Department Blog

Health Sciences Libraries

Progress in Genetics and Genomics of Nonhuman Primates

December 11th, 2013 by Mary Wood

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.ILAR Journal Volume 54(2)
Progress in Genetics and Genomics of Nonhuman Primates

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The articles in this issue discuss the current understanding of the genetics and genomics of apes and old world monkeys.

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Articles include

Palermo et al. / Old World Monkeys and New Age Science: The Evolution of Nonhuman Primate Systems Virology

Shen et al. / The Essential Detail: The Genetics and Genomics of the Primate Immune Response

Tardif et al. /  IACUC Review of Nonhuman Primate Research

PLoS Medicine article: Good reasons to search in ClinicalTrials.gov

December 9th, 2013 by Amy Studer

A new article out of PLoS Medicine (December 6, 2013) provides some good reasons for adding ClinicalTrials.gov to the list of resources consulted routinely for evidence-based treatment decisions:

Riveros, C., et al., Timing and Completeness of Trial Results Posted at ClinicalTrials.gov and Published in Journals. PLoS Med, 2013. 10(12): p. e1001566.

Access at:  http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi/10.1371/journal.pmed.1001566

The authors compared the reporting on clinical trials of drugs in ClinicalTrials.gov with corresponding journal publications for timeliness of publication and completeness (flow of participants, efficacy results, adverse events, and serious adverse events) of posted results.  Reporting in ClinicalTrials.gov was significantly more complete than in the published journal articles.

Accessing drug information from ClinicalTrials.gov may help address potential publication, reporting, and time-lag biases that have been identified in journal literature, thereby supplementing information gathering for evidence-based practice.  ClinicalTrials.gov is “designed to complement, not replace, the journal publication” because results are presented as tabular data, without interpretation, and are not peer-reviewed (Zarin, Tse, Williams, Califf, & Ide, 2011, page 3).

Reference:

Zarin, D. A., Tse, T., Williams, R. J., Califf, R. M., & Ide, N. C. (2011). The ClinicalTrials.gov results database–update and key issues. N Engl J Med, 364(9), 852-860. doi: 10.1056/NEJMsa1012065.

Links to Resources:

ClinicalTrials.gov website:  http://clinicaltrials.gov/

For help with finding information in ClinicalTrials.gov, contact hslref@lib.ucdavis.edu

Try searching for a drug by name in DailyMed, and then link to related ClinicalTrials.gov information from the menu on the left side of the page.

Project Tycho: Data for health

December 5th, 2013 by Amy Studer

Announcing Project Tycho™, a web site which provides open access to newly digitized and integrated data from the entire 125 years history of United States weekly nationally notifiable disease surveillance data since 1888.  Read more about it:

The goal of Project Tycho™ is to aid scientists and public health officials in the eradication of deadly and devastating diseases. A recent NEJM article, documents how the Project Tycho team digitized and made public all weekly surveillance reports of nationally notifiable diseases for U.S. cities and states published between 1888 and 2011. The project derived a quantitative history of disease reduction in the United States over the past century, focusing particularly on the effect of vaccination programs.

Reference

van Panhuis WG, Grefenstette J, Jung SY, Chok NS, Cross A, Eng H, et al. Contagious diseases in the United States from 1888 to the present.N.Engl.J.Med. 2013 Nov 28;369(22):2152-2158.

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About Project Tycho

In the United States, cases of contagious diseases have been reported at weekly intervals to health authorities for more than a century, but these data have not been publicly available in a computable format, so their use and value have been limited. The University of Pittsburgh has released a collection of surveillance reports about diseases in the United States going back 125 years. “The researchers obtained all weekly notifiable disease surveillance tables published between 1888 and 2013 – approximately 6,500 tables – in various historical reports, including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. These tables were available only in paper format or as PDF scans in online repositories that could not be read by computers and had to be hand-entered. With an estimated 200 million keystrokes, the data – including death counts, reporting locations, time periods and diseases – were digitized. A total of 56 diseases were reported for at least some period of time during the 125-year time span, with no single disease reported continuously.”

Blog entry re-posted from Rudolph Mata Library Blog by medref@tulane.edu, with permission.

New from AHRQ: Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool

December 4th, 2013 by Amy Studer

For those providing health education to patients, families, or communities, this new resource is freely available online from AHRQ:

The Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) and User’s Guide:

An Instrument To Assess the Understandability and Actionability of Print and Audiovisual Patient Education Materials

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Description from website:  The Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT) is a systematic method to evaluate and compare the understandability and actionability of patient education materials. It is designed as a guide to help determine whether patients will be able to understand and act on information. Separate tools are available for use with print and audiovisual materials.

Additional AHRQ resources designed to support improving patient health literacy:

AHRQ Pharmacy Health Literacy Center

Self-Management Support Video and Library

Health Literacy Topics (choose For Professionals)

Image credit:  subsetsum from Flickr.  License:  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0