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Archive for August, 2012

New Disaster Topic Page from NLM: Droughts and Health

A new disaster topic page on Droughts and Health has been compiled by the National Library of Medicine’s Disaster Information Management Research Center. The page focuses primarily on human health effects of drought conditions as experienced in the United States. It is intended to grow as new materials become available on this topic. Health effects in the United States have historically included (or are speculated to include):

  • Changes to water quality, especially private wells, with potential for increased waterborne disease
  • Changes to air quality, including increased dust and particulates, with potential for increased respiratory distress
  • Poorer personal hygiene due to decreased water availability
  • Food crop or food processing contamination from use of recycled water
  • Increased suicide rate (higher than national average) among farm families affected by drought-related economic concerns

NLM Launches “People Locator” for the 2012 Philippine Floods

In response to the recent torrential rains in the Phillipines, which have submerged Manila and surrounding areas, the National Library of Medicine has launched the web site, People Locator for the 2012 Philippine Floods. The Lister Hill Center, an R&D division of the National Library of Medicine, developed People Locator, a web site to post photos and name, age, etc. for missing (or found) people by hospital staff, relief workers, or family members. It can be searched by the public and by relief workers who are assisting with family reunification efforts. The site is designed to receive information through the Web, an iPhone/iPodTouch/iPad app, and from other sites such as Google Person Finder. The underlying app is ReUnite, which is available at no cost. Missing persons’ photos and identifying information can be added through any of these channels.

Google Crisis Response has also activated Google Person Finder for the floods in the Philippines, in English and Filipino. The English-language Google home page is also available. NLM’s People Locator and the Google Person Finder share information, so that missing persons are then listed in both places. Additional information about the US government response to the flooding is available from the USAID home page for the Philippines and the US Embassy in Manila. The embassy is closed until at least August 9.

Shared Horizons: Data, Biomedicine, and the Digital Humanities Symposium

The National Library of Medicine is pleased to announce its first initiative as part of its recently established partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), which lays groundwork for the two institutions to cooperate on initiatives of common interest. Working in cooperation with the NEH’s Office of Digital Humanities; Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities at the University of Maryland; and Research Councils UK, the NLM will be a part of “Shared Horizons: Data, Biomedicine, and the Digital Humanities,” an interdisciplinary symposium exploring the intersection of digital humanities and biomedicine.

Scheduled to take place April 10-12, 2013, at the University of Maryland, College Park Campus, Shared Horizons will be a unique forum, through which participants and their institutions will be able to address questions about collaboration, research methodologies, and the interpretation of evidence arising from the interdisciplinary opportunities in this burgeoning area of biomedical-driven humanities scholarship. Shared Horizons will create opportunities for disciplinary cross-fertilization through a mix of formal and informal presentations, combined with breakout sessions, all designed to promote a rich exchange of ideas about how large-scale quantitative methods can lead to new understandings of human culture. Bringing together researchers from the digital humanities and bioinformatics communities, the symposium will explore ways in which these two communities might fruitfully collaborate on projects that bridge the humanities and medicine around the topics of sequence alignment and network analysis, two modes of analysis that intersect with “big data.”

The Symposium’s Call for Papers is now available, with a submission deadline of November 10, 2012. Applicants will be selected by the Advisory Board, in consultation with the Shared Horizons Staff and Sponsors, based on the following criteria, with each area being weighted equally: scholarly engagement with sequence alignment and/or network analysis; quality of proposed paper; and collaborative potential. Notification of selection will be made by January 10, 2013.

NLM Resources on Fires and Chemicals

Last night’s huge refinery fire spread thick, black smoke over the San Francisco area. Over 900 residents, complaining of respiratory and other problems, sought emergency care at local hospitals. The blaze occurred at Chevron Corporation’s plant in Richmond, about 10 miles northeast of San Francisco, around 6:15 p.m., and was contained by 11:00 p.m. The refinery is the largest producer of base oils on the West Coast, processing up to 240,000 barrels of crude oil a day into gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel, which is about 15% of the state’s fuel-making capacity.

NLM has lists of resources on health effects of fires, wildfires, and smoke, with an emphasis on wildfires. Consumer health information on Fires is available on MedlinePlus in English and Spanish. Additional resources on Health Threats: Smoke is available on the Disaster Information Management Research Center’s (DIMRC) Fires and Wildfires webpage.

Chemical fires raise concern about the specific substances that may have burned. A refinery fire may involve crude oil, diesel fuel and other substances. For information on the health hazards of these specific chemicals, check Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) for information on immediate response and Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) for exhaustive information. Search by the name of the chemical.

SNOMED CT: July 2012 International Release Now Available!

The July 2012 International Release of SNOMED CT is available for download. The International Release is updated each year in January and July. The recent download contains SNOMED CT files in both Release Format 1 (RF1) and the new Release Format 2 (RF2) versions. Contents of the download include SNOMED CT terminology, cross maps, subsets, User Guide (content, principles and uses), Technical Implementation Guide (design of applications using SNOMED CT), Technical Reference Guide (file layouts, field sizes, required values, data diagrams), and ICD-9-CM Cross Map. Additionally, updated RF2 to RF1 compatibility tools are available for download from the same Web page. SNOMED CT terminology will be available in Metathesaurus format in UMLS 2012AB Release, in November 2012.

PMC Gets a New Name and a Facelift!

PMC (formerly known as PubMed Central) has shortened its name in order to avoid confusion with PubMed. PMC has a new look and feel, which has been updated to conform to NCBI’s new standards for page design. This redesign allows for a cleaner and more uniform presentation across PMC’s site as well as its article, issue, and journal archive pages. The journal logo is now centered on the page and includes additional white space. The navigation links, or breadcrumbs, are more compact and the font colors more uniform across the site. The article pages have also been enhanced by a more compact presentation for article front matter, featuring links to Author information, Article notes, and Copyright and License information. The views for tables and figures have also been improved. Other improvements to the new article page include easier readability and navigation, including links to the various article formats, and to the corresponding article citation in PubMed, as well as to those PubMed citations that are related to the article. And at the top of each section of an article, the “Go to” navigation links offer a drop down menu that will take you to any section more quickly and easily, whether it’s the Abstract, Introduction, Discussion, or any others within the article. And of course further improvements to the PMC website are still to come! For a complete description of the redesigned interface, along with illustrations, please refer to the article in the NLM Technical Bulletin.

New issues of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine and NIH News in Health are now available!

Illustration of a woman looking into a mirror and touching blotches on her face.NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is the quarterly magazine from the National Institutes of Health and Friends of the National Library of Medicine. NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine presents the best reliable, up-to-date information, including the latest breakthroughs from NIH-supported research. The magazine also features people from all walks of life talking about how they have handled their health challenges. The Summer 2012 issue features:

  • From the NIH Director: The Weight of the Nation
  • High Cholesterol – Understanding Cholesterol and Heart Health
  • NIGMS Marks 50 Years of Discovery – Five Decades of Discovery: National Institute of General Medical Sciences
  • Are You Sleep-Deprived? Learn More About Healthy Sleep
  • Oral Health – Children’s Dental Health

NIH News in Health is the monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health. The practical health information in NIH News in Health is reviewed by NIH’s medical experts and based on research conducted either by NIH’s own scientists or by our grantees at universities and medical schools around the country. The August 2012 issue features:

  • Dizziness Can Be a Drag: Coping with Balance Disorders
  • Red in the Face: Understanding Rosacea
  • Food Allergy Reactions in Kids
  • Considering Hip Replacement?
  • Featured Website: Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Medicare Learning Network: A Resource for Medicare Fee-for-Service Providers

The Medicare Learning Network (MLN) is the official source for education, information, and resources for the Medicare Fee-For-Service provider community, provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). The MLN gives health care professionals access to the Medicare Program information they need, when they need it, so they can focus on providing care to their patients. With access to the MLN, health care professionals will stay current regarding Medicare developments and accurate CMS information. MLN can enhance your library’s website status as a repository of nationally consistent educational information for Medicare’s Fee-For-Service (FFS) providers.

One way to collaborate with the Medicare Learning Network is to obtain a free MLN button to download on your website. Collaborating with the MLN can enhance your library’s status as a destination for accurate, reliable, and official Medicare information. The MLN button is a direct link to the MLN General Information page, which provides access to the MLN Products page, with resources to download about Medicare Program policies, procedures and regulations regarding coverage, billing, coding, and reimbursement.

Another way to collaborate with the MLN is to join the MLN Education Products LISTSERV. After signing up, users can receive the latest news and updates regarding official Medicare publications. To search for this listserv, enter “MLN” in the list query box, and then click on the “Search” button. In addition, the MLN Catalog of Products is a free, interactive, downloadable document, which lists all MLN products by media format.

NN/LM Washington DC Power Outage Summit on September 5, 2012

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) is sponsoring a Washington DC Power Outage Summit on Wednesday, September 5, 2012. The meeting will be held at the Library of Congress James Madison Building, Mumford Room, from 9:00am to 4:30pm EDT. The morning session (9:00am-12:30pm) will consist of presentations and a panel discussion on the impact of power outages on library collections and services, and the roles libraries and librarians can play in their communities or institutions in response to a major power outage. In the afternoon (1:30-4:30pm), participants can choose from either a workshop on building your library’s readiness or a disaster information specialization continuing education class. The morning session will be written up in a report and distributed on the NLM DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB listserv.

There is no charge to attend any of the sessions, but seating is limited. Registration is available for both morning and afternoon sessions. Featured speakers will include Dan Wilson, representing the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Initiative, as well as representatives from Pepco, the District of Columbia Public Library, the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA), the Library of Congress Preservation/Emergency Preparedness Division, the Medical Reserve Corps, and NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC). Pepco is the electric service provider to customers in Washington, DC, and surrounding Maryland suburbs.