Archive for the ‘News from NLM’ Category
Friday, November 7th, 2014
|Pictured from left to right, Dr. Donald Lindberg witnesses the Semiahmoo blessing of NLM’s totem with Whatcom County Executive Pete Kremen and Chairman of the Lummi Nation Cliford Cultee in September of 2011.
Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) since 1984, has announced he will retire at the end of March 2015.
The Medical Library Association named Dr. Lindberg as an honorary member in Spring 2014, noting: “Health professionals, health information practitioners, and the general public have benefitted immeasurably from enhancements to the databases, products, and services developed at NLM under Lindberg’s exceptional leadership.”
This week, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a statement (http://www.nih.gov/about/director/11062014_statement_lindberg.htm) about Dr. Lindberg’s innumerable contributions as NLM’s distinguished director.
As noted, his support and interest in expanding the scope of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) has resulted in important partnerships with minority serving institutions, tribal and community-based organizations, and the public health community. As one example, NLM commissioned Master Carver Jewell Praying Wolf James, a member of the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Indian Nation, located in Bellingham, Washington, to carve a healing totem, which was transported on a truck across the United States, stopping for tribal blessings on reservations in 13 states. Its permanent home is now at the NLM. The totem was a dramatic focal point of the exhibition, Native Voices: Native People’s Concepts of Health and Illness, which opened to the public October 6, 2011, and will be traveling to each region of the NN/LM beginning in December.
Monday, October 27th, 2014
Send in Your Application to Participate in “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI” Bioinformatics Course
Health science librarians in the United States are invited to participate in the next offering of the bioinformatics training course, “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI,” sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, NLM Training Center (NTC).
The course provides knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons use online molecular databases and tools from the NCBI. Prior knowledge of molecular biology and genetics is not required. Participating in the Librarian’s Guide course will improve your ability to initiate or extend bioinformatics services at your institution.
Instructors will be NCBI staff and Diane Rein, Ph.D., MLS, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology Liaison from the Health Science Library, University at Buffalo. (more…)
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014
Today, MedlinePlus released new versions of the MedlinePlus Mobile sites in English and Spanish. The mobile site URLs are http://m.medlineplus.gov and http://m.medlineplus.gov/espanol
Like the original versions of the mobile sites, the redesigned sites are optimized for mobile phones and tablets. Unlike the original mobile sites that contained only a subset of the information available on MedlinePlus, the new sites have all of the content found on MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español. They also have an improved design for easier use on mobile devices. (more…)
Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
The recent death of Oscar-winning actor and comedian Robin Williams from an apparent suicide has brought attention to the plight of many who suffer from depression, an estimated 1 in 10 adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Depression can be debilitating to those who suffer as well as their friends and family. It can also adversely affect outcomes of chronic and other health conditions, and it can lead to unhealthy behaviors. Although many people with depression do not seek treatment or are not helped by the treatment they receive, the majority can improve with treatment.
The National Library of Medicine’s consumer health resource, MedlinePlus, offers a variety of resources about depression, including educational videos and tutorials, materials in other languages (and the entire site in Spanish), links to symptoms and treatment options, patient handouts, and ways to connect with organizations and support groups. NIHSeniorHealth.gov also provides consumer-based information specific to seniors, as depression is a common problem among older adults. SeniorHealth.gov has the option to increase text size and change the contrast, to make it easier to read. The NIH National Institute on Aging has added depression resources, including causes and prevention, and toll-free numbers to call for help.
The NIH National Institute of Mental Health is the primary organization for research about depression. Check their website for information on clinical trials, health topics, funding opportunities and current research priorities. The also publish booklets, fact sheets and brochure; and host monthly Twitter chats.
Wednesday, June 18th, 2014
The National Library of Medicine’s TOXNET (TOXicology Data NETwork) resource – http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov - is a group of databases covering chemicals and drugs, diseases and the environment, environmental health, occupational safety and health, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and toxicology. Recently the TOXNET interface was updated and features:
- Improved appearance
- Intuitive interactive capabilities
- Improved multi-database search
- Easy selection of item to save in “My List”
- More accessible menus and pull-downs
- Type-ahead Browse
- Hover-over Help
Thursday, May 29th, 2014
MeSH on Demand is a new tool announced in this month’s NLM Technical Bulletin and is available online for use: http://ii.nlm.nih.gov/Interactive/MeSHonDemand.shtml. This is one of the Natural Language Processing tools being developed in the Cognitive Science Branch of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, a division of the NLM. The on Demand tool analyzes chunks of text (up to 10000 characters) and identifies potentially related MeSH terms. From the MeSH on Demand page a user simply pastes in a piece of text, hits the “Find MeSH Terms” button, and a new page will be generated with suggested MeSH terms listed below the inputted text. According to the Technical Bulletin article, the tool will find “MeSH Headings, Publication Types, and Supplementary Concepts, but not Qualifiers (Subheadings).”
A disclaimer appears on the tool’s page that the results are generated via an automated, machine logic driven system which is meant to emulate human indexer thought. One can deduce from the disclaimer that we shouldn’t expect the underlying algorithms to understand all of the same textual nuances that a seasoned indexer would and it notes that “results will undoubtedly differ from any human-generated indexing.” This got me wondering though about how much the tool’s generated terms would differ from human-generated ones. To evaluate, I pasted in an abstract from an article on Computerized Provider Order Entry systems causing medication errors. This was by no means meant as a methodical and thorough evaluation of MeSH on Demand. Rather, this was simply meant to address personal curiosity and this particular article was selected using a “convenience sampling” technique (it was already open in a different tab). This article had previously been indexed for MEDLINE with the following MeSH terms: (more…)