Skip all navigation and go to page content
NN/LM Home About PSR | Contact PSR | Feedback |Site Map | Help | Bookmark and Share

Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

Household Products Database Update

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Household Products Database (HPD) now contains over 14,000 products. The latest update includes a new product category “commercial/institutional.” Product manufacturers of the more than 300 products in this category use various descriptions, including professional grade, professional use, hospital grade, and more. Users can locate products using the new “commercial/institutional” link under “Browse by Category” on the HPD homepage or by entering the category/description terms (e.g. commercial, institutional, professional, hospital) as a Quick Search.

The Household Products Database links over 14,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by manufacturers, and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions:

  • What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands?
  • Which products contain specific chemical ingredients?
  • Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer?
  • What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand?
  • What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine?

Information in the Household Products Database comes from a variety of publicly available sources, including brand-specific labels and Material Safety Data Sheets when available from manufacturers and manufacturers’ web sites.

NLM Announces New VSAC Tutorial

The National Library of Medicine has announced a new Value Set Authority Center (VSAC) tutorial, Updating Value Sets. The nine-minute tutorial is available as a link from the UMLS Video Learning Resources page, the NLM Distance Education Resources page, and is posted at the NLM YouTube site. Additional tutorials designed to assist users with VSAC and VSAC authoring tools are in development. NLM encourages comments about the tutorial and suggestions for further topics, which may be sent to NLM Customer Service.

The NLM Value Set Authority Center is developed by NLM in collaboration with Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to provide searchable access to value sets that are used to define concepts used in clinical quality measures, and to support effective health information exchange and many other biomedical informatics applications and programs. Since October 2013, VSAC also offers the Authoring Tool that allows users to author value sets.

Haz-Map Update

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has updated Haz-Map with 497 new agents. It now covers 10,133 biological and chemical agents. Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biologicals at work. Haz-Map links jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms. More information is available from the Haz-Map Fact Sheet.

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Health Sciences and Human Services Library, Announces Release of Student Health Advocates Redefining Empowerment Curriculum

The Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Baltimore, has announced the release of the Student Health Advocates Redefining Empowerment (SHARE) Curriculum, developed as the result of a three-year Health Information Resource Grant to Reduce Health Disparities (G08LM0011079) from the National Library of Medicine. The grant aimed to empower high school students as community health advocates, improve health in Baltimore neighborhoods, and develop a replicable student health advocacy program. The entire curriculum consists of six modules. Each module can be used independently as well. The modules are:

  1. Overview of Health Disparities
  2. Quality Health Information
  3. Taking Charge of Your Health
  4. Smart Food Choices
  5. Crafting and Delivering the Message
  6. Promoting Health and Wellness in Your Community

These modules were developed after working with two cohorts of students from Vivien T. Thomas Medical Arts Academy in Baltimore. In addition to detailed lesson plans, each class has assignments and handouts and is aligned with national standards. Supplemental activities are also provided. In order to build a community around the curriculum, a blog is available to share ideas and suggestions and discuss the curriculum. For more information, please contact Project SHARE.

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.

Ebola Outbreak 2014: Information Resources from NLM

A new web page, Ebola Outbreak 2014: Information Resources, is now available from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC). The resources on this page may be of value to international and local organizations and individuals providing Ebola outbreak-related services in West Africa, as well as friends and family of people in the affected region.

This resource complements NLM’s activation of the the Emergency Access Initiative in support of medical efforts in West Africa. The Emergency Access Initiative is a collaborative partnership between the National Library of Medicine and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text articles from over 650 biomedical serial titles and over 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. The free access period is August 12, 2014 – September 11, 2014. The news story, NLM Launches Emergency Access Initiative, Granting Free Access to Books and Journals for Healthcare Professionals Fighting Ebola Outbreak, provides more detail on the NLM response to the Ebola outbreak.

NLM Launches Emergency Access Initiative for Healthcare Professionals Fighting Ebola Outbreak

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Emergency Access Initiative (EAI) has been activated to support healthcare professionals working on the Ebola public health emergency in West Africa. The EAI is a collaborative partnership between NLM and participating publishers to provide free access to full-text from over 650 biomedical journals and over 4,000 reference books and online databases to healthcare professionals and libraries affected by disasters. It serves as a temporary collection replacement and/or supplement for libraries affected by disasters that need to continue to serve medical staff and affiliated users. It is also intended for medical personnel responding to the specified disaster. EAI is not an open access collection. It is only intended for those affected by the disaster or assisting the affected population. If you know of a library or organization involved in healthcare efforts in response to the Ebola outbreak, please let them know of this service. EAI was activated four times in the past, including following the earthquake and subsequent cholera epidemic in Haiti, flooding in Pakistan and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

NLM thanks the numerous participating publishers for their generous support of this initiative: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Chemical Society, American College of Physicians, American Medical Association, American Society of Health-Systems Pharmacists, ASM Press, B.C. Decker, BMJ, EBSCOHost, Elsevier, FA Davis, Mary Ann Liebert, Massachusetts Medical Society, McGraw-Hill, Merck Publishing, Oxford University Press, People’s Medical Publishing House, Springer, University of Chicago Press, Wiley and Wolters Kluwer.

Resources on Ebola

NLM has several other resources that will be helpful for people working on Ebola:

HHS agencies, including CDC and ASPR, also provide the latest Ebola information available through social media, including Twitter@phegov, @CDCgov, @CDCEmergency and Facebook Public Health Emergency, CDC, CDC Emergency Preparedness and Response. The CDC also has a comprehensive set of resources on its Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever web page.

NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information Receives HHSinnovates Award!

A collaborative project between the National Library of Medicine’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and several other federal and state partners, to reduce the time and improve the accuracy of detecting foodborne pathogens by using whole genome sequencing (WGS) techniques, received the HHSinnovates award on July 21, 2014. The HHSinnovates program was initiated in 2010 to recognize new ideas and solutions developed by HHS employees and their collaborators. Six finalist teams were recognized at the awards ceremony. The WGS Food Safety Project, which also involved the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and state public health laboratories, was one of three projects to be honored as “Secretary’s Picks” by HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. The award went to the specific individuals leading the project in the various agencies; in the case of NCBI, Senior Scientist William Klimke, PhD, was honored for his work in heading NCBI’s part of the project.

WGS provides greater specificity than other techniques, such as the commonly used pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), in identifying the DNA fingerprint of bacteria. It also can more rapidly determine whether isolates are related to a foodborne disease outbreak. The demonstration project involves real-time sequencing of Listeria monocytogenes isolates from human DNA as well as the food supply chain. In the project, the whole genomes of isolates are sequenced and the sequencing data are sent to NCBI, which performs assembly, annotation and analysis, and then sends results back to CDC, FDA, USDA and the labs. Collaborative projects using WGS for other pathogens related to food safety are also underway.

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.

National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) Offers Free Online TOXNET Class This Fall!

The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) is offering an online, asynchronous Moodle class called Discovering TOXNET from October 20 – November 14, 2014. Register now to discover TOXNET and other NLM environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises! The class is taught online in thirteen independent modules. Participants work on their own time over a period of four weeks to complete the modules of interest. There is one required module; the remaining are optional. This class is offered for variable MLA Continuing Education credit. Each module will be offered for 0.5 to 2.0 credit hours, for a total of up to 12 hours. Credit will not be awarded for partial completion of a module. Total credit awarded will be based on completed modules with a minimum of 1.0 credit hours.

TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, toxic releases, chemical nomenclature, poisoning, risk assessment and regulations, and occupational safety and health. The independent modules cover TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), IRIS, Haz-Map, LactMed, WISER, CHEMM, REMM, LiverTox, and more. 

The modules are:

  1. Introduction to TOXNET: 0.5 hour (Required)
  2. TOXLINE: 1.0 hour
  3. ChemIDplus: 2.0 hours
  4. Integrated Risk Information System & Risk Assessment: 1.0 hour
  5. Hazardous Substances Databank: 1.5 hours
  6. Toxic Release Inventory: 1.0 hour
  7. TOXMAP: 1.5 hours
  8. Household Products Database: 0.5 hour
  9. LactMed: 0.5 hour
  10. Haz-Map: 0.5 hour
  11. WISER & CHEMM: 1.0 hour
  12. REMM: 0.5 hour
  13. LiverTox: 0.5 hour

Space in the class is limited, so don’t delay registering! For questions, contact the NTC.