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Archive for the ‘General (all entries)’ Category

Reproducible Research: Many Dimensions and Shared Responsibilities

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Reposted from:  NNLMALL Listserv

Attend Worshop and Videocast on Reproducible Research from NIH on Monday March 14, 2016.

NIH Data Science Workforce Development Center

TITLE: Reproducible Research: Many Dimensions and Shared Responsibilities
DATE: Monday, March 14, 20162:30pm to 4:30pm EST; 1:30pm to 3:30pm CST; 12:30pm-2:30pm MT
LOCATION: NIH Main Campus, Building 10, Lipsett Auditorium
VIDEOCAST: This workshop will be videocast.

INSTRUCTOR:
Lisa Meier McShane
Chief, Biostatistics Branch
Biometric Research Program
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis
National Cancer Institute

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION:
Biomedical researchers have an ethical responsibility to ensure the reproducibility and integrity of their work so that precious research resources are not wasted, and most importantly, flawed or misleading results do not make their way to clinical studies where the faulty evidence could adversely affect study participants.  Many factors have been suggested as contributors to irreproducible biomedical research, including poor study design, analytic instability of measurement methods, sloppy data handling, inappropriate and misleading statistical analysis methods, improper reporting or interpretation of results, and on rare occasions, outright scientific misconduct.  These problems can occur in any type of biomedical study, whether preclinical or clinical, large or small.  Examples of the many potential pitfalls will be discussed along with suggested approaches to avoid them.  The first half of the seminar will focus mainly on issues that arise commonly in preclinical and sma!
ll clinical studies or studies performed retrospectively using stored biospecimens.  The second half will elaborate on aspects that are particularly problematic in research involving use of novel measurement technologies such as “omics assays” which generate large volumes of data and require specialized expertise and computational approaches for proper data analysis and interpretation.  The discussions will emphasize the importance of including in a research team all individuals with the needed expertise as early as possible in a project in order to promote a sense of engagement and facilitate good communication across disciplines.   Shared credit for scientific accomplishments should be understood as an acceptance of shared accountability for the integrity of the work.

ADDITIONAL EVENT DETAILS:  This lecture is part of a full day of scheduled events and activities for the second annual NIH Pi Day, which celebrates the intersection between the quantitative and biomedical sciences. Pi Day is an annual international celebration of the irrational number Pi, 3.14…, on March 14. On Pi Day and every day, NIH recognizes the importance of building a diverse biomedical workforce with the quantitative skills required to tackle future challenges. For more information, visit the event page at https://datascience.nih.gov/PiDay2016.

Healthy Eye Care Habits Equates to Healthy Eyes For People Who Wear Contact Lens

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

Adapted from:  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s article “Healthy Contact Lens Wear”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) more than 40 million people in the U.S. wear contact lenses. While contact lenses are generally a safe and effective form of vision correction, they are not entirely risk-free-especially if they are not cared for properly. The key to reap the benefits of wearing contact lenses, it is necessary to practice healthy eye care habits. Enjoy the comfort and benefits of contact lenses while lowering your chance of complications. Failure to wear, clean, and store your lenses as directed by your eye doctor raises the risk of developing serious infections and other complications. Your habits, supplies, and eye doctor are all essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Follow the following tips:

See CDC infographic http://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/pdf/contact-lens-infographic-508.pdf

Healthy Habits For Contact Lens Wearers 

  • Wash your hands with soap and water. Dry them well with a clean cloth before touching your contact lenses every time.
  • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses unless prescribed to do so by your eye doctor.
  • Keep water away from your contact lenses. Avoid showering in contact lenses, and remove them before using a hot tub or swimming
  • Rub and rinse your contact lenses with contact lens disinfecting solution—never water or saliva—to clean them each time you remove them.
  • Never store your contact lenses in water.
  • Replace your contact lenses as often as prescribed by your eye doctor.
  • Rub and rinse your contact lens case with contact lens solution—never water—and then empty and  dry with a clean tissue. Store upside down with the caps off after each use.
  • Replace your contact lens case at least once every three months.
  • Don’t “top off” solution. Use only fresh contact lens solution in your case—never mix fresh solution with old or used solution.
  • Use only the contact lens solution recommended by your eye doctor your Eye Doctor
  • Carry a backup pair of glasses with a current prescription—just in case you have to take out your contact lenses.

    Check out CDC’s health promotion materials, including posters, podcasts, a social media library, and more!

    What the CDC is Doing

    CDC is working with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), eye care providers, contact lens and product manufacturers, and academic partners on a collaborative effort to improve how people wear and care for their contact lenses.

    Learn more about these partnerships.

    Visit your eye doctor yearly or as often as he or she recommends.Ask your eye doctor if you have questions about how to care for your contact lenses and case or if you are having any difficulties.Remove your contact lenses immediately and call your eye doctor if you have eye pain, discomfort, redness, or blurred vision.

National Library of Medicine Announces MedPix®, Free Online Medical Image Database

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Adapted from:  National Library of Medicine’s News and Events dated 2/05/16

The National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce the launch of MedPix®, a free online medical image database originally developed by the Departments of Radiology and Biomedical Informatics at the Uniformed Services University, Bethesda, Maryland, USA. The URL is https://medpix.nlm.nih.gov/.

The foundation for MedPix was a radiology study tool that was originally developed by Dr. J.G. Smirniotopoulos in 1984. In the early 1990s, as radiology was moving from film to digital imaging, there was simultaneously a merger of the diagnostic imaging residency programs of the two premier military hospitals: Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center. In the summer of 1999, a Web-based digital teaching file based on the radiology study tool was built at USUHS to allow the two military training programs to share teaching file cases, a training requirement. Soon, other military hospitals and several civilian institutions joined MedPix. Over the past 16 years, MedPix has amassed an impressive collection of over 53,000 images from over 13,000 cases.

The MedPix collection categorizes and classifies the image and patient data for each of several subsets of image database applications (e.g. radiology, pathology, ophthalmology, etc.). The content material is both high-quality and high-yield and includes both common and rare conditions. Most cases have a proven diagnosis (pathology, clinical follow-up). The teaching file cases are peer-reviewed by an Editorial Panel.

As a public education service, the NLM and MedPix provide the storage service, indexing, and Web server hosting. Individuals as well as institutions may participate. Contributed content may be copyrighted by the original author/contributor. No additional software required—your Internet browser is all you need!

The primary target audience includes resident and practicing physicians, medical students, nurses and graduate nursing students and other post-graduate trainees. The material is organized by disease category, disease location (organ system), and by patient profiles.

At this time, the new MedPix website is up. Existing users can login, but there is no access to CME credits yet, no new registration, no submitting a case and no search.

NOTE: MedPix provides a quick summary of medical information with images. It is not intended to be encyclopedic.

WARNING: This is not a substitute for medical advice, and the reader is responsible for confirming the accuracy of this information before beginning or changing any therapy or treatment.

For more information see:  MedPix Home Page https://medpix.nlm.nih.gov/  – NLM’s Medical Image Database

Since its founding in 1836, the National Library of Medicine https://www.nlm.nih.gov has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice and is a leader in information innovation. NLM is the world’s largest medical library, and millions of scientists, health professionals and the public around the world use NLM services every day.

 

Million Hearts: Learn the ABCs of Heart Health to Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Adapted from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Million Hearts http://millionhearts.hhs.gov/learn-prevent/  initiative is a national public-private partnership that aims to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 by using clinical and community prevention to improve the ABCS.

  • Every year, Americans suffer more than 1.5 million heart attacks and strokes. We’re all at risk for heart disease and stroke. People of all ages, genders, races, and ethnicities are affected. However, certain groups—including African Americans and older individuals are at higher risk than others.
  • Each day, approximately 2,200 people die from cardiovascular disease—that’s more than 800,000 Americans each year, or 1 in every 3 deaths.
  • Together, heart disease and stroke account for more than $316.6 billion in health care costs and lost productivity annually—and these costs are rising. On a personal level, families who experience heart disease or stroke not only have to deal with medical bills but also lost wages and the potential of a decreased standard of living.
  • Nearly half of all African American adults have some form of cardiovascular disease that includes heart disease and stroke.
  • High blood pressure is the leading cause of heart attack and stroke in the United States. About 2 out of every 5 African American adults have high blood pressure, and less than half of them have it under control. African American adults are much more likely to suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension), and heart attack and stroke deaths than white adults. Individuals living below the federal poverty level are more likely to have high blood pressure compared with those living at the highest level of income.

You can lower your chance of heart disease and stroke by taking simple steps.

  • Eat a healthy diet with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. Choose foods low in saturated fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
  • Exercise regularly. Adults needs 2 hours and 30 minutes (or 150 minutes total) of exercise each week. You can spread your activity out during the week, and can break it up into smaller chunks of time during the day.
  • Do not smoke. 
  • Limit alcohol use, which can lead to long-term health problems, including heart disease and cancer. If you do choose to drink, do so in moderation, which is no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.
  • Know your family history. There may be factors that could increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Manage any medical condition you might have. Know the ABCS of heart health. Keep them in mind every day and especially when you talk to your physician:
    • Appropriate aspirin therapy for those who need it
    • Blood pressure control
    • Cholesterol management
    • Smoking cessation

For more information:  See the CDC Division for Heart and Stroke Prevention http://www.cdc.gov/DHDSP/.

FDA Collaborates With NLM and NIH to Increase Diversity in Clinical Trials

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

Adapted from: FDA blog, January 27, 2016

The importance of diversity in clinical trials cannot be underscored. Controlled clinical trials form the basis of evidence for evaluating whether a medical product is effective prior to the product being approved and marketed. One challenge for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is ensuring that research participants are representative of the patients who will use the medical product. A variety of people should have the opportunity to participate in trials, be knowledgeable about upcoming trials, have access to new therapies and have the chance to contribute to the betterment of medical treatment for everyone. Historically, the elderly, women and racial/ethnic minorities have been underrepresented in trials. Literature has well-documented this under-representation in recent years, particularly for women in some cardiovascular trials and general inclusion of black/African-American and minority participants in clinical trials. In response to these concerns, Congress included FDASIA Section 907: Inclusion of Demographic Subgroups in Clinical Trials in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act (FDASIA) of 2012 , http://www.fda.gov/RegulatoryInformation/Legislation/SignificantAmendmentstotheFDCAct/FDASIA/ucm389100.htm giving FDA direction to evaluate this issue and take action. FDA has responded in multiple ways, including the creation of Drug Trials Snapshots more than a year ago that provides the public with a demographic profile of people participating in clinical trials for approved drugs. FDA notes that an evaluation of the Snapshots program shows that some groups, especially ethnic and racial groups, aren’t always well represented in clinical trials.

Increasing diversity in clinical trials is a priority for FDA. To that end, in 2016, the agency is planning a variety of activities and collaborations to push for greater inclusion, including more minority participation. For example:

  • FDA’s Office of Minority Health has developed a variety of tools to support clinical trial participation, including collaboration with the National Library of Medicine to help consumers and patients find clinical trials, educational materials on trials, as well as a multi-media campaign highlighting the importance of clinical trial participation. These materials are designed to urge those underrepresented in clinical trials to find out more information, and consider enrolling.
  • FDA’s Office of Women’s Health launched its Diverse Women in Clinical Trials initiative. Developed in collaboration with the National Institute of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health, this multipronged effort will raise awareness and share best practices about clinical research design, recruitment, and subpopulation analyses.
  • FDA’s biostatisticians, trial design experts, and quantitative scientists will continue to work with the research community to develop methods to refine our approach to the conduct and analysis of trials to provide the best estimates of treatment effects for diverse populations.
  • FDA will continue our commitment to include patient advocacy groups to engage patients in clinical trial design, feedback and evaluation from a patient’s perspective. By engaging patients early in the trial design process, feasibility and participation may be improved.
  • The FDA’s Office of External Affairs plans to publish a consumer update describing what it is like to participate in a clinical trial and encouraging the public to enroll in trials.
  • The FDA has declared 2016 the year of more diversity in clinical trials. For more information see: http://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2016/01/

NIH News In Health February 2016

Monday, February 1st, 2016

Adapted from: NIH News in Health, February 2016 issue

Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. To search for more trusted health information from NIH, bookmark http://health.nih.gov.

 

Technologies Enhance Tumor Surgery Helping Surgeons Spot and Remove Cancer NIH-funded researchers are developing new technologies to help surgeons figure out exactly where cancerous tumors end and healthy tissue begins. Read more about technologies for cancer surgery.
 
Focusing on Fibromyalgia A Puzzling and Painful Condition Fibromyalgia is a long-term condition marked by pain and fatigue. It can be hard to diagnose, but treatment can help. Read more about fibromyalgia.

Health Capsules:

Infertility Treatments and Children’s Development

Help for Rare and Undiagnosed Conditions

Featured Website: NIH Office of Dietary Supplements 

Please NIH’s website http://www.nih.gov/ for current authoritative health information.

 

Dr. Darcy McMaughan of Texas A&M University To Develop Nursing Home Stewardship Guide

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Adapted from Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health:

The misuse of antibiotics can have harmful effects. Over time, bacteria can become resistant to antibiotic medication. This becomes worse when individuals live in close quarters. One primary example is nursing homes. Dr. Darcy McMaughan, assistant professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Public Health, is helping health professionals decide when and when not to prescribe antibiotics, in continuation of work begun by Regents Professors Dr. Charles D. Phillips, and Dr. Catherine Hawes. As part of a three-year, $211,368 contract with the American Institutes for Research through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), McMaughan is developing a Nursing Home Antibiotic Stewardship Guide. For more information, please visit: http://www.aspph.org/texas-am-working-to-protect-a-precious-resource-antibiotics-in-nursing-homes/

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Reports High Sodium Intake is Still Problematic in the United States

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Adapted from CDC:

A report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced that most Americans consume too much sodium for a healthy diet. In the report, more than 90 percent of children and 89 percent of adults aged 19 and older eat too much sodium. CDC researchers analyzed dietary data from the 2009-2012 National Health Nutrition and Examination Surveys (NHANES) to calculate how much sodium Americans are eating. Nearly 15,000 individuals were included in the study. For more information, please visit: http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2016/p0106-sodium-intake.html

ASPPH Announces New Public Health Philanthropy Fellowship Program – Due March 3

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

Adapted from The Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health Website News dated January 7, 2016

ASPPH is pleased to announce a new fellowship program available for recent graduates from ASPPH-member, Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH)-accredited Schools and Programs of Public Health – the ASPPH Public Health Philanthropy Fellowship Program.  This exciting opportunity is sponsored through a grant to ASPPH from the de Beaumont Foundation.  The deadline to apply is 11:59 PM, Thursday, March 3, 2016.

The de Beaumont Foundation (“the Foundation”), established by Pierre S. de Beaumont in 1998 as an independent, private foundation, believes that a strong public health system is essential. The Foundation works to transform the practice of public health through strategic and engaged grantmaking. Programs funded by the Foundation build the capacity and stature of the public health workforce, encourage collaboration between health departments, and improve communication with the public.  The fellowship will place one fellow within the Foundation for a period of one year, with a possible one-year extension.  During that time, the fellow will learn about the field of public health philanthropy through active participation and deep practical application in the areas that include, but are not limited to, program development, strategic planning, grants review and monitoring, and data analysis and scientific inquiry.  While the program will provide rigorous training for its participant, it is also designed with flexibility in order to meet the particular learning interests of the fellow.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must have received their Masters or Doctorate degree prior to the beginning of the fellowship (no later than June 2016) or within the last five years (no earlier than May 2011).  Graduate degrees must come from an ASPPH member graduate school or program of public health accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH). (For a list of ASPPH members, seewww.ASPPH.org.)  All applicants must be U.S. citizens or hold a visa permitting permanent residence (“Green Card”) in the U.S. to be eligible for the fellowship program.

Preference will be given to candidates who are Certified in Public Health (CPH) and with a background in epidemiology and/or health policy.

The fellowship position is a full-time opportunity for duration of one year (July 2016 – July 2017, estimated).  The selected fellow will be based at the Foundation’s headquarters in Bethesda, MD.

Detailed program information and all application instructions can be accessed on theASPPH Website.

NIH Genome Sequencing Program targets the Genomic Bases of common, Rare disease

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

The National Institutes of Health will fund a set of genome sequencing and analysis centers whose research will focus on understanding the genomic bases of common and rare human diseases. The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH, January 14, 2016 launched the Centers for Common Disease Genomics (CCDG), which will use genome sequencing to explore the genomic contributions to common diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and autism. NHGRI also announced the next phase of a complementary program, the Centers for Mendelian Genomics (CMG), which will continue investigating the genomic underpinnings of rare, typically inherited diseases, such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy. “Advances in DNA sequencing are creating tremendous new opportunities for exploring how the genome plays a role in human disease,” said NHGRI Director Eric Green, M.D., Ph.D. “Our continued focus on both rare and common diseases promises to reveal important aspects about the genomic architecture of a wide range of human disorders.”CCDG researchers plan to examine a select group of disorders in order to develop approaches for using genome sequencing to study common disease more broadly. By sequencing an expected 150,000 to 200,000 genomes of individuals with these diseases, the CCDG program aims to improve understanding of how genomic differences among people influence disease risk and to develop models for future studies of common disease.

NHGRI is one of the 27 institutes and centers at the National Institutes of Health. The NHGRI Extramural Research Program supports grants for research and training and career development at sites nationwide. Additional information about NHGRI can be found at www.genome.gov.