acting director of the National Institutes of Health, which includes the cancer institute. "But given that, we also recognize that the system probably provides disincentives to funding really transformative research." Full story.
June 25, 2009
Tufts OpenCourseWare (OCW) project
The Tufts OpenCourseWare (OCW) project, is a web-based publication of educational material from a number of Tufts University courses, providing open sharing of free, searchable, high-quality course content to educators, students, and self-learners throughout the global community. First launched in June 2005, Tufts OCW provides materials from more than 45 courses, over 65% from the health sciences (Medical, Veterinary, Dental), some of which are equivalent to textbooks in depth. On its Open Educational Resources (OER) page are links to other Tufts open access websites, including SPIRAL (Selected Patient Information Resources in Asian Languages). All materials on the Tufts OCW site are accessible at any time, free of charge, under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. As Tufts OCW is not a distance learning program, no registration, applications, prerequisites, or fees are required and no credit is granted. The project continues the Tufts tradition of knowledge sharing as a part of its non-profit mission and its leadership in civic engagement. Posted on MEDLIB-L by Eric D. Albright.
June 23, 2009
New Core Competencies Adopted for Public Health Professionals
On June 11, PHF's Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice unanimously adopted new core competencies for the "mid-tier" public health professional.
The Council on Linkages Between Academia and Public Health Practice (the Council) is a coalition of representatives from 17 national organizations - that has worked for 16 years to further academic/practice collaboration to assure a well-trained, competent workforce and a strong, evidence-based public health infrastructure.
Please note that information literacy plays an important role in several competencies:
o Analytic/Assessment Skills
5. References sources of public health data and information
o Policy Development/Program Planning Skills
1. Analyzes information relevant to specific public health policy issues
o Communication Skills
4. Utilizes a variety of approaches to disseminate public health information
o Public Health Sciences Skills
1. Describes the scientific foundation of the field of public health
2. Identifies prominent events in the history of the public health profession
3. Relates public health science skills to the Core Public Health Functions and Ten Essential Services of Public Health
4. Applies the basic public health sciences (including, but not limited to biostatistics, epidemiology, environmental health sciences, health services administration, and social and behavioral health sciences) to public health policies and programs
5. Conducts a comprehensive review of the scientific evidence related to a public health issue, concern, or, intervention
6. Retrieves scientific evidence from a variety of text and electronic sources
7. Determines the limitations of research findings
8. Determines the laws, regulations, policies and procedures for the ethical conduct of research
9. Contributes to building the scientific base of public health
June 22, 2009
Delays in diagnosing a premature, menopause-like condition
Women and young girls who experience delays in diagnosing a premature, menopause-like condition face increased risk of low bone density, according to new research by scientists at the National Institutes of Health. A delay in diagnosing the condition, called primary ovarian insufficiency, may make women more susceptible to osteoporosis and fractures later in life, the researchers concluded.
Delays in diagnosis are common because the main symptom, irregular or stopped menstrual periods, is often disregarded by women and their doctors, the researchers said. The researchers also found that the beginning of menstrual irregularity before age 20 was a strong risk factor for lower bone density. The teen years are a critical period for developing healthy bones.
This NIH News Release is available online.

June 19, 2009
Survey: Company Health-Care Costs to Rise 9% in 2010
Despite the worst recession in 25 years, U.S. employers can expect to see their health-care costs rise by 9% next year. The increase is lower than that of the past two years, but the PricewaterhouseCoopers report shows employees are shouldering more of the burden As a result, 42% of employers expect to increase the amount that employees must contribute to health benefit plans, and 41% expect to increase the amount of co-pays, deductibles, and other health costs the employee must pay.
Source: Business Week, June 18, 2009.
June 12, 2009
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
This Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index "has been developed to provide the official measure for health and well-being [in the U.S.]. It's the voice of Americans and the most ambitious effort ever undertaken to measure what people believe constitutes a good life" and helps Americans "understand how work impacts life and health and conversely how life affects work and health." Finds national figures for well-being, emotional health, physical health, and other factors.

!! Thanks To Librarians' Internet Index for the information!!
June 10, 2009
Issue of the NCBI News on Swine Flu Virus Sequences
The May issue of NCBI News has a featured data section on 2009 H1N1 Influenza Sequences. It provides a brief tutorial on searching and obtaining the latest H1N1 sequences in NCBI's repository. The Influenza Virus Resource has 34 H1N1 influenza sequences listed here. The Featured Resource article this month is entitled, "Protein Multiple Alignment Tools Web Service." NCBI is the repository for the 2009 influenza virus sequences from the global H1N1 outbreak and is making every effort to make the sequences available as soon as possible. You can access the recent flu sequences and retrieve them individually from a special influenza virus resource page that is updated daily.
June 8, 2009
PubMed On Tap
PubMed On Tap is an application for your iPhone or iPod Touch that lets you search PubMed while on the go.

Specifics:
  • Specify fields and search mode, using AND, OR, and NOT logic operators
  • Specify option to find only articles with Full Text or Free Full Text
  • E-mail the results as formatted text or an RIS tagged record, ready to be imported into reference management applications like Bookends and EndNote
  • EZproxy support
  • Link to Full Text articles that open in Safari or Internal Web Browser (requires access privileges)
  • Internal Web Browser / Landscape view
  • Remember/recall recent searches
  • Navigation between references in the formatted view
  • Order full-text copies of articles using Loansome Doc Ordering System
Format: Software / Date: Mar 2009 / Version: 1.3.1 / License: Purchase /
Price: $2.99 / Platform: Mobile / System Req: iPhone or iPod touch /
Links to the iTunes Download Link AND Other Screen Prints

!! Thanks To The Distant Librarian for the information !!
June 5, 2009
$6 Billion for Cancer Research
President Obama sets a goal of devoting more than 3 percent of the country's gross domestic product to research and development in a speech delivered at the National Academy of Sciences' annual meeting, in Washington.

In addition to introducing the 3 percent figure Obama reiterated a number of goals in his speech, including doubling, over 10 years, the budget of the National Science Foundation, making the research and experimentation tax credit permanent, tripling the number of NSF graduate research fellowships, and adding $6 billion to the National Institutes of Health's pot for cancer research. NIH stands to get slightly more than $30.8 billion in 2010. This would represent a $443 million, or 1.5%, bump over the NIH's 2009 budget. It also received $10.4 billion the in the stimulus which must be spend in two years.

Read the story and the speech.
May 25, 2009
Nature News special: Swine Flu
Nature News covers the swine flu outbreak in an online special, that includes breaking news, blog posts from The Great Beyond and a timeline, as well as our coverage of past flu outbreaks. How might a potential pandemic be contained? And how might a vaccine for an emerging influenza strain be made?
May 22, 2009
Antimicrobial Products Registered for use against the H1N1
EPA registers pesticide products, including disinfectants. As part of the registration process, EPA evaluates the product efficacy to make sure the public health label claims are accurate. Currently, over 500 disinfectant products are registered for use on hard, non-porous surfaces against influenza A viruses. This is not a complete list since some products may have different distributor or product names and may not be referenced. Approved products specifically have label information which states they provide effectiveness against "Influenza A viruses."
Choose a product whose label states that it is effective against "Influenza A virus" and lists your specific site of concern, such as: farm premises, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, schools, offices or homes. These products are widely available and can be purchased at drugstores, supermarkets, and home maintenance/repair stores, among others.
As the CDC stresses, your first line of defense is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based cleaner. These registered disinfectant products are for use on hard, non-porous surfaces, such as door knobs, handles, tables, floors, etc. EPA emphasizes that these products are not to be used on the skin or to be taken orally. More information.
May 20, 2009
H1N1 Influenza Resources
Health News blog from Writers Write, Inc. provides H1N1 Influenza Resources arranged in the following categories: General Resources, Maps of Cases, U.S. City and State Resources, International Resources, Travel Resources, Historical Resources - 1918, Blog Resources, Twitter Resources, and News Resources.
May 18, 2009
Patient Safety and Quality
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) sponsored a theme issue of the journal Health Services Research: April 2009 44 (2), Part II. Eight new studies in this issue, "Program Evaluation of the AHRQ Patient Safety Initiative," take an in-depth look at AHRQ's own patient safety initiative, including the findings from a 4-year RAND Corporation evaluation of more than 300 research projects and other activities. In the first paper, RAND researcher Donna Farley, Ph.D., and AHRQ researcher James Battles, Ph.D., describe the purpose for this supplemental issue, as well as the framework and approach to evaluating these patient safety initiatives.
Read more.
May 7, 2009
Book covering the 1976 swine flu outbreak
Harvey V. Fineberg has made his book on the 1976 swine flu outbreak, The Swine Flu Affair: Decision-Making on a Slippery Disease, available as a free PDF. The book examines the U.S. government's swine flu immunization program in the wake of an outbreak of the disease among a small group of soldiers at Fort Dix. The program was marked by controversy, delay, administrative troubles, legal complications, unforeseen side effects and a progressive loss of credibility for public health authorities. The book is dedicated to co-author Richard Neustadt, and extracts lessons to help cope with similar situations in the future.
May 7, 2009
IOM Releases Guide to Recent Work on Pandemic Flu
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) has released a number of reports and workshop summaries related to major policy issues for pandemic influenza and other infectious disease threats similar to the current spread of H1N1 (SO) influenza. This guide highlights action and information that could be useful for near-term implementation of pandemic planning and response in the following areas:
Communicating with and engaging the public Use of masks and personal protective equipment Use of antiviral drugs and vaccines Outbreak mitigation (e.g., social distancing, school closures) Surveillance, research, and evaluation during a pandemic
The guide is available online or for download as a PDF
May 6, 2009
WHO Updates International H1N1 Situation Including Global Number of Laboratory Confirmed Cases
Mexico has reported 590 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 25 deaths. The United States has reported 286 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.
The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths - Austria (1), Canada (101), China, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (1), Costa Rica (1), Colombia (1), Denmark (1), El Salvador (2), France (4), Germany (8), Ireland (1), Israel (4), Italy (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (6), Portugal (1), Republic of Korea (1), Spain (54), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (18). More information.
May 4, 2009
CDC updates U.S. Human Cases of H1N1 Flu Infection
On May 3, CDC is scheduled to complete deployment of 25 percent of the supplies in the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to all states in the continental United States. These supplies and medicines will help states and U.S. territories respond to the outbreak. In addition, the Federal Government and manufacturers have begun the process of developing a vaccine against the novel H1N1 flu virus. Full story.
April 27, 2009
Swine Flu Virus: A Public Health Emergency
HHS issued a nationwide public health emergency declaration today, April 26, 2009, in response to recent human infections with a newly discovered swine influenza A (swine flu) virus.
To date, there have been 20 confirmed cases of swine Influenza A (swH1N1) in California, Texas, Kansas, New York, and Ohio. No deaths in the U.S. have been reported due to the illness. Additional cases of the virus have been confirmed in Mexico and Canada.
Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans; however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses have been documented.
Public health emergency declaration.
***
For information on swine flu, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu.
This site is kept updated with recent facts and status on Swine Flu. There is a link on the page to the facts and figures about the current investigation.
For those of you who follow events on social media sites, CDC has a Twitter feed that contains updates on the Swine Flu
You can also add this RSS feed on Swine Flu to your feed reader to get regular updates.
Plus:
Latest CDC Health Advisory
Information updates from World Health Organization
From NYC Health Dept - Chart: steps required to confirm suspected cases of swine flu
CDC Releases Guidance for Reducing People’s Exposure to Swine Flu
HHS Declares Public Health Emergency for Swine Flu (April 26)
WHO Update on Swine Flu in the United States and Mexico (April 26)
Statement By Secretary Of Agriculture Vilsack Regarding Human Cases Of Swine Influenza A (April 26)
White House Press Briefing on Swine Flu (April 26)
April 24, 2009
Using No-nose Bicycle Saddles to Prevent Health Hazards
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recently released a Workplace Solutions document titled "No-nose Saddles for Preventing Genital Numbness and Sexual Dysfunction in Occupational Bicycling," which summarizes NIOSH research and recommendations. NIOSH researchers began investigating this issue as an occupational health concern in 2000 when complaints of groin numbness were received from officers in a Long Beach, California police bicycle patrol unit. While most workers in jobs that involve bicycling are men, recent evidence suggests that no-nose bicycle saddles may also benefit women. Full story.
April 22, 2009
NIH Center for Interventional Oncology offers New Venue for Research
A new Center for Interventional Oncology has been established at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC). It offers new and expanded opportunities to investigate cancer therapies that use imaging technology to diagnose and treat localized cancers in ways that are precisely targeted and minimally or non-invasive.
Major program components of this initiative will include:
-- Interdisciplinary training and education in interventional oncology
-- Development of new image-guided for methods for personalized drug investigations
-- Image-guided dose-painting-tailoring drug delivery based on disease location
-- Use of 'medical GPS'
-- A system by which small micro coils are built onto invasive devices (like needles or catheters or cameras) and inserted into a patient to define, target, and track the position of tumors during thermal ablation (cooking tumors with needles) for tumor biopsy and treatment
-- First-in-human investigations involving new drugs, devices, molecular probes, nanoparticles, and targeted therapies
-- Interdisciplinary research involving novel technologies in interventional oncology.
This NIH News Release is available online.
April 20, 2009
The Cochrane Library is now free for all Canadians!
The Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre announced on April 15, 2009 that everyone in Canada with access to the Internet will be able to view the full content of The Cochrane Library, an online resource that provides evaluations on health treatments.
The Cochrane Library contains high-quality health care information, including systematic reviews from The Cochrane Collaboration. These reviews bring together research on the effects of health care and are considered the gold standard for determining the relative effectiveness of different interventions. Read more.
April 14, 2009
New Humanitarian Device Approval
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first implant designed to treat people with obsessive-compulsive disorder as a last-resort treatment. Medtronic's Reclaim device provides deep brain stimulation to areas of the brain that control mood and anxiety in an attempt to block abnormal brain signals. FDA approved this device under the Humanitarian Device Exemption (HDE) program. Read more.
April 12, 2009
New Law Makes Millions of Children Eligible for Health Insurance
A new law signed by President Barack Obama reauthorizes the Children's Health Insurance Program and provides funding to extend free or low cost insurance to millions of uninsured children. The new law took effect on April 1. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services encourages parents across the country to visit www.insurekidsnow.gov and determine if their children are eligible for health insurance provided through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
April 10, 2009
FDA Clears Rapid Test for Avian Influenza A Virus in Humans
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared for marketing a new, more rapid test for the detection of influenza A/H5N1, a disease-causing subtype of the avian influenza A virus that can infect humans.
The test, called AVantage A/H5N1 Flu Test, detects influenza A/H5N1 in throat or nose swabs collected from patients who have flu-like symptoms. The test identifies in less than 40 minutes a specific protein (NS1) that indicates the presence of the influenza A/H5N1 virus subtype. Previous tests cleared by the FDA to detect this influenza A virus subtype can take three or four hours to produce results. More information.
April 8, 2009
New MedEdPORTAL 2.0 Repository
On April 7, 2009, the AAMC (Association of American Medical Colleges) launched the MedEdPORTAL 2.0 repository and Web site. MedEdPORTAL is a free medical and dental publication service that promotes access to high-quality, peer-reviewed educational teaching and assessment resources online.
While the new MedEdPORTAL Web site may look familiar, the back-end of the system has undergone dramatic improvements. The Web site is now fully integrated with a powerful content and digital asset management system to host resources online. Through major enhancements, the new MedEdPORTAL site provides you with the ease of downloading resources directly from the Web site; allowing 90 percent of MedEdPORTAL┐s 1,300 publications to be available for download or by directly linking to external Web sites. The remaining 10 percent of publications will continue to be disseminated by MedEdPORTAL staff due to size limitations or because those publications are assessment tools in which authors have requested protection through a human firewall.
The new MedEdPORTAL Web site also features a robust search engine that will allow you to search for published resources through a greater number of metrics (e.g., the ┐Find┐ function searches the published abstract in addition to any text included in the published resource files, such as PowerPoints, Word documents, PDFs, etc.). In addition, the new Web site collects a variety of end-user data that can be used by authors to demonstrate the particular impact and utilization of their published materials. We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues and to disseminate it to your respective listserves. Please visit the new MedEdPORTAL 2.0 repository Web site.
April 6, 2009
Mednar: A federated search engine
Mednar is a free, publicly available medical research site that uses advanced technology to return high quality results. Using state-of-the-art federated search technology from Deep Web Technologies, each search is done in real-time, searching the sources you select as if you were entering the search term on each individual website yourself. Duplicates are removed, the results weighed for relevance and then ranked according to how closely it matches your search word or phrase. Clicking on any of the results will take you directly to the source website where you can view your information directly.
April 5, 2009
Assessing the Impact of Biomedical Research
Becker Medical Library is pleased to announce the launch of a new website, "Assessing the Impact of Research."
Realizing that now, more than ever, researchers need to be aware of the impact of their biomedical research, a team at the library has developed a Model for Assessment of Research Impact that provides a practical, do-it-yourself tool for tracking the post-publication effect/influence of that research.
In addition to the Model, the site provides an in-depth analysis of the different kinds of research impact and their importance. Included are both guidance for quantifying and documenting research impact and resources for locating evidence of research impact. The website also includes strategies that investigators can utilize in order to enhance the diffusion of research output generated by a clinical or bench study. The Model for Assessment of Research Impact project grew from an initial request from a principal investigator from the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study (OHTS) for assistance in analyzing the citation impact of OHTS publications. The wide range of citation rates sparked an interest in delving deeper - why were some publications cited so often in other peer-reviewed journal articles and patents? And was this indicative of significant findings that may have resulted in translational outcomes? If so, what were those clinical outcomes and could they be revealed? What other evidence of research impact could be discovered by going beyond a mere citation analysis?
For more information about Assessing the Impact of Research, contact Cathy Sarli
April 3, 2009
TOXMAP: Now Includes TRI 2007
TOXMAP now includes the 2007 EPA Toxics Release Inventory data (TRI). In addition, TOXMAP now offers the ability to save one's search results, the ability to zoom to U.S. Indian reservations, and county and Congressional district boundaries that can be toggled on/off. 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.
April 1, 2009
Not Better
Multivitamins can do a lot of things, but researchers say there are limits. The researchers say multivitamins did not reduce postmenopausal women's risk of most common cancers, cardiovascular disease or death from any cause. Read more.
March 27, 2009
Reviews of Selected Pharmacogenetic Tests for Non-Cancer and Cancer Conditions
Four pharmacogenetic tests were evaluated through a review of published studies : 1) cytochrome P450, subfamily IIC, polypeptide 9 (CYP2C9), 2) vitamin K epoxide reductase subunit protein 1 (VKORC1), 3) apolipoprotein E (Apo E), and 4) methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) for their associations with patient's response to therapy with warfarin (CYP2C9 and VKORC1), statins (Apo E), or antifolate chemotherapy (MTHFR).
This 192 page report is available.
March 26, 2009
PubMed On Tap
PubMed On Tap is an application for your iPhone or iPod Touch that lets you search PubMed while on the go. Download PubMed On Tap on iTunes More information.
March 25, 2009
Kovacs Web-based MLA Approved CE Courses
Five new Web-based MLA Approved CE Courses from Diane K. Kovacs, Web Teacher. Review Syllabi and Register anytime to work at your own pace.
March 24, 2009
New Office of Recovery Act Coordination
The Department of Health and Human Services today announced the creation of the Office of Recovery Act Coordination. The Office will help ensure the timely, organized and transparent distribution of an estimated $137 billion in Recovery Act Funds managed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Dennis Williams will lead the new office and serve as HHS' Deputy Assistant Secretary for Recovery Act Coordination. Mr. Williams has served in the department for more than 20 years in offices including the Health Resources Services Administration and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget.
To track the progress of HHS activities funded through the ARRA, visit here.
To track all federal funds provided through the ARRA, visit here.
March 19, 2009
New health policy data
Statehealthfacts.org has recently added new and updated data on Demographics and the Economy, Medicaid & CHIP, Medicare, Managed Care & Health Insurance, Providers & Service Use, Health Status and HIV/AIDS. More information.
March 18, 2009
Framingham Heart Study is launching a major initiative
A public-private partnership has been established to enable researchers to apply cutting-edge technology to stored blood samples from thousands of Framingham Heart Study participants.
Called the Systems Approach to Biomarker Research in Cardiovascular Disease (SABRe CVD), the initiative will identify and validate new biomarkers -- such as proteins or molecules in the blood -- for heart disease. An important component of the biomarker research will be conducted under a five-year cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) with BG Medicine, a Massachusetts-based biotechnology research company, which has developed patented technology to detect and validate subtle biological changes at the molecular level. This NIH News Release is available online .
March 17, 2009
Stem Cell Information
This site is the official National Institutes of Health (NIH) resource for stem cell research. Includes an introduction to stem cells and the "possibility of cell-based therapies to treat disease, which is often referred to as regenerative or reparative medicine," and information about research ethics, federal policy, research projects and papers, and more. Note: The NIH library stem cell literature database is not available to the public.
March 16, 2009
Spun-sugar Fibers Spawn Sweet Technique for Nerve Repair
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a technique using spun-sugar filaments to create a scaffold of tiny synthetic tubes that might serve as conduits to regenerate nerves severed in accidents or blood vessels damaged by disease. Full Story.
Li, JM; Rickett, TA; Shi, RY. 2009. "Biomimetic Nerve Scaffolds with Aligned Intraluminal Microchannels: A "Sweet" Approach to Tissue Engineering." Langmuir, 25 (3): 1813-1817.
March 9, 2009
Red wine vs. white? It makes no difference when it comes to breast-cancer risk
The largest study of its kind to evaluate the effect of red versus white wine on breast-cancer risk concludes that both are equal offenders when it comes to increasing breast-cancer risk. The results of the study, led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, were published in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. "We were interested in teasing out red wine's effects on breast-cancer risk. There is reason to suspect that red wine might have beneficial effects based on previous studies of heart disease and prostate cancer," said lead author Polly Newcomb, Ph.D., M.P.H., head of the Cancer Prevention Program in the Public Health Sciences Division at the Hutchinson Center. "The general evidence is that alcohol consumption overall increases breast-cancer risk, but the other studies made us wonder whether red wine might in fact have some positive value."
P. A. Newcomb et. al. 2009. "No Difference Between Red Wine or White Wine Consumption and Breast Cancer Risk." Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 18: 1007-1010.
March 6, 2009
Status of Open Access in the Biomedical Field in 2005
The vast majority of freely-available biomedical articles were published by societies using traditional subscription models, a new study reports.
The article, "Status of Open Access in the Biomedical Field in 2005" was published in the January issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association and is freely available. The researchers report that more than 70% of the free articles were found on publisher websites. Personal websites and institutional repositories contributed only 5.9% and 4.8%, respectively, to the total.
Matsubayashi M, Kurata K, Sakai Y, Morioka T, Kato S, Mine S, Ueda S. "Status of open access in the biomedical field in 2005." J Med Libr Assoc. 2009 Jan;97(1):4-11. (online) Available.
March 4, 2009
JCI has instituted a subscription model
A venerable Open Access title in medical research has instituted a subscription model for its online journal.
The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), a prestigious title in continuous publication since 1924, implemented a subscription model beginning with its January 2009 issue. Original articles, however, continue to be freely available. Full story.
March 2, 2009
An Open Access Resource for Women's Health
The Global Library of Women's Medicine consists of 442 main chapters and 53 supplementary chapters, supported by over 40,000 references, which will be kept permanently up-to-date. The chapters have been written by more than 650 specialists and will reflect some of the very best worldwide opinion.
February 23, 2009
Articles of interest
Here are several articles of interest for medical librarians posted on the Anne T-V.'s Blog:
G°tzsche PC, Kassirer JP, Woolley KL, Wager E, Jacobs A, et al. (2009) What should be done to tackle ghostwriting in the medical literature? PLoS Med 6(2): e1000023.
Johnson C, Green B. Submitting manuscripts to biomedical journals: Common errors and helpful solutions. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2009 Jan;32(1):1-12.
Green BN, Johnson CD. How to write a case report for publication. J Chiropr Med 2006; 5(2):72-82.
Green BM, Johnson CD, Adams A. Writing narrative literature reviews for peer-reviewed journals: Secrets of the trade. J Chiropr Med 2006 Fall; 5(3):101-117.
February 20, 2009
Dietary Supplements Labels Database Improved
NLM's Dietary Supplements Labels Database includes information from the labels of over 3,000 brands of dietary supplements in the marketplace, including vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, and other specialty supplements. It now includes several interface improvements, more products, and an auto-complete (search) feature. Other recent additions/changes include:
o Search box on every page
o Age/gender categories under "Products"
o Glossary page with A-Z anchor links
o Updated FDA Recalls, FDA MedWatch and FTC Actions
o More products (3000)
The database is designed to help both the general public and health care providers find information about ingredients in brand-name products, including name, form, active and inactive ingredients, amount of active ingredient/unit, manufacturer/distributor information, suggested dose, label claims, warnings, percentage of daily value, and further label information.
February 18, 2009
United States Cancer Statistics
The 1999–2005 United States Cancer Statistics (USCS) Incidence and Mortality Web-based report,” marks the seventh time that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) have jointly produced official federal cancer incidence statistics for each state having high-quality cancer data. The report is produced in collaboration with the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries.
The report also provides cancer mortality data collected and processed by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics. Mortality statistics, based on records of deaths that occurred during 2005, are available for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
February 16, 2009
Genome Medicine launched
Genome Medicine is an online journal publishing open access research of outstanding quality in all areas of medicine studied from a genomic or post-genomic perspective. The journal has a special focus on the latest technologies and findings that have an impact on the understanding and management of human health and disease.
February 10, 2009
Apply for the 2009/2010 Sewell Fund Learning Fellowship
Here's your chance to use your information/library science Master's degree to very good purpose. If this Fellowship doesn't fit with your interests or timing, please pass this announcement along to others who may wish to pursue application. The Grace and Harold Sewell Memorial Fund will award two 12-month, paid "Learning Partnerships" placing experienced health sciences librarians within leading health care organizations for the purpose of both partners gaining a greater understanding of how best information sciences can be effectively applied in each environment.
Although only two Fellowships will be awarded, three Host Organizations have been selected to vie for the placements. They include:
     * The Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for Brain Tumor Therapy at the University of Florida,
        Shands/UF Hospital, and the UF Health Sciences Library in Gainesville
     * San Antonio Metropolitan Public Health District
     * The Public Health Foundation (PHF)
Please visit the Sewell Fund website
More information about the host organizations can be found on the Sewell Fund website.
February 9, 2009
ARL Health Sciences Library Statistics 2006-2007
The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) has published the ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics 2006-2007, which presents data that describe collections, expenditures, personnel, and services in 65 medical libraries at ARL member institutions throughout North America.
In 2006-2007, the reporting health sciences libraries held a median of 244,188 volumes, spent a total of $244,188,020, and employed 2,395 FTE staff. Expenditures for materials and staff accounted for the bulk of total expenditures, at 47% and 41% respectively. Respondents reported spending a total of $75,592,753 for electronic materials, or an average of 67% of their total materials budgets; this includes a total of $71,413,063 for electronic serials. For more information about the ARL Academic Health Sciences Library Statistics or to download the data files or a PDF of the publication.
February 5, 2009
Hospitals Spend Less for Patients in Medicare
Treating a patient enrolled in the Federal Medicare Advantage health insurance program costs hospitals an average of $10,800 compared with an average of $11,100 for those enrolled in Medicare's traditional fee-for-service program, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
More information.
January 26, 2009
FDA OKs stem cell trial
California-based biotech company Geron Corp. announced on Jan. 23 that it has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to begin trials for the world's first clinical study on human embryonic stem cell-based therapy.
Geron plans to initiate a Phase I multicenter clinical trial in up to 10 patients paralyzed due to spinal cord injury. Its treatment -- currently referred to as "GRNOPC1" -- uses embryonic stem cells coaxed to become nerve cells, which are injected into the spinal cord. Read more.
January 19, 2009
Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin D and Calcium
In the fall of 2008, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) initiated a study to review the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for vitamin D and calcium, with a report expected for release in the spring of 2010. The current DRI values were established by IOM in 1997. The review comes as a response to relevant new research on bone health as well as the growing interest in the connection between vitamin D intake and cancer and other chronic disease. More information.
January 16, 2009
google.org: Flu Trends
Flu Trends "uses aggregated Google search data," and claims "to estimate flu activity in your state up to two weeks faster than traditional flu surveillance systems." View data for the entire U.S. or by state, and download raw data for current and historical estimates. Provides an overview of the tool, a FAQ, and links to other flu material. From Google.
January 15, 2009
First Cancer Biomap
Melanoma Molecular Map Project is an open access interactive multidatabase where information is organized in a translational perspective (molecules > pathways > drugs > trials). Input is generated not only by a dedicated team, but also by any researcher who wants to collaborate to share knowledge.The aim of this non-profit project is to bring together the scientific community working to defeat melanoma/cancer by means of an online tool designed as a comprehensive and continuously updated databank collecting and organizing the huge and ever growing amount of knowledge on melanoma/cancer currently scattered in thousands of scientific publications. Read more.
January 14, 2009
HHS Opens Offices of the FDA in China
As part of an ongoing strategy to continually improve import safeguards to meet the changing demands of a global economy, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has opened offices of its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Beijing, Guangzhou and Shangai in the People's Republic of China. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt and FDA Commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach, M.D. will travel to the three cities this week to meet with manufacturers and Chinese government officials to discuss policy and governance reforms aimed at improving the safety of food and other consumer products. Read more.
January 9, 2009
REMM can be downloaded to mobile devices
The Radiation Event Medical Management System (REMM) can now be downloaded to mobile devices (Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Palm) with selected key files from the full online version.
For Blackberry download, click on this link from your Blackberry email and follow the directions.

REMM is produced by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Office of Planning and Emergency Operations, in cooperation with the National Library of Medicine, Division of Specialized Information Services, with subject matter experts from the National Cancer Institute, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and many US and international consultants.

From here.
January 8, 2009
Fresh eyes on freaks
Blumberg, a University of Iowa behavioral neuroscientist has published a book "Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution." (1) From the book jacket:

[What we see as deformities, Blumberg writes, are merely alternative paths for development, which challenge both the creature itself and our ability to fit it into our familiar categories. Rather than mere misfits, many anomalies prove surprisingly survivable -- as in the case of the goat without forelimbs that developed the ability to walk upright. Blumberg explains how such variations occur, and points to the success of the Hensel sisters and the goat as examples of the extraordinary flexibility inherent in individual development.

In taking seriously a subject that has often been shunned as discomfiting and embarrassing, Mark Blumberg sheds new light on how individuals -- and entire species -- develop, survive, and evolve.] More information.

(1) Freaks of Nature: What Anomalies Tell Us About Development and Evolution, by Mark S. Blumberg, Oxford University Press, USA, 2008. 344 pp. ISBN: 978-0-195-32282-8. $22.95.
January 7, 2009
Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 3
The Google Book Search Bibliography, Version 3 is now available from Digital Scholarship.
This bibliography presents selected English-language articles and other works that are useful in understanding Google Book Search. It primarily focuses on the evolution of Google Book Search and the legal, library, and social issues associated with it. Where possible, links are provided to works that are freely available on the Internet, including e-prints in disciplinary archives and institutional repositories. Note that e-prints and published articles may not be identical.
January 6, 2009
Possible human health effects of fly (coal) ash
On December 22, 2008, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant's retention pond failed, creating a tidal wave of water and fly (coal) ash which destroyed several homes and ruptured a major gas line in a neighborhood located adjacent to the plant in Harriman, Tennessee. It is estimated that approximately 3.1 million cubic feet of fly (coal) ash and water were released on to land adjacent to the plant and into the nearby Clinch and Emory River. There is now concern about the potential effects of this spill on the quality of water, air and soil in the region.

From its extensive environmental health and toxicology resources, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has compiled a Web page of links to chemical information on fly (coal) ash and medical journal articles on the ash's possible human health effects. These resources provide background information on fly (coal) ash, also known as coal ash, which is a by-product of burning coal in power plants to generate electricity.

From here.
January 5, 2009
Rethinking TB
New observations of the early stages of tuberculosis infection may turn scientists' understanding of the bug's pathogenesis on its head, according to a study published in Cell this week.

Lalita Ramakrishnan, a University of Washington infectious disease researcher and the study's lead author has shown that essentially an orchestrated immune response that was apparently being found to wall off and restrict the infection is actually being enhanced by the bacteria for their own expansion and dissemination (1)

(1) J. Muse Davis and Lalita Ramakrishnan. January 2009. "The Role of the Granuloma in Expansion and Dissemination of Early Tuberculosis Infection." Cell 136 (1): 37-49.
(From The Scientist blog)


Rev. January 2009