Department Blog

Health Sciences Libraries

Triclosan and antimicrobial soaps, continued

February 3rd, 2014 by Mary Wood

Environmental Factor
January 2014 Newsletter
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Research informs policy and regulatory discussion

Researchers central in the national discussion concerning policy and regulatory issues
related to environmental public health

December 2013 New York Times, FDA questions safety of antibacterial soaps, looked at new FDA requirement that manufacturers demonstrate the safety of antimicrobial soaps, citing research by NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) supported scientists…

…including SRP grantees Bruce Hammock and Isaac Pessah of UC Davis, and Robert Tukey of UCSD, who have conducted interdisciplinary studies on the extent of environmental pollution by the antimicrobials triclosan and tricloban, and their potential effects on human health.


Cherednichenko G, Zhang R, Bannister RA, Timofeyev V, Li N, Fritsch EB, Feng W, Barrientos GC, Schebb NH, Hammock BD, Beam KG, Chiamvimonvat N, Pessah IN.  2012. Triclosan impairs excitation-contraction coupling and Ca2+ dynamics in striated muscle. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 109(35):14158-14163.

Schebb NH, Ahn KC, Dong H, Gee SJ, Hammock BD.  2012. Whole blood is the sample matrix of choice for monitoring systemic triclocarbon levels. Chemosphere 87(7):825-827.

PLoS Medicine article: Good reasons to search in

December 9th, 2013 by Amy Studer

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

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

Access at:

The authors compared the reporting on clinical trials of drugs in 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 was significantly more complete than in the published journal articles.

Accessing drug information from 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. 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).


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

Links to Resources: website:

For help with finding information in, contact

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

PLoS Biol: Statistical significance in animal studies

July 19th, 2013 by Mary Wood

The Shadow of Bias
July 16, 2013
Chase JM (2013) The Shadow of Bias. PLoS Biol 11(7): e1001608. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001608

In a study by John Ioannidis and colleagues, the evaluation of 160 meta-analyses of animal studies on potential treatments for neurological disorders has revealed that the number of statistically significant results was too large to be true, suggesting biases…


Tsilidis KK, Panagiotou OA, Sena ES, Aretouli E, Evangelou E, Howells DW, Salman RA, Macleod MR, Ioannidis JP
Evaluation of Excess Significance Bias in Animal Studies of Neurological Diseases
PLoS Biol 11(7): e1001609. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.1001609

Author summary: Studies have shown that the results of animal biomedical experiments fail to translate into human clinical trials; this could be attributed either to real differences in the underlying biology between humans and animals, to shortcomings in the experimental design, or to bias in the reporting of results from the animal studies. We use a statistical technique to evaluate whether the number of published animal studies with “positive” (statistically significant) results is too large to be true…

Animal CPR Guidelines, Based on Evidence and Consensus, Published

September 10th, 2012 by Deanna Johnson
RECOVER evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR. Part 2: Preparedness and prevention.

McMichael M, Herring J, Fletcher DJ, Boller M; RECOVER Preparedness and Prevention Domain Worksheet Authors.

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2012 Jun;22 Suppl 1:S13-25. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2012.00752.x.

RECOVER evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR. Part 3: Basic life support.

Hopper K, Epstein SE, Fletcher DJ, Boller M; RECOVER Basic Life Support Domain Worksheet Authors.

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2012 Jun;22 Suppl 1:S26-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2012.00753.x.

RECOVER evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR. Part 4: Advanced life support.

Rozanski EA, Rush JE, Buckley GJ, Fletcher DJ, Boller M; RECOVER Advanced Life Support Domain Worksheet Authors.

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2012 Jun;22 Suppl 1:S44-64. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2012.00755.x. Review.

RECOVER evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR. Part 5: Monitoring.

Brainard BM, Boller M, Fletcher DJ; RECOVER Monitoring Domain Worksheet Authors.

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2012 Jun;22 Suppl 1:S65-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2012.00751.x.

RECOVER evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR. Part 6: Post-cardiac arrest care.

Smarick SD, Haskins SC, Boller M, Fletcher DJ; RECOVER Post-Cardiac Arrest Care Domain Worksheet Authors.

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2012 Jun;22 Suppl 1:S85-101. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2012.00754.x.

RECOVER evidence and knowledge gap analysis on veterinary CPR. Part 7: Clinical guidelines.

Fletcher DJ, Boller M, Brainard BM, Haskins SC, Hopper K, McMichael MA, Rozanski EA, Rush JE, Smarick SD; American College of Veterinary Medicine; Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society.

J Vet Emerg Crit Care (San Antonio). 2012 Jun;22 Suppl 1:S102-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1476-4431.2012.00757.x.

Triclosan impairs excitation-contraction coupling…

August 17th, 2012 by Mary Wood


Chemical widely used in antibacterial hand soaps may impair muscle function


Triclosan impairs excitation-contraction coupling and Ca2+ dynamics in striated muscle

Cherednichenko G, Zhang R, Bannister RA, Timofeyev V, Li N, Fritsch EB, Feng W, Barrientos GC, Schebb NH, Hammock BD, Beam KG, Chiamvimonvat N, Pessah IN.

Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, and Department of Entomology and Cancer Center, University of California, Davis, CA 95616.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Aug 13. [Epub ahead of print]

Triclosan (TCS), a high-production-volume chemical used as a bactericide in personal care products, is a priority pollutant of growing concern to human and environmental health. TCS is capable of altering the activity of type 1 ryanodine receptor (RyR1), but its potential to influence physiological excitation-contraction coupling (ECC) and muscle function has not been investigated. Here, we report that TCS impairs ECC of both cardiac and skeletal muscle in vitro and in vivo. TCS acutely depresses hemodynamics and grip strength in mice at doses ≥12.5 mg/kg i.p., and a concentration ≥0.52 μM in water compromises swimming performance in larval fathead minnow. In isolated ventricular cardiomyocytes, skeletal myotubes, and adult flexor digitorum brevis fibers TCS depresses electrically evoked ECC within ∼10-20 min. In myotubes, nanomolar to low micromolar TCS initially potentiates electrically evoked Ca(2+) transients followed by complete failure of ECC, independent of Ca(2+) store depletion or block of RyR1 channels. TCS also completely blocks excitation-coupled Ca(2+) entry. Voltage clamp experiments showed that TCS partially inhibits L-type Ca(2+) currents of cardiac and skeletal muscle, and [(3)H]PN200 binding to skeletal membranes is noncompetitively inhibited by TCS in the same concentration range that enhances [(3)H]ryanodine binding. TCS potently impairs orthograde and retrograde signaling between L-type Ca(2+) and RyR channels in skeletal muscle, and L-type Ca(2+) entry in cardiac muscle, revealing a mechanism by which TCS weakens cardiac and skeletal muscle contractility in a manner that may negatively impact muscle health, especially in susceptible populations. PMID: 22891308 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]


Endocrine disruptors and household products: a study

March 9th, 2012 by Mary Wood

MedlinePlus Health News Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals Found in Many Household Products: Study

Tests of more than 200 common household products found that the products contain chemicals that research suggests may be linked to asthma and hormone disruption, researchers report.

Products tested included a wide range of household products, such as soaps, lotions, detergents, cleaners, sunscreens, air fresheners, kitty litter, shaving cream, vinyl shower curtains, pillow protectors, cosmetics and perfumes.

Researchers identified 55 chemicals that studies have shown may have health consequences. Among the chemicals detected were various types of phthalates, which have been linked to reproductive abnormalities and asthma; bisphenol A (BPA), which is being phased out of many baby bottles and children’s toys because of concerns about the effect on fetuses and young children; and parabens, which some research suggests may mimic estrogen in the body and have been associated with breast cancer…

This news is based on the recently published paper:

Endocrine Disruptors and Asthma-Associated Chemicals in Consumer Products
Dodson, Nishioka, Standley, Perovich, Brody, and Rudel


Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP)

….also in 120(3):

EHP: monthly peer-reviewed journal
NIH, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
All EHP content is free online; the journal’s impact factor is 6.09

Health Informatics MHI289: Virtual Reality, Simulation and Robotics and Research across the Disciplines

November 16th, 2011 by

The MHI289h course, Virtual Reality, Simulation and Robotics, an elective in the Masters of Health Informatics Program, gives Alberto Odor, MD, a chance to transmit the use of computer graphics and virtual reality use both physically and virtually for clinical applications.  The virtual reality related courses (MHI289 and MHI214)  are offered on site and around campus through the Health Informatics Master’s Degree, and virtually through the UC Davis Extension  Certificate Program’s Online Learning Campus (with Peter Yellowlees, MD).  The courses draw full-time graduate students and working staff and students from across the medical, IT, informatics, computer science, engineering, library and nursing disciplines.

Although the MHI289 class  meets physically in the Education Building at the UC Davis Medical Center twice per week, the students have  been introduced  to virtual patients, including “METI man” the hospital’s Virtual Patient in the  Center for Virtual Care. They have also toured the virtual medical campus of Imperial College London in Second Life where UK medical student avatars interact with a room full of  scripted  virtual patients through the Second Life Viewer, streamed in realtime via the web.

Back at the UCDMC Center for Virtual Care, an assortment of patient simulators are used, including: adult human patient simulators, pediatric and emergency patient care simulators, and number of focused clinical skills simulators. The physical tours of the Center are led by UC Davis medical faculty and the virtual tours of  both Davis Island and the builds in the NHS funded virtual medical training environment are similarly led by UC Davis medical faculty with the help of avatars and the client viewers used to login to the virtual environments.

Exploring Virtual Environments and Research on the Davis Campus:

More local virtual environments, namely the KeckCAVES were the topic and tour for this week’s classes. The W. M. Keck Center for Active Visualization in the Earth Sciences (KeckCAVES) is a joint project between the UC Davis Department of Geology, IDAV, and the UC Davis Computational Science and Engineering Center (CSE). The MHI289h class will experience the state-of-the-art immersive visualization facility used by earth science researchers from Davis and afar. We had the great  honor of meeting and viewing the research of Dr. Oliver Kreylos, hero to all Kinect  hackers and followers, since his work went viral shortly after the release of Microsoft’s $150.00 Kinect Controller for XBox360 (“where you are the controller”).

Many of us became aware of the tele-immersion research of Dr. Oliver Kreylos, after first seeing his work on YouTube and the international Kinect forums.
This year Oliver Kreylos’ team and collaborators from UC Berkeley, received the “CENIC 2011 Innovations in Networking” award, in the category “High-Performance Research Applications,” for “Tele-Immersion for Physicians,” also known as the combination of 3D Video, Vrui’s collaboration infrastructure, and 3D Visualizer.

Using Kinect for 3D video - tele-immersion

Watch the video: "All Quiet on the Martian Front"

View the video on YouTube |  Uploaded: Dec 20, 2010  | 206,383 views

Here are a few monumental breaking news posts from  Dr. Oliver Kreylos’ home page last November , 2010:

11/16/2010: 11:03pm, “one million views. Insane.”

11/22/2010: Since it’s been prominently featured in my most recent Kinect video, I figured I’d finally publicly release the Nanotech Construction Kit. GPL v2, yadda yadda yadda, you know the drill.

11/22/2010: I was featured in an article about Kinect hacking in the New York Times, 3D glasses and all. Yay!

11/25/2010: Vrui 2.0 has finally been released, after a long delay.

12/02/2010: Kinect package 1.2 with support for multiple Kinect cameras released and avaliable for download on the Kinect Hacking page.

More on Dr. Oliver Kreylos’ Research and Development work, publications and Kinect Hacking.

Related articles:

Kurillo, G, Bajcsy, R, Nahrsted, K, et al. (2008). IEEE Virtual Reality 2008, 269-70.

Vasudevan, R, Kurillo, G, Lobaton, E, et al. (2011). High-Quality Visualization for Geographically Distributed 3-D Teleimmersive Applications. IEEE transactions on multimedia, 13(3), 573-84.

Projects Using Kinect & Second Life:

research articles using Kinect and Second Life

Hacking Microsoft's Kinect using the FAAST Toolkit - PDF

Leading the hacking of Kinect to use with Avatars in the proprietary virtual environment of  Second Life, is the Institute for Creative Technologies, University of Southern California. USC and OpenNI have released the FAAST  (Flexible Action and Articulated Skeleton Toolkit) and it is available for download.

So where is the peer reviewed literature on Virtual Worlds?

You’ll find peer reviewed articles from Medical/Health Nursing & Engineering, Computer Science, Education, Sociology and Psychology and Multidisciplinary Databases… and more.
Start with the following databases: PubMed (from the Library website), Cinahl, Academic Source Complete and IEEEXplore, Inspec, Web of Science. The UC Davis Harvest Catalog has a selection of electronic and print resources, some published by UC Faculty. A quick search in Harvest: Using the following query and selecting “Subject Words” from the drop-down menu, retrieves over 500 related items:  “shared virtual environments” OR “Second Life” OR “virtual reality”
Click on the link at the top of the Year column to sort your results by year.
Always go through the Library’s website (using the database direct links, database A-Z listing, or Online Journals link) to reach the Library licensed resources. If you are searching from off campus, be sure to login through the Library’s VPN so that you are authenticated as a UC Davis student, staff or faculty member.

“How do I find the actual article?”

When searching the library licensed databases, always use the UC–eLinks to reach the actual article (whether it’s print or online). If it’s not available, use the request from another campus option on the UC-eLinks page.If you already know which of the 795 databases you would like to use, just type in its name on the Databases A-Z page. For Health Informatics research, you really do need use a few of the Subject Guides that focus on the technology across the related disciplines. To locate a specific subject area and the library licensed resources, take a look at the Subject Guides. They have been created by the Library Subject Specialists and you’ll find their contact names and email easily accessible at the top of each subject guide.For UC Davis students , staff and faculty:

Logging in from Off Campus using the VPN

  • Login to the Virtual Private Network (VPN) using your username and Kerberos pass phrase or password.
  • If you are logged in using CITRIX from the UC Davis Medical Center (UCDMC), be sure to open up another browser and login to the VPN
  • On the VPN welcome screen, copy and paste the URLs for the journal articles into the browse field directly below the VPN taskbar (usually at the top right of your screen).
  • If you are new to the VPN, watch the YouTube video walking you through the UC Davis VPN login and UC-eLinks from off campus

You’ll know you are logged in when you reach the VPN Welcome screen [below] and see the VPN task bar (Home, Help & Logout icons) at the top of your browser window. Choose where you want to start… the Library Home page or the Databases A-Z list, etc. If you have a DOI (digital object identifyer for an article) or want to view an unrelated web page,and remain logged into the VPN, use the ‘Browse’ field below the VPN taskbar.

Use the browse field at top right below the VPN task bar
Note: the VPN Taskbar & Browse field indicated by red arrow

MHI289h: Library related session using Second Life for simulation and research with Bernadette Swanson, Nov. 2011:

Workshop on Virtual Environments: Second Life and OpenSimulator
View the PowerPoint on

PTSD among first responders

January 19th, 2011 by Mary Wood



Michael Ferrara


NPR’s Morning Edition this morning included as a “must-read” an Outside article by Hampton Sides.


The Man Who Saw Too Much” discusses post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among first-responders.  The article is about search and rescue veteran Michael Ferrara, who for 30 years has worked as a paramedic, ski patroller, high-angle rescuer, and avalanche specialist, and opens the discussion of PTSD beyond the battlefield.


Outside Magazine, January 2011



NCI Analysis on Medical Expenditures for Cancer

January 14th, 2011 by Deanna Johnson

The National Cancer Institute has published a report on the increase of medical expenditures for cancer in the first 2011 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. The analysis shows, based on growth and aging of the U.S. population, medical expenditures for cancer are projected to reach at least $158 billion (in 2010 dollars) by the year 2020 – an increase of 27 percent over 2010. If newly developed tools for cancer diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up continue to be more expensive, medical expenditures for cancer could reach as high as $207 billion. An interactive web site at provides charts and tables based on the original study as well.

Article citation: Mariotto AB, Robin Yabroff K, Shao Y, Feuer EJ, Brown ML. 2011. Projections of the Cost of Cancer Care in the United States: 2010-2020. J Natl Cancer Inst 103:1–12. PMID: 21228314 or

Open Access Journal: PLoS Pathogens on Cryptococcus gattii

April 23rd, 2010 by

If you were listening to NPR this morning, you may have caught the story of a new strain of Cryptococcus gattii (C. gattii) found in Oregon, and heard about the recently published article by Duke researchers in the open access journal, PLoS Pathogens

Laptop with open access journals PLOS and BIOone article

..In their study, EJ Byrnes, examine the expansion of an outbreak of the fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, in the Pacific Northwest. Cryptococcus gattii had been considered a tropical fungus. Since the 1999 outbreak of the fungus on the temperate Vancouver Island, the researchers document the expansion that is causing disease in humans and animals in the United States.
Their work was published in the open source peer-reviewed journal, PLOS Pathogens this week:

Byrnes EJ III, Li W, Lewit Y, Ma H, Voelz K, et al. 2010 Emergence and Pathogenicity of Highly Virulent Cryptococcus gattii Genotypes in the Northwest United States. PLoS Pathog 6(4): e1000850. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000850

You may also be interested in the recently published article by Rotstein, which is the first reported infection of C. gattii in a dolphin from Hawaii. The article is also available via open access through BioOne.

Rotstein, D, West, K, Levine, G, et al. (2010). CRYPTOCOCCUS GATTII VGI IN A SPINNER DOLPHIN (STENELLA LONGIROSTRIS) FROM HAWAII. Journal of zoo and wildlife medicine, 41(1), 181-183.