Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Journal article] How Basic Scientists Help the Pharmaceutical Industry Market Drugs

Excerpt from the December 2013 PLoS article by Adriane Fugh-Berman 

In the 1970s, a Baltimore city senator who also owned a tavern backed legislation that helped his business. Accused of having a conflict of interest, Joseph J. Staszak, responded, “What conflict of interest? How does this conflict with my interest?” [1].

According to the Institute of Medicine, a conflict of interest is “a set of circumstances that creates a risk that professional judgment or actions regarding a primary interest will be unduly influenced by a secondary influence” [2]. More simply, conflicts of interest may be seen as circumstances in which “individuals’ professional responsibilities diverge from their personal interests (or when different professional responsibilities clash)” [3].

In biomedicine, discourse on conflicts of interest (also called competing interests) has focused on relationships between industry and physicians or clinical researchers. However, basic scientists are not immune to industry influence on research and publications, and may be important to industry in the production and dissemination of marketing messages.

Depending on Industry

In 2007, industry was the largest funder of biomedical research, paying for nearly twice as much research (58%) as the federal government (33%) [4]. Most of this funding goes to clinical research; the share of spending by pharmaceutical and device industry on preclinical research has decreased from about half (55%) in 1998 to a quarter (25%) in 2010 [5]. A 2007 survey of 3,080 academic life science researchers found that half (53%) have some form of relationship with industry [6]. Among the 1,663 research faculty at academic medical centers, 42% of basic scientists had a relationship with industry. This number was similar to health services researchers/clinical epidemiologists (40%), but less than clinical researchers (67%) translational researchers (61%), or “multimodal” researchers (71%) [7]. At the 50 universities that received the most NIH research funding, 43% of 2,167 life science researchers reported receiving a research-related gift in the late 1990s [8]. Gifts included biomaterials (24% of respondents), discretionary funds (15%), equipment (11%), travel funds to professional meetings (11%), student support (9%), and other (3%).

Researchers were aware that something was expected in return for the gift. Sponsor expectations that the gift be used for its intended purpose and not be re-gifted, and that the sponsor be acknowledged in publications, are certainly reasonable. Disturbingly, however, about a third (32%) of gift recipients reported that the funder wanted prepublication review of any articles or reports stemming from the use of the gift. This expectation was higher for gifts of biomaterials: 40% of respondents reported that the firm wanted to receive prepublication review of articles or reports. Also, 44% of firms wanted assurances that the biomaterial was not to be used for applications that competed with company products [8].

Industry Funding Affects Results

In clinical research, investigators who receive industry funding are more likely to publish results that favor a sponsor’s marketing goals than are investigators who do not receive industry funding. The Cochrane Collaboration, renowned for creating and publishing high-quality systematic reviews, analyzed 48 clinical studies, systematic reviews, and meta-analyses that compared results from studies of drugs or medical devices based on sponsorship. This systematic review found that industry-sponsored studies, compared to non-industry-sponsored studies, were more likely to report favorable efficacy results for drugs or medical devices; less likely to find harms; and more likely to conclude that a therapy was beneficial [9].

Selective Publication

Selective presentations and publications are important tactics for industry. Industry relies on abstracts and posters to convey marketing messages at scientific meetings, because abstracts and posters are usually not peer-reviewed and can be easily altered up to the time of presentation. Posters and abstracts are often used for preclinical studies, case reports, or preliminary results of clinical trials. Promising preliminary results might be presented as a poster, and the results may be publicized, but if the final results of the study do not support commercial goals, the full study may never be published – or may be buried in an obscure, low-impact journal. In either case, scientists may have a positive impression of a therapy from a poster, and never learn that the therapy failed to show efficacy in the final study.

Perhaps because negative outcomes from industry-funded studies are less likely to be submitted for publication, industry-funded clinical trials overall are less likely to be published. An analysis of 546 drug trials listed in ClinicalTrials.gov found that within two years of study completion, about a third of studies that received full (32%) or partial (39%) industry support were published. In contrast, more than half (54%) of trials funded by government, and 56% of trials funded entirely through nonprofit/nonfederal funds, were published [19].

The majority of meeting abstracts and posters are never published. Posters and abstracts with positive results are far more likely to be published than negative studies [14],[15].

..

Once a drug is on the market, it can be prescribed “off-label” – that is, for any condition other than that for which the drug was approved. Although it is legal for physicians and other prescribers to prescribe a drug off-label, it is illegal for pharmaceutical companies to promote drugs off-label. Off-label use is common, accounting for about one in five prescriptions [23]. It is unknown how much off-label use is due to promotion.

Pharmaceutical companies use paid speakers, consultants, and researchers to promote off-label use [24].

,,,

Companies have paid billions of dollars in fines for off-label promotion, often using company-generated research, company-paid speakers, and ghostwritten articles to imply clinical benefits in the absence of clinical trials (or the presence of negative trials); fines have also been imposed for suppressing risks or misleading clinicians about risks [34].

Read the entire article here

 

December 8, 2013 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Top 10 Innovations for 2014 by the Cleveland Clinic

From the Cleveland Clinic Website  2013 Medical Innovation Summit

Top 10 Innovations for 2014

Which are the up-and-coming technologies and which will have the biggest impact on healthcare in 2014?

Cleveland Clinic’s culture of innovation naturally fosters a good deal of discussion about new “game changing” technologies and which ones will have the greatest impact each year. The passion of our clinicians and researchers for getting the best care for patients drives a continuous dialogue on what state-of-the art medical technologies are just over the horizon.

This book was developed to share outside Cleveland Clinic what our clinical leaders are saying to each other and what innovations they feel will help shape healthcare over the next 12 months.

#1 Retinal Prosthesis:

In a healthy eye, the rods and cones of the retina are specialized cells that convert light into tiny electrochemical impulses that are sent via the optic nerve into the brain, where they are decoded into images. However, if these delicate photoreceptors are ever damaged, the initial step in the process is disrupted and the visual system cannot transform light into images, leading to blindness…
Learn More|

#2 Genome-Guided Solid Tumor Diagnostics:

Too often, men and women hear the words “prostate cancer,” “breast cancer,” and “colorectal cancer” from their doctors and they immediately think the worst. Many times the aggressive therapies are unnecessary that are offered or demanded. However, there are now genomic-based tests that can make these treatment decisions much easier and more reliable.
Learn More|

#3 Responsive Neurostimulator for Intractable Epilepsy:

Epilepsy is a neurological condition that produces seizures—brief disturbances in the normal electrical activity of the brain—that affect various mental and physical functions. Seizures happen when clusters of nerve cells in the brain signal abnormally, which may briefly alter a person’s consciousness or movements. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, he or she is considered to have epilepsy.
Learn More|

#4 New Era in Hepatitis C Treatment:

Hepatitis C infection, a common liver disease that affects an estimated four million people in the United States, is transmitted through exposure to infected blood (blood was not screened effectively for hepatitis C until 1992) or sexual contact with an infected person. The majority of people with the ailment don’t realize that they have the disease because of a lack of symptoms.
Learn More|

#5 Perioperative Decision Support System:

Anesthesia is given to patients to inhibit pain, sedate the body, and also regulate various bodily functions in surgery. Today, there are 51 million hospital surgical procedures performed annually in the United States, most which are not possible without anesthesia. Before the discovery of anesthesia and the first painless surgery in 1842, surgical patients had their pain dulled with opium or copious amounts of alcohol. With the advent of many new medications and surgical monitoring equipment, we are now in the modern era of anesthesia and optimal surgical care.
Learn More|

#6 Fecal Microbiota Transplantation:

Many hospitalized patients develop hospital-acquired infections, oftentimes due, paradoxically, to broad-spectrum and fluoroquinolone antibiotic therapy used for medical treatment. Antibiotics, which are supposed to kill bacteria, can also increase the odds of some people developing a dangerous and potentially lethal infection from rod-shaped bacteria called Clostridium difficile, or C. diff.
Learn More|

#7 Relaxin for Acute Heart Failure:

Heart failure is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening condition in which the heart is unable to pump enough blood to supply the body. Symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, and fluid retention are caused by a weakened or stiffened heart, significantly diminishing its ability to fill normally or effectively distribute blood. According to the American Heart Association, approximately five million people experience heart failure in the United States and more than half a million new cases are diagnosed annually in this country.
Learn More|

#8 Computer-Assisted Personalized Sedation Station:

A colonoscopy is an exam that lets a gastroenterologist look closely at the inside of the entire colon and rectum for polyps, the small growths that over time can become cancerous. Using a colonoscope, a thin, flexible, hollow, lighted tube that has a tiny video camera on the end, the doctor sends pictures to a TV screen. The exam itself takes about 30 minutes. Patients are usually given light sedation to help them relax and sleep while the procedure is performed.
Learn More|

#9 TMAO ASSAY: Novel Biomaker for the Microbiome:

There is a global hunt in progress using a variety of cardiovascular fingerprints—scientists call them biomarkers—that have been discovered or created to help identify the initiation, development, and ongoing cascade of damage caused by heart disease.
Learn More|

#10 B-Cell Receptor Pathway Inhibitors:

Chemotherapy is a blunt instrument designed to indiscriminately kill rapidly dividing cells in the hope that the cancer cells die more and grow back less than healthy cells. That normal cells are routinely damaged in this destructive procedure accounts for the side effects and toxicity of traditional chemotherapy.
Learn More|

 

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, health care, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Commons – A New Way to Share Information and Research Processes

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From a recent email  by Holly Ann Burt, Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Greater Midwest Region

NCBI has released PubMed** Commons, currently in pilot phase, which is a new system that enables researchers to share their opinions about scientific publications indexed in the PubMed database. This is intended to be a forum for open and constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues.

A new NCBI Insights Blog post provides more information and explains how researchers can join in!

For more information, please see:

PubMed Commons Homepage – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedcommons
NCBI Insights Blog post: “PubMed Commons – a new forum for scientific discourse”-http://ncbiinsights.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2013/10/22/pubmed-commons-a-new-forum-for-scientific-discourse/

Here’s a mock-up

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**PubMed  (a US government funded database) is the largest database of biomedical journals in the world. It comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

[Journal Article] The Emergent Discipline of Health Web Science -with related links and articles

Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web - Opportun...

Larger image –>http://www.flickr.com/photos/40726922@N07/4702688723

Came across this article through an online professional health community.  It describes how the Internet is changing approaches to healthcare issues.  Current evidence shows Web sites can empower professional and lay alike through informational Web pages, social media, health record annotations and linkages for exploration and analysis. However, these applications can be built on to better serve the health care related needs of all.  The Web can be better” engineered for health research, clinical research, and clinical practice. In addition, it is desirable to support consumers who utilize the Web for gathering information about health and well-being and to elucidate approaches to providing social support to both patients and caregivers. Finally, there is the motivation to improve both the effectiveness and efficiency of health care.” The paper goes on to outline channelling further efforts in these areas.

  • Social networks
  • Patient Engagement Through Citizen Science and Crowdsourcing
  • Sensors, Smart Technology and Expert Patients
  • “Big Data”, Semantic, and Other Integration Technologies
  • Rapid, Automated, Contextualized Knowledge Discovery and Application

From the full text of the article

Abstract

The transformative power of the Internet on all aspects of daily life, including health care, has been widely recognized both in the scientific literature and in public discourse. Viewed through the various lenses of diverse academic disciplines, these transformations reveal opportunities realized, the promise of future advances, and even potential problems created by the penetration of the World Wide Web for both individuals and for society at large. Discussions about the clinical and health research implications of the widespread adoption of information technologies, including the Internet, have been subsumed under the disciplinary label of Medicine 2.0. More recently, however, multi-disciplinary research has emerged that is focused on the achievement and promise of the Web itself, as it relates to healthcare issues. In this paper, we explore and interrogate the contributions of the burgeoning field of Web Science in relation to health maintenance, health care, and health policy. From this, we introduce Health Web Science as a subdiscipline of Web Science, distinct from but overlapping with Medicine 2.0. This paper builds on the presentations and subsequent interdisciplinary dialogue that developed among Web-oriented investigators present at the 2012 Medicine 2.0 Conference in Boston, Massachusetts.

Read the entire article here

Related links

The Health WebScience Lab is a multi-disciplinary research initiative between Moray College UHI, NHS Grampian, HIE OpenFinder and Sitekit Solutions Ltd based in the Highlands of Scotland committed to improving health locally, nationally and internationally.

This initiative will lead, connect and collaborate on research in the emerging discipline of WebScience and Healthcare to create communities which take responsibility for their own wellbeing and self-care. This will be achieved through the application of information and other communication technologies via the internet across a whole range of functions that affect health care thereby stimulating novel research between health care professionals, the community at large and industry.

studies ” the effects of the interaction of healthcare with the web, and of the web with healthcare” and how one can be effectively harnessed to change the other

September 6, 2013 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Consumer Health, Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources, Web 2.0 Assignments | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Charting the Chemical Choreography of Brain Development

Diagram of the various parts of the brain of a...

Diagram of the various parts of the brain of a six-week old embryo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

 

 

From the 27 August 2013 Director’s blog item (National Institutes of Health)

 

Once in a while a research publication reveals an entirely new perspective on a fundamental issue in biology or medicine. Today’s blog is about such a paper. The story, though complex, is very significant.

The choreography of human brain development is amazing, but quite mysterious. Today’s post highlights a study [1] that reveals the locations of some of the chemical choreographers that collaborate with DNA to orchestrate these fancy moves in the brain.

This complex developmental dance starts in the womb as our brain cells arise, migrate to their proper locations, and mature. By the time we’re born, each of us has close to 100 billion of these cells, called neurons. But that’s not all. The brain also contains lots of other cell types—especially glia. Glial cells were previously thought to act primarily as servants to the neurons, but they’re actually more like partners. Our birth inventory is just the first act. Over the course of our lives, our experiences and environment continue to shape and re-shape the brain’s connections, albeit in varying paces and patterns.

The millions of chemical tags that modify or mark the genome tell it what to do, and when and where to do it. Taken together, we call this diverse collection of chemical cues the “epigenome.”

….

Just as genetic mutations can lead to disease, glitches in DNA methylation may also trigger or increase the severity of brain disorders. Several studies have already linked abnormal methylation with disorders like schizophrenia, and conditions like Traumatic Brain Injury. This research is particularly exciting because these DNA methylation tags are not permanent. So, if we discover patterns of methylation that cause particular brain diseases, we can develop strategies to restore the healthy epigenetic profile—in effect, to bring those errant brain cells back in step with the dance of normal brain development.

Sketched image of a brain, neuron, glia, DNA, methylation sites, and a graph of methylation decreasing over time

Caption: Researchers mapped methylation sites in genomes of neurons and glia in the frontal cortex. mCH methyl tags, or non-CG methylation (purple stars), were absent at birth, but were added rapidly during the first few years of life and then more slowly until about age 30. After age 50, the number of mCH tags declined.
Credit: Eran Mukamel, Salk Institute

This study is a powerful example of how recent technological advances are revealing the secrets and complexities of the human brain—a process we hope to accelerate with the start of the BRAIN initiative!

References:

[1] Global epigenomic reconfiguration during mammalian brain development. Lister R, Mukamel EA, Nery JR, Urich M, Puddifoot CA, Johnson ND, Lucero J, Huang Y, Dwork AJ, Schultz MD, Yu M, Tonti-Filippini J, Heyn H, Hu S, Wu JC, Rao A, Esteller M, He C, Haghighi FG, Sejnowski TJ, Behrens MM, Ecker JR. Science. 2013 Aug 9;341(6146):1237905.

[2] Sequence data can be downloaded from National Center for Biotechnology Information GEO (GSE47966). The analyzed data is also available for browsing.

 

 Read the entire article here

 

 

 

 

August 28, 2013 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Psychiatry | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing a three-part series on medical journal ghostwriting

Gary Schwitzer, at HealthNewsReview.org, presents a three part series on medical journal ghostwriting.

Good overview on how to spot ghostwriting and two examples of how ghostwriting may introduce conflicts of interest and skewed results.

 

January 29, 2013 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

[Reblog] Curēus, an open-access medical journal with crowdsourcing

[Reblog] Curēus, an open-access medical journal with crowdsourcing December 23, 2012

Posted by Dr. Bertalan Meskó in MedicineWeb 2.0Medical journalism,Medicine 2.0e-Science.
trackback
John Adler who is a neurosurgeon at Stanford just launched Curēus, an open-source medical journal that leverages crowdsourcing to make scientific research more readily available to the general public. What do you think?

Based in Palo Alto, California, Curēus is the medical journal for a new generation of both doctors AND patients. Leveraging the power of an online, crowd-sourced community platform, Curēus promotes medical research by offering tools that better serve and highlight the people who create it, resulting in better research, faster publication and easier access for everyone.

We make it easier and faster to publish your work – it’s always free and you retain the copyright. What’s more, the Curēus platform is designed to provide a place for physicians to build their digital CV anchored with their posters and papers.

The Curēus site also has..

Currently, a relatively few number of papers online. The concept is good, here’s hoping this is not a flash in the pan, but the wave of the future.

December 27, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Librarian Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It is possible to both have and not have Alzheimer’s disease

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzhei...

English: PET scan of a human brain with Alzheimer’s disease (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Along the lines of what I’ve been thinking for a few years..symptoms and tests can “point”, but not always
indicate with 100% accuracy. Signs of disease are not always “proof” of disease.

 

 

 

From the 24 November 2012 article at KevinMD.com

 

It is possible to both have and not have Alzheimer’s disease. Contradictory as this statement is, a study reported from the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) supports it.

In a paper published in the October issue of the Annals of Neurology investigators reported the results of biomarker studies of 53 patients with dementia caused by Alzheimer’s disease. They found a notable proportion of these patients lacked one of the signature pathologies: brain amyloid. This result has notable scientific and policy implications…..

 

 

 

December 15, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, health care, Medical and Health Research News | , , , | Leave a comment

Medical Cases in literature : an open database

Reblog from the 12 December 2012 posting at  Science Intelligence and InfoPros

Open access (OA) publisher BioMed Central has launched a new semantically-enriched search tool, Cases Database, which aims to enhance the discovery, filtering and aggregation of medical case reports from many journals. OA to journal articles published under Creative Commons licences, which permit text mining, enable the literature to be reused as a resource for scientific discovery

More than 11,000 cases from 100 different journals are reportedly available to be freely searched with Cases Database.

Cases Database uses text mining and medical term recognition to filter peer reviewed medical case reports and provide a semantically enriched search experience. The database offers structured search and filtering by condition, symptom, intervention, pathogen, patient demographic and many other data fields, allowing fast identification of relevant case reports to support clinical practice and research. Registered users can save cases, set up e-mail alerts tonew cases matching their search terms, and export their results. Cases Database will be free to access and is expected to be of particular interest to practicing clinicians, researchers, lecturers, drug regulators, patients, students and authors.

Announcement:

http://blogs.biomedcentral.com/bmcblog/2012/12/10/embrace-information-overload-with-cases-database/

 

http://www.casesdatabase.com/

 

December 13, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (Health Professionals) | , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Image Search Engine from the National Library of Medicine For Biomedical Articles

From the Web announcement

The Open-i project aims to provide next generation information retrieval services for biomedical articles from the full text collections such as PubMed Central. It is unique in its ability to index both the text and images in the articles. The article retrieval is powered by Essie (the search engine that supports ClinicalTrials.gov).

Open-i lets users retrieve not only the MEDLINE citation information, but also the outcome statements in the article and the most relevant figure from it. Further, it is possible to use the figure as a query component to find other relevant images or other visually similar images. Future stages aim to provide image region-of-interest (ROI) based querying. The initial number of images is projected to be around 600,000 and will scale to millions. The extensive image analysis and indexing and deep text analysis and indexing require distributed computing. At the request of the Board of Scientific Counselors, we intend to make the image computation services available as a NLM service.

Vist our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information and help.openi-large

 

December 12, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Scientists, Foundations, Libraries, Universities, and Advocates Unite and Issue New Recommendations to Make Research Freely Available to All Online

 

Those of you who follow my blog know this is one of my passions!

From the press release

September 12, 2012   Information Program

Scientists, Foundations, Libraries, Universities, and Advocates Unite and Issue New Recommendations to Make Research Freely Available to All Online

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2012

CONTACT: Andrea Higginbotham, SPARC, andrea@arl.org; 202-296-2296

Amy Weil, Open Society Foundations, aweil@sorosny.org; 212-548-0381

WASHINGTON—In response to the growing demand to make research free and available to anyone with a computer and an internet connection, a diverse coalition today issued new recommendations that could usher in huge advances in the sciences, medicine, and health.

The recommendations were developed by leaders of the Open Access movement, which has worked for the past decade to provide the public with unrestricted, free access to scholarly research—much of which is publicly funded. Making the research publicly available to everyone—free of charge and without most copyright and licensing restrictions—will accelerate scientific research efforts and allow authors to reach a larger number of readers…

 

September 17, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Are Medical Conferences Useful? And for Whom?

Credit: Wikipedia Commons

A medical doctor (who himself is a big draw at medical conferences) has recently questioned the motives and utility of medical conferences. [Mythbuster Ioannidis: Are Medical Conferences Really Useful?]

He believes much of the presented research findings  are not fully peer-reviewed, and thus cannot  fully educate, train, or contribute to evidence-based practice. Often findings at medical conferences are seized upon by the popular press and prematurely promoted as having sound scientific evidence. Quite often these findings change with peer review and are later published with the revisions and modified findings in scientific journals.

Excerpt from the 4 April 2012 JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) article
(The full text of this article is by subscription only, these excerpts came from a related posting at HealthNewsReview.org)

An estimate of more than 100 000 medical meetings per year may not be unrealistic, when local meetings are also counted. The cumulative cost of these events worldwide is not possible to fathom.

Do medical conferences serve any purpose? In theory, these meetings aim to disseminate and advance research, train, educate, and set evidence-based policy. Although these are worthy goals, there is virtually no evidence supporting the utility of most conferences. Conversely, some accumulating evidence suggests that medical congresses may serve a specific system of questionable values that may be harmful to medicine and health care.

The availability of a plethora of conferences promotes a mode of scientific citizenship in which a bulk production of abstracts, with no or superficial peer review, leads to mediocre curriculum vita building. Even though most research conferences have adopted peer-review processes, the ability to judge an abstract of 150 to 400 words is limited and the process is more of sentimental value.

Moreover, many abstracts reported at the medical meetings are never published as full-text articles even though abstract presentations can nevertheless communicate to wide audiences premature and sometimes inaccurate results. It has long been documented that several findings change when research reports undergo more extensive peer review and are published as completed articles.* Late-breaker sessions in particular have become extremely attractive prominent venues within medical conferences because seemingly they represent the most notable latest research news. However, it is unclear why these data cannot be released immediately when they are ready and it is unclear why attending a meeting far from home is necessary to hear them. A virtual online late-breaker portal could be established for the timely dissemination of important findings….

…Power and influence appear plentiful in many of these meetings. Not surprisingly, the drug, device, biotechnology, and health care–related industries make full use of such opportunities to engage thousands of practicing physicians. Lush exhibitions and infiltration of the scientific program through satellite meetings or even core sessions are common avenues of engagement. Although many meetings require all speakers to disclose all potential conflicts, the majority of speakers often have numerous conflicts, as is also demonstrated in empirical evaluations of similar groups of experts named on authorship lists of influential professional society guidelines.”

Ioannidis doesn’t discard the entire notion of conferences.  In fact, he projects what “repurposed” conferences might be like:

“Repurposed conferences could be designed to be entirely committed to academic detailing (ed. note: drug company “educational” outreach to physicians). All their exhibitions and satellite symposia would deal with how to prescribe specific interventions appropriately and how to favor interventions that are inexpensive, well tested, and safe. Such repurposed conferences could also focus on how to use fewer tests and fewer interventions or even no tests and no interventions, when they are not clearly needed.”

 

Related Resources

 

April 10, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Open science: change is coming to how scientists communicate research findings

English: Open Access logo and text

Image via WikipediaAuthor - art designer at PLoS, I converted a pdf into svg http://www.plos.org/

How Scientists Communicate Affects How Research Results Are Applied …as FDA approved drugs, nutrition values, violence prevention, and climate change models

Past blog postings (see below) here have often touched on the difficulties of  obtaining recent scientific and medical findings in original biomedical articles.  Most of these research articles are only found in journals that charge high annual subscription rates ($600.00/ year and up) or an access fee of about $20.00 per article.

Not only is this pricing arrangement making it difficult for scientists to get needed information, but it is becoming nearly impossible for even university and research libraries to buy subscription to the journals their customers want. Additionally article authors must pay publication fees to the journals which range from $1,000  to $5,000 per article.

Most stakeholders (researchers, librarians, publishing companies) believe that the relatively high costs of publishing articles is a major flaw of the current publishing system. These publishing costs used to be born by the researcher in centuries past and were relatively cheap and involved much fewer scientists in tight knit groups. But with the sheer numbers of those wanting information, the many biomedical specialities, and the sophistication of article content (images, videos, and audios), the cost per article has dramatically risen.

Some related statistics (from the posting How many science journals at Science Intelligence and InfoPros)

  • Estimation: <> 25-40,000 journals
  • 96% are published online
  • 8-10% are published under Open Access models
  • 20% of science articles are available free of charge
  • How many articles have been published ever (means since 1665)? est. 50 millions
  • Growth: 1.4 million of articles per year
  • There are 2,000 publishers but Top 3 (Elsevier, Springer, Wiley)  account for 42% of articles published

The open science model is one initiative which may reduce costs and increase readership. This approach may well also drastically reduce the time from article completion by the scientist to article publication. It is currently not uncommon for an article in a peer reviewed journal to take up to  1 1/2 years to be published after submission.

In a recent New York Times article (Cracking Open the Scientific Process), the conservative culture of science is outlined, as well as the plausibility of using social media as vehicles of communicating research results. The article also summarizes another fear of scientists. While social media is a less costly and speedier way to communicate research approaches and results, it currently lacks the quality control and trustability of the peer review process in selecting and editing articles for publication.

While Open Science overwhelmingly is geared for  scientist participation only, the way scientists communicate does ultimately affect the application of research. Examples in consumer health  include the drugs we take, the way treatments are prescribed, and the make up of a well balanced diet.  Current questions about the Open Science model include how wise is the scientific equivalent of crowdsourcing? and who will pay for the costs involved and how much?

Some excerpts from the article

The system is hidebound, expensive and elitist, they say. Peer review can take months, journal subscriptions can be prohibitively costly, and a handful of gatekeepers limit the flow of information. It is an ideal system for sharing knowledge, said the quantum physicist Michael Nielsen, only “if you’re stuck with 17th-century technology.”

Dr. Nielsen and other advocates for “open science” say science can accomplish much more, much faster, in an environment of friction-free collaboration over the Internet. And despite a host of obstacles, including the skepticism of many established scientists, their ideas are gaining traction.

Open-access archives and journals like arXiv and thePublic Library of Science (PLoS) have sprung up in recent years. GalaxyZoo, a citizen-science site, has classified millions of objects in space, discovering characteristics that have led to a raft of scientific papers….

…a social networking site called ResearchGate — where scientists can answer one another’s questions, share papers and find collaborators — is rapidly gaining popularity…

ScienceOnline2012  …On Thursday [January 19] , 450 bloggers, journalists, students, scientists, librarians and programmers will converge on North Carolina State University (and thousands more will join in online) for the sixth annual ScienceOnline conference. Science is moving to a collaborative model, said Bora Zivkovic, a chronobiology blogger who is a founder of the conference, “because it works better in the current ecosystem, in the Web-connected world.”…

ResearchGate…[The Research Gate] Web site is a sort of mash-up of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, with profile pages, comments, groups, job listings, and “like” and “follow” buttons (but without baby photos, cat videos and thinly veiled self-praise). Only scientists are invited to pose and answer questions — a rule that should not be hard to enforce, with discussion threads about topics like polymerase chain reactions that only a scientist could love….

Related past postings at Health and Medical News…

January 21, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Springer Unleashes Free SpringerLink App for iPhone, iPod Touch

From the 3 January 2012 blog item at eContent

 

Springer’s SpringerLink science platform is now available in a free mobile app for iPhone and iPod touch, which can be downloaded from the Apple App Store. The app contains articles from over 2,000 peer-reviewed journals and chapters from 49,000 books, totaling over 5.4 million documents that span multiple areas of science, technology, and medicine.

Free content in the form of article abstracts, over 127,000 open access research articles, plus book and journal covers and other document details are included in the app. The SpringerLink app includes features like personalized notifications; “save” and “share” capabilities, including enabled sharing via email, Facebook, and Twitter; advanced search options; document details, including abstracts; and full-text views, which are available to institutional subscribers.

Springer publishes nearly 500 academic and professional society journals and is a part of the Springer Science+Business Media publishing group.

(www.springerlink.com)

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Many NIH-funded clinical trials go unpublished over two years after completion (with ClinicalTrials.gov link for many trial study results)

[Flahiff's note:  It is possible that  many of these unpublished clinical trial results would have made a positive difference in many people's lives. These unpublished results have the potential of aiding many researchers. They can prevent unnecessary duplicate trials, point to areas needing more research, and potentially provide groundwork for collaboration.

On another note, it is good to see that published research papers are now more accessible to all.  As of 2008, research papers based on NIH grants must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) when those papers are accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. PMC will then make the papers freely available to the public within 12 months of publication.

I look forward to the day when all research papers are freely available to the public.  There are a myriad of issues, as who pays for the publishing, the peer review process, and where the research papers should be "housed". However, I believe the more scientific research results are disseminated in easily accessible format, the more we can advance in technology applications and filling in knowledge gaps.]

Excerpt from the 3 January 2012 article By Karen N. Peart at Yale News

In a study that investigates the challenges of disseminating clinical research findings in peer-reviewed biomedical journals, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that fewer than half of a sample of trials primarily or partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were published within 30 months of completing the clinical trial.

These findings appear in the January issue of the British Medical Journal, which focuses on the topic of unpublished evidence.

[As of 3 January 2012, the January issue of BMJ was not yet online..however many of the articles may be found at http://www.bmj.com/archive/sevendays]

“When research findings are not disseminated, the scientific process is disrupted and leads to redundant efforts and misconceptions about clinical evidence,” said Dr. Joseph Ross, first author of the study and a Yale assistant professor of medicine. “Such inaction undermines both the trial in question and the evidence available in peer-reviewed medical literature. This has far-reaching implications for policy decisions, and even institutional review board assessments of risks and benefits associated with future research studies.”…

Ross said that there may be many reasons for lack of publication, such as not getting accepted by a journal or not prioritizing the dissemination of research findings. Still, he said, there are alternative methods for providing timely public access to study results, including the results database at ClinicalTrials.gov** that was created in response to Federal law.

[From the About Page at Clinical Trials.gov
US Public Law 110-85 (Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 or FDAAA), Title VIII, Section 801 mandates that a "responsible party" (i.e., the study sponsor or designated principal investigator) register and report results of certain "applicable clinical trials" that were initiated or ongoing as of September 27, 2007...]

Related Resource

ClinicalTrials.gov

ClinicalTrials.gov  offers up-to-date information for locating federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions.

ClinicalTrials.gov currently contains 118,682 trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, other federal agencies, and private industry.

**Here is how one can check for study results
(remember, researchers are not mandated to submit study results to ClinicalTrials.gov, they are voluntary)

    • Go to ClinicalTrials.gov
    • Click on Search (upper right corner)
    • Click on Advanced Search
    • Go to Study Results, use drop down menu to select Studies with results
    • Fill out rest of form with as much specific information as you can
      especially search terms, conditions, and/or interventions

ClinicalTrials.gov records with published results listed via the PubMed medical literature search service.  

  •         Use the Advanced Search with the search phrase clinicaltrials.gov[si]

Use the Builder  limit results by topics (as a disease, medical device), year(s), name of researcher/invesitator)

  •         Need help searching? PubMed has tutorials , including a YouTube at the Advanced Search Page

        Ask for assistance from a reference librarian at your local public, academic, hospital, or medical library.
Many academic, hospital, and medical libraries offer at least basic search help to all. Call ahead and ask
about their services. You may be pleasantly surprised.

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Tutorials/Finding aids | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Dangers Of Snow Shoveling

 

myocardial infarction - Myokardinfarkt - scheme

Myocardial Infarction (Heart Attack)

From the 28 November 2011 Medical News Today article

Urban legend warns shoveling snow causesheart attacks, and the legend seems all too accurate, especially for male wintery excavators with a family history of premature cardiovascular disease. However, until recently this warning was based on anecdotal reports. …

Dr. Baranchuk and his team retrospectively reviewed KGH patient records from the two previous winter seasons and discovered that of the 500 patients who came to the hospital with heart problems during this period, 7 per cent (35 patients) had started experiencing symptoms while shoveling snow.

“That is a huge number,” says Dr. Baranchuk. “7 per cent of anything in medicine is a significant proportion. Also, if we take into account that we may have missed some patients who did not mention that they were shoveling snow around the time that the episode occurred, that number could easily double.”

The team also identified three main factors that put individuals at a high risk when shoveling snow. The number one factor was gender (31 of the 35 patients were male), the second was a family history of premature coronary artery disease (20 of the 35 patients), and the third was smoking (16 out of 35 patients). The second two factors may carry much more weight than the first, however, since the team could not correct for high rate of snow shoveling among men in their sample.

A history of regularly taking four or more cardiac medications was found to be preventative. 

 

November 28, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Social Media to Enhance Your Research

Excerpts from Using Social Media to Enhance Your Research, at the Krafty Librarian blog

Daniel Hooker posted some nice slides on Using Social Media to Advance Your Research that he presented to a group of PhDs and post-docs at the UBC Faculty of Medicine.  I gave a similar presentation to World Health Interest Group at Case Western Reserve University.  I spoke about using blogs, Twitter, wikis, etc. in scientific research.

During my presentation some of the attendees got hung up on the tools and technologies as toys and the idea of communicating was lost.  Social media is just one method people can use to communicate, share ideas, protocols, methods, lab notes, etc. In the very broadest of terms, email is sort of social media.  You can email many people who can then pass that discussion along to others. Listservs are a perfect example of this.  But email has been around with us for such a long time that there is no real discussion about its communication potential.  Yet, email was once a new fangled communication toy.

Read this abstract from Science 1982. 12;215(4534):843-52.

Computer networks are an integral part of the rapid expansion of computing. Their emergence depends both on evolving communication technologies, such as packet-switching and satellites, and on diverse experiments and innovations in the software tools that exploit communications. The tools provide computer users with facilities such as electronic mail, access to remote computers, and electronic bulletin boards. Scientists can both adapt and extend tools to meet the communication needs of their work, and several networks are developing to serve particular scientific communities.

……

Blog examples:

  • Useful Chemistry  -Chronicles research involving the synthesis of novel anti-malarial compounds. Closely tied to Useful Chemistry wiki

  • Cold Spring Harbor Protocols –Discusses current events in biology with emphasis on lab techniques, protocols are highlighted & discussed in detail

  • HUGO Matters  –Discusses topics relevant to human genetics and genomics

Lab Notes blogs:

 Wiki examples:

  • UsefulChem wiki –Synthesis of novel anti-malarial compounds, including experiments. It is completely open.

  • OBF wiki –Open Bioinformatics Foundation focused on supporting open source programming in bioinformatics

  • OpenWetWare –Promotes sharing of information, know-how and wisdom among researchers & groups working in biology & biological engineering. It is partially open.

  • WikiPathways –Dedicated to the curation of biological pathways

  • Yeast Genome wiki –Everything yeast including protocols, methods, reagents, strains

Lab or Research Group wikis:

 Twitter feeds:

Lists of scientists and researchers on Twitter:

The easiest way to have a rich and informative Twitter feed is to follow the people the leaders in your field are following and branch off from there.  By the way, Twitter’s site is ok for learning, but it really stinks for following any sort of conversation AND you always have to refresh the page (annoying). I highly recommend using Hootsuite or TweetDeck to monitor your Twitter feeds.  The thing I like about TweetDeck is that a little message pops up in the corner of my computer screen with the tweet. I can read it quickly and decide whether I want to ignore it, comment, or click on their link. Using Twitter on TweetDeck this way is very similar to how I use email because my email pops messages to my main screen too.

Really you need to sit down and figure out what your information needs are and the leaders in your field to follow.  This might be hard, but I bet there might be somebody in your field who is already doing it, so ask them, build off of what they are doing and tweek it to fit your needs.

November 16, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , | Leave a comment

PubMed Health – A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

Screen capture of PubMed Health homepage.

From the November NLM Technical Bulletin article

PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

PubMed® Health developed further as a resource for clinical effectiveness research with its August and September 2011 releases. Growing from around 200 items based on systematic reviews to over 5,000, PubMed Health has also begun a collection focused on helping people understand systematic reviews and their results. PubMed Health goals are: helping users find the evidence that could answer their questions about effects of health care and helping them understand what they find.

Making Systematic Reviews More Accessible
Systematic reviews that identify and interpret studies on the effects of health care form an essential research basis for informed decision-making. Systematic reviewing has been growing, especially with the advent of The Cochrane Collaboration and the increasing incorporation of this methodology in health technology assessment by public agencies and clinical practice guideline development.

Systematic reviews (including health technology assessments) are often lengthy and highly technical. Their evolution has been accompanied by a growth in knowledge translation activity. Along with traditional abstracts, various forms have been developed to help people use systematic reviews: executive and policymaker summaries, summaries or other forms for patients/consumers and summaries for clinicians.

However, these materials have been scattered widely on content providers’ Web sites without being collected centrally. Many of the systematic reviews undertaken by public health technology assessment agencies have also remained outside the National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) system. The PubMed Health initiative is gathering them together within a single searchable resource.

PubMed Health Content
PubMed Health contains systematic reviews and summaries of systematic reviews undertaken or updated in roughly the last ten years. The time limit is applied to publication date of around eight years, to allow for the time lag from the date of the evidence search. The cut-off currently is 2003.

New content incorporated in these releases include summaries from The Cochrane Collaboration and the National Health Service (NHS) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme. There are also full text reviews from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), England’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines program, and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Evidence-based Synthesis Program. From NHS Choices comes “Behind the Headlines”, its educational service on the science behind the news. These new content providers join PubMed Health original consumer clinical effectiveness content for consumers content provided by AHRQ and the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

The reviews and review summaries now in PubMed Health account for perhaps one-third of the good quality systematic reviews published by public agencies and journals worldwide. Most of the remainder can be found in PubMed “Clinical Queries” Systematic Reviews search which runs simultaneously with a PubMed Health search; those PubMed results are presented as links on the right-hand portion of the results page (see #3 in Figure 4).

Organization
The re-designed homepage (see Figure 1) includes four key sections:

  • Contents: a complete alphabetical listing of all titles, sorted by type of content.
  • Behind Headlines: the NHS guide to the science behind health stories in the news.
  • New & updated: content added in the last 60 days.
  • Featured reviews: high quality reviews on interesting topics are selected and featured here. “Previously featured reviews” are provided in an RSS feed to which people can subscribe.
  • Understanding clinical effectiveness: an explanation of clinical effectiveness research along with a section focusing on resources to help people understand systematic reviews and interpret the results.

Screen capture of PubMed Health homepage.
Figure 1: PubMed Health homepage.

A drop-down box under “Contents” (see Figure 2) shows the categories of information currently included in PubMed Health where these are available:

  • For consumers: includes consumer summaries of systematic reviews as well as consumer information based on systematic reviews.
  • Executive summaries: executive or policymaker summaries of systematic reviews.
  • Clinical guides: clinician summaries of systematic reviews as well as clinical practice guidelines that are based on a fully reported systematic review.
  • Full text reviews: systematic reviews with full texts, including PDF versions.
  • Medical encyclopedia: medical and drug information for consumers for supplementary background information.

PubMed Health includes content that is currently also cited in PubMed, and PubMed Health will systematically be building in links to these citations. However, there will be some time lag for many items between inclusion in PubMed Health and citation in PubMed. Consumer content from PubMed Health is currently not included in PubMed.

Screen capture of Contents drop-down box.
Figure 2: Contents drop-down box.

At the top right-hand corner (see Figure 3), “About PubMed Health” explains the Web site and the National Center Biotechnology Information, NLM, with a full listing of content providers. “Help” includes explanation of basic functions, along with suggested citations for PubMed Health content.

Screen capture of About PubMed Health and Help features.
Figure 3: About PubMed Health and Help features.

Searching
The primary search (see #1 in Figure 4) returns clinical effectiveness content by relevance, with the option of viewing all (default) or only specified content types. Relevant medical encyclopedia results are shown at the right (see #2 inFigure 4), with the results of the “Clinical Queries” filter search for systematic reviews in PubMed showing below those (see #3 in Figure 4). “Clinical Queries” returns results chronologically.

Screen capture of Search results.
Figure 4: Search results.

Additional Features
With medical encyclopedia content, PubMed Health has enhanced the display of anatomical images and given this popular feature a more prominent position. There are links from the medical encyclopedia diseases and conditions pages to MedlinePlus® content.

PubMed Health now features “Add this” sharing for e-mail and social media. Coming in the fall, PubMed Health will begin a Twitter feed, announcing new content providers and features, as well as featured content.

PubMed Health full address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/
Shortcut: http://www.pubmed.gov/health
Customer service contact: pmh-help@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

By Hilda Bastian
National Center for Biotechnology Information

 


November 16, 2011 Posted by | Tutorials/Finding aids, Biomedical Research Resources, Professional Health Care Resources, Librarian Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Health Statistics, health care, Educational Resources (Health Professionals) | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

 

Logo for PubMed, a service of the National Lib...

Image via Wikipedia

From the November NLM Technical Bulletin article

PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

PubMed® Health developed further as a resource for clinical effectiveness research with its August and September 2011 releases. Growing from around 200 items based on systematic reviews to over 5,000, PubMed Health has also begun a collection focused on helping people understand systematic reviews and their results. PubMed Health goals are: helping users find the evidence that could answer their questions about effects of health care and helping them understand what they find.

Making Systematic Reviews More Accessible
Systematic reviews that identify and interpret studies on the effects of health care form an essential research basis for informed decision-making. Systematic reviewing has been growing, especially with the advent of The Cochrane Collaboration and the increasing incorporation of this methodology in health technology assessment by public agencies and clinical practice guideline development.

Systematic reviews (including health technology assessments) are often lengthy and highly technical. Their evolution has been accompanied by a growth in knowledge translation activity. Along with traditional abstracts, various forms have been developed to help people use systematic reviews: executive and policymaker summaries, summaries or other forms for patients/consumers and summaries for clinicians.

However, these materials have been scattered widely on content providers’ Web sites without being collected centrally. Many of the systematic reviews undertaken by public health technology assessment agencies have also remained outside the National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) system. The PubMed Health initiative is gathering them together within a single searchable resource.

PubMed Health Content
PubMed Health contains systematic reviews and summaries of systematic reviews undertaken or updated in roughly the last ten years. The time limit is applied to publication date of around eight years, to allow for the time lag from the date of the evidence search. The cut-off currently is 2003.

New content incorporated in these releases include summaries from The Cochrane Collaboration and the National Health Service (NHS) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme. There are also full text reviews from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), England’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines program, and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Evidence-based Synthesis Program. From NHS Choices comes “Behind the Headlines”, its educational service on the science behind the news. These new content providers join PubMed Health original consumer clinical effectiveness content for consumers content provided by AHRQ and the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

The reviews and review summaries now in PubMed Health account for perhaps one-third of the good quality systematic reviews published by public agencies and journals worldwide. Most of the remainder can be found in PubMed “Clinical Queries” Systematic Reviews search which runs simultaneously with a PubMed Health search; those PubMed results are presented as links on the right-hand portion of the results page (see #3 in Figure 4).

Organization
The re-designed homepage (see Figure 1) includes four key sections:

  • Contents: a complete alphabetical listing of all titles, sorted by type of content.
  • Behind Headlines: the NHS guide to the science behind health stories in the news.
  • New & updated: content added in the last 60 days.
  • Featured reviews: high quality reviews on interesting topics are selected and featured here. “Previously featured reviews” are provided in an RSS feed to which people can subscribe.
  • Understanding clinical effectiveness: an explanation of clinical effectiveness research along with a section focusing on resources to help people understand systematic reviews and interpret the results.

Screen capture of PubMed Health homepage.
Figure 1: PubMed Health homepage.

A drop-down box under “Contents” (see Figure 2) shows the categories of information currently included in PubMed Health where these are available:

  • For consumers: includes consumer summaries of systematic reviews as well as consumer information based on systematic reviews.
  • Executive summaries: executive or policymaker summaries of systematic reviews.
  • Clinical guides: clinician summaries of systematic reviews as well as clinical practice guidelines that are based on a fully reported systematic review.
  • Full text reviews: systematic reviews with full texts, including PDF versions.
  • Medical encyclopedia: medical and drug information for consumers for supplementary background information.

PubMed Health includes content that is currently also cited in PubMed, and PubMed Health will systematically be building in links to these citations. However, there will be some time lag for many items between inclusion in PubMed Health and citation in PubMed. Consumer content from PubMed Health is currently not included in PubMed.

Screen capture of Contents drop-down box.
Figure 2: Contents drop-down box.

At the top right-hand corner (see Figure 3), “About PubMed Health” explains the Web site and the National Center Biotechnology Information, NLM, with a full listing of content providers. “Help” includes explanation of basic functions, along with suggested citations for PubMed Health content.

Screen capture of About PubMed Health and Help features.
Figure 3: About PubMed Health and Help features.

Searching
The primary search (see #1 in Figure 4) returns clinical effectiveness content by relevance, with the option of viewing all (default) or only specified content types. Relevant medical encyclopedia results are shown at the right (see #2 inFigure 4), with the results of the “Clinical Queries” filter search for systematic reviews in PubMed showing below those (see #3 in Figure 4). “Clinical Queries” returns results chronologically.

Screen capture of Search results.
Figure 4: Search results.

Additional Features
With medical encyclopedia content, PubMed Health has enhanced the display of anatomical images and given this popular feature a more prominent position. There are links from the medical encyclopedia diseases and conditions pages to MedlinePlus® content.

PubMed Health now features “Add this” sharing for e-mail and social media. Coming in the fall, PubMed Health will begin a Twitter feed, announcing new content providers and features, as well as featured content.

PubMed Health full address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/
Shortcut: http://www.pubmed.gov/health
Customer service contact: pmh-help@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

By Hilda Bastian
National Center for Biotechnology Information

 

November 16, 2011 Posted by | Tutorials/Finding aids, Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Educational Resources (Health Professionals) | , , , , , | 1 Comment

A free directory of open-access material from over 2,400 medical journals

From  FreeMedicalJournals.com (Intellogist)

FreeMedicalJournals.com is a free directory of open-access material from over 2,400 medical journals, offered as a service from Flying Publisher and Amedeo. Updates to the site are provided by Manuel Montenegro and Bernd Sebastian Kamps.[1]. Users can sign up for free email alerts to learn about new journals added to the site. On the home page of the website, users can select links to:

  • Sign up for Journal Alerts.
  • View a list of new enters added to the site (organized in reverse chronological order).
  • View the top 60 free journals.

Each journal listing includes the title, language, ISSN #, EISSN #, FMJ Impact, ISI Impact Factor, when content in the journal becomes free (after 6 months, 12 months, etc.), publication date range, and any notes about accessing the free content. Selecting the link in the journal title will take the user directly to the journal’s publisher website. Selecting the magnifying glass icon beside the listing will take the user to a PubMed search that limits results to content from that particular journal.

October 19, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories | , | 2 Comments

Biomedical research gets its head into cloud computing

From the 18 Aug 2011 Eureka News Alert

Translational research tool could mean creation of new Ohio-based tech support center

(Ohio State University Medical Center) Cloud computing is a term used to describe a system that allows easy access to a shared pool of resources. The “cloud” acts like a virtual supercomputer that can pull together a cluster of other computers to work together to perform certain tasks. The system works well when the data that are being stored, accessed and shared are in common formats that are universally “recognized” by end user tools. But research data are often not captured or stored in formats that are compatible.
 

“With the current technology, a researcher might dedicate more than 100 hours to connect the dots between a set of tissue samples, the individual medical histories for the patients who provided those tissues, and then analyzing the group as a whole. With the TRIAD platform, researchers can now execute this type of search and analysis in minutes,” says Philip R. O. Payne, chair of the department of biomedical informatics at The Ohio State University Medical Center….

 

How it Works

Cloud computing is a term used to describe a system that allows easy access to a shared pool of resources (e.g., applications, servers, storage, networks) that can be quickly allocated and released with minimal effort by an administrator. The “cloud” acts like a virtual supercomputer that can pull together a cluster of other computers to work together to perform certain tasks. The system works well when the data that are being stored, accessed and shared are in common formats that are universally “recognized” by end user tools. But research data are often not captured or stored in formats that are compatible….

 

Read entire news release

 

 

August 18, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Clinical Queries Page Updated

Logo for PubMed, a service of the National Lib...

Image via Wikipedia

From the 11 August 2011 National Library of Medicine (NLM) Technical Bulletin

The PubMed® Clinical Queries homepage will be slightly modified to provide users with a more straightforward understanding of how to enter a search (see Figure 1).

Screen capture of PubMed Clinical Queries homepage.
Figure 1: PubMed Clinical Queries homepage.

After running a search, the category/scope limits for the Clinical Query Study Categories secion and topic limits for the Medical Genetics section will be available on the preview results page (see Figure 2).

Screen capture of PubMed Clinical Queries preview results page.
Figure 2: PubMed Clinical Queries preview results page.

The clinical queries search strategies will not be changed.

By Kathi Canese
National Center for Biotechnology Information

 

[From http://medlib.bu.edu/busdm/content.cfm/content/pubmedclinicalqueries.cfm]

PubMed Clinical Queries provides access to specialized PubMed searches designed to quickly connect clinicians with evidence-based clinical literature.

There are two EBM search options:

    • Search by Clinical Study Category
    • Find Systematic Reviews
For more information on how PubMed can help you find biomedical articles (PubMed is the largest indexer of biomedical literature) please go to
               Many academic and medical librarians give at least limited assistance to the public.
               Call ahead and ask for a reference librarian

 

August 12, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Elsevier wants to create an incubation environment

From the 8 August 2011 Science Intelligence and InfoPros blog posting

In this podcast from Copyright Clearance Center, Rafael Sidi, Elsevier talks about a new app ecosystem.

Sidi explains that “as a scientific publishing company, we are moving to a solution space and we don’t want to be just an information provider, but we want to also provide solutions to our customers, to our market… We want to go to the community, collaborate with the community and build the solutions together with the community.”

In order to have their “data easily remixable, reusable,” they are “going to the crowd.  We are letting them play with our data and build on top of our data stuff that they need to build, because at the end, scientists and researchers, they know their problem better than us.”

With the main goal to accelerate science, Elsevier reaches out to the community in hopes to collaborate to find new solutions. “We want to create an incubation environment for the scientific and research community.  [In some case], we providing some seed funding to startup companies… Our goal for the future, definitely, we want to create an Elsevier incubation environment.”

The podcast and transcript are available at:

 http://beyondthebookcast.com/exploring-apps-ecosystem/

 http://beyondthebookcast.com/wp-images/SidiTranscript.pdf

August 9, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

My NCBI — Enhancements to My Bibliography

Logo for PubMed, a service of the National Lib...

Image via Wikipedia

From the 24 June 2011 NLM Technical Bulletin

Citations stored in My Bibliography will soon display links to Free full text, Related citations and articles Cited in PMC (PubMed Central®). See Figure 1. In addition, My Bibliography will be enhanced to include a portlet for Related PubMed® Citations.

Screen capture of My Bibliography with links and Related PubMed Citations portlet.

Figure 1: My Bibliography with links and Related PubMed Citations portlet.
The “Free full text” link will be available for a citation when the article full text is found in PubMed Central. The link goes directly to the PMC article.

The “Related citations” link retrieves articles that are topically related to a single citation stored in My Bibliography. The related citations are displayed in PubMed.

The “Cited in PMC” link retrieves articles found in PubMed Central that reference a single citation present in My Bibliography. The cited by articles are displayed in PMC.

The Related PubMed Citations portlet will present a brief list of citations recently added to PubMed. Citation retrieval for this portlet is based on the research topics found in the citations stored in My Bibliography. The portlet will be updated weekly, providing users with the latest information related to their research interests.

By Lidia Hutcherson
National Center for Biotechnology Information

My NCBI allows you to create (within PubMed) automatic email alerts, save your searches and records, filter results by subject, and much more.

 

Related Resources

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Journal of Visualized Experiments

JoVE is

The Journal of Visualized Experiments is a peer reviewed, PubMed indexed journal devoted to the publication of biological, medical, chemical and physical research in a video format.

The editors believe that videos of techniques and procedures will greatly aid scientists in learning and keeping abreast of new advancements in scientific methods. They will be able to focus their time and thought more on other experimental aspects and thus speed up the process from hypothesis generating to publication.

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research (A Unique Public Debate Site)

Growing Knowledge: The Evolution of Research (British Library)

[From the About Page] “Showcasing some never-seen-before research tools, thought-provoking content and futuristic design in as fully interactive research environment, Growing Knowledge aims to challenge our audiences on how research is changing and ask what they want to experience from the library of the future.”

All are welcome to be part of the conversations and  ongoing discussions through surveys, blogs, and Twitter.
Scholars, information science specialists, and other commentators are part of the conversations, a unique feature among online science discussions open to all.

Current Projects are library, scientist, and information science based, as the British Library Search Catalog,  Nature Network, and the Journal of Visualized Experiments.

 

 

“This website has engaging and thoughtful conversations about what research will be like in the coming years and decades, and that’s what won us over at the Scout Report. The conversations with scholars, information science specialists, and other commentators distinguish this site from others. Visitors are encouraged to chime in via the Twitter feed here and they can also follow posts by “Researcher in Residence” Aleks Krotoski. Also, don’t miss the “Explore the Projects” area where people can have management research updates sent right to their desktop.
How will research change and evolve in the 21st century? It’s a broad question, and the British Library has created this website to offer insight into the world of innovative research tools. First-time visitors will want to watch the video on the homepage that features commentary by various scholars and professionals on “The Modern Library”, “Information Overload”, and “Digital Research”. All of the offerings on the website complement an existing in situ exhibit that includes multimedia research stations and a “collaborative zone”. In the “Start Researching” area of the site, visitors can look at standout examples of recent collaborative digital projects that push the contemporary boundaries of research. Further along, visitors shouldn’t miss the “Tools” area which brings together high-quality online tools that can make the research process much easier and streamlined. Finally, the site is rounded out by a range of social media tools that users can use to stay on top of the latest posts and materials added to this site.

June 23, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

Grey Literature Web Conference Series

This three-part Web conference series provided an overview of grey literature and approaches to searching the grey literature for health services research; a consumer’s guide to conducting advanced searches of grey literature; and a producer’s perspective on the “searchability” of grey literature and how to effectively produce and distribute research.

June 3, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | | Leave a comment

Haz-Map updated to include more information about occupational exposures to hazardous substances

Haz-Map: Occupational Exposure to Hazardous Agents

  as Search Agents Search Diseases Search Jobs Full Text Search

From a 4 May 2011 National Library of Medicine listerv item 

Haz-Map now includes 1212 new chemical agents and twelve chemical
categories with significance regarding occupational exposure.

The twelve categories of chemical agents include metals, solvents,
pesticides, mineral dusts, toxic gases and vapors, plastics and rubber,
biological agents, nitrogen compounds, dyes, physical agents, other
classes, and other uses.
http://hazmap.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/hazmap_cgi?level=0&tree=Agent

Haz-Map is an occupational toxicology database designed to link jobs to
hazardous job tasks which are linked to occupational diseases and their
symptoms.

The Haz-Map Jobs table is based on the 1997 Standard Occupational
Classification (SOC) system. The Industries table is based on the North
American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The Diseases table is
based on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-9).

Information from textbooks, journal articles, and electronic databases was
classified and summarized to create the database.

Other NLM toxicology databases include

  • Household Products Database -Potential health effects of chemicals for common household products
  • Tox Town -Interactive guide to potentially toxic substances and environmental health issues in everyday places
  • TOXNET -Databases on hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases



May 5, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My NCBI Redesign

My NCBI*** has been redesigned with an improved user interface. A video overview is available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks46w3mNAQE
                        (The NCBI You Tube Channel has tutorials, interviews, and news items. Subscription Option)

From the 20 April 2011 NLM Technical Bulletin Item

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is pleased to announce that an improved user interface will be released for My NCBI. The new interface will eliminate complexities and provide a streamlined interface, robust performance, and intuitive navigation. The most visually significant enhancement is that all functions are viewed directly from the My NCBI homepage, where they are made readily accessible for set up and customization.

The following are highlights of the new My NCBI interface. (Click here to see the highlights, complete with figures)

***MyNCBI is a personalized way to save searches and results from PubMed and other NCBI databases.

It also “features an option to automatically update and e-mail search results from your saved searches.

My NCBI users can save their citations (journal articles, books, meetings, patents and presentations) in My Bibliography and manage peer review article compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

My NCBI includes additional features for filtering search results, highlighting search terms, and setting LinkOut, Document Delivery Service and Outside Tool preferences.” [NCBI Help - What is NCBI?]

Related Resources

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Tutorials/Finding aids | , | Leave a comment

Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD)© – Resource for Environmental Chemicals/Human Disease Relationships

Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD)© – Resource for Environmental Chemicals/Human Disease Relationships

From the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Fact sheet


The Comparative Toxicogenomics Database (CTD) elucidates molecular mechanisms by which environmental chemicals affect human disease. CTD is a data file on the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET®). It contains manually curated data describing cross-species chemical–gene/protein interactions and chemical– and gene–disease relationships. The results provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying variable susceptibility and environmentally influenced diseases. These data will also provide insights into complex chemical–gene and protein interaction networks. CTD is compiled by the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL), with support from the National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Once in the complete CTD site via TOXNET, users can perform several types of searches, for example:

• Browse relationships among chemicals, and obtain detailed information about them, including structure, toxicology data and related genes, diseases, pathways and references. See: Chemicals

• Browse relationships among diseases, and obtain detailed information about them, including related chemicals, genes, pathways and references. See: Diseases

• Browse search for genes from diverse vertebrates and invertebrates by symbol, synonym, accession ID, organism taxon, chemical, interaction type, disease or Gene Ontology annotation. See: Genes

• Search for cross-species chemical–gene and protein interactions curated from the published literature. Interactions may be retrieved by chemical, interaction type, gene, organism or Gene Ontology annotation. See: Chemical–Gene Interactions

• Search for references by gene, organism taxon, chemical, chemical–

gene interaction type, disease, citation information or accession ID. See: References


Further examples of searches that can be conducted once users are in the complete CTD site via TOXNET include:

• Which human diseases are associated with a gene/protein? (Sample query)

• Which human diseases are associated with a chemical? (Sample query)

• Which genes/proteins interact with a chemical? (Sample query)

• Which chemicals interact with a gene/protein? (Sample query)

• Which references report a chemical–gene/protein interaction? (Sample query)
•

Which cellular functions (GO terms) are affected by a chemical? (Sample query)
Users can also easily conduct their CTD search strategy against other databases, e.g., Hazardous Substances Data Bank®, TOXLINE®, and ChemIDplus®.

April 6, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Public Health | , , | Leave a comment

My NCBI Redesign (Personal Search Saving & More Tool for PubMed searches)

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My NCBI Redesign (Personal Search Saving & More Tool for PubMed searches)

From the National Library of Medicine March 15th announcement

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is pleased to announce that an improved user interface will be released for My NCBI. The new interface will eliminate complexities and provide a streamlined interface, robust performance, and intuitive navigation. The most visually significant enhancement is that all functions are viewed.

[Editor's note: Sections affected include the home page, saved searches, collections (saved searches that can be run at future dates), and a personlized My Bibliography]

For detailed information about My NCBI, please see My NCBI Help.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A safer, more effective morphine may soon be possible (& drug information resources)

A safer, more effective morphine may soon be possible

From the March 24 2011 Science Daily news item

ScienceDaily (Mar. 25, 2011) — An orphan drug** originally used for HIV treatment has been found to short-circuit the process that results in additional sensitivity and pain from opioid use. The study by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine is reported in the March 25, 2011 issue of Brain, Behavior and Immunity***….

** Information on this orphan drug, AMD3100, may be found  through Drug Information Portal (US National Library of Medicine) at the Plerixafor [USAN] Web page

For related drug information resources, please see my previous posting Drug Information Product…

 

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here

 

March 27, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Mobile Beta & Helpful Links on Searching PubMed for BioMedical Information

From the National Library of Medicine (NLM)  Technical Bulletin article posted March 17 2011

PubMed® Mobile Beta provides a simplified mobile friendly Web interface to access PubMed***. PubMed Mobile includes the same basic search functionality and content as Standard PubMed; that is, all search terms and fields work similarly (see Figure 1).

Screen capture of PubMed Mobile homepage.

Simply enter your search in the search box and click “Search” (see Figure 2).

The inital (Summary) display includes the article title, first author’s name, journal title abbreviation, and year of publication.

Click “Free Full Text” or “Review” on the Summary search results page to filter your results. Click “Next” to go to subsequent search result pages.

Click the article title to display the Abstract format (see Figure 3).

Not all data provided on the Standard PubMed Abstract format are included (for example, MeSH® vocabulary); to see complete data use the link to Standard PubMed.

Related Citations display below the abstract. On the abstract page, click “Previous” or “Next” to navigate to other citation abstracts. Click the “Back to results” link to redisplay the Summary search results (see Figure 4).

A link to Standard PubMed is available at the bottom of all PubMed Mobile pages.

PubMed Mobile does not include specialized search pages, such as Limits and Advanced search, or added features, such as My NCBI, Clipboard, or LinkOut/Outside Tool. To use these and other PubMed features, display your retrieval in Standard PubMed via the link at the bottom of the screen.

By Kathi Canese and Edward WelkerNational Center for Biotechnology Information

***PubMed is the largest indexer of the biomedical literature in the world. It can be rather intimidating to search the first few times because there are many options to refine your search in order to get tailored relevant results. Believe me, it is worth the effort!

If you would like expert personalized PubMed search advice, please do not hesitate to contact (preferably call ahead!) a  reference librarian at your local academic, medical, or public library.

Many academic and medical libraries offer some degree of personalized reference service to the public. These services are largely offered by professionals with a Masters degree in Library Science who have many years experience providing relevant research articles and other resources to a wide variety of health professionals and others. They enjoy teaching both formally and informally.

Please feel free to email me (jmflahiff at yahoo.com) with any questions. I would be happy to work on a question for up to 2 hours and reply within 3 days. No charge.

Here are some PubMed tutorials and guides


Related Articles

March 18, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

U.S. Unprepared for Major Radiation Emergency: Survey

U.S. Unprepared for Major Radiation Emergency: Survey
Lack of comprehensive response plans puts public health at risk in many states, experts say

HealthDay news image

 

From a March 15 Health Day news article by Robert Preidt

TUESDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) — Most U.S. states are poorly prepared to deal with a major nuclear plant crisis such as the one now unfolding in Japan, suggests a survey of state health departments.

The Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists said that “38 (76 percent) of state health departments responded to the [2010] survey, including 26 of the 31 states with nuclear power plants.”

The findings were published online March 14 in a special supplemental issue of the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness. [ This issue is freely available to all online ]***

Click here for the rest of the Health Day news article

A few of the surveys findings

  • Thirty-eight (76%) state health departments responded to the survey, including 26 of the 31 states with nuclear power plants.
  • Specific strengths noted at the state level included that the majority of states had a written radiation response plan and most plans include a detailed section for communicationsissues during a radiation emergency.
  • In addition, more than half of the states indicated that their relationship with federal partners is sufficient to provide resources for radiation emergencies, indicating the importance states placed on federal resources and expertise.
  • Specific weaknesses are discussed and include that most states had completed little to no planning for public health surveillance to assess potential human health impacts of a radiation event; less than half had written plans to address exposure assessment, environmental sampling, human specimen collection and analysis, and human health assessment.
  • Few reported having sufficient resources to do public health surveillance, radiation exposure assessment, laboratory functions and other capabilities.

 

Cover Image

*** Other articles in this special supplemental issue include

  • [Editorial]Italo Subbarao and James J. James


Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2011 v. 5, p. S8-S10. [Full Text] [PDF]

  • [Review Article]  Andrea L. DiCarlo, Carmen Maher, John L. Hick, Dan Hanfling, Nicholas Dainiak, Nelson Chao, Judith L. Bader, C. Norman Coleman, and David M. Weinstock

    Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2011 v. 5, p. S32-S44. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]

  • Andrea L. DiCarlo, Carmen Maher, John L. Hick, Dan Hanfling, Nicholas Dainiak, Nelson Chao, Judith L. Bader, C. Norman Coleman, and David M. Weinstock
    Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2011 v. 5, p. S32-S44. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]
  • Evan B. Douple, Kiyohiko Mabuchi, Harry M. Cullings, Dale L. Preston, Kazunori Kodama, Yukiko Shimizu, Saeko Fujiwara, and Roy E. Shore

Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2011 v. 5, p. S122-S133. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]
  • Daniel Dodgen, Ann E. Norwood, Steven M. Becker, Jon T. Perez, and Cynthia K. Hansen

    Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness 2011 v. 5, p. S54-S64. [Abstract] [Full Text] [PDF]


March 17, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Professional Health Care Resources, Public Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Toxicology Subset Streamlines Biomedical Searches in the Professional Literature

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From a March 25 2011  NLM-TOX-ENVIRO-HEALTH-L NOTICE

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) PubMed database offers a toxicology subset. This subset is created by NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) to facilitate searching for subjects in the area of toxicology.

Here is how to limit searches to toxicology:

  • Go to Pubmed
  • Click on Limits (above search box), and select Toxicology under Subsets

OR

Click on Advanced Search (above search box) , then Limits while building the search

The toxicology subset can also be placed in a search as “tox [sb]”.   Example:   lead AND tox [sb]

The PubMed database comprises more than 19 million citations for biomedical articles from MEDLINE and life science journals. Citations may include links to full-text articles from PubMed Central or publisher web sites.

Here are some PubMed tutorials and guides

Related Articles

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Media: A Guide for Researchers

Social Media: A Guide for Researchers


From the March 1 2011 Resource Shelf item

The International Center for Guidance Studies at the University of Derby has produced a social media guide to help researchers understand the range of social media tools. The 48-page guide has links to a variety of resources including academic and research blogs and collaboration tools. Also included are case studies profiling ten researchers and their use of social media.

From Research Information Network:

One of the most important things that researchers do is to find, use and disseminate information, and social media offers a range of tools which can facilitate this. The guide discusses the use of social media for research and academic purposes and will not be examining the many other uses that social media is put to across society.

Social media can change the way in which you undertake research, and can also open up new forms of communication and dissemination. It has the power to enable researchers to engage in a wide range of dissemination in a highly efficient way.

Contents include

Web materials 1: Links and resources

Audio and video tools
Blogging and Microblogging tools
Examples of academic and research blogs
Social networking services
Location based tools
Social bookmarking, news and social citation tools
Research and writing collaboration tools
Presentation sharing tools
Project management, meeting and collaboration tools
Information management tools
Virtual worlds

You can access the full list of the above resources here, or download below.

Web materials 2: Researcher case studies

The guide is rooted in the practical experience of its authors and that of the ten social media users that we interviewed as part of the project.  You can read their individual case studies below:

March 2, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

ASA launches new journal focused on mental health and illness

ASA launches new journal focused on mental health and illness

From the March 1 2011 Eureka news alert item

WASHINGTON, DC, March 1, 2011 — The American Sociological Association (ASA) announced today that it has launched a new journal dedicated to research on the sociology of mental health and illness.

The Society and Mental Health (SMH) journal features original, peer-reviewed studies that apply sociological concepts and methods to the understanding of the social origins of mental health and illness, the social consequences for people with mental illness, and the organization and financing of mental health services and care. Sage Publications will publish the journal three times a year—in March, July, and November.

“The creation of this journal offers the ASA the prospect of asserting its intellectual influence on a spectrum of issues concerning mental health and illness from a sociological perspective that is distinct from solely biomedical, psychiatric, or psychological views,” said SMH Editor William R. Avison, a sociology professor at The University of Western Ontario.

SMH’s inaugural March 2011 issue includes studies touching on parenthood, mental health services, the stigma of mental illness, and developments in the diagnosis of major depressive disorder.

“Mental health and illness is an issue that impacts individuals, families, and communities as well as the health care system and its ability to serve the public,” said Sally T. Hillsman, ASA’s Executive Officer. “In that light, we felt it was essential to create a special outlet for high quality research on the sociology of mental health and illness.”

SMH is the journal of the ASA’s Sociology of Mental Health Section—one of the Association’s 51 special interest sections—and the third ASA section journal. The Association also has nine ASA-wide, peer-reviewed journals—including the American Sociological Review, the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, and Social Psychology Quarterly.

“We are confident that SMH will be a great addition to our already robust suite of sociology journals that advance scholarship and public well-being,” Hillsman said.

###

More information about SMH can be found at http://www.asanet.org/journals/smh.cfm.

About the American Sociological Association

The American Sociological Association (www.asanet.org), founded in 1905, is a non-profit membership association dedicated to serving sociologists in their work, advancing sociology as a science and profession, and promoting the contributions to and use of sociology by society.

 

 

 

March 2, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | Leave a comment

PubMed MeSH database changes

The PubMed** interface is being changed section by section.
The MeSH section has been revised. 
Here is a message from the GMRLIST (an email list for the National Network of Libraries of
Medicine-Greater Midwest Region (NN/LM-GMR) members)

Hi Folks,Many of you have noticed the change in the MeSH database interface.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mesh
NCBI is working to update the entire website – section by section.FYI:The Technical Bulletin article
on this change is at:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/jf11/jf11_pm_mesh_db.htmlThe updated brochures “Searching PubMed with MeSH are at:
PDF: http://nnlm.gov/training/resources/meshtri.pdf
Word: http://nnlm.gov/training/resources/meshtri.doc

If you have comments or questions about the new interface, feel free to contact NLM directly -
they welcome your feedback.http://apps.nlm.nih.gov/mainweb/siebel/nlm/index.cfm/


Here is a related posting from MEDLIB-L (a medical librarian listserv)

Here’s what I recvd. from NNLM: There have been some changes to MeSH.
–>Type your search term in the MeSH box.
–>Then click the box(es) on the left to select your term(s).
 –>Then click on the far right: Add to Search Builder Here are some helpful resources
(you have to click CTRL + Click for the URLs to work).

PubMed’s MeSH Database**
Searching with the MeSH Database
<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/viewlet/mesh/searching/mesh1.html> (3 min., February 2011)
* Combining MeSH Terms Using the MeSH Database
<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/viewlet/mesh/combining/mesh2.html> (3 min., February 2011)
* Applying Subheadings and Other Features of the MeSH Database
<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/viewlet/mesh/subheadings/mesh3.html> (3 min., February 2011)
You can also see the MeSH Database section in the tutorial:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/pubmedtutorial/020_

**Pubmed is the largest database of biomedical journal articles (some are free full text) in the world.
It is most often best searched using medical subject headings (MeSH).

The above two hyperlinks (PubMed and MeSH) including Help pages and tutorials.
Please do not hesitate to contact a public librarian, academic librarian, or medical librarian for assistance
in searching PubMed or locating medical articles.
In the case of academic or medical settings, call ahead to see what services the library has for the general
public.You just might be pleasantly surprised!

(You may also email me at jmflahiff@yahoo.com…I am willing to give free assistance which would
include about an hour of my time)

February 16, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Agriculture and Public Health Gateway

APHG

The Agriculture and Public Health Gateway allows researchers, journalists, advocates, and educators to explore the links between agriculture and public health by searching several databases simultaneously, or by browsing a vetted collection of reports, journal articles and other resources.
This gateway is A project of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future.

From the About page:

he Agriculture & Public Health Gateway connects visitors to numerous information sources within topic areas that link these two fields. It can be a powerful tool for researchersjournalistsadvocates and educators, providing access to recommended resources linked from the site, as well as to powerful database search capabilities.

The two primary means of accessing information through the Gateway are the Browse by Subject collections and our Database Search:

Browse by Subject

Find collections of recommended resources on specific public health and agriculture topics. Each collection is divided into four categories:

  • Reports & Other Documents – white papers, reports from government agencies or non-governmental organizations, fact sheets, brochures, or other “gray” literature on a topic.
  • Peer-reviewed Journal Articles – a sampling of some of the best research on each topic.
  • Relevant Organizations – includes governmental and non-governmental agencies, academic centers, and private-sector sources that are considered key information resources within a topic area.
  • Other Tools & Resources – databases, books, films, videos, slide presentations, newspaper articles, or consumer guides, as well as other organizations’ lists of resources or Web links.

Search Databases

Concurrently search these key electronic libraries (and the Gateway site itself):

  • AGRICOLA – National Agricultural Library collection includes more than 3.3 million bibliographic records of journal articles, theses, patents, software, and technical reports related to agriculture from 1979 to the present.
  • PubMed – A service of the National Library of Medicine that includes more than 18 million citations for biomedical articles dating to the 1950s. Includes links to full-text articles.
  • NASD – the National Agricultural Safety Database, a project of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
  • EarthTrends – environmental database by the World Resources Institute that tracks environmental, social, and economic trends.

Link to Other Resources

Other Gateway resources include links to glossaries, listservs and newsletters, online photos and images, and event listings related to agriculture and public health.

Register as a Gateway Member

Additional services are available to users who register with the Gateway. For more details, visit Benefits of Registration

The gateway also provides links to factsheets, listservs and newsletters, images, and events.

January 21, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call for clinical trial raw data to be freely available to all (& a related call from the scientific community)

A recent BMJ editorial (Goodbye PubMed, hello raw data) ****calls for clinical raw data to be freely available to everyone.
The author cites the example of  the influenza drug oseltamivir manufactured by Roche.

Reviewers for Cochrane Reviews asked Roche to release clinical trial data so they could systematically and comprehensively review antivirals as flu treatments. Roche refused, leaving the reviewers with inadequate incomplete information to complete their analysis.

The editor ends his article with these paragraphs…

From now on, they say, reviewers must have access to all unpublished data, not only from unpublished trials—the usual focus of concern about publication bias—but also from those that have been published in peer reviewed journals. Reviewers must assess entire trial programmes, and so new tools and methods are needed. If the trial reports are incomplete, reviewers should turn to reports from the drug regulators. As Tom Jefferson, the lead author for the Cochrane review, told me, “it’s goodbye PubMed, goodbye Embase.”

The reviewers have posted their new style protocol for this review on the Cochrane site and, recognising the enormity of the task, they are recording how much work is involved. But it must be clear to everyone that such a heroic approach is unsustainable across the whole of healthcare, given the resource constraints on academics and regulators. Which brings us back to what seems to be the only real solution—that the raw data from trials must be made freely available. Journals clearly have a role to play in making this happen, as An-Wen Chan agrees in his editorial (doi:10.1136/bmj.d80). The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors meets in a few months’ time. This will be on the agenda.

Scientists also see the need for access to research data.
The entire 2011 January/February issue of D-Lib Magazine is devoted to this topic.
**Cochrane Reviews are part of the Cochrane Collaboration, which
strives to provide the best evidence for health care. Cochrane reviews involve specific interventions in a specific clinical context, as antivirals for flu prevention in healthy adults. Individual reviews involve extensive literature research performed by independent teams of professionals.

Most reviews are only available through a paid subscription to the Cochrane Collaboration. However, many medical and academic libraries subscribe to the Cochrane Collaboration. Contact an academic reference librarian to see if they subscribe and if they provide access to the public.

****Via a MedLib posting by medical librarian Susan Fowler

 

January 20, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Long-lasting chemicals flooding wastewater treatment plants threaten the environment and human health

Long-lasting chemicals flooding wastewater treatment plants threaten the environment and human health

Rolf Halden is a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.

 

From a December 21, 2010 Eureka news release

Every hour, an enormous quantity and variety of manmade chemicals, having reached the end of their useful lifespan, flood into wastewater treatment plants. These large-scale processing facilities, however, are designed only to remove nutrients, turbidity and oxygen-depleting human waste, and not the multitude of chemicals put to residential, institutional, commercial and industrial use. So what happens to these chemicals, some of which may be toxic to humans and the environment? Do they get destroyed during wastewater treatment or do they wind up in the environment with unknown consequences?

New research by Rolf Halden and colleagues at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University seeks to address such questions. The group’s results, reported recently in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring,*** suggest that a number of high production volume (HPV) chemicals—that is, those used in the U.S. at rates exceeding 1 million pounds per year, are likely to become sequestered in post-treatment sludge and from there, enter the environment when these so-called biosolids are deposited on land.

As Halden notes, over 4000 chemicals in common usage in the U.S. qualify as HPV chemicals, the vast majority of which have never been evaluated in terms of exotoxicity (their potential to adversely affect ecosystems), or for the risks they may pose to humans. “With each of these compounds, we are engaged in an experiment conducted on a nationwide scale,” says Halden; “Odds are, some of these chemicals will turn out to be bad players and will pose problems for ecosystems, public health or both.”

Unfortunately, it is neither technically nor economically feasible to perform the kind of detailed analyses necessary to declare this vast swirl of chemicals safe for humans or environmentally benign following wastewater treatment. Instead, Halden’s efforts are aimed at narrowing the field of potentially troublesome chemicals, by defining traits likely to cause some chemicals to persist in the environment. To do this, the group applied a new empirical model for estimating the fraction of mass loading of chemicals in raw sewage expected to endure in digested sludge.

Chemicals which become sequestered in digested sewage sludge are a potential cause for concern in part because the treated sludge is often subsequently applied to land, including land designated for agricultural use. Halden’s group screened some 207 HPV chemicals, using a model that predicted that two thirds of these compounds are likely to accumulate in digested sludge to greater than fifty percent of their initial mass loading in raw sewage. Eleven of these chemicals were flagged as compounds of special concern and deemed potential hazards to human and environmental health.

Three principal criteria dictated the selection of these problem chemicals: (a) their propensity to accumulate and persist in sludge in large amounts (b) structural characteristics suggestive of environmental persistence on land following biosolids recycling, and (c) unfavorable ecotoxicity threshold values, whether these have been experimentally determined or were forecasted with computer models.

As Halden explains, certain classes of chemicals possess physical characteristics that make them likelier to resist breakdown during wastewater treatment. Of particular concern are hydrophobic organic chemicals. As their name implies, such chemicals are ‘afraid’ of water and preferentially attach themselves to particulate matter, thereby becoming part of the primary and secondary sludge. This characteristic trait limits the availability of hydrophobic chemicals to aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms during sewage treatment and sludge digestion.

Rather than being broken down, such chemicals can become enriched in municipal biosolids by several orders of magnitude. Through this process, substances in heavy usage, like HPV chemicals, can accumulate as pollutants in municipal sludge to parts per million (ppm) concentrations. “It’s like vacuum cleaning your home,” says Halden. “When the carpet is clean, the vacuum bag holds a concentrated burden of dirt. By anology, the generation of biosolids enriched in non-biodegradable pollutants are the price you pay when purifying domestic sewage for water reuse.”

In order to better gauge which chemicals may go on to present human health and environmental risks following sequestration in sludge, the group conducted a computer or in silico analysis. The method provides a streamlined and economically attractive means of isolating those chemicals deserving more in-depth field analysis. The group applied a new empirical model able to predict the fraction of total mass of a hydrophobic chemical likely to persist in biosolids after wastewater treatment.

Another advantage of the new model, applied by Halden and Assistant Professor Randhir Deo from the University of Guam, is simplicity. The model only requires two input values in order to estimate a chemical’s environmental persistence. The chemicals to be screened were taken from the High Production Volume Information System database maintained by the EPA to monitor the environmental fate of chemicals produced in amounts exceeding 1 million pounds per year.

The empirical model was developed and tweaked to produce the best agreement between the mathematical framework based on a given chemical’s physical properties and actual measurements derived from large sewage treatment plants. The physical characteristic found to play the largest role in a chemical’s persistence in sludge was its sorption potential—the tendency of molecules of the chemical to adhere to the surface of other molecules. In the case of the HPV chemicals under consideration, high sorption values among hydrophobic chemicals caused them to stick to other particles and be sequestered from the degradative processes used to treat wastewater.

The bulk of the chemicals included in the HPV study were used for industrial purposes and included antidegradants, antioxidants, metal chelators, intermediates, by-products, catalysts, flame retardants, phenylating agents, plasticizers, heat storage and transfer agents, lubricants, solvents, anticorrosive agents, and others. The study also identified five mass-produced chemicals used as flavors and fragrances that were predicted to persist in sludge in fifty percent or greater amounts of their initial mass loading in raw sewage.

Once chemicals likely to persist in sludge were identified, estimates of their toxicity were examined. Those with high persistence levels and high environmental toxicity made the enemies list of chemicals posing the greatest potential hazard. Prominent among the toxic chemicals were the so-called organohalogen compounds, seven of which were found to accumulate in substantial quantity in treated sludge and displayed half-lives in soil estimated to range from 120 to 360 days.

Perhaps of greatest concern are halogenated chemicals known as organobromines—popular ingredients in a range of flame retardant products, which have subsequently been identified in bird tissues, in egg pools of herring gulls, and in dust samples. Halden insists that better monitoring of just such chemicals is essential for understanding their trajectory and mitigating risks to human health and the environment.

“Our work is directed at identifying problematic compounds before they cause harm to the environment and people. Environmental chemists often can foretell adverse outcomes. What’s lacking are regulations to translate that knowledge into pollution prevention,” says Halden. “Cleaning up after the fact, is costly and hard to do.”

Some related informational links

  • Environmental Health and Toxicology (specialized information services from the US National Institutes of Health and US National Library of Medicine)
    • HazMap -an occupational toxicology database designed to link jobs to hazardous job tasks which are linked to occupational diseases and their symptoms. It is a relational database of chemicals, jobs and diseases.
    • ToxNet - Databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases
    • Household Products Databases – This database links over 8,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by the manufacturers and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients
    • and many more databases..
  • Toxicology Web links from NIH & NLM (extensive list of govt, non-govt, and international Web sites)
  • Toxicology Resources especially for the public (from NIH and NLM), including ToxTown and ToxMap

***For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here


January 3, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Consumer Health, Consumer Safety, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources, Public Health | , , , | Leave a comment

NCI announces plans to reinvigorate clinical trials

NCI announces plans to reinvigorate clinical trials
Consolidation of cooperative group program is designed to bring enhanced efficiencies to oncological sciences

National Cancer Institute

From the NIH release

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has announced major changes to be made in the long-established Clinical Trials Cooperative Group Program that conducts many of the nationwide trials of new cancer therapies. In a major transformation, NCI intends to consolidate the nine groups that currently conduct trials in adult cancer patients into four state-of-the-art entities that will design and perform improved trials of cancer therapies. These changes are designed to provide greater benefits for cancer patients and more information for researchers. These moves come in response to an NCI-requested April 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM)**, which called for a series of changes to the cooperative groups program, including restructuring….

….The April IOM report noted that the current trials system is inefficient, cumbersome, underfunded, and overly complex. The report recommended consolidating existing adult cooperative groups into a smaller number of groups that could function in a more closely integrated manner….

…For the past several decades, clinical cancer trials have used one or a combination of drugs or other treatment modalities, such as surgery or radiation, in comparison to the prevailing standard of care to see if the new treatment was superior. Recently, some trials have begun to depend on the genetic profiling of tumors. For example, one ongoing NCI-sponsored breast cancer study, called TAILORx, is examining whether genes that are frequently associated with risk of recurrence for women with early-stage breast cancer can be used to assign patients to more appropriate and effective treatments.

These types of studies necessitate the screening of large numbers of patients in order to find subsets of patients with tumors that demonstrate changes in specific genetic pathways. These trials therefore require acquisition and distribution of many tumor specimens, DNA sequencing, and the matching of genetic information with treatment options. The increased complexity of these trials provides a rationale for modernization and simplification of the current cooperative group structure…..

..On Jan. 1, 2011, NCI will impose new deadlines, formulated by its Operational Efficiency Working Group, which will reduce by half the time to initiate new clinical studies and will terminate studies not begun within two years of concept approval….

**The IOM Web site has over 50 results with the search phrase clinical trials, including the most viewed Biomedical/Health Research report (as of Dec 27, 2010) - Transforming Clinical Research in the US: Workshop Summary

General Information about Clinical Trials (select Web sites)

  • Clinical Trials (MedlinePlus) has overviews, related issues (as informed consent and ethics), directories, and more
  • Understanding Clinical Trials (ClinicalTrials.gov) answers many basic questions relating to participation, safety, ethics, and types of clinical trials
  • ClinicalTrials.gov is a registry and finding aid for clinical trials. It currently has 100,613 trials with locations in 174 countries. One can search by topic (as a particular drug or disease) or use the advanced search to use limiters as location, conditions, age groups, and sponsors. Results give contact information for individual clinical trials.The page How can I find the results of a clinical trial? provides places where they might be found, including the ClinicalTrials.gov Web site.

December 27, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Databases from the US Government

The Pollak Library California State University Fullerton has published a list of Free Databases from the US Government.
This item came via the Yahoo group NetGold, and was published by the owner Librarian David P. Dillard
Here are the the links to free Health and Medicine resources.

[Flahiff's note: MedlinePlus is a great starting point for consumer level health/medical information. It goes beyond news to give great starting points for information on diseases and conditions. It includes videos (as surgeries), links to directories (as hospital and physician directories), options for email alerts, Twitter, and much more.

Drugs @ FDA is a great source, however, the NLM Drug Information Portal is a more comprehensive resource. This portal includes both consumer level and professional level drug information resources, including Drugs@FDA, MedlinePlus resources, and references from scientific journals as well as toxicology resources.

PubMed is the largest indexer of health/medical articles written by scientists, physicians,and other health care related professionals. Not all of the articles are available for free online. Please click here for suggestions on how to get individual health/medical articles for free or low cost.]

  • PLoS: Public Library of Science
    Full text. PLoS publishes peer-reviewed, open access scientific and medical journals that include original research as well as timely feature articles. All PLoS articles are immediately freely accessible online, are deposited in the free public archive PubMed Central, and can be redistributed and reused according to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
  • Cancer Literature in PubMed
    Search the Cancer subset in PubMed.
  • Drugs@FDA
    Search by drug name, active ingredient, application number, and more.
  • PillBox Beta

    Aids  in the identification of unknown solid dosage pharmaceuticals using images to identify pills (color, shape, etc) as well as a separate advanced search (imprint, drug manufacture, ingredients, etc)

  • Household Products Database
    Health and safety information on householdproducts.
  • MedlinePlus
    Health news on 800 topics on conditions, diseases, and wellness.
  • National Academies Press
    Full text books on behavioral and social sciences, biology, computers, earth sciences, education, energy, engineering, environmental issues, food and nutrition, health and medicine, industry and labor, math, chemistry, physics, space and aeronautics, transportation, and more.
  • National Library of Medicine: Databases
    Linds to databases and electronic resources from the NIH.
  • NLM Gateway
    From NIH. Accesses Medline, PubMed, Toxline, DART, ClinicalTrials.gov, and other government databases.
  • NLM/NIH Resources
    Links to NLM, NIH and other federal government resources.
  • Nutrient Data Laboratory Database
    The Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) has the responsibility to develop USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference,  the foundation of most food and nutrition databases in the US, used in food policy, research and nutrition monitoring.
  • Nutrient Data Laboratory [USDA]
    Search by keywords to retrieve nutrient data.
  • PubMed
    More than 19 million citations to biomedical articles from MedLine and life science journals. Some links to full text.
  • PubMed Central
    Full text  articles from PubMed, the free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literataure.

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Health Statistics, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism

Ready or Not 2010

Ready or Not? Protecting the Public’s Health from Diseases, Disasters, and Bioterrorism

[Flahiff's note: Here in Northwest Ohio, one area of concern is Lake Erie water sampling for organisms as E. coli and toxic algae. For years a private college was doing the testing with their own funds. The funds have dried up and the state is still trying to come up with reliable funding.]

A December 16 item from the listserv DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB, by the Disaster Information Management Research Center***, U.S. National Library of Medicine.

The findings of this report by the Trust for America’s Health and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are that budget cuts have imperiled a decade of progress in how the nation prevents, identifies, and contains new disease outbreaks and bioterrorism threats and responds to the aftermath of natural disasters.
Section 1 of the report provides a state by state evaluation on 10 key preparedness indicators in areas as funding, communication, planning, and staffing.
Section 2 of the report examines current federal policy issues and gives recommendations for improving disaster preparedness.
Gaps in preparedness are outlined (as workforce gaps) and examples of major emergency public health threats are identified. Hallmarks of all-hazards preparedness are also identified and National Health Security Strategy is outlined.
The report also includes expert perspectives national strategies and over 70 scientific/medical references in the endnotes section.

Key Findings of this Report (from page 5 of the report)

  • 33 states and D.C. cut funding for public health from FY 2008-09 to FY 2009-10.
  • Only 7 states can not currently share data electronically with health care providers.
  • 10 states do not have an electronic syndromic surveillance system that can report and exchange information.
  • Only six states reported that pre-identified staff were not able to acknowledge notification of emergency exercises or incidents within the target time of 60 minutes at least twice during 2007-08.
  • Six states did not activate their emergency operations center (EOC) a minimum of two times in 2007-08.
  • Only two states did not develop at least two After-Action Report/Improvement Plans (AAR/IPs) after exercises or real incidents in 2007-08.
  • 25 states do not mandate all licensed child care facilities to have a multi-hazard written evacuation and relocation plan.
  • 21 states were not able to rapidly identify disease-causing E.coli O157:H7 and submit the lab results in 90 percent of cases within four days during 2007-08.
  • Only three states and D.C. report not having enough staffing capacity to work five, 12-hour days for six to eight weeks in response to an infectious disease outbreak, such as novel influenza A H1N1.
  • Only one state decreased their Laboratory Response Network for Chemical Threats (LRN-C) chemical capability from August 10, 2009 to August 9, 2010.

—————————————————————————————————

***Disaster Information Management Research Center

Disaster Information Management Research Center

The Disaster Information Management Research Center  (DIMRC) helpswith national emergency preparedness, response, and recovery efforts. As part of NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) division, DIMRC collects, organizes, and disseminates health information resources and informatics research related to disasters of natural, accidental, or deliberate origin.

It focuses on maintaining access to health information during disasters and developing services and projects for emergency providers and managers . (From the DMIRC about page).

A sampling of DMIRC resources

  • Librarians and Disasters has links to resources and tools as a bibliography on the librarian’s role in disasters and links to related listservs. The Emergency Access Initiative provides temporary free access to full text articles from major biomedicine titles to healthcare professionals, librarians, and the public affected by disasters.


    December 17, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Public Health | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

    Studies detail triumphs, troubles of African innovators creating products for local health needs

    From a December 12, 2010 Eureka news item

    Africans strengthen ability to meet health needs in sub-Sahara with homegrown science solutions, but many products stagnate in labs for want of commercialization know-how, support
    IMAGE: Invented by Moses Musaazi of Makerere University, Uganda, this easy‑to‑use, inexpensive, WHO‑approved portable medical‑waste incinerator could help solve the problem of hospital waste management in rural areas, especially during mass… 

    Click here for more information.

    Global health experts today published a landmark collection of papers that together provide a unique microscope on the experience of countries, companies and organizations in sub-Saharan Africa addressing neglected health problems with homegrown drugs, vaccines, diagnostics and other creative scientific and business solutions.

    The first-of-its kind study chronicles the triumphs and troubles of entrepreneurs, institutes and firms in Africa creating innovative, affordable technologies that bring hope to many sufferers of local diseases. While some have yet to succeed, several organizations cleared major hurdles to finance and create products, some of which may expand into global markets one day.

    It is the first research offering a broad range of evidence and concrete examples of African innovation to address local health concerns. The papers draw on the experiences of authorities, researchers and entrepreneurs in Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. In addition to efforts involving health products, the experiences of health venture capital funds in African and other developed countries are profiled.

    The papers were produced by Canada’s McLaughlin-Rotman Center for Global Health (MRC), at the University Health Network and University of Toronto, and published as a special supplement in the UK-based open-access journal publisher BioMed Central Dec. 12 (with full public access atwww.biomedcentral.com/bmcinthealthhumrights/10?issue=S1). One of the papers was published earlier in the journal Science….

    ……

    Since it began in 2004, the MRC has focused extensively on how low-income countries themselves can remedy diseases of poverty. With relatively little profit incentive, firms in rich, developed countries largely neglect such diseases. The MRC has documented the benefits of the homegrown science approach to health problems, which include, beyond affordable products, less dependency on international donor programs and much-needed new economic opportunities and job creation. This collection represents the MRC’s largest contribution to date on product commercialization for improving health in Africa.

    IMAGE: Nibima is a new herbal malaria medicine developed in Ghana. Of the 25 “stagnant ” technologies discovered, 16 involved traditional plant products; the rest were new drug molecules, diagnostics, vaccines and… 

    Click here for more information.

    Examples of African innovation:

     

       

    • In Tanzania, local funding, economies of scale, technology transfer, and partnerships all helped the A to Z Textile Company become one of the world’s largest producers of long-lasting insecticide treated bed nets, cost-effectively producing tens of millions of nets in an area where malaria is a critical problem. The company succeeded despite regulatory issues, procurement rules, and other barriers. 
    • In Madagascar, The Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA) has created Madeglucyl, a treatment for diabetes management based on a traditional remedy; 
    • In Nigeria, the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development has a plant-based drug for sickle-cell anemia – one of the few low-toxicity drugs available anywhere to treat the debilitating chronic blood disorder – but has yet to overcome barriers to its commercialization;………

    December 15, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Health News Items, Librarian Resources | , , | Leave a comment

    Universal flu vaccine focus for Adelaide scientist

    From a November 2, 2010 Eureka news alert

    Vaccine partnership between Australia and Indonesia

    University of Adelaide researcher is leading a collaboration between Australia and Indonesia on the production of a universal flu vaccine.

    “The frequent arising of new influenza strains represents the greatest challenge to health authorities as it renders currently available vaccines ineffective,” says Dr Mohammed Alsharifi, the Head of the Vaccine Research Group at the School of Molecular and Biomedical Science, University of Adelaide.

    “While annual vaccine reformulation appears to be effective against closely matched strains of influenza, the current method is not effective against drifted strains as well as new pandemic strains, as illustrated by the recent H1N1 pandemic. This raises the need for a new technology,” he says.

    Dr Alsharifi says the recent experience of swine flu and the continuing fears of the medical, scientific and world health communities of the sudden emergence of a deadly bird flu strain, means that a new approach to flu vaccines needs to be contemplated.

    “What we need is some protection against all influenza virus A strains, including any emergent pandemic virus,” he says…

    “What we need is some protection against all influenza virus A strains, including any emergent pandemic virus,” he says.

    A new technology, invented by Dr Alsharifi (University of Adelaide) and Professor Arno Müllbacher (Australian National University), has helped to generate a new influenza vaccine – GammaFlu™ – that provides cross-protection against current influenza viruses as well as any other unknown strains that may arise in the future.

    “Our technology is expected to change the world of vaccination, as it can be implemented to produce many other vaccines,” Dr Alsharifi says.

    To translate their basic scientific discoveries into clinical application, both scientists established the company Gamma Vaccines Pty Ltd in July 2009. Gamma Vaccines is now commercializing its gamma-irradiated influenza vaccine to capture part of the global market for flu vaccines, which is estimated at US$4 billion annually….

     

     

    November 30, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Health News Items | , , | 1 Comment

    Should we be teaching information management instead of evidence-based medicine?

    From the full text article at the publisher’s Web site

    [via a Medlib-L posting on November 29, 2010 by Julie Esparza, Clinical Medical Librarian, LSU]

    Shepard R. Hurwitz1 and David C. Slawson2

    (1) Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7055, USA
    (2) University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA

    Shepard R. Hurwitz
    Email: shurwitz@abos.org
    Published online: 22 May 2010

    Abstract
    Background
    To encourage high-quality patient care guided by the best evidence, many medical schools and residencies are teaching techniques for critically evaluating the medical literature. While a large step forward in many regards, these skills of evidence-based medicine are necessary but not sufficient for the practice of contemporary medicine and surgery. Incorporating the best evidence into the real world of busy clinical practice requires the applied science of information management. Clinicians must learn the techniques and skills to focus on finding, evaluating, and using information at the point of care. This information must be both relevant to themselves and their patients and be valid.
    Where are we now?
    Today, orthopaedic surgery is in the post-Flexner era of passive didactic learning combined with the practical experience of surgery as taught by supervising experts. The medical student and house officer fill their memory with mountains of facts and classic references ‘just in case’ that information is needed. With libraries and now internet repositories of orthopaedic information, all orthopaedic knowledge can be readily accessed without having to store much in one’s memory. Evidence is often trumped by the opinion of a teacher or expert in the field.
    Where do we need to go?
    To improve the quality of orthopaedic surgery there should be application of the best evidence, changing practice where needed when evidence is available. To apply evidence, the evidence has to find a way into practice without the long pipeline of change that now exists. Evidence should trump opinion and unfounded practices.
    How do we get there?
    To create a curriculum and learning space for information management requires effort on the part of medical schools, residency programs and health systems. Internet sources need to be created that have the readily available evidence-based answers to patient issues so surgeons do not need to spend all the time necessary to research the questions on their own. Information management is built on a platform created by EBM but saves the surgeon time and improves accuracy by having experts validate the evidence and make it easily available.
    Each author certifies that he or she has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article. Dr. Slawson is a paid consultant for Wiley & Son publisher.

    November 30, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

    Seven Ways Medical Conflicts of Interest Are Disguised

    From a November 22, 2010 blog item by Martha Rosenberg

    Still, disclosure is tricky for medical journals whose lifeblood is often drug ads and reprints of articles for drug companies to pass out to physicians. Here are some of the ways conflicts of interest are finessed. 


    Omnibus Disclosure. All of a study’s authors are listed with all the pharma links in one block of solid type. Who goes with whom? You’ll never know, but the author with no links sure isn’t happy about shared guilt. 


    Initials. “R.L.T. has consulted for Merck” is set in 8-point type at the end of the article. Will readers return to the study’s start, five pages ago, where there are eight authors, four with first names that begin with R? 


    Disclosures You Have to Work For. COIs of CME faculty are often given online, but the information is tucked away in a pull-down, scroll menu. It is user-unfriendly—like the drug side effects found on the scrolling ads on the same site. 


    One Disclosure Is Enough. When a previous article is cited in journal letters sections, the author disclosures are said to “be found with the original article.” Surely you have that issue, published four months ago, on your desk. 


    Protective Coloring. Disclosures of drug company links are embedded between government grants and charitable foundations. Government grants and charitable foundations are not conflicts of interest. 


    Paying Customers Only. Twenty million citations of medical literature appear on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website. Many have authors’ institutions and e-mails. But do the abstracts show COIs? Not unless you’re a paid subscriber. Password please. 


    Paying Customers Only, Even When You Are Reading a Hard Copy. In hard copies of the Aug. 5 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the disclosures of authors of “Suicide-Related Events in Patients Treated with Antiepileptic Drugs” are absent and said to be found with the “full text” of the article at NEJM.org. 



    November 29, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

    Paying for access to medical journals

    From a November 2010 Kevin MD blog item

    by Josh Herigon, MPH

    I’m not sure about the validity of this study: Free Access to U.S. Research Papers Could Yield $1 Billion in Benefits.

    Quantifying how much money will be saved by increased efficiency due to open access seems like fuzzy math at best. However, we do need better access to medical journal articles. As a researcher, I’ve constantly fought the battle against firewalled journals. I am fortunate to be part of a university that has excellent access to most of the published medical research I need. But I still come across what is the researchers’ equivalent of the “blue screen of death”: the “login or purchase this individual article for $30″ screen.

    The author goes on to explain why he does not buy individual articles. He also has recommendations for publishers (as consortiums and open access after a short embargo period).

    As I blogged earlier, please keep in mind that many medical journal articles can be obtained at little or no cost. A great place to start is a local public or academic library. If they do not have it, they can often obtain it from another library for you at little or no cost.
    For other suggestions, please go to How to obtain free/low cost medical articles in medical and scientific journalshttp://jflahiff.wordpress.com/2010/11/07/how-to-obtain-medical-articles-for-free-or-at-low-cost/

    November 29, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , | Leave a comment

    Dartmouth study uses the patient’s tumor to form vaccin

    Dendritic cell vaccine induces immune responses in patients

    A new process for creating a personalized vaccine may become a crucial tool in helping patients with colorectal cancer develop an immune response against their own tumors. This dendritic cell (DC) vaccine, developed at Dartmouth and described in a research paper [Abstract is here **] published this week in the journal Clinical Cancer Research, was used after surgical resection of metastatic tumors to try to prevent the growth of additional metastases….

    ** Click here for suggestions to get the full text of this article at little or no cost.

     

    November 28, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Health News Items | , | Leave a comment

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