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Archive for November, 2008

New Teaching Tools Available for Science and Diabetes Education in Native American Schools

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Schools across the country now have free access to an innovative set of teaching tools designed to increase the understanding of science, health, and diabetes among American Indian and Alaska Native students from kindergarten through the 12th grade. The comprehensive new curriculum, called “Health is Life in Balance,” was launched on November 12, 2008 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

The curriculum, a product of the Diabetes-based Science Education in Tribal Schools (DETS) program, integrates science and Native American traditions to educate students about science, diabetes and its risk factors, and the importance of nutrition and physical activity in maintaining health and balance in life. The project was developed in collaboration with eight tribal colleges and universities and several Native American organizations, with funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Indian Health Service (IHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The rate of diagnosed diabetes in American Indians and Alaska Natives is two to three times that of non-Hispanic whites. Nearly 17 percent of the total adult population served by the IHS has diagnosed diabetes. After adjusting for population age differences, diabetes rates vary from 6 percent among Alaska Native adults to 29 percent among American Indian adults in southern Arizona. Once seen only in adults, type 2 diabetes is increasingly being diagnosed in youth, especially in American Indian and other minority populations.

The curriculum units provide accurate, culturally tailored materials and lesson plans for use in more than 1,000 tribal schools on reservations and in public schools that have a sizable number of Native American students. “This curriculum can change perceptions and attitudes about diabetes and empower young people to adopt healthier lifestyles,” said Kelly Acton, M.D., M.P.H, director of the Division of Diabetes Treatment and Prevention of the IHS, which will oversee distribution to schools.

To order printed copies or CDs of the curriculum free of charge, see the IHS website

Google Helps to Spot Flu Outbreaks

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008’s Flu Trends ( tracks when and where questions about flu symptoms are asked all over the country.  They have discovered that a large number of flu-related searches from a particular region may be estimating an outbreak of the flu in that region. In fact, last year Google Flu Trends estimated flu levels one to two weeks earlier than the CDC reported them.

The New York Times: “Google Uses Searches to Track Flu’s Spread “How does this work?

Web on the Mobile Land

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

If you are thinking about putting your library or organization’s own website on web-capable mobile devices like iPhone, BlackBerry, Palm Treo, or Motorola’s RAZR, etc., here is a project you should look at: MIT Mobile Web (

This project gives you a great sense of how to present the web on mobile devices with a sleek and clean interface. It provides access to several categories including Events Calendar, Emergency Information, and latest news on classes.

It’s a free service and you just simply type in “” in your device’s browser. If you don’t have a mobile device, no problem. Use to preview it on your desktop or laptop. I just tried it with an iPhone. Results? “Cool!”.

How to Drive Traffic to Your Website

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

In the November/December 2008 issue of Marketing Library Services, Aaron Schmidt and Sarah Houghton-Jan wrote about how to bring traffic to your library’s website. It provides useful tips and ideas such as offering relevant services or interesting content on your site, participating in community conversations such as commenting on local blogs, providing services to attract and interact with current or potential library members, listing your site on directories where people are searching, etc.

To read the whole article, click

Grants Available for Eliminating Disparities in Perinatal Health

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau is awarding grants to address significant disparities in perinatal health indicators in communities within 62 miles of the U.S./Mexico border or in Alaska and Hawaii. Eligible organizations include: state, county, city, township, or special district governments; independent school districts; state controlled institutions of higher education; public housing/Indian housing authorities; federally-recognized Native American tribal governments; Native American tribal organizations other than federally recognized tribal governments; nonprofits with or without a 501 (C)(3) IRS status other than institutions of higher education; and private institutions of higher education.

Grant applicants must provide a scope of project services that will cover pregnancy and interconceptional phases for women and infants residing in the proposed project area. Services are to be given to both mother and infant for two years following delivery to promote longer interconceptional periods and prevent relapses of unhealthy risk behaviors.

Applicants for this funding opportunity are required to submit an electronic application through the website. The deadline for applications is December 5th, 2008. For more information, contact Beverly Wright at 301-443-5691.

NLM Drug Information Portal Updated

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

A new version of the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Drug Information Portal was released in October. The portal now covers over 16,000 drugs.

The update includes:

1. Direct searching of drug categories, which are derived from the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH®) Pharmacological Action field

2. Name and category suggestions, to eliminate common spelling errors

3. Phrase parser that assists users in finding drug names within phrases

4. The addition of the MeSH notes, when available, to spell checker results to make selection of a possible answer easier

5. Searches retrieving multiple results now sorted by frequency of citation in PubMed®, from highest to lowest. This tends to show the most commonly used drugs first.

The Drug Information Portal is a free web resource from the NLM that provides an informative, user friendly entry-way to current drug information for over 16,000 drugs. Links to sources span the breadth of NLM, the National Institutes of Health, and other government agencies. Current information regarding consumer health, clinical trials, AIDS–related drug information, MeSH pharmacological actions, PubMed biomedical literature, and physical properties and structure is easily retrieved by searching on a drug name. A varied selection of focused topics in medicine and drug–related information is also available from displayed subject headings.