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Archive for January, 2012

Papers of Henry Swan Added to the National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science Website

Henry Swan, ca. 1981.The National Library of Medicine, the world’s largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, announces the release of an extensive selection from the papers of American surgeon Henry Swan (1913-1996), who pioneered the use of hypothermia for heart surgery, on the Library’s Profiles in Science website. With this addition, the number of prominent researchers, public health officials, and promoters of medical research whose personal and professional records are presented on Profiles has grown to 33.

American surgeon Henry Swan II pioneered the use of hypothermia, cooling patients to a very low body temperature, to make possible the first open-heart surgeries. Profiles in Science features digitized correspondence, published articles, departmental reports, and photographs from the Henry Swan Papers at the National Library of Medicine. Visitors to the site can view, for example, Swan’s college letters to his family, and his World War II letters to his wife describing his experiences as a surgeon on the front lines; correspondence with professional colleagues, and a rich selection of photos documenting his life and career.

NLM’s Tox Town Introduces New US Southwest Neighborhood!

Tox Town’s new Southwest Scene is now live in both English and Spanish. This scene was developed in conjunction with Diné College in New Mexico, and highlights locations associated with environmental health concerns impacting the Navajo and others living in the Southwest region of the United States. New Tox Town locations found in this scene include:

1. Abandoned Mines
2. Coal-Fired Power Plants
3. Dust Storms
4. Hydraulic Fracturing
5. Irrigation Canals and Ditches
6. Oil and Gas Fields
7. Sheep Ranching
8. Uranium Tailings
9. Water Wells
10. Windmills

Regardless of where you live, you will definitely want to visit this new neighborhood and learn about possible environmental health risks in this part of the country!

January 2012 NIH News in Health is Now Available

Cartoon of a man bypassing cupcakes and carrying a shopping basket filled with produce.The January 2012 issue of NIH News in Health is now available online. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plays a major role in finding better ways to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. The practical health information in NIH News in Health is reviewed by NIH’s medical experts and based on research conducted either by NIH’s own scientists or by grantees at universities and medical schools around the country. In this issue:

  • Breaking Bad Habits: Why It’s So Hard to Change
  • Mindfulness Matters: Can Living in the Moment Improve Your Health?
  • Delaying Treatment for Prostate Cancer
  • Rats Show Empathy, Too
  • Featured Website: NIH Clinical Research Trials and You

NIH News in Health is available as e-mail alerts and print subscriptions. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers and libraries within the U.S. If you are interested, please e-mail nihnewsinhealth@od.nih.gov with your mailing address and how many copies you would like. A PDF version is also available online for printing.

New REMM Version (1.5.0) Released Today!

REMM (Radiation Emergency Medical Management) has released major new versions of the REMM website and Mobile REMM app. The Mobile REMM app is available for the iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, and Windows Mobile. It is strongly suggested that any previous versions are updated to REMM 1.5.0.

What’s new on REMM 1.5.0?

NIH Establishes National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)

In a move to re-engineer the process of translating scientific discoveries into new drugs, diagnostics, and devices, the National Institutes of Health has established the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS). The action was made possible by Congress’ approval of a fiscal year 2012 spending bill and the president’s signing of the bill, which includes the establishment of NCATS with a budget of $575 million. NCATS will serve as the nation’s hub for catalyzing innovations in translational science. Working closely with partners in the regulatory, academic, nonprofit, and private sectors, NCATS will strive to identify and overcome hurdles that slow the development of effective treatments and cures.

A prime example of the type of innovative project that will be led by NCATS is the new initiative between NIH, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to develop cutting-edge chip technology. This new technology will allow researchers to screen for safe and effective drugs far more swiftly and efficiently than current methods. A great deal of time and money can be saved testing drug safety and effectiveness much earlier in the process.

To meet the goals of NCATS, NIH is reorganizing a wide range of preclinical and clinical translational science capabilities within NIH into an integrated scientific enterprise with new leadership and a bold new agenda. While the effort to recruit an NCATS director continues, organizational changes and realignment of resources will move forward under the leadership of Acting Director Thomas R. Insel, M.D., and Acting Deputy Director Kathy Hudson, Ph.D. Dr. Insel is the director of the National Institutes of Mental Health and Dr. Hudson is the deputy director for science, outreach, and policy at the National Institutes of Health.

The following programs will comprise NCATS:

  • Bridging Interventional Development Gaps, which makes available critical resources needed for the development of new therapeutic agents
  • Clinical and Translational Science Awards, which fund a national consortium of medical research institutions working together to improve the way clinical and translational research is conducted nationwide
  • Cures Acceleration Network, which enables NCATS to fund research in new and innovative ways
  • FDA-NIH Regulatory Science, which is an interagency partnership that aims to accelerate the development and use of better tools, standards and approaches for developing and evaluating diagnostic and therapeutic products
  • Office of Rare Diseases Research, which coordinates and supports rare diseases research
  • Components of the Molecular Libraries, which is an initiative that provides researchers with access to the large-scale screening capacity necessary to identify compounds that can be used as chemical probes to validate new therapeutic targets
  • Therapeutics for Rare and Neglected Diseases, which is a program to encourage and speed the development of new drugs for rare and neglected diseases

The formation of NCATS has been a methodical process highlighted by the recommendation of the NIH Scientific Management Review Board in December 2010 to create a new center dedicated to advancing translational science. This recommendation was followed by a year of intensive feedback and expert insight from all sectors of translational science through advisory meetings and extensive public consultation.