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Archive for the ‘General (all entries)’ Category

New Mexico Sees Four Cases of Whooping Cough

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Untitled by Mindy Olson P is licensed under CC0.

close up of eye

New Mexico is seeing its largest cluster of whooping cough cases in infants since 2013. So far, four infants from Eddy, Curry, Rio Arriba and San Juan have a confirmed case. The cases have all been reported in infants under six months old.

“Whooping cough is very contagious and can cause serious cough illness―especially in infants too young to be fully vaccinated,” said Department of Health Secretary Lynn Gallagher in a New Mexico Department of Health news release. “Getting vaccinated is the best way to prevent your child from getting it.”

Whooping cough, scientifically known as pertussis, is highly contagious. It is characterized by uncontrollable, violent coughing, which often makes it hard to breathe, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. After a bout of coughing, the person often has to take large, deep breaths, creating the “whooping” sound. Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is extremely dangerous and can be fatal to those less than a year old.

Whooping cough is spread by coughing or sneezing, and those who are infected can be contagious for up to two weeks after the cough starts.

Whooping cough is best prevented by getting the vaccine. Infected persons can be treated through antibiotics—early diagnosis and treatment is very important.

To read more about whooping cough in New Mexico and how to prevent it, please visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s website.

To read more general information about whooping cough, please visit the CDC’s website.

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Big Data and e-Science Basics

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

The terms Big Data and e-Science are increasingly used in a multitude of forums. Many of us are inundated with these terms at work and they are increasingly talked about in the media. But what do they mean? The Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative has been featured here before and the ongoing webinar series on Fridays are a great resource.

But sometimes it is helpful to return to the basics.

So what is Big Data? It is more than just a large count. Big Data represents the full range of challenges and complexities created by the vast amounts of data and data sources that the research community is now collecting and using.

For a basic primer on Big Data, visit the BD2K explanation. For librarians and other information specialists there is also a valuable resource in the e-Science Portal for Librarians. This resource is created and managed by the NN/LM New England Region. This portal serves as an excellent resource to foster learning and collaboration in e-Science while providing e-Science education for librarians.

Consumer Health & Tech Roundup

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of all that’s going on. Here are some of the headlines you may have missed this past month:

Sushi Lovers, Beware: Tapeworm Now Found in U.S. Salmon [MedlinePlus]

Smartwatches could soon tell you when you’re getting sick [TechCrunch]

Quick fact sheets on key trends in digital technology now available [Pew Research Center]

Food Safety Tips for Your ‘Tamalada’ [Foodsafety.gov]

CES 2017: Smart Cane Gives Users a Boost [Health Tech Insider]

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Tuberculosis Diagnoses Increase for First Time in 23 Years

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

“Photo” by WikiImages is licensed under CC0.

syringe

While you may not think tuberculosis (TB) is a concern for yourself and your family, many people in the U.S. suffer with it, and for the first time in 23 years, the U.S. saw an increase in diagnosed cases in 2015. There were 9,557 cases total and it affected 27 states and the District of Columbia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

This increase calls for a more comprehensive public health approach to curbing TB, according to the CDC’s report. Suggested strategies according to the report are:

  • “Increased testing and treatment of latent (showing no symptoms) TB,
  • Greater efforts to reach populations most affected by TB, and
  • Reducing TB transmission through effective diagnostic and treatment strategies.”

TB is a bacterium that usually affects the lungs but can affect any part of the body. It is usually spread through the air when a person throat coughs, speaks or sings and another person breaths it in. But not everyone who becomes infected will become sick, which is called latent TB infection. This occurs when your body is able to fight off the bacteria.

Primary TB symptoms include a cough that last as for three weeks or longer, pain in the chest, and coughing up blood. Others may also include weight loss, fatigue, no appetite, chills, fever and sweating at night.

To read more from the recent CDC report, please visit “Burden of TB in the United States.”

To read more general information about TB, please visit the CDC’s website.

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Fasting May Prevent Childhood Cancer

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

“Photo” by Alexas_Fotos is licensed under CC0.

Mouse

UT Southwestern Medical Center announced recently the results of research they had been undertaking in regards to the effects fasting had on cancer. Interestingly enough, fasting helped prevent the most common childhood cancer, acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Research was conducted on mice who underwent six cycles of one day of fasting and one day of eating. These mice were compared to other mice who ate normally. The research showed that after seven weeks of this the cancer was completely inhibited—there was a dramatic reduction in the number of cancerous cells in blood marrow and the spleen and a reduced number of white blood cells.

Since the study was conducted without any sort of drug, researchers are investigating if they could quickly begin conducting human clinical trials.

This fasting method did not see the same results for acute myeloid leukemia, the cancer that is most often found in adults.

To read more about the research, please visit “Fasting kills cancer cells of most common type of childhood leukemia.”

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It’s Never Too Late to Quit Smoking

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

“Photo” by realworkhard is licensed under CC0.

Cigarette Smoke
Research on smoking is finding that it’s never too late for a person to quit. Even if it’s at 60 years old, you can gain years back on your life.

It’s a long-known fact that cigarettes and smoking are harmful to a person’s health—it causes more than 480,000 deaths in Americans per year, nearly 1 in 5 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Besides just adding years to your life, quitting smoking also reduces a person’s heart rate and blood pressure and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

The research studied data collected on 160,000 men and women, in which they completed a survey about their smoking habit between 2004 and 2005 and the deaths of the participants were tracked until the end of 2011. While the study did find that participants were more likely to die earlier if they quit later in life, the data also pointed out those who quit smoking at any time fared better than those who were still current smokers when they died.

“…The study also makes the point that I try to tell my patients, some of whom believe it and some of whom don’t, that smoking cessation is good for you even late in life. If you stop, you will live longer than if you don’t stop,” said Dr. Norman Edelman, senior medical consultant to the American Lung Association in a MedlinePlus article.

To read more about the study, please visit “It’s Never Too Late to Stop Smoking.”

To read more about the dangers of smoking, please visit the CDC’s website.

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Vaping Leads to Teen Cigarette Use

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

“Photo” by Andrew Pons
is licensed under CC0.

Cigarette Butt

Back in September, we posted a blog about teens using e-cigarettes (or “vapes”) for flavor. A new article published on healthfinder.gov says teens who regularly use e-cigarettes are more likely to be heavy smokers.

A survey studied students from 10 Los Angeles schools and found teens are twice as likely to start smoking cigarettes on a weekly basis if they vape frequently.

“The more you vape, the more likely in the future you’re going to be smoking (cigarettes),” according to lead researcher Adam Leventhal, associate professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the University of Southern California. “You’re going to be smoking more frequently and you’re going to smoke more cigarettes per day on your smoking days.”

Leventhal also suggested that teens may become hooked on nicotine through vaping and turn to nicotine for a stronger fix.

On the other hand, which the e-cigarette industry has criticized, frequent vaping, is defined in this study as three or more days in one month.

To read more about the study, please visit “E-cigs Tied to More Frequent Heavier Teen Tobacco Use.

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November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

“Photo” by Huy Phan
is licensed under CC0.

Elderly Man Walking in Park

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Alzheimer’s Disease is an irreversible brain disorder, seen most often in elderly people, but occasionally in those who are younger (known as early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease). Its most common symptom is memory loss. There is no cure or treatment, and scientists are still unsure what causes late-onset Alzheimer’s (they believe early-onset Alzheimer’s is caused by a genetic mutation), but it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

New research suggests that if an older person is experiencing feelings of loneliness, it could mean they are developing Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that high levels of amyloid, what people who are truly at risk for Alzheimer’s have, are 7.5 times more likely to feel lonely.

The research team studied 43 women and 36 men, with an average age of 76, who were all deemed healthy with no signs of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Those who felt isolated or socially detached, even when around family, were at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s.

It’s important to note that there is no direct correlation between loneliness and increased risk of Alzheimer’s. Dr. Gisele Wolf-Klein, director of geriatric education for Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y., described the research and findings as still “very new.” More research will need to be completed to fully determine if there is a connection.

For more information on the study, please visit “Could Loneliness Be an Early Sign of Alzheimer’s?”

For more general information on Alzheimer’s Disease, please visit the National Institute on Aging’s website.

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NN/LM SCR Introduces Our Emerging Technologies Coordinator: Brian Leaf

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

brian-leaf

The NN/LM SCR is pleased to welcome Brian Leaf to the RML. Brian will serve as the Emerging Technologies Coordinator and also as the liaison to the States of Louisiana and New Mexico.

Prior to working for the South Central Region, Brian served as the Instructional Design Librarian at The Ohio State University (OSU) for the past five years. While there, he contributed to a variety of instructional projects, facilitated workshops for faculty/staff/students, and served as a consultant on pedagogical issues. In this role, he also worked across departments to enhance teaching and learning, which included anything from revising an instructional grant program to producing educational multimedia works for exhibits. Last but not least, he helped lead and grow the interdisciplinary OSU Digital Storytelling Program through outreach and program development.

Brian completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in Seattle and graduate work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. During his time in Chapel Hill, he worked as a graduate research assistant to Dr. Joanne Marshall and had the opportunity to help with the Value of Library and Information Services in Patient Care study.

In 2013, he was awarded the OSU University Libraries Teaching Excellence Annual Award for his work redesigning credit courses offered through the library. He is also an alumni of the American Library Association’s 2010 Spectrum Leadership Institute as well as the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Career Enhancement Program. Currently, he serves on the Executive Board of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association.

Brian is very excited to join the NN/LM SCR in enhancing public health and access to health information.

Contact Brian at Brian.Leaf@unthsc.edu.

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Meet Me Monday: Cathy Miller, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Photo credit: Dave Gresham

Cathy Miller, Digital Archivist-UTSW

Cathy Miller is the Digital Archivist at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX.  Her earlier experience includes a 10-week internship for the Yellowstone National Park Archives.

UT Southwestern’s archival collection documents the history of UT Southwestern Medical Center, as well as its predecessor institutions, University Hospitals, careers of noble campus individuals, and Parkland Memorial Hospital. The archival collection features many interesting and fun records, such as “Child hears first sounds after cochlear implant, 1997.

Visit UT Southwestern Archives to learn more about the collections.

 

Be featured as part of our #MeetMeMonday series and share information about your position, program, or organization and connect with other network members and potential program partners!