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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

A Second Cancer is Worse for a Younger Person than an Older One

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

MRI by liz west is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


A new study published in JAMA Oncology finds that for those people who develop a second cancer (meaning a new cancer, not a recurrence), it’s the older patients that are more likely to survive. Previous studies have been done to learn more about second cancers, but little has been done linking age as a factor to survival rate.

The study compared more than 1 million cancer patients from 1992 to 2008. It showed that younger people are more likely to survive just one cancer compared to older adults, but when a second one appears, it’s the opposite.

The research did not point out exactly why this is the case, but researcher have made several suggestions, including limitations on types of doses or treatment, reduced physical reserve, and social issues.

To read more about the study, please visit “Second Cancers Deadlier for Younger People: Study.”

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Random DNA Cause of Many Cancers

Wednesday, March 29th, 2017

Untitled by PublicDomainPictures is licensed under CC0.


While diet, environment, habits and more are some of the reasons certain people develop cancer, chance plays a pretty big role as well. New research shows that most tumors develop simply because of a genetic “mistake,” also called DNA copying errors.

Johns Hopkins University investigators looked at abnormal cell growth in 32 different types of cancers and found that many cancer cases are the result of gene mutations that are purely random. These random mutations have generally been scientifically undervalued, according to study co-author Cristian Tomasetti in a MedlinePlus article.

It is important to note that while many cancer cases are random, and therefore unpreventable, many mutations are also caused by certain outside factors, and don’t just occur randomly. A good example is lung cancer–the majority of these mutations occur because a person has smoked.

Overall, the study could help shed light on cancer cases that doctors can’t determine the cause. They may seem random because they are.

To read more about the study, please visit “Most Cancers Caused by Random DNA Copying Errors.”

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Funding Databases

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

When considering applying for a funding opportunity it is often helpful to know what types of projects that have been funded in the past. Every RML in the NNLM includes listings of the Past Funded Projects on their website for this reason. But did you know that you can also find this information for NIH, HHS, and all of the US government? These databases can be particularly helpful for postdoctoral students, junior faculty, and anyone who is beginning to search for external funding.

The NIH RePORTER database allows the user to search for funded grants throughout all of NIH. One interesting feature is the Matchmaker function. In this function, you can actually enter an abstract and the database will return a list of similar projects.

However it is not uncommon for health researchers to need to be aware of what other federal agencies outside of NIH are funding. To search funding throughout all of HHS you can search the TAGGS database. To expand even more you can search the Federal RePORTER or USA Spending.

These resources can not only help a potential applicant determine if a particular funding opportunity is a good fit for a project, but it can also help applicants know which agencies to watch for future funding. Federal health related funding can come from some unexpected sources and it is helpful to know which agencies are funding the types of projects that you want to do.

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Hearing Loss Predicted to Grow Tremendously by 2060 in U.S.

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Untitled by Joel Mwakasege is licensed under CC0.

back of head

According to a recent study by Johns Hopkins Medicine, hearing loss among the U.S. population could jump from 44 million in 2020 to 73.5 million by 2060; the 2060 number would comprise 23 percent of the adult American population, compared to 15 percent in 2020. And in 2060, 55 percent of adults with hearing loss will be over 70.

This sort of growth for this health condition is unprecedented, according to Neil DiSarno, chief staff officer of audiology at American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

The most common cause of hearing loss is exposure to loud noise. To prevent this, it is recommended that people should lower their earphone volume and to limit exposure to firearms, fireworks and loud noises you may hear at work.

And besides just not being able to hear as well, hearing loss has other effects on a person as well. Older adults who have hearing loss are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, and have a higher risk of falling. There also appears to be evidence between hearing loss and mental decline.

To read more about hearing loss increasing, please visit “Hearing Loss May Double in United States by 2060.”

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All of Us Research Program Funding Opportunity for Community Groups

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

The All of Us Research Program is a large part of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) from the NIH. While many of the research and engagement grants have already been awarded, a new funding opportunity have been opened for community groups to assist with outreach efforts. This opportunity allows nonprofits, other community- and faith-based organizations, minority-serving institutions and school districts, and local governments to apply for funding to create community engagement activities and provide feedback to the research program about community needs and perspectives.

This grassroots engagement could make a huge difference in recruiting populations that have traditionally been excluded from biomedical research. Additionally, priority will be given to applications that reach into geographic target areas. The geographic priority areas include our entire SCR region. Priority 1 geographic areas include Houston, TX; Louisiana; and New Mexico. Priority 2 geographic areas include Arkansas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Applications are due on March 24, 2017.

For the full NIH press release please go here:

For the funding announcement please go here:

Note: The informational webinar about the opportunity is Feb 10th. Register here

New Research Shows Breast Cancer Precursor Treatment Causes Women to Live Longer

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

“Breast Cancer Awareness” by ~Pawsitive~Candie_N is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

pink ballonsDuctal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common form of non-invasive breast cancer and is non-life-threatening. However, DCIS can actually be a precursor to worse breast cancer later on. It can increase the risk of developing invasive breast cancer; patients are at a higher risk of developing a new breast cancer than a patient who has never had any breast cancer before.

The study, conducted in the Netherland on more than 10,000 women for an average of 10 years, found that those who were treated for DCIS had a 10 percent less chance of dying from any cause than the general population. That may sound confusing—if you were treated for DCIS, you are 10 percent more likely to live a longer life than someone who never had DCIS, and therefore never received treatment for DCIS.

Specifically, researchers found that women who were treated were much less likely to die from digestive, respiratory, and circulatory diseases, and other types of cancer. This study is particularly important because DCIS treatment includes radiotherapy, which can cause damage to nearby organs

More and more people are becoming aware they have DCIS because it is something that shows up in breast cancer screenings—so more women are able to get treated if they have this form of cancer.

For more information on the study, please visit “Women treated for precursor of breast cancer can expect to live as long as other women.”

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Adults Do Not Get Enough Sleep: A Good Night’s Sleep Is Critical For Good Health

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

Adapted from: Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Newsroom

More than a third of American adults are not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, according to a new study in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. This is the first study to document estimates of self-reported healthy sleep duration (7 or more hours per day) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society recommend that adults aged 18–60 years sleep at least 7 hours each night to promote optimal health and well-being. Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress. “As a nation we are not getting enough sleep,” said Wayne Giles, M.D., director of CDC’s Division of Population Health. “Lifestyle changes such as going to bed at the same time each night; rising at the same time each morning; and turning off or removing televisions, computers, mobile devices from the bedroom, can help people get the healthy sleep they need.” Prevalence of healthy sleep duration varies by geography, race/ethnicity, employment, marital status CDC researchers reviewed data from the 2014 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a state-based, random-digit–dialed telephone survey conducted collaboratively by state health departments and CDC.

Key Findings:

  • Healthy sleep duration was lower among Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders (54 percent), non-Hispanic blacks (54 percent), multiracial non-Hispanics (54 percent) and American Indians/Alaska Natives (60 percent) compared with non-Hispanic whites (67 percent), Hispanics (66 percent), and Asians (63 percent).
  • The prevalence of healthy sleep duration varied among states and ranged from 56 percent in Hawaii to 72 percent in South Dakota.
  • A lower proportion of adults reported getting at least seven hours of sleep per day in states clustered in the southeastern region of the United States and the Appalachian Mountains. Previous studies have shown that these regions also have the highest prevalence of obesity and other chronic conditions.
  • People who reported they were unable to work or were unemployed had lower healthy sleep duration (51 percent and 60 percent, respectively) than did employed respondents (65 percent). The prevalence of healthy sleep duration was highest among people with a college degree or higher (72 percent).
  • The percentage reporting a healthy sleep duration was higher among people who were married (67 percent) compared with those who were never married (62 percent) or divorced, widowed, or separated (56 percent).

Healthy Sleep Tips:

  • Healthcare providers should routinely assess patients’ sleep patterns and discuss sleep-related problems such as snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  • Healthcare providers should also educate patients about the importance of sleep to their health.
  • Individuals should make getting enough sleep a priority and practice good sleep habits.
  • Employers can consider adjusting work schedules to allow their workers time to get enough sleep.
  • Employers can also educate their shift workers about how to improve their sleep.

For more information on CDC’s Sleep and Sleep Disorders Program, please visit

What is FDA Doing to Improve the Health of African-Americans?

Thursday, February 18th, 2016

Adapted from  posted  on  

By: Jovonni Spinner, M.P.H., C.H.E.S. Public Health Advisor in FDA’s Office of Minority Health

Every February, Black History Month is celebrated as a time to reflect, celebrate, and honor the contributions of African-Americans to our society. Achieving and maintaining good health is a long-standing issue for this group, many of whom may experience worse health outcomes in critical areas like heart disease and diabetes. By focusing on the positive and providing consumers with health education materials to support healthy behavior changes the Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Minority Health have made progress in eradicating the health equity gap, and the gap has narrowed over time, but there is still significant room for improvement. Here are few things that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Office of Minority Health (OMH) have done over the past year to reduce health disparities. More than 29.2 million blacks/African-Americans are on social media — and we want to meet consumers where they are. FDA and OMH are using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms and electronic communications (e.g. our newsletter and e-blasts) to educate African- Americans on issues such as heart disease, diabetes, and sickle cell disease among others, and also provide tangible solutions to help manage these chronic conditions. For example, to mark American Heart Month in February, we developed a social media toolkit to help our stakeholders engage with their members and partnered with the Association of Black Cardiologists to spearhead an #ILoveMyHeart social media campaign. The FDA and OMH  have cultivated relationships with a core set of partners to better understand their health needs, aligned our priorities to meet those needs, and worked together to leverage each other’s resources for the common good. By doing so, the FDA and OMH have increased the stakeholder’s capacity to communicate with the agency on regulatory issues. For example, multicultural stakeholders are now better able to make their voice heard in FDA-sponsored public meetings and on open dockets.  In regards, to Minority Health Research  FDA and OMH has worked with academia to fund African-American-based research projects (e.g. HIV/AIDs and triple negative breast cancer) and research fellows working on topics like genomics and digital communications. This allows us to increase the knowledge base on these issues and ensure a diverse workforce is in place to solve these complex health problems. FDA and OMH’s Minority Health education Resources , offer infographics and fact sheets, tailored to African Americans. The FDA website has valuable information on sickle cell disease and lupus, both of which affect African Americans more than any other racial/ethnic group. FDA and OMH are working to continue to work toward increasing clinical trial diversity, to ensure that medical products are safe and effective for everyone!

President Obama has said, “If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.” OMH will continue walking down the path to improving health equity and we want you to join us, because this work cannot be done alone.

Visit FDA’s OMH at:

Follow us on Twitter @FDAOMH

Jovonni Spinner

Researchers Identify How Scientists Fabricate Their Data

Monday, December 14th, 2015

In the November 2015 Issue of the Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Jeff Hancock and David Markowitz uncovered the process in which scientists falsify their data. In the article, “Linguistic Obfuscation in Fraudulent Science“, Hancock and Markowitz identified retracted papers from 1973 to 2013 and created an obfuscation index, which based on scale, examined the level of falsified data. This includes vague language, jargon, etc.

Markowitz states, “We believe the underlying idea behind obfuscation is to muddle the truth, Scientists faking data know that they are committing a misconduct and do not want to get caught. Therefore, one strategy to evade this may be to obscure parts of the paper. We suggest that language can be one of many variables to differentiate between fraudulent and genuine science.”

The researchers are hoping for a computerized system that would help identify a potentially fraudulent paper, depending on obfuscated language but this method is not proven due to false-positive ratio. They believe that more research is need for consideration at this time. For more information, please visit: Stanford News.

PHPartners: A Collaboration of U.S. Agencies, Public Health Organizations and Health Sciences Libraries

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

PHPartners (Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce) is a collaboration of U.S government agencies, public health organizations and health sciences libraries. The organization’s directive is to provide information and assistance to the Public Health workforce. The group’s mission is Helping the public health workforce find and use information effectively to improve and protect the public’s health. PHPartners goals are:

  • Organize and deliver public health resources so they are easier to find and use.
  • Identify and develop collaborative projects to meet the information needs of the public health workforce.
  • Increase the visibility of the partnership with libraries and the public health workforce.
  • Increase the information literacy of the public health workforce.
  • Strengthen the collaboration among the Partners.

The organization’s website is a portal to authoritative public health resources and tools. Sections include, Public Health Topic Pages, Main Topic Pages, Current Public Health News, Email signup for Public Health Topics of Interest and In the Spotlight section. There is also a search box function in which users can type what they are looking for. Furthermore, there are multiple tabs that assist in browsing the site. This includes Home, News, About Partners, Contact Us, Sitemap, FAQ and Suggest Link. Maintenance of the site is provided by the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Lamar Soutter Library through the National Library of Medicine.  Information on Copyright, Privacy, Accessibility, Freedom of Information Act and Viewers and Players is located at the bottom of each page.

As stated earlier, a component of the site includes Public Health Topic Pages. This section covers various topics such as Bioterrorism, Dental Public Health, Environmental Health, HIV/AIDS, How to Access Journal Articles, Nutrition, Obesity, Public Health Genomics, Veterinary Public Health and Workforce Development. Another section is the Main Topic Pages. This area features Health promotion and Health Education, Literature Guidelines, Health Data Tools and Statistics, Grants and Funding, Education and Training, Legislation and Policy, Conference and Meetings, Finding People, Discussion and E-mail Lists and Jobs and Careers. For example, on the Literature and Guidelines page, individuals can access databases related to public health, find journal titles alphabetically, newsletters, and public health reports. For full-text articles, users can locate a health sciences library in their area and register with Loansome Doc. This will allow personalized document delivery for a fee.

Under the Current Public Health News heading, information is listed by most recent article at the top. News items older than three weeks are removed and can be located in the news archive section. Users can filter news items sent to them by email in the Get the Latest Information of Public Health Topics of Interest section. Also, there is an In the Spotlight section that promotes a resource found on the portal. Finally, has a Public Health Information and Data Tutorial module on Staying Informed, Health Information Resources, Health Statistics and Evidence-Based Practice. is a powerful resource for collaboration, funding, research and information regarding public health. For more information, please contact the site, NLM or your NN/LM SCR office for more information.

Partner members include:

  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
  • American Public Health Association (APHA)
  • Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH)
  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
  • Medical Library Association (MLA)
  • National Agricultural Library (NAL)
  • National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO)
  • National Association of Local Boards of Health (NALBOH)
  • National Library of Medicine (NLM)
  • National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM)
  • Public Health Foundation (PHF)
  • Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE)

PHPartners home page