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Archive for April, 2011

Videocast of Disaster Information Symposium Available

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Disaster Symposium Information

The recording from the videocast of the Disaster Information Outreach Symposium, held March 29-30 at NLM, is now available:

Day 1, 

Day 2,

Speakers’ slides will be added to the videocast in the coming weeks.  Medical Library Association continuing education credit is available for watching the videocast through March 2012.

The PowerPoint slides for the class “Roadmap to Disaster Health Information Resources and Tools” are now available in PDF format at the “Class slides” link on this page,

NIH Issues New Clinical Alert

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) Issues New Clinical Alert on Angioplasty Combined with Stenting Plus Aggressive Medical Therapy vs. Aggressive Medical Therapy Alone for Intracranial Arterial Stenosis: NINDS Stops Trial Enrollment Due to a Higher Risk of Stroke and Death in the Stented Group


Google Now Supports Cherokee Language

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Google Search Interface in Cherokee

Last week Google added the Cherokee language to the list of languages supported by the search engine interface. The Cherokee language which is endangered, first became a written language in the early 19th century. Today only about 20,000 members of the Cherokee Nation still speak the language.

Google now provides a way for Cherokee speakers to convert their Google search interface to Cherokee and provides an onscreen Cherokee keyboard. To change the Google interface to another language, use the Language Tools link on the main page. Look for the section marked “Use the Google Interface in Your Language.” With the addition of the Cherokee language, Google now sports the use of 146 languages.

With the addition of this language to the Google search interface, perhaps more people will use the Cherokee language helping preserve the historic language.

For more information, view the online announcement from the Cherokee Nation or view additional information from the Google Blog entry.

Safety is NO Accident: National Public Health Week

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

National Public Health Week continues until the end of the week with the theme Safety is No Accident: Live Injury-Free.

The focus for Wednesday was Injury Prevention at Play. It only takes a moment for an injury to occur – a fall off a bicycle, an injured ankle playing tennis, a concussion after a football tackle. But it also takes just a moment to prevent recreation-related injuries and make ourselves and communities safer. Injuries are not “accidents” and with simple steps, we can stop them before they happen.

Thursday’s focus is On the Move. Suggestions include:

  • Wear a seat belt on every trip, no matter how short.
  • Make sure children are buckled up in a car seat, booster seat or seat belt.
  • Be cautious when crossing the street or road. Use sidewalks and avoid jaywalking.
  • Walk facing traffic and make yourself visible when walking at night.
  • Wear a helmet and reflective gear when on a bike, skateboard, scooter or other motor vehicle.
  • Avoid texting, eating, using the phone or grooming while driving.
  • Be a designated driver. Don’t drink and drive, let others drink and drive, or get into a vehicle with someone who has been drinking.
  • Avoiding driving while you are tired.
  • Discuss your rules of the road and ask your teen to pledge to avoid speeding, texting and having multiple passengers while driving.

The final focus on Friday is: In Your Community. The list of practical suggestions includes:

  • Join your Neighborhood Watch program.
  • Work with school leaders to implement school violence and bullying programs.
  • Keep weapons in a locked and safe place.
  • Model respectful communication in your interactions with children, family members and in the community.
  • Be a caring adult in the life of a young person.
  • Call the police or local child protective services if you suspect an older adult has been abused or a child neglected.

These simple ideas are only the beginning! Raise awareness of safety and injury prevention within your community during National Public Health Week. Everyone can help to make their community a safer and healthier place to live.

For more information about injury prevention, visit

Photo from:

MedlinePlus Connect Wins DHHS Award!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

MedlinePlus Connect Poster

NLM’s MedlinePlus Connect was one of the winners of the HHSinnovates Award!

The HHSinnovates award program is aimed at building a culture of innovation at the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) through facilitating the exchange of innovative ideas throughout the Department. This contest seeks not only to recognize and reward good ideas but also to help promote them across the Department.

A team from the National Library for Medicine (NLM) won this Award on March 31, 2011 for their important Health Information Technology (HIT) application, MedlinePlus ConnectMedlinePlus Connect enables consumers to connect instantly from their electronic health record (EHR) to comprehensive information at MedlinePlus about a health condition, treatment or concern.

The honorees from NLM include:  Joyce Backus, Stephanie Dennis, Sarena Burgess, Naomi Miller, Joe Potvin, and from Columbia University, Maxine Rockoff.

Press release of HHSinnovates Award winners:

MedlinePlus Connect:


Turning the Pages Adds Rare Persian Manuscript

Monday, April 4th, 2011

National Library of Medicine (NLM) announces the release of a new Turning the Pages virtual book on its Web site as well as in kiosks at NLM. The new book is the Kitab Aja’ib al-makhluqat wa Gharaib al-Mawjudat, literally “The Wonders of Creation,” compiled in the middle 1200s in what is now Iran or Iraq. The vibrantly illustrated work is considered one of the most important natural history texts of the medieval Islamic world.

The author, Abu Yahya Zakariya ibn Muhammad ibn Mahmud-al-Qazwini (ca. 1203-1283 CE), is known simply as al-Qazwini. One of the most noted natural historians, geographers and encyclopedists of the period, he was born in the city of Qazwin in Persia and received much of his education in Baghdad, the cultural center of the region. Al-Qazwini wrote most of his works in Arabic. This beautifully illustrated Persian translation was created in 1537 in the Mughal Empire, corresponding to what is now Pakistan and northern India.

“The Wonders of Creation” is divided into two sections, focusing respectively on celestial phenomena, including the planets, stars, and angels, and the terrestrial world, including geography, ethnography, zoology, and botany. Al-Qazwini was primarily a compiler of information from different authors, both ancient and medieval, and made few original observations of his own. However, his flowing and understandable writing style and thoroughness on different topics made his texts popular and often quoted.

The manuscript copy itself consists of 335 leaves of paper with more than 150 illustrations, in opaque watercolors and ink, of constellations, mythical figures, and various plants and animals placed throughout the text. The Web exhibition contains a selection of these pages, accompanied by explanatory text.

Celebrate National Public Health Week: April 4-10

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Public Health Week Icon

National Public Health Week begins today! Join the American Public Health Association (APHA) in the observation, which runs April 4-10. This year’s theme is: “Safety is No Accident: Live Injury-free.”

For more than a decade, communities across the U.S. have celebrated NPHW each April by highlighting public health achievements and raising awareness of issues important to improving the public’s health.

Monday’s Theme is “Safety at Home.” Suggestions include:

  • Assess your home for potential hazards such as poor lighting and uneven surfaces to prevent falls.
  • Install and maintain smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
  • Establish a plan for how you would evacuate from your home in the event of an emergency.
  • Make sure all electrical outlets are covered and inaccessible to children.
  • Supervise young children whenever they’re near cooking surfaces and never leave food unattended on the stove.

Tuesday’s Theme is “Safety at Work.” Suggestions include:

  • Understand and follow all workplace safety regulations and best practices.
  • Educate employees about workplace regulations and train employees to recognize unsafe or unhealthy settings.
  • Provide required or recommended protective gear to reduce employee exposure to hazards.
  • Create safe work environments by identifying and fixing workplace hazards such as unstable surfaces and malfunctioning vehicles.
  • Maintain a working sprinkler system and schedule fire drills to practice safe evacuation.
  • Promote workplace safety by offering tips on your company bulletin board, website or newsletter.

Together, we can help Americans live injury-free in all areas of life: at work, at home, at play, in your community and anywhere people are on the move. For additonal suggestions, as well as more information on National Public Health Week, visit .

Technology Spring Cleaning

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Computer Cables

It’s that time of year again. Time to dust off the old gadgets and maybe go out and purchase new models. Technology is always advancing and the latest trendy tools are always getting smaller, faster or sleeker. If you are planning on doing some technology spring cleaning this year, the New York Times has some suggestions for you. In last week’s article Spring Cleaning – Gadgets to Keep (or Not), devices from laptops to cameras are reviewed based on their future potential.

For those interested in purchasing new equipment, taking a look at the article can provide some helpful tips that may help your wallet. For instance, the article suggests that purchasing a MP3 player or other musical device may not be the best investment, especially if you are already a smart phone user. Many smart phones are able to store music and files, and many people are using their phones to listen to the radio or their own music collection.

What about point and shoot cameras? The article suggests that with the way camera technology is advancing, some phones are actually great options for point and shoot. You would not want to rely on a camera phone for high quality photography though.

One of the the final recommendations on the list suggests dumping your old USB thumb drives.  Cloud computing has been a popular topic recently and with many more options for cloud storage including Dropbox and Google Docs, worrying about a misplaced thumb drive may become a thing of the past.

While these are merely suggestions, they help us see how technology is changing. Look for more advancements in cloud computing, digital photography and tablet computing in the years to come.

New Traveling NLM Exhibition Available

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Image Life and Limb banner

A new National Library of Medicine Traveling Exhibition Life and Limb: The Toll of the Civil War is now available for institutions to borrow.

More than three million soldiers fought in the war from 1861-1865. More than half a million died, and almost as many were wounded but survived. Hundreds of thousands were permanently disabled by injuries or surgery, which saved lives by sacrificing limbs. These men served as a symbol of the fractured nation and remained a stark reminder of the costs of the conflict for long after the war. This exhibition brings their experiences to light.

Life and Limb describes the damage caused by the weapons of the time, the treatment of wounds, and their consequences for the young men who survived. The narrative highlights aspects of life after the amputation of a limb, from military service in the Veterans Reserve Corps to civilian life and the use of artificial limbs. The exhibition Web site features digitized images and documents, as well as educational resources for high school and undergraduate students and references for further research.

Contact Erika Mills or Jill Newmark for more information or to make plans to borrow the show.

2011 County Health Rankings Available Now

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Health AppleHow healthy is your county?A new set of reports rank the overall health of nearly every county in the nation, confirming the critical role that factors such as education, jobs, income, environment and access to health care play in how healthy people are and how long they live.

Published online at by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the County Health Rankings look at a variety of measures that affect health, such as high school graduation rates, access to healthier foods, air pollution levels, income, and rates of smoking, obesity and teen births.

The Rankings is the only tool of its kind that allows people to see how their county compares with others in their state and against national benchmarks , and makes it possible for leaders in all sectors to identify gaps and work together to develop solutions. The 2011 Report contains updated information from the first report released in 2010.

[Photo credit:]