Check out the November issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:
- Preventing Type 2 Diabetes: Steps Toward a Healthier Life
People with diabetes have a problem with blood sugar. Their blood sugar, or blood glucose, can climb too high. Having high levels of sugar in your blood can cause a lot of trouble. Diabetes raises your risk for heart disease, blindness, amputations, and other serious issues. But the most common type of diabetes, called type 2 diabetes, can be prevented or delayed if you know what steps to take.
- Parkinson’s Disease: Understanding a Complicated Condition
We rely on our brains for every movement we make, whether writing, walking, talking, or even sleeping. But a serious brain disorder like Parkinson’s disease can rob a person of the ability to do everyday tasks that many of us take for granted. There’s no cure, but treatment can help. And researchers continue to seek new understanding to improve medical care.
- Progress Toward a Bird Flu Vaccine
An experimental bird flu vaccine triggered a powerful immune response in more than half of the volunteers who received it. The approach might lead to better vaccines against a variety of flu viruses.
- Participating in Alzheimer’s Research
Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills. Eventually, affected people can’t perform even simple tasks. There’s no cure, but researchers are now testing new ways to diagnose, treat, or even prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
- Featured Website: Safe to Sleep
Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is the leading cause of death among infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. Find out how you can reduce your baby’s risk of SIDS and other sleep-related causes of infant death.
NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!
The NIH has issued a Request for Information (RFI) on the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative Resources for Teaching and Learning Biomedical Big Data Management and Data Science, with a submission deadline of December 31, 2014. As part of its Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) Initiative, NIH wishes to help the broader scientific community update knowledge and skills in the important areas of the science, storage, management and sharing of biomedical big data, and wants to identify the array of timely, high quality courses and online learning materials already available on data science and data management topics for biomedical big data. With this RFI Notice, the NIH invites interested and knowledgeable persons to inform NIH about existing learning resources covering Biomedical Big Data management and data science topics. All responses must be submitted electronically by December 31, 2014, in the form of an email, using the subject “data management.” PPT files or other curriculum materials should not be attached to responses. Responses are welcome from associations and professional organizations as well as individual stakeholders.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides online environmental health student resources for students in grades 1-12. The information and data in the following resources are free and vetted by science professionals. The resources can be used by science educators in their classrooms, in after school programs, in home school programs, and by students for their academic research assignments.
- Environmental Health Student Portal (Grades 6-8): Provides middle school students and educators with information on common environmental health topics such as water pollution, climate change, air pollution, and chemicals.
- Toxicology Tutorials (Grades 9-12+): Teach basic toxicology principles; written at the introductory college student level.
- Household Products Database (Grades 6-12+): Learn about the potential health effects of chemicals in common household products ranging from personal hygiene products to landscape care products.
- ToxTown (Grades 6-12+): Interactive guide to commonly encountered toxic substances. Includes classroom materials. Also available in Spanish.
- TOXMAP (Grades 9-12+): Uses maps of the United States to visually explore Superfund and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) sites and data from the EPA. Includes classroom materials.
- Native Voices Exhibition Lesson Plans & Activities (Grades 6-12): Familiarize students with Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian healthcare by using the NLM Native Voices exhibition Web site content materials.
- ToxMystery (Grades 1-5): Teaches elementary school students about toxic substances in the home. Game format; includes lesson plans and activities. Also available in Spanish.
The National Library of Medicine’s Refugee Health Information Network (RHIN) resource was a national collaborative partnership with the principal focus of creating and making available a database of quality multilingual/multicultural, public health resources to professionals providing care to resettled refugees and asylees. In October, 2014, NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) broadened the scope of RHIN by rebranding it HealthReach. This was done to better meet the needs of the diverse non-English and English as a second language speaking audiences. HealthReach continues to recognize the importance of providing refugee and asylee specific information while expanding the information provided to meet the needs of most immigrant populations. Over the next several months new resources will be added to the web site. There is also a new Twitter feed, @NLM_HealthReach. There isn’t much change between the old RHIN and the new HealthReach; this was intentional to help with the continuity of service through the transition.
A recent AEA365 Evaluation Tip-a-Day featured a review and several hot tips for Padlet, a freely available web-based bulletin board system. The hot tips include the use of Padlet as an anonymous brainstorming activity in response to a question or idea, and as a backchannel for students or conference attendees to share resources and raise questions for future discussion. Padlet’s bulletin board configuration settings are intuitive and easy to use with various backgrounds and freeform, tabular, or grid note arrangement display on the bulletin board. Free Padlet accounts can be created by either signing up directly or by linking to an existing Google or Facebook account. Padlet includes many privacy options that are clearly explained, including “Private” mode, requiring the use of a password for you and those you invite to participate to access the Padlet, and “Public” mode to view, write or moderate. A new update feature includes a variety of ways to share Padlet data, ranging from choosing the icon for six different social media channels to downloading data as a PDF or Excel/CSV file for analysis. For a trial run of this resource, visit the NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center’s Padlet about the OERC Evaluation Series booklets and leave your input! Posts will be moderated on the Padlet before they display publicly.
The National Library of Medicine has just announced the release of new versions of the MedlinePlus Mobile sites in English and Spanish. Like the original versions of the mobile sites, the redesigned sites are optimized for mobile phones and tablets. Unlike the original mobile sites that contained only a subset of the information available on MedlinePlus, the new sites have all of the content found on MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español! They also have an improved design for easier use on mobile devices. Illustrations of the new sites are available in the NLM Technical Bulletin.
The key features of the redesigned mobile sites are:
- Access to all the content available on MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español
- Improved navigation using “Menu” and “Search” options to access search and major areas of the sites
- Enhanced page navigation with the ability to open and close sections within pages
- Updated look and feel with a refreshed design
This new version of MedlinePlus Mobile is the first step in redesigning MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus en español to behave responsively. Responsively designed Web sites automatically change their layouts to fit the screen of the device on which they are viewed, whether that is a desktop monitor or a mobile touchscreen. In 2015, the MedlinePlus team will release a fully responsive version of MedlinePlus to provide a consistent user experience from the desktop, tablet, or phone. This will obviate the need for a separate mobile site. Users will then have one destination for MedlinePlus when using any device. Until then, try out this first offering of MedlinePlus’s responsive design on your smartphone! Feel free to send feedback and comments about the new site via the “Contact Us” link that appears on every page.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has launched a Web collecting initiative to capture and preserve selected born-digital content documenting the 2014 Ebola outbreak. This initiative is a part of its previously-announced Web content collecting effort, which is guided by the NLM Collection Development Manual and other strategic collecting efforts. Initiated on October 1, 2014, selected content related to the current Ebola outbreak includes Web sites and social media from Government and non-government organizations, journalists, healthcare workers, and scientists in the United States and around the world, with an aim to collect and preserve a diversity of perspectives on this unfolding health crisis.
The content is part of the NLM’s broader Web collection on “Global Health Events.” The NLM will continue to develop, review, describe, and add content to the collection, as it also expands its overall capacity to collect Web content. With this initiative NLM has taken a major new step in its mission to collect pertinent health care information of today for the benefit of research in the future. Increasingly, that information is found on the Web, which is a rapidly changing environment where valuable and interesting materials can surface and then quickly disappear!
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is accepting applications for its 2015-16 Associate Fellowship program, a one-year training program designed for recent MLS graduates and early-career librarians. All U.S. and Canadian citizens who will have earned a MLS or equivalent degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited school by August 2015 are eligible to apply. Priority is given to U.S. citizens. Applications and additional information are available on the NLM web site. The application deadline is February 5, 2015. Between 4 and 7 fellows will be selected for the program.
In the first half of the fellowship year, a formal curriculum offers exposure to library operations, research and development, intramural and extramural research, development and lifecycle of NLM’s web-based products and services, and the extensive outreach and education program reaching consumers, special populations, health professionals and librarians. In the second half of the year, Associate Fellows have the opportunity to choose projects based on real-world problems proposed by library divisions, and work with librarians and library staff over a 6-7 month period. Successful projects have led to peer-reviewed publications, and to services that have become a regular part of library operations.
The September through August program also offers professional development and an introduction to the wider world of health sciences librarianship that may include:
- Supported attendance at national professional conferences, often including the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting, the American Medical Informatics Association annual meeting and others
- Additional brown bags, seminars, field trips and learning opportunities available on the National Institutes of Health campus
- Opportunities to meet and interact with senior management at the National Library of Medicine
- Experienced preceptors from National Library of Medicine staff
- Potential to compete for a second-year fellowship at a health sciences library in the United States
The Fellowship offers:
- A stipend equivalent to a U.S. Civil Service salary at the GS-9 level ($52,146 in 2014)
- Additional financial support for the purchase of health insurance
- Some relocation funding
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a freely available ‘how to’ resource Introduction to Program Evaluation for Public Health Programs: A Self Study Guide. Examples of public and community health programs that can be considered for program evaluation include direct service interventions, community-based mobilization efforts, research initiatives into issues such as health disparities, advocacy work, and training programs. The guide is available online or as a PDF document that consists of a six-step process (from Engaging Stakeholders to Ensure Use of Evaluation Findings), a helpful Glossary of program evaluation terminology, and Resources for additional publications, toolkits, and more to support public and community health program evaluation work. A related CDC guide A Framework for Program Evaluation is one of several resources featured in the Evaluation Planning section of the NN/LM OERC Tools and Resources for Evaluation web page.
From Coverage to Care (C2C) is an initiative from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) designed to help people with new health coverage understand their benefits and connect to primary care and the preventive services that are right for them. C2C resources, available in both English and Spanish, are now available to download and print.
Available resources include:
- A Roadmap to Better Care and a Healthier You (Una Guía para Un Mejor Cuidado y Una Vida Más Saludable) that includes 8 steps to explain what health coverage is, and how to use it to get needed care.
- Consumer tools including a sample insurance card and a sample explanation of benefits.
- An 11-part video series that helps explain the information covered in the Roadmap.
To learn when new resources become available, sign up for notifications through the Minority Health listserv. From Coverage to Care materials are also available through the order page.