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National Library of Medicine Launches TOXinvaders Game!

The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched TOXinvaders, an environmental health and toxicology game for the iPhone and iPad. It is available from the Apple Store. TOXinvaders supports middle school science concepts pertaining to chemistry, the environment, and health. It can serve as an engaging classroom or homework activity for middle and high school students, as well as an entertaining learning activity for gaming aficionados of all ages. In the classroom environment, TOXinvaders works best as a supplement to NLM’s Tox Town, Environmental Health Student Portal, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus Web sites.

The game consists of four fast-paced levels, in which a launcher is used to annihilate toxic chemicals falling from the sky and earn protective shield points by capturing “good chemicals.” To move on to the next level, players must take a brief quiz about the chemicals. These dynamically generated tests provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about environmental health and toxicology from the game’s chemical information sheet and from NLM Web sites. Quiz questions and answers can also serve as a starting point for classroom discussions, as well as for Tox Town, TOXMAP, and Environmental Health Student Portal activities and experiments.

NN/LM Greater Midwest Region CE Symposium: Re-Forming Health Care

The NN/LM Greater Midwest Region has announced the availability of the recorded archive for the half-day symposium Re-forming Health Care: Changes that Impact Patients, Health Systems, and Librarians, held on March 12, 2015, in Chicago. Presentation slides from three speakers are available on the following topics: “Transitions in Health Care Delivery: Patient Communication in the New Era;” “The Affordable Care Act and the Need for Information;” and “Improving the Quality, Safety, and Cost-Effectiveness of Patient Care through Evidence-Based Practice at the Organizational Level.” Anyone who registers on the web site is eligible to receive 4 hours of MLA CE credit for listening to the three-hour program.

New NIH BD2K Funding Opportunity!

A new Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) funding opportunity is available, Supplements to Support Interoperability of NIH Funded Biomedical Data Repositories, with an April 20 application due date. NIH is accepting administrative supplement requests to support projects that will establish or improve interoperability among NIH funded biomedical data repositories. Improved interoperability is expected to lead to increased efficiency of repositories’ operations and cost reductions, which are significant factors of the NIH’s long-term sustainability plans for the biomedical data repositories. Each supplement request should be associated to a collaborative project consisting of a biomedical data repository supported by an active NIH-funded parent grant, and one or more collaborating sites that together implement the interoperability goals of this FOA. The collaborating sites may be other biomedical data repositories, or may provide computational tools and data standards, or perform other activities that facilitate interoperability among data repositories. Supplement requests will only be accepted from active NIH-funded parent grants that primarily support biomedical data repositories with an overall annual budget above $500,000 in direct costs.

Valentina di Francesca (NHGRI) will be organizing an administrative review panel for these supplements as a group. Administrative review is expected to occur in May 2015, and completed by August 24, 2015. Awards are expected to be made in August/September 2015.

Community Health Status Indicators Website Launch

The CDC just released the updated Community Health Status Indicators (CHSI), an interactive online tool that provides public health profiles for all 3,143 counties in the United States. Each profile includes key indicators of health outcomes, which describes the population health status of a county and factors that have the potential to influence health outcomes, such as health care access and quality, health behaviors, social factors, and the physical environment. First issued in 2000, CHSI 2015 represents the collaboration of public health partners in the public, non-profit and research communities. The re-designed online application includes updated peer county groups, health status indicators, a summary comparison page, and U.S. Census tract data and indicators for sub-populations (age groups, sex, and race/ethnicity) to identify potential health disparities. In this new version of CHSI, all indicators are benchmarked against those of peer counties, the median of all U.S. counties, and Healthy People 2020 targets. Organizations conducting community health assessments can use CHSI data to:

  • Assess community health status and identify disparities;
  • Promote a shared understanding of the wide range of factors that can influence health; and
  • Mobilize multi-sector partnerships to work together to improve population health.

To promote awareness of the new tool, the CDC and the National Library of Medicine are co-hosting two sessions of a one-hour briefing that will provide an overview of the new features and redesign of CHSI. Registration is available for either March 24, 12-1:00 PM PDT, or March 26, 8-9:00 AM PDT. Once your registration request is approved, you will receive instructions for joining the meeting.

Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee

As announced in the Federal Register, the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is now available. Individuals are encouraged to submit written comments to the federal government on the Advisory Report. Written comments will be accepted online through midnight EDT on April 8, 2015.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages individuals to eat a healthful diet — one that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent chronic disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly publish the Dietary Guidelines every 5 years. HHS and USDA will host a public oral comment meeting on March 24, 2015. Meeting registration is now open, and the meeting agenda is available. Please direct all media inquiries to ASHMedia@hhs.gov or call (202) 205-0143.

NCBI Homepage Update: Action Buttons and Category Pages

The NCBI homepage has six new buttons on it: Submit, Download, Learn, Develop, Analyze, and Research. Each of these leads to an action page devoted to a particular set of services. These action pages allow easy access to the pages and resources you need to complete tasks. For instance, you can: Find information about the Entrez API; Find an upcoming NCBI webinar, Find an NCBI tool that designs PCR primers, and much more! On the new action pages, you’ll also see six categories in the header: Literature, Health, Genomes, Genes, Proteins, and Chemicals. These category pages highlight useful databases, tools and resources for each of the topics all in one place.

Also included is a blue Feedback button on the left side of the Download, Learn, Develop, and Analyze pages so that you can send comments to NCBI. More information about the new homepage will be released on NCBI News and to the blog, NCBI Insights.

NLM Resource Update: ToxLearn Module II Now Available!

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) ToxLearn, Module II: Cells and Tissues: Injury and Repair is now available. It offers an introduction to biological molecules, cells, tissues, and organs, and to how they might be affected by toxicants. It also explains principles of cell damage and tissue repair and reviews physiological and morphological changes. Created in partnership with the Society of Toxicology, ToxLearn is a multi-module online learning tool that provides an introduction to basic principles of toxicology. It can be used as a supplementary curriculum to a first-level undergraduate toxicology course and can assist users in interpreting search retrieval from NLM’s TOXNET databases.

ToxLearn Module I: Introduction to Toxicology and Dose-Response, is also available. ToxLearn Modules 1 and 2 update some of the information in the earlier Tox Tutor.

Registration Available for Health Literacy Conference in Irvine May 6-8

Only 1 in 10 U.S. adults are considered proficient in health literacy, or the ability to understand and use the healthcare system. Attend the Annual Institute for Healthcare Advancement (IHA) Health Literacy Conference, May 6-8, at the Hotel Irvine, near Orange County airport, and learn ways in which you can ensure your clients understand and have good health literacy. Register by the early bird deadline of April 10 and use Discount Code NNLM15 to save $20 off your conference tuition. Registration includes breakfast and lunch on Thursday and Friday, May 7-8, up to 21 continuing education credits, lunch on Wednesday, May 6, and more. Special preconference sessions on Wednesday include train-the-trainer sessions for health insurance enrollers to learn OERU best practices (Outreach, Enrollment, Retention and Utilization) and a consumer-facing curriculum on “Your Health Insurance – How It Works and How to Use It.”

New NTC Class: Advanced PubMed® Tips, Tricks, and Tools: MeSH!

The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) has announced a new online class, Advanced PubMed Tips, Tricks, and Tools: MeSH. It is a FREE 90-minute online class using Adobe Connect, worth 1.5 MLA CE credits. This class covers several advanced concepts in the use of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) for searching via PubMed. Topics include annual updates to MeSH, the effective use of subheadings, free floating subheadings, and examples of commonly confused terms. The course is intermediate level, intended for those with at least beginning knowledge of PubMed and MeSH. Upcoming class dates are April 2, April 16, July 9, and July 16. 

Register now! Class enrollment is limited. For questions, contact the NTC trainers.

PubMed’s Send to Order Feature

PubMed users continue to report an issue where the menu choices do not display when using the PubMed “Send to” feature. When this was first reported, it was determined that the problem occurs for those using older browsers (Internet Explorer 7 and 8) not supported by PubMed, or using “Compatibility View” in newer browsers (IE10 or 11). Users encountering this issue should upgrade to a more current version of Internet Explorer (IE10 or IE11) or use Firefox. DOCLINE users with new or upgraded browsers should configure their browser settings according to DOCLINE System Requirements to ensure full functionality. PubMed users should refer to the Browser Advice for NCBI Web Pages site.

DOCLINE users who are unable to upgrade or change browsers at this time can work around the issue by opening two separate browser tabs or windows, one for PubMed and the other for DOCLINE. This will allow them to search PubMed in one window/tab, then copy & paste the PMIDs from PubMed into DOCLINE in the other window/tab. Users of IE10 or IE11 experiencing the issue should check that “Compatibility View” is turned off, as follows:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click Tools
  3. Click Compatibility View settings
  4. Uncheck “Display all websites in Compatibility View” or remove DOCLINE from the list of “Websites you’ve added to Compatibility View”
  5. Close & reopen Internet Explorer

Note to QDPortal users – if you experience the PubMed “send to” issue with a current browser version, contact QuickDoc customer at support@nesurv.com, or by phone at (617) 738-1800.