Archive for the ‘News from NLM’ Category
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…)
Monday, May 12th, 2014
The National Library of Medicine has developed a Request for Information (RFI) to offer health sciences and public libraries, health professionals, public health workers, community organizations, the general public, and other interested individuals and entities the opportunity to recommend effective approaches to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (http://nnlm.gov).
NLM will use the information submitted in response to this RFI for planning purposes and is not obligated to comment or respond to any responder’s submission. However, responses to the RFI may be reflected in futures solicitations. The information provided will be analyzed and may appear in reports.
Comments will be collected until the closing date of June 26 at 3pm (ET).
Thursday, May 8th, 2014
NLM has put together a symposium entitled “Voyaging to the Future” reflecting on the past 30 years at NLM and looking towards its future. This all day event addresses important topics such as training future leaders, providing access to literature and reaching the undeserved. The full program is available at http://nlmvoyagingtothefuture.org/present/. The event will be streamed live on May 14 from 8:30AM – 5:00PM EST and a captioned recording will be made available online after. Tania Bardyn, in her role as Director of NN/LM PNR, the OERC and Web-STOC will be in attendance. (more…)
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces a funding opportunity for small projects to improve access to disaster medicine and public health information for health care professionals, first responders and others that play a role in health-related disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
NLM is soliciting proposals from partnerships in the U.S. that include at least one library and at least one organization that has disaster-related responsibilities, such as health departments, public safety departments, emergency management departments, pre-hospital and emergency medical services, fire/rescue, or other local, regional, or state agencies with disaster health responsibilities; hospitals; faith-based and voluntary organizations active in disaster; and others.