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Archive for the ‘Events’ Category

Bold Ideas for NN/LM!

At the NN/LM update session during the 2014 QuintEssential Chapter Meeting in Denver, RMLs asked attendees to respond to two questions:

  • Other than financial issues, what is a critical issue facing your library?
  • What is a bold idea that the RML can do to help address a critical issue?

Over 100 members from five MLA Chapters (MCMLA, MLGSCA, NCNMLG, PNCMLA, and SCCMLA) proposed bold ideas, which were recorded on note cards and passed around to other attendees to be scored. Each idea could receive a maximum score of 25. A complete list of ideas and scores is available on the NN/LM Midcontinental Region’s web site.

Applications Now Open for Spring and Fall 2015 NLM Georgia Biomedical Informatics Course!

The Robert B. Greenblatt, M.D. Library, Georgia Regents University, has announced that applications are now being accepted for the Spring and Fall 2015 sessions of the NLM Georgia Biomedical Informatics Course, to be held April 12-18 and September 27-October 3, 2015, at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris, GA. The course, previously held at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA, offers participants a week-long immersive experience in biomedical informatics and provides continuing education to health care professionals interested in the application of computer technologies to medicine. The application deadline for both sessions is December 15, 2014.

Biomedical administrators, faculty, and others who can become change agents for their institutions are strongly encouraged to apply. All costs for the course including travel, housing, and per diem are supported by NLM. The application is open to US citizens and US permanent residents. Enrollment is limited to 30 attendees. The course will provide attendees a diverse set of skills and experiences incorporating concepts, theories and building blocks of biomedical informatics; ability to use informatics for solving current health care challenges; application and policies related to computer technologies and information science; hands-on experience during evening workshops; and networking with nationally known bioinformatics educators and thought leaders.

NLM Releases Rare Footage of President Franklin Roosevelt Speaking at NIH

On October 31, 1940, just days before President Franklin D. Roosevelt would be elected to an unprecedented third term as President of the United States, he traveled to Bethesda to dedicate the National Cancer Institute and the new campus of what was then the National Institute of Health (NIH), before it would eventually become known in plural form, National Institutes of Health, as multiple units were established over subsequent years. That late October afternoon, Roosevelt stood on the steps of the new main NIH building, ready to address a crowd of 3,000 people. Still relevant today, in a variety of contexts, are the subjects he discussed: the need for preparedness in light of war and for research into deadly diseases, recent improvements in public health and health care, and hope that the research conducted at NIH would lead to new cures for and even the prevention of disease.

The National Library of Medicine is making the film of Roosevelt’s speech publicly available online for the first time, nearly 74 years after the President made his speech. Sound recordings, transcripts, and photographs of this event have been publicly available for many years. Research suggests, however, that this rare film footage has not been seen publicly since its recording and may no longer exist anywhere else. The recording does not appear to have been professionally produced, since the camera is unsteady in places, a hand sweeps across the lens, and the filming starts and stops, though it isn’t known whether this is a result of the original filming or of later editing. The film is publicly available via the NLM’s Digital Collections archive of over 10,000 biomedical books and videos, and its YouTube site. Read more about this historically significant film footage on the NLM blog, Circulating Now: From the Historical Collections of the World’s Largest Biomedical Library.

PubChem Turns Ten!

PubChem logoSeptember 16, 2004 is a special day in the history of PubChem. It marks the beginning of PubChem as an on-line resource! Now fast forward ten years. PubChem provides information daily to many tens of thousands of users. Despite the passage of time, PubChem’s primary mission remains the same: providing comprehensive information on the biological activities of chemical substances.

Providing chemical information to researchers in the biomedical science community is a key part of PubChem’s purpose. Over the years, PubChem introduced and incrementally developed several interfaces, each with its own distinct purpose and set of use cases. Primary to these is the Entrez search interface, where PubChem is organized as three distinct databases: Substance, Compound, and BioAssay. Substance provides substance descriptions (accession number: SID), Compound provides the unique small-molecule chemical content of Substance (accession number: CID), and BioAssay provides biological experiment results for substances (accession number: AID). Each of these databases has an advanced search interface and contain numerous indexes and filters, which can be combined to construct elaborate queries. Additional interfaces exist to search and analyze information in PubChem, including the ability to analyze bioactivity information, download chemical and assay data, search by chemical structure or protein sequence, navigate using integrated classifications, visualize chemical 3-D information, and more.

PubChem continues to evolve the way it provides on-line content. External search engines (like Google, Bing, and others) are now a key way in which researchers locate data. In addition, programmatic interfaces now account for a significant portion of PubChem’s overall usage (+50%). Key programmatic interfaces to PubChem include Entrez Utilities and PUG/REST.

NLM Medical Text Indexer Plays Role in International Challenge

For the second year in a row, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Medical Text Indexer was used as one of the baselines for the international BioASQ Challenge. The Medical Text Indexer (MTI) combines the expertise of indexers working at NLM with natural language processing technology to curate the biomedical literature with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) more efficiently and consistently. BioASQ is a series of challenges on biomedical semantic indexing and question answering with the aim of advancing the state of the art accessibility for researchers and clinicians to biomedical text. The MTI indexing results are providing one of the baselines used in the “large-scale online biomedical semantic indexing” part of the challenge, which is designed to parallel the human indexing currently being done at NLM. The NLM Medical Text Indexer is a product of the close collaboration between the NLM Index Section and the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, an Intramural Research Division of the National Library of Medicine.

The BioASQ Challenge evaluation of approaches to biomedical semantic indexing provided a continuous assessment of the indexing suggestions that are automatically generated by the MTI system used in support of the MEDLINE® indexing process at the NLM. The benefits of participating in this community-wide evaluation for MTI were two-fold: firstly, MTI was rigorously compared to systems developed by a world-wide community of researchers and industrial teams all performing the same task; and secondly, the free exchange of the methods and ideas allowed the MTI team to incorporate the best practices explored by the participating teams. Incorporating some of these approaches into the MTI workflow in 2013-2014 improved the accuracy of MTI indexing suggestions by 4.5%.

New Resource for Pediatric-Related Disaster and Emergency Health Information

The National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) has announced a new resource directed at the needs of children in disasters and emergencies, which present unique planning challenges for health officials, responders, and providers. Multiple U.S. Department of Health and Human Services agencies and funded organizations collaborated to develop this comprehensive online guide to serve as a central source for pediatric-related disaster and emergency health information, which brings into one place professional-level materials, documents, Web sites, and articles distinctly about children from authoritative sources; including government, private, non-profit and international organizations and agencies.

To learn about this robust new resource, the collaboration behind it, and how it can make information searching more efficient, attend the next Disaster Information Specialist Webinar on Thursday, September 11, at 1:00 – 2:00 PM PDT. Four featured presenters will address the topic Not Just Small Adults: Health Resources on Children in Disasters and Emergencies.

“Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code” Exhibit Coming to NN/LM PSR!

With eye-catching models, interactive displays and engaging elements, the Genome: Unlocking Life’s Code exhibition is going on tour after having completed a 14-month engagement at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. On Sept. 1, 2014, the contemporary, high-impact exhibition, a collaboration between the museum and the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health, starts engagements at museums and science centers throughout North America.

genome_exhibit

The exhibit opened a decade after the completion of the Human Genome Project and 60 years after the discovery of the double-helical structure of DNA by Drs. James Watson and Francis Crick. Dr. Watson toured the exhibition in July, one of its estimated 3 million visitors since the opening. Museum designers and education programming experts took almost two years to conceptualize and build the 4,400 square-foot exhibition. By illustrating and explaining genomics, the exhibition offers visitors a new perspective from which to view oneself, as an individual, a member of a family, a representative of a species, and part of the diversity of life on Earth.

The initial stops for the traveling exhibition are

  • Reuben H. Fleet Science Center, San Diego, Sept. 24, 2014 – Jan. 4, 2015
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation, San Jose, California, Jan. 22 – April 27, 2015
  • St. Louis Science Center, May 15 – Sept. 10, 2015
  • Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Portland, Oct. 2, 2015 – Jan. 3, 2016
  • Discovery World, Milwaukee, Winter 2016
  • Exploration Place, Wichita, Kansas, Sept. 30, 2016 – Jan. 1, 2017
  • Peoria (Illinois) Riverfront Museum, Jan. 28 – May 29, 2017
  • Science North, Sudbury, Ontario, Sept. 30, 2017 – Jan. 1, 2018

The exhibition is accompanied by a website with educational resources that can be used to teach students about DNA, and educational videos for learners of all ages. Videos of many of the public educational programs, including lectures, symposia, discussion panels and informal gatherings, held in conjunction with the exhibition, are also available.

SPL/DailyMed Jamboree 2014 Workshop – Practical use of DailyMed and RxNorm Drug Data

The National Library of Medicine is sponsoring a free public meeting, SPL/DailyMed Jamboree 2014 Workshop – Practical use of DailyMed and RxNorm Drug Data. Speakers from the Federal government (NLM and IHS), industry (Bayer, Wolters-Kluwer), academia, and non-profit sectors will speak on their experience with Structured Product Label (SPL) drug data as well as RxNorm. The emphasis is on practical and novel ways to use this free data, which is produced cooperatively by NLM and FDA. Topics include SPLs and clinical decision support, extracting indication and drug interaction data from SPLs using natural language processing, e-prescribing experience within the Indian Health Service, Linked Data and SPLs, the use of RxNorm by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), and more. The proceedings will be webcast and archived.

When: September 18, 9:30 AM to 4:15 PM (ET)
Where: Lister Hill Auditorium, National Library of Medicine, 8600 Rockville Pike, NIH Building 38A, 1st Floor, Bethesda, Maryland 20894

Visit the SPL/DailyMed Jamboree 2014 Workshop webpage to register for the in-person meeting and to view the agenda and speakers. The link to the webcast will be added when available.

NCATS Announces the Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) Data Challenge 2014 Competition

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) has announced the Toxicology in the 21st Century (Tox21) Data Challenge 2014 competition.
The goal of the challenge is to crowdsource data analysis by independent researchers in order to develop computational models that can better predict chemical toxicity. It is designed to improve current toxicity assessment methods, which are often slow and costly. The model submission deadline is November 14, 2014. NCATS will showcase the winning models in January 2015. Registration for the challenge and more information is available on the web site.

Tox21 scientists are currently testing a library of more than 10,000 chemical compounds in NCATS’s high-throughput robotic screening system. To date, the team has produced nearly 50 million data points from screening the chemical library against cell-based assays. Data generated from twelve of these assays form the basis of the 2014 challenge. For more information on the Tox21 Modeling Challenge and Tox21 Program, contact Anna Rossoshek.

NIH Disaster Research Response Project Workshop June 12-13 in Bethesda

Disaster Research Response Workshop: Enabling Public Health Research During Disasters will be held June 12-13, 2014, at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, MD. There is no registration cost. This workshop will examine strategies and partnerships for methodologically and ethically sound public health and medical research during future emergencies. Discussions will include issues with obtaining informed consent, obtaining approval from Institutional Review Boards, coordinating research efforts with emergency response, and ensuring timely collection of data. The workshop is a collaboration of the NIH Disaster Research Response Project, the IOM Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events, the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The NIH Disaster Research Response Project is a pilot project led by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and supported by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), aimed at developing ready-to-go research data collection tools and a network of trained research responders. The project’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for researchers to begin collecting health and other data following a major disaster. The focus is on data collection tools and protocols, the creation of networks of health experts also trained as research responders, and integration of the effort into federal response plans for future disasters. Although initially focused on environmental health issues, the hope is this project will be a model for timely collection of data supporting a range of medical and public health research.

As part of this project, NIEHS recently held a tabletop exercise in Long Beach, CA, to test how a “research response” might work and what would be expected of researchers choosing to be trained research responders, i.e. first on the scene to begin collecting data once it is safe and reasonable to do so. The article “Tsunami exercise helps prepare research community for disaster response” describes the exercise and there is also a video. The “Disaster Lit” section of the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (from NLM) now includes records for research tools, such as online surveys and interview scripts, to aid researchers in quickly selecting appropriate measures.