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Archive for the ‘NLM Resources’ Category

NN/LM Training Office Offers Free Online Modular TOXNET Class September 12 through October 14

Register now for a free online class to discover TOXNET and other National Library of Medicine environmental health databases, offered by the NN/LM Training Office (NTO). The class is taught online using the Moodle platform in thirteen independent modules over a 4-week period from September 12 through October 14. You will work at your own pace over the four-week period to complete the modules that are of interest to you. There is one required module; the remaining modules, covering 12 databases, are optional. Each module consists of guided interactive online tutorials AND/OR tutorial videos as well as discovery exercises.

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. For questions, contact the NTO.

Domain of MedlinePlus URLs Updated to “Medlineplus.gov”

On Tuesday, July 12, the MedlinePlus team updated the domain to “medlineplus.gov” for all page URLs on the English and Spanish MedlinePlus sites, including health topic pages, drug descriptions, and encyclopedia articles. For example, the URL for the English health topic page “Asthma” changed from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/asthma.html to https://medlineplus.gov/asthma.html; and the URL for the Spanish health topic page “Asthma” changed from https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/spanish/asthma.html to https://medlineplus.gov/spanish/asthma.html.

The old URLs on MedlinePlus will automatically redirect to the new URLs for the foreseeable future. This update did not involve changes to the site contents or design.

Connecting to NLM’s Hazardous Substances Data Bank Using PubMed and LinkOut

The National Library of Medicine’s LinkOut filters feature provides PubMed users with connections to web-accessible resources, including full-text articles, consumer health information, and supplementary data related to a PubMed citation. PubMed users can access information for over 5,700 Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB) chemical substances via LinkOut. HSDB focuses on the toxicology of potentially hazardous chemicals.

To set up LinkOut to retrieve HSDB information:

  • If you don’t already have a free MyNCBI account, create one;
  • In the Filters box on your MyNCBI account page, click the “Manage filters” link;
  • Click on LinkOut from the “Select Category” option;
  • Click on the + next to the Chemical Information option;
  • Then click on the + next to the Toxicology option;
  • Check the two boxes next to HSDB–this saves these options.

Then run a search:

  • Log into your MyNCBI account and go to PubMed;
  • Run your search;
  • On the upper right side of the results page find “Filter your results;”
  • Click on the HSDB link;
  • Then click on a result;
  • Click on the HSDB icon. The link takes you to the HSDB record for chemical(s) mentioned in the article.

Please note that LinkOut is not available for citations marked as “In process.”

New Tox Town Page Available on Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA)

PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) is a man-made chemical that is toxic and persistent in the environment. It is used to make products resistant to heat and to repel oil, grease, stains, and water. If you are wondering about exposure to PFOA or how it might affect your health, visit the new Tox Town page on Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA). The page is also available in Spanish.

Redesigned FTP Site for MeSH Downloads

The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) FTP download site has been updated to include separate directories for each release year of MeSH. The FTP directories include:

  • A single directory for earlier files from 1999-2010.
  • The yearly release directories from 2011 to the latest full release which occurs in November of the preceding year.
  • The directory “MESH_FILES” with the latest release files that are updated every morning Monday – Friday.
  • File names ending with .nt and .ttl extensions that are for the MeSH RDF format.

Hopefully making these archive copies more readily available to the public will be useful for anyone interested in studying the history of MeSH terminology as it has progressed over the years. Distributed MeSH files are freely available to the public with agreement to NLM’s Memorandum of Understanding. For further information and illustrations, refer to the NLM Technical Bulletin.

National Library of Medicine Flags Incorrect Pesticide Toxicity Values

International Toxicity Estimates for Risk (ITER) is part of the National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET) and is compiled by Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA). It provides comparison charts of international risk assessment information and explains differences in risk values derived by different organizations. ITER provides chemical toxicity values or cancer classifications from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Canada, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), NSF International, US EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and other Independent Peer Reviewed Values (IPRV). Chemical toxicity values in ITER are estimated to protect the general population assuming daily exposures to environmental chemicals for a lifetime. The TERA Center and the NLM provide periodic updates to keep the database as current as possible.

The US EPA IRIS chemical toxicity values (RfDs or RfCs) are considered by many to be a “gold standard of toxicity values.” However, up to 187 pesticide chemical toxicity values are currently incorrect, either for the RfD/RfC, for the cancer classifications, or both. ITER/TOXNET has added an alert flag for the IRIS pesticide toxicity values to ensure that users can access the more current pesticide toxicity value developed by the US EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).

NLM Resources for National Safety Month 2016

June is National Safety Month. Check out the following resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for reliable heath and safety information. The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) at NLM provides access to disaster and chemical safety resources for all age groups and populations, and MedlinePlus provides overviews of basic first aid skills:

  • Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Special Populations – Access links to trustworthy disaster preparedness information for a wide range of populations, including different age groups, cultural and ethnic groups, and groups with specific health conditions.
  • Disaster Lit – Search a curated collection of links to disaster medicine and public health documents.
  • Haz-Map – Learn how to avoid workplace accidents by searching Haz-Map for diseases and other risks associated with specific jobs.
  • Household Products Database – Protect yourself, children, and pets from dangerous health effects for a wide range of household products, such as personal care, pet care, and arts & crafts products.
  • MedlinePlus – Read about First Aid resources, such as CPR, choking, drug abuse first aid, and creating a sling.

PubMed Display Changes

Several new changes have been implemented for PubMed displays:

  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) link when available will be added to the end of each PubMed abstract display.
  • The “Items per page” selection will be removed from the top of the results page because it is infrequently used by searchers. The selection will still be available at the bottom of the results page.
  • To change the default “items per page” for all results consider using the My NCBI “Result display preferences” option.

For illustrations of the changes and sample display screens, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.

Six Lab Exercises for Creating Community Health Maps!

Learn how to use free and low cost mapping tools to create community health maps through a series of six lab exercises available at the NLM’s Community Health Maps blog. The lab exercises cover the entire Community Health Mapping Workflow from field data collection through online data presentation. For each of the six labs, an instructional PDF document and a Zip file of data to be used for each exercise are available for downloading. The topics for the six labs include:

  • Lab 1 – Field Data Collection (with either iOS or Android)
  • Lab 2 – Bringing Field Data into QGIS
  • Lab 3 – Combining Field Data with other Organizational Data
  • Lab 4 – Basic Spatial Analysis
  • Lab 5 – Cartography with QGIS
  • Lab 6 – Data Visualization With CartoDB

Images from NLM’s History of Medicine Now Available in NLM Digital Collections

Beginning today, Images from the History Medicine (IHM), the National Library of Medicine’s History of Medicine Division’s (HMD) online database of historical images, will be decommissioned from its current Luna Imaging platform, and formally launched in its new home in NLM’s Digital Collections, the Library’s free online resource of over 16,000 biomedical books and moving images. IHM is a collection of historical portraits, photographs, fine prints, caricatures, posters, and other graphic art that illustrates the social and historical aspects of medicine from the Middle Ages to the present. The collection covers subjects ranging from medieval medical practice to 19th century slum conditions to World War I hospitals to the international fight against drug abuse and AIDS. Now this entire image collection is more easily searchable, alongside digitized books and videos, and images can be downloaded more seamlessly. For more details, visit NLM’s Circulating Now blog.