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Archive for 2012

NCBI and Older Web Browsers

Friday, December 28th, 2012

NCBI Hompage

Effective January 1, 2013, NCBI will no longer support Internet Explorer (IE) Version 7. In addition, NCBI pages may claim that your browser is not supported if you are running in compatibility mode for Versions 8 and 9.

NCBI will no longer support Firefox Version 3.

A list of tips and tricks for resolving NCBI Webpage Errors can be found on the NCBI webpage.

 

 

The Health Effects of Fracking

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

Photo of natural gas frac wells

By Steve Beleu, Director, U.S. Government Information Division, Oklahoma Department of Libraries

The immense growth in our nation of enhanced natural gas and oil recovery via the process popularly known as “fracking,” and more precisely known as “Hydraulic Fracturing,” has created an economic boom. “Shale oil” and “shale gas” is trapped within shale formations; injecting combinations of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure causes the shale to crack which then releases the gas or oil. But mismanaged fracking can also release hazardous chemicals into drinking water and air, and also cause small earthquakes. Here are some links to information about fracking in general and its potential adverse health effects.

Basic information about hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Website updated on May 9, 2012.
http://water.epa.gov/type/groundwater/uic/class2/hydraulicfracturing/wells_hydrowhat.cfm

Basic information about shale gas. It includes a chart that shows the current and projected future growth of shale gas production from about 2005 through 2040. EIA estimates that there will be a 44% increase in fracking.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. Website updated on December 5, 2012.
http://www.eia.gov/energy_in_brief/article/about_shale_gas.cfm?src=email

Map of “Lower 48” State Shale “plays” (a “play” is the name for a formation that contains trapped natural gas).
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. May 9, 2011.
http://www.eia.gov/oil_gas/rpd/shale_gas.pdf

Report about fracking and the risks to public health of fracking. Recommended for its technical explanations of fracking. September 5, 2012.
Source: U.S. General Accountability Office.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-732

Report about the regulations of federal government and six states about the potentially hazardous effects of fracking.
Source: U.S. General Accountability Office. September 5, 2012.
http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-12-874

Congressional report from the U.S. House of Representatives about the chemicals in fracking and their potential adverse health effects.
Source: U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce. April 2011.
http://democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/sites/default/files/documents/Hydraulic%20Fracturing%20Report%204.18.11.pdf

Charts and graphs about fracking.
Source: U.S. Energy Information Agency. June 27, 2012.
http://www.eia.gov/pressroom/presentations/staub_06272012.pdf

The EPA project to study the effects on fracking on drinking water; widely reported by national and state media. Their report is due to Congress in 2014, but this is a website about it. Website updated on December 7, 2012/
http://www.epa.gov/hfstudy/

EPA’s web page about the basics of fracking. Website updated on October 2, 2012
http://www.epa.gov/hydraulicfracture/

Selected free, full-text articles about fracking from the National Institute of Health’s PubMed Central (PMC) database. Using the search term “hydraulic fracturing” currently retrieves 89 articles; these are three of them. Basic web address of PubMed Central: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/

—“Methane Contamination of Drinking Water Accompanying Gas-Well Drilling and Hydraulic Fracturing”. Published in May 2011.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3100993/

—“The Future of Fracking: New Rules Target Air Emissions for Cleaner Natural Gas Production”. Published in July 2012.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3404676/

—“Blind Rush? Shale Gas Boom Proceeds Amid Human Health Questions”.  Published in August 2011.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3237379/

Staff Changes NN/LM SCR

Friday, December 7th, 2012

The NN/LM SCR pleased to announce staff changes.

Karen Vargas, who has served as the Consumer Health Outreach Coordinator since 2003, has taken on a new position as the NN/LM SCR Outreach and Evaluation Coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for outreach activities focusing on community colleges and allied health schools; evaluation and needs assessment efforts in the Region and document delivery activities (including DOCLINE). She will continue her role as the Oklahoma State Liaison.

Cheryl Rowan, who has served as the Public Health Coordinator since 2009, will now serve as the Consumer Health Coordinator. In this role, she is responsible for outreach activities to public libraries and consumers. She will continue her role as the Texas State Liaison.

World AIDS Day: December 1, 2012

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Logo for 2011 World Aids Day showing red ribbon and globe

World AIDS Day on 1 December brings together people from around the world to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and demonstrate international solidarity in the face of the pandemic. The day is an opportunity for public and private partners to spread awareness about the status of the pandemic and encourage progress in HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care in high prevalence countries and around the world. The 2012 theme is: “Working Together for an AIDS-free Generation.”

In commemoration of World AIDS Day, a new Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) looks at the alarming impact of HIV on youth (ages 13-24) and underscores the importance of HIV prevention, testing and treatment for youth. Read the report: HIV Among Youth in the US.

AIDSinfo joins people and organizations worldwide in observing World AIDS Day. The AIDSinfo and infoSIDA (Spanish version) Web sites (as services of the US Department of Health and Human Services and managed by the National Library of Medicine) offer federally-approved information on HIV research and treatment, including medical practice guidelines and treatment and prevention research studies, to health care providers, researchers, people affected by HIV/AIDS, and the general public.

Looking for more ways take action around World AIDS Day? Here are a few simple, powerful, and engaging ways:

 

Smartphones: Gateway to Mobile Health

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Image of a smartphone screen

According to theMobile Health 2012 report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project the use of mobile devices, specifically smartphones, to look for health information is on the rise. According to the report released earlier this month 53% of adults in the United States own smartphones and 31% of smartphone owners have used the device to look for health information. The report also finds that “cell phone owners who are Latino, African American, between the ages of 18-49, or hold a college degree are also more likely to gather health information” via their smartphone device.

Also of interest, the study found that 19% of smartphone owners had at least one health app on their device. Apps are popular tools for smartphones and popular apps include those for exercise, diet, or weight management.

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Traditions: Beyond Turkey and Football

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

photo of large family

This coming week, many families across the county will gather to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. While family traditions often center around traditional turkey dinners and watching football games, consider starting a new tradition to collect and document your family’s health history. The U.S. Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving to be National Family History Day, encouraging Americans to share a meal and their family health history. This information can help your doctor decide which tests and screenings are recommended to help you know your health risks. Because family members share genes, behaviors, lifestyles, and environments, they may share a common risk for developing certain health problems. Family history can be especially valuable in helping a doctor make diagnosis if a child shows signs of a particular disease or disorder.

The updated Surgeon General’s My Family Health Portrait tool (available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian) can help you and your family to collect and organize family health history information and allows you to share this information easily with your doctor. The most important relatives to discuss family health with are parents, brothers and sisters, and children. Then, if possible, talk to grandparents, uncles and aunts, nieces and nephews, and step-brothers and step-sisters.

More information on collecting family health history is available from the CDC at: http://www.cdc.gov/genomics/famhistory/sharehistory.htm and http://www.cdc.gov/Features/FamilyHistory/index.html.

MedlinePlus and NIHSeniorHealth also have Topic Pages on Family Health History: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/familyhistory.html and http://nihseniorhealth.gov/creatingafamilyhealthhistory/whycreateafamilyhealthhistory/01.html.

The National Library of Medicine database Genetics Home Reference has lots of information on genetic conditions and the genes or chromosomes which are linked to these conditions.

Take some time during the upcoming holidays to get to know your Family Health History better–for the health of it!

Screencast Captioning Information from EDUCAUSE

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Last week I attended the EDUCAUSE conference in Denver Colorado. This was my first time to attend this conference which is intended for education professionals involved in information technology. The conference provided a variety of programming options, many of which were insightful looks at the information technology culture in higher education.

One of the major projects that we are working on at the NN/LM SCR office has to do with ensuring that all content on our website is Section 508 compliant. Every government website and all content posted on government sites must be fully accessible. Also any online content or material created by funded by awards from the NN/LM SCR must meet the same standards outlined in Section 508. This includes making sure that all video content posted on our site is captioned. At EDUCASUE I attended several sessions on accessibility, one specifically focusing on video captioning options.

Presenter David Giberson serves as the Instructional Design Coordinator for San Diego Community College District and provided a good overview of products as well as “Caption It Yourself” (CIY) tools. Giberson reminded the audience that captioning is a two-step processing involving 1) creating a transcript of the audio soundtrack and 2) syncing the text to the correct place in the video. Creating a transcript can often be the most time consuming task of captioning however, it can be made easier by following a written script. If you do not write out a script you will need to use a product that can transcribe your speech. There are many products and even paid service vendors that provide help with transcription.

Giberson provided information on several products from Tech Smith, which included Camtasia Studio and Camtasia Relay. He also provided information on free options for adding captions though YouTube and demonstrated using Amara to caption another user’s YouTube video.

Giberson also provided the following tips for captioning screencasts:

Closed Captioning logo

  • Microphone quality: You will likely get better results from the auto-transcription engines when using a better quality microphone.
  • Using proper sentence structure: Another way to get better results from the auto-transcription engines is to use proper sentence structure and grammar in your recordings.
  • Using a script: One way to make the captioning process easier is to write out the script before doing the recording. The transcription step, then, is taken care of and it’s just a matter of syncing it to the video afterwards.
  • Find a Workflow for You: You may find that you have several options when it comes to recording and captioning your instructional media. Don’t let this be overwhelming. Find a workflow that you are comfortable with and that works well for you.

A full list of resources, guides, and captioned screencasts of many of the products can be found on the San Diego Community College District Online Learning Pathways Captioning site.

NLM Grant for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Man Writing

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) awards Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health for the preparation of book-length manuscripts and other scholarly works of value to U.S. health professionals, public health officials, biomedical researchers, and historians of the health sciences. Grants are awarded for major critical reviews, state-of-the-art summaries, historical studies, and other useful organizations of knowledge in clinical medicine, public health, biomedical research, and the informatics/information sciences relating to them. The scholarly work may be prepared for publication in print or electronic media, or both.

NLM Grants for Scholarly Works can be used to support several types of scholarly projects, including but not limited to:

  • Scholarly works in the history or philosophy of medicine, public health and the life sciences, the development of medical research and health services, bioethics, and studies on the interrelationship of medicine and society
  • Scholarly works in the history or philosophy of biomedical informatics, computational biology, health information sciences, health communications, or health sciences librarianship
  • Analytical and comprehensive critical reviews which identify the present status of research and practice in various health-related fields, addressing advances which have been made, problems requiring examination, and emerging trends

Researchers are encouraged to explore the depth and breadth of NLM’s historical collections, which include materials on medical informatics and medical librarianship, veterinary medicine, homeopathy and alternative medicine, nursing and midwifery, modern genetics, mental health and human psychosocial development, tropical medicine and epidemiology, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, war and medicine, and many other topics.

Letter of Intent deadlines: January 21, 2013, January 20, 2014

Application due dates: February 21, 2013, February 20, 2014

 

NN/LM SCR Lending Library New Titles

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The NN/LM SCR has added two new titles to the Lending Library. The materials are available for loan to any of our Network members.

  • Presentationzen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery

    Image of two books

    Author: Garr Reynolds
    Presentation Zen challenges the conventional wisdom of making “slide presentations” in today’s world and encourages you to think differently and more creatively about the preparation, design, and delivery of your presentations

 

  • The Seven Futures of American Education
    Author: John Sener
    American education is entering the age of cybersymbiosis — irretrievably dependent on digital technologies. Cyberized culture is accelerating foundational shifts at the core of education — redefining knowledge, redistributing access, and renegotiating authority — while education’s growing importance is changing expectations about its performance.

Use the online form to request any of our Lending Library books today.

HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Project Recipients

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

AIDS ribbon

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) funded 13 HIV/AIDS Community Information Outreach Projects in September 2012 in the 19th round of the program. NLM has continued its HIV/AIDS-related outreach efforts to community-based organizations, patient advocacy groups, faith-based organizations, departments of health, and libraries. This program provides support to design local programs for improving information access for HIV/AIDS patients and the affected community as well as their caregivers. Emphasis is on providing information or access in a way meaningful to the target community. Projects must involve one or more of the following information access categories: information retrieval, skills development, Internet access, resource development, and document access.

Congratulations to the two recipients located in the South Central Region:

The Alliance of Border Collaboratives (ABC), El Paso TX
“Promovision – Capacity Building Assistance Project”
ABC seeks to expand its Promovision outreach project that improves access to HIV/AIDS related health information by patients and affected community, caregivers and the general public. Increased utilization of NLMs HIV/AIDS resources in El Paso, Texas will be achieved through skill development via training and tutorials as well as development of resources that provide meaningful information about HIV/AIDS, prevention, services and NLM HIV/AIDS resources.

University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center
AIDS InfoNet
Albuquerque, NM
The AIDS InfoNet is an internationally recognized online HIV/AIDS information resource to facilitate access to factsheets on the treatment of HIV/AIDS and related information written in nontechnical language and translated into several languages. The Web site enables users to easily download and print regularly updated factsheets at no cost. In addition, the Web site contains hyperlinks to authoritative HIV/AIDS resources to facilitate individual research. Based on the continued high utilization of the factsheets, AIDS InfoNet will provide ongoing maintenance of existing factsheets and develop new factsheets based on user suggestions.