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NN/LM Webinar on March 9: Five Questions You Can Answer Using the NCBI Gene Database

Registration is available for the one-hour NN/LM webinar Five Questions You Can Answer Using the NCBI Gene Database, on Thursday, March 9, 10:00-11:00 AM PST. Presenters will be Peter Cooper and Bonnie Maidak from NCBI. The Gene resource at the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is a central hub for accessing nearly all molecular and literature resources for a particular gene. You can easily answer the most common questions and perform the most common tasks by starting in Gene. This webinar will cover the structure and contents of the Gene resource and how to use it to answer the following questions:

  • Where is the gene located (chromosome and position) in the genome assembly?
  • What are the Reference genomic, transcript and protein sequences for the gene?
  • What variations are present in the gene and are they associated with disease?
  • In what tissues and under what conditions is the gene expressed?
  • What are the equivalent genes (homologs) in other species?

NIH Request for Information (RFI) on Processes for database of Genotypes and Phenotypes Data Submission, Access, and Management

The National Institutes of Health has just issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public comment on the data submission and access processes for the NIH National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI) database of Genotypes and Phenotypes (dbGaP). The RFI also seeks comment on the management of data in dbGaP in order to consider options to improve and streamline these processes and to maximize the use and utility of dbGaP. The complete RFI, as well as instructions on how to comment, are available on the NIH website. Electronic responses will be accepted through April 7, 2017. NIH will consider all public comments before taking next steps. No proprietary, classified, confidential, or sensitive information should be included in responses. Comments received, including any personal information, will be posted without change after the close of the comment period to the NIH Genomic Data Sharing website.

Additional information about the importance of this RFI is included in a new Under the Poliscope blog posting, published by Dr. Carrie D. Wolinetz. For more information or additional questions, please contact the NIH Office of Science Policy.

NLM Board of Regents Welcomes Three New Members!

The National Library of Medicine Board of Regents welcomed three new members at its recent meeting:

  • Jane Blumenthal, MSLS, the associate university librarian for health sciences and director of the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. A past-president of the Medical Library Association, she has more than 30 years of experience in information and library services.
  • Eric Horvitz, MD, PhD, managing director and technical fellow at Microsoft Research. His research focuses on principles of machine intelligence and leveraging the complementarities of human and machine reasoning.
  • Gary Puckrein, PhD, executive director of the National Minority Quality Forum (NMQF), in Washington, DC. The NMQF strengthens efforts to use evidence-based, data-driven initiatives to eliminate premature death and preventable illness for racial and ethnic minorities and other special populations. Dr. Puckrein created and launched Minority Health Today, which served clinicians practicing in minority communities.

National Library of Medicine’s TOXMAP Resource Now Includes TRI 2015 Data

NLM’s TOXMAP now includes 2015 Toxics Release Inventory data. This corresponds to the most recent TRI National Analysis published by the US EPA. TOXMAP maps the TRI chemicals reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as required by the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA). A complete list of TRI chemicals required to be reported to the EPA is available on the website.

New NLM Funding Opportunity for “Data Science Research: Personal Health Libraries for Consumers and Patients”

The National Library of Medicine seeks applications for novel informatics and data science approaches that can help individuals gather, manage and use data and information about their personal health. A goal of this program is to advance research and application by patients and the research community through broadly sharing the results via publication, and through open source mechanisms for data or resource sharing. To bring the benefits of big data research to consumers and patients, new biomedical informatics and data science approaches are needed, shaped to meet the needs of consumers and patients, whose health literacy, language skills, technical sophistication, education and cultural traditions affect how they find, understand and use personal health information. Data science approaches are needed to help individuals at every step, from harvesting to storing to using data and information in a personal health library.

Application deadlines are May 1, 2017, and March 19, 2018. Eligible applicants include higher education institutions, government entities, faith-based or community-based organizations, and other institutions. Applicants must base their proposed work on an informed profile of the intended users, and, the work should be developed through interaction with the user. The strongest projects will provide approaches that incorporate health data and information from more than one source, such as diagnostic images and links to full-text articles or genome sequence data linked to a family health history. An application should be centered on the problem area being addressed and the intended audience, propose a possible solution that employs novel data science or informatics, and undertake a pilot that will result in evidence of the degree of success and/or needed next steps. Applicants should expect to involve the intended users in their work. The number of awards will be contingent upon NIH appropriations and the submission of a sufficient number of meritorious applications. Up to $250,000 direct costs may be requested in any single year. The total project period may not exceed four years.

MedlinePlus Reaches Major Milestone: Launch of Its 1000th Health Topic Page!

A major milestone was recently reached as MedlinePlus.gov launched its 1,000th health topic page about “Eye Care.” Created and maintained by the National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health’s website providing trusted health information to the public. The winner of multiple awards and a consistent top scorer among federal websites, MedlinePlus debuted in 1998 with 22 health topic pages, which bring together information on a particular disease, condition, or wellness issue. Each health topic page provides a description of the condition or issue and directs users to vetted information from the NIH and other trusted sources. All content on MedlinePlus is reviewed and must meet strict quality guidelines.

MedlinePlus has steadily added new topics to respond to the growing needs of the public for reliable, up-to-date health information. The demand for additional health topics grew with the 2010 launch of MedlinePlus Connect, a service that links Electronic Health Records and other Health IT systems to targeted information from MedlinePlus. Today, over a million people visit MedlinePlus daily and benefit from the health topic pages, a medical encyclopedia, health news, surgery videos, a medical dictionary and much more. A Spanish language version of the site, MedlinePlus en español, premiered in 2002.

Recording for “NN/LM Resource Picks: PubMed Update” Webinar Now Available!

The archived recording of the January 25 session for the NN/LM collaborative webinar series, NN/LM Resource Picks, is available. The topic was PubMed Update with Katherine Majewski, from the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLARS Management Section, Bibliographic Services Division. View the webinar by clicking on the YouTube video player below.

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February 2017 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

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. In this issue:

  • 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life
    Diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, blindness, and other health problems if left untreated. That’s why it’s important to manage your diabetes ABCs: A1C (blood glucose), blood pressure, and cholesterol.
  • Featured Website: Easy-to-Read Drug Facts
    Get a wide range of helpful information about drug abuse, addiction, treatment, and prevention. Animated videos explain the basics of addiction and why drugs are so hard to quit.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. 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!

NLM Resources for February 2017 National Children’s Dental Health Month

The American Dental Association named February 2017 as National Children’s Dental Health Month. The National Library of Medicine has multilingual information about children’s dental health available for free online:

  • Check MedlinePlus for a collection of reliable links related to Child Dental Health, and use the Medical Encyclopedia on MedlinePlus to find instructions on brushing your child’s teeth and preventing tooth decay in early childhood. Various informational handouts in seven languages about child dental health can be downloaded on MedlinePlus.
  • Browse HealthReach for topics like dental care and oral hygiene to view and download patient information in over a dozen languages, including audio and video options for some records. For instance, the brochure Healthy Teeth, Health Kids is available in 13 languages, with audio downloads in eight languages. Use the split-screen view on HealthReach to view the document in English and a second language simultaneously.

New NN/LM Moodle Class, Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles

The National Network of Librarians of Medicine (NN/LM) Southeastern/Atlantic (SEA) and Mid-Continental Region (MCR) Regions are hosting the 9-week, self-paced, asynchronous course Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles from February 27 to April 28. The course is designed to help health sciences librarians understand the issues of big data in clinical outcomes and what roles health sciences librarians can take on in this service area. Course content comes from information shared by the presenters at the Using Data to Improve Clinical Patient Outcomes forum, top picks from the NN/LM MCR Data Curation/Management Journal Club articles, and completion of the course Big Data Fundamentals from the Big Data University. This is a Medical Library Association approved course that will earn students 9 contact hours upon completion of all requirements.