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Archive for March, 2012

1000 Genomes Project Data Available on Amazon Cloud

Friday, March 30th, 2012


The world’s largest set of data on human genetic variation — produced by the international 1000 Genomes Project — is now publicly available on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Cloud access to the 1000 Genomes Project data through AWS is at

Since the project’s launch, the data set has grown enormously: At 200 terabytes — the equivalent of 16 million file cabinets filled with text, or more than 30,000 standard DVDs — the current 1000 Genomes Project records are a prime example of big data that has become so massive that few researchers have the computing power to use them. To help solve that problem, AWS has just posted the 1000 Genomes Project data for free as a public data set, providing a centralized repository on the Amazon Simple Storage Service.

The public-private collaboration demonstrates the kind of solutions that may emerge from the Big Data Research and Development Initiative announced today by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) during an event at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

“The explosion of biomedical data has already significantly advanced our understanding of health and disease. Now we want to find new and better ways to make the most of these data to speed discovery, innovation and improvements in the nation’s health and economy,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Collins is among agency leaders speaking in support of the initiative at the launch event.

See the press release for more information.

NLM Information Resource Grants to Reduce Health Disparities (G08)

Thursday, March 29th, 2012


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) solicits resource grant applications for projects that will bring useful, usable health information to health disparity populations and the health care providers who care for those populations. Proposed projects should exploit the capabilities of computer and information technology and health sciences libraries to bring health-related information to consumers and their health care providers. Preference will be given to applications that show strong involvement of health science libraries.

Because this FOA (Funding Opportunity Announcement) focuses on providing health information to health disparity populations, institutions with demonstrated commitment to the needs of health disparity communities (including Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU), Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) and other institutions in rural and socially disadvantaged areas) are encouraged to apply.

Letter of Intent Due: April 22, 2012

Application Due Date: May 22, 2012 by 5:00 p.m. local time of applicant or organization.

Complete information may be found at:

Search Engines and Privacy

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Google’s new privacy policy has many online searchers concerned about how their searches and other online activity is being tracked. Despite the concern over online activity tracking, in the Search Engine Use 2012 report from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, Google was reported as the top used search engine.

The Search Engine Use 2012 report also has some good statistics about the continual popularity of online search engines since 2002 as well as findings that show search engine users are more confident about their search abilities and happy with the information they are finding using search engines.

DuckDuckGoLogo featuring smiling duck

An alternative search engine that is gaining popularity and known for not tracking searchers and ensuring privacy is DuckDuckGo. Launched in 2008, DuckDuckGo is gaining popularity. Users are satisfied not only with results but also with their emphasis on protecting user privacy.




Redesigned NIHSeniorHealth Now Available

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

NIHSeniorHealth new banner

The National Library of Medicine and National Institute on Aging have released their redesigned version of NIHSeniorHealth, the National Institutes of Health website for older adults  The redesign improves usability and modernizes the appearance throughout the site. Changes incorporate user feedback about the site as well as results from usability testing of proposed designs with seniors.

NIHSeniorHealth left column graphic

Buttons in the new banner allow you to link directly to over 50 health topics and 150 videos.  Once you click on a health topic, the bar along the left side allows you to to go straight to a particular section of the health topic page (“In this topic”); find quizes and videos (“Learn More”), and go to related topics in NIHSeniorHealth (“Related Topics”) and in the National Institute on Aging’s website.

For more information, go to the NLM Technical Bulletin article about the redesign







Showcase of NLM API, Free Webinar

Monday, March 26th, 2012


Software developers are invited to join National Library of Medicine (NLM) data experts as they showcase NLM APIs and provide valuable information on how to find, use, and incorporate medical literature, drug, clinical trial, consumer health information, molecular biology, and other data into novel products.

The free webinar, NLM API Showcase: Using NLM APIs for Product Development, will be held April 10, 2012 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. (ET). To attend join via Adobe Connect. The webinar will be available to the first 500 people. There will be opportunity to submit questions. If you are unable to attend, the webinar will be recorded and archived at Adobe URL:

For more details, see Potash S. Showcase of NLM APIs – Free Webinar. NLM Tech Bull. 2012 Mar-Apr;(385):e1.

National Public Health Week: April 2-8, 2012

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

logo for NPHW Week

Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared National Public Health Week (NPHW), communities across the United States have observed NPHW as a time to recognize the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving the public’s health. This year’s theme, “A Healthier America Begins Today. Join the Movement!” will address the issue of prevention and wellnes to ensure that all is being done to ensure our nation’s health.

The American Public Health Association (APHA) serves as the organizer of NPHW and develops a national campaign to educate the public, policymakers and practitioners about issues related to that year’s theme. APHA creates comprehensive planning, organizing and outreach materials that can be used during and after the week to raise awareness.

But APHA cannot do it alone. The success of National Public Health Week lies with each and every organization and individual who takes up the cause of public health and seeks to improve health in their communities.

For more information on National Public Health Week, including ideas for planning and promotion, see: The NPHW toolkit includes fact sheets, outreach materials, suggested community events, and more.

March 2012 SCR CONNECTions Recording Available

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

The recording of the March 21 edition of the SCR CONNECTions webinar, “Spring is in the Air: Get Ready with Help From the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center” is now available  in the SCR CONNECTions archives   Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, MSLIS Librarian, Aquilent, Inc., contractor with the National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services Division, Disaster Information Management Research Center was the guest presenter.

MLA CE for 1 hour will be available through April 4 by using the URL at the end of the recording.

Next month’s webinar will take place one week earlier than normal on April 11, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. CT. The topic wil be: “So Your Poster Got Accepted–Now What? Poster Design Tips,”  with guest speaker Tracy Volz, Assistant Director of the Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication  at Rice University.  MLA CE will NOT be available for the April SCR CONNECTions.


TOXSEEK Discontinued

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012


The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has decided to end its support for ToxSeek. For ten years NLM has supported ToxSeek, a research project involving natural language processing and semantic technology.

This federated-search engine helped users to search across diverse biomedical and environmental health resources and provided a method for locating information resources on topics related to toxicology and environmental health.

Since there are now several comparable alternatives for users needing a federated search, such as (, NLM will realign the resources to support other mission-critical programs.

ToxSeek will not be available after March 23th, 2012.

Please direct any questions to

Cheryl Rowan Receives Prestigious Award

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Cheryl Rowan

Cheryl Rowan, the NN/LM SCR Public Health Coordinator, has been named a “Mover and Shaker” in the library industry by the national publication, Library Journal.

In its March 15, 2012 issue, Library Journal named 53 outstanding professionals committed to providing excellent service to meet the needs of the people they serve.  Cheryl  was selected because of  her commitment to the profession and to the public health workforce.  “Being recognized as a ‘Mover & Shaker’ indicates that, as a professional, one has the passion, dedication and desire to serve the public,” said Francine Fialkoff, Library Journal Editor-in-Chief.

The 2012 Movers & Shakers were selected by the editors of Library Journal, the profession’s leading trade magazine. Each of the Movers & Shakers will be prominently featured in the March 15th issue of Library Journal and celebrated at a special luncheon in June during the American Library Association’s annual conference in Anaheim, CA.

Read more about Cheryl’s accomplishments in her Library Journal profile.

2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures Report

Monday, March 12th, 2012

senior adults

The Alzheimer’s Association has just released the 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report. The annual report provides a statistical overview and analysis of Alzheimer’s prevalence, mortality, caregiving, and increasing costs as well as a special report on those living alone with Alzheimer’s.




Quick facts from the report:

  • 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States and the only cause of death among the top 10 in the United States that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.
  • More than 15 million Americans provide unpaid care valued at $210 billion for persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • Payments for care are estimated to be $200 billion in the United States in 2012.

The full report, as well as a video, graphs, and state specific information are now available at .

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