No. 258 July 2004
LANDVIEW 6 – CENSUS DATA FOR CIRCLES The 1970 Census of Population was the first on a computer, and now with the Census Bureau’s LandView package we have a portable
database package with its own search engine. In its latest version, released in January 20, 2004, LandView 6 DVD is a unique Census 2 disk set which allows the creation of a data table
and a circular thematic map. MARPLOT, its software allows the design and creation of a circle around a selected geographic point (on that map) anywhere in the United States. This map accompanies the previously created table of 2000 Census information about the population within that circle. MARPLOT is the mapping software and LandView is the Census Data
Software. The data user first selects a specific street address or a land feature such as an airport or school; or, just a specific longitude/latitude can be the center of the single or
multilayered map created with MARPLOT. Next, LandView is used to select the number of miles in the circle and search the Census 2000 database found on these disks. Selected
demographic and housing data at the block/block group level is selected, aggregated, and presented in a table format. The Data Table for the population in the map and Map can be
saved or printed. LandView 6, as self-contained, has instructions, software, and the data for 50 states on two DVDs. If needed, there are instructional aids on the Census Bureau
LandView 6 DVD webpage ( http://www.census.gov/geo/landview ). The basic functions of creating a map, drawing a circle, and selecting the Census data are easily achievable after
some time reading the instructions, taking the tutorial, using online help (LandView 6 Help Table of Contents http://www.census.gov/geo/landview/lv6help/lv6_contents.html), and
practice. LandView 6 DVD is a sophisticated multifunction “miniature and portable” GIS system which combines 2000 Census data with the new Census geographic format Circles.
LandView 6 DVDs are found in Federal Depository Libraries under SuDoc Number C 3.301:6 and they can be purchased from the Census Bureau (LandView 6 DVD, http://www.census.gov/mp/www/Tempcat/LV6.html ). LandView 6 DVDs are a landmark in history of Census geography which will have you going in circles.
CICADAS & BUTTERFLIES Thus far 2004 has been the year of the Cicadas which made their 17 year appearance. That was an insect many people experienced and learned about for
the first time while trying to avoid them. Though harmless, the Cicada is not one of the nature’s more attractive and pleasant creatures, and Cicadas have returned to the soil until 2021.
It’s now time to turn to one of nature’s more appealing and most colorful creatures, the butterfly. Some people look at butterflies, some people collect them, and some make the study of butterflies their life’s work. They are Lepidopterists. There currently are some Lepidopterists who have created a nationwide collection of information about butterflies. There are many
types, colors, sizes, shapes, and they are found all over the United States, and now you don’t have to travel to see them. If you have a computer you need not go anywhere. The U.S.
Geological Survey’s Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, has put its Butterflies of North America (United States and northern Mexico, Canada Planned) database/website at (http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/bflyusa.htm) is where you can click on any State and see all the species of Birds found in your state and county. Of course,
if there is a species which you know is in your county but not in the database you now have the opportunity to report that fact. For each species of butterfly identified in this database,
there is a Common and Scientific name, wing span, identification/description, life history, flight (migration) information, caterpiller hosts, adult food, habitat, range, conservation
management needs, and Global Conservancy Global Rank, and bibliography of information resources, author (of the record), color pictures of the adult, eggs, and growth stages, and
a State map showing all the counties of confirmed and dubious records of sitings of this particular species. There are State and County species lists for every county and State, with
colored pictures which enable you to identify any species observed in your (or any other) county. This database is a “work in progress” which means if you observe a species of a
bird in your county which has not yet been included in this database, you can report it. If you can follow the procedures in How I Can Report a New County Record for a Moth or
Butterfly? http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/help/faq/bflymoth/records.htm , your observation could be recorded in this database. What more can you ask?
DISEASE SURVEILLANCE TWO KINDS When a doctor diagnoses an illness as measles, mumps, AIDS, or any of the Reportable diseases or conditions as defined by State laws and regulations, he sends a report to the State Public Health Department. The Public Health Department in each state then reports this data to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC). This Disease Surveillance and reporting system results in data and publications which come from the CDC National Notifiable Disease Surveillance System (http://www.cdc.gov/epo/dphsi/nndsshis.htm) which publishes the MMWR Weekly Report and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) weekly and Annual Summary of
Notifiable Diseases. This diagnosis and case reporting surveillance is how public health professionals track disease occurance. In some instances, case occurrence and frequency data
is used to anticipate and declare a disease outbreak. There is a new disease surveillance which functions “through receipt of new types of data that can signify an outbreak earlier in its
course. [Syndromic surveillance is one of the] new types of [surveillance] data one might include health-care product purchases, absences from work or school, presenting symptoms to
a health-care provider, or laboratory test orders. New data types have been used by public health to enhance [traditional report] surveillance, reflecting events that might precede a clinical diagnosis (e.g., patient's chief complaints in emergency departments, clinical impressions on ambulance log sheets, prescriptions filled, retail drug and product purchases, school or work absenteeism, and constellations of medical signs and symptoms in persons seen in various clinical settings).” Framework for Evaluating Public Health Surveillance Systems for Early
Detection of Outbreaks (http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5305a1.htm ). The term “syndromic surveillance”applies to surveillance using health-related data that precede
diagnosis and signal a sufficient probability of a case or an outbreak to warrant further public health response” as found in Syndromic Surveillance: An Applied Approach to Outbreak
Detection (http://www.cdc.gov/epo/dphsi/syndromic.htm ) relies on the public health and emergency medical workers at the grass roots level. This new type of surveillance is part of the
CDC’s Bioterrorism preparedness planning. It part of the CDC’s first line of defense against “bioterrorism associated conditions” and more details are found in Syndrome Definitions
Associated with Critical Bioterrorism-associated Agents. (http://www.bt.cdc.gov/surveillance/syndromedef/index.asp)
AMERICA’S FOSTER CARE SYSTEM In May, there was a very brief but informative Associated Press/Gannett News Service article in our newspaper about the “Nation’s Foster
Care System.” The Foster Care System, which serves 540,000 neglected and abused children, is broken. The Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care just completed a study which
found that America’s Foster Care System should have more money to take care of all (homeless) children and not just the poor. The System should find more permanent solutions to
placing children and not just keep them in foster homes. Next the juvenile courts need more money to track and monitor the current supervison of foster children. Also a block grant or
similar distribution of funds to the States would allow them more flexibility than they currently have in spending their federal foster care funds. Federal funding for foster care currently
comes from 31 different programs, and this should be simplified. To read more about the current foster care system and its problems, don’t go to the newspaper article. The article does
not identify the Pew Commission report nor does it provide a lead to information about the Foster Care System. However, if you go to Pew Commission’s Press Release http://pewfostercare.org/docs/index.php?DocID=47 for more details and the Pew Commission Report, Fostering the Future: Safety, Permanence and Well-Being for Children in Foster
Care, May 2004, (http://pewfostercare.org/research/docs/FinalReport.pdf ). If you go to AFCARS: Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/dis/afcars/) , you will find the latest information on America’s Foster Care System.
SEE INSIDE A CELL In the recent past, the news media has publicized the achievements of the the Hubble and similar Telescopes and space probes which have allowed man to see and
learn about all the science of big and faraway celestial objects, and that is a item for later discussion. However, an area equally neglected is the small and nearby objects. Have you
heard about the new way to look at t he inside of a single living cell? In ORNL’s nanobiosensor technology gives new access to living cell’s molecular processes dated April 27, 2004, (http://www.ornl.gov/info/press_releases/get_press_release.cfm?ReleaseNumber=mr20040427-00 ) there is an image of a nanoprobe, with a tip 1,000 times finer than a human hair,
penetrating a cell. A bioreceptor molecule, such as an antibody, DNA, or enzyme that can bind to target molecules of interest inside the cell is immobilized on the tip of the nanoprobe.
With video microscopy to record the event, the nanoprobe is then inserted into a cell, observations and measurements are recorded and then the nanoprobe is withdrawn without d
estroying the cell. There are other cell measurement techniques, but this is the first system not lethal to the cell. This nanoprobe technique is to be used to study cell growth and
signaling, and the cells self-destruct mechanism called apoptosis. Now cells can be studied as to exactly how they react to toxins and biological pathogens, because when a toxin
or pathogen gets into the cell they self-destruct rather than introduce the disease to the organism. This nanobiosensor allows the molecular biologist to study cells reactions to
drugs in drug therapy studies or when cells are invaded by an unkown biological pathogen. These are some of the new developments in the world of small science.
MEDICARE COVERS OBESITY In April 2002, the Internal Revenue Service, for the first time, allowed weight loss programs as medical tax deductions since obesity in some instances is now considered to be a disease. (See the May 2003 Newsletter for details http://www.nku.edu/~yannarella/news0305.html.) The Social Security Administration has been reviewing its concept of obesity as a disease since September 2001. As with the Internal Revenue Service, obesity can be considered a disease insofar as it is caused by specific medical conditions. The Social Security’s Coverage Issues Manual, Section 35-26 Treatment of Obesity has been revised. To quote NCA Tracking Sheet for Obesity as an Illness (CAG-00108N): (http://www.cms.hhs.gov/mcd/viewtrackingsheet.asp?id=57 ) “Services in connection with the treatment of obesity are covered when such services are an integral and necessary part
of a course of treatment for one of these medical conditions. However, program payment may not be made for treatment of obesity unrelated to such a medical condition since treatment in this context has not been determined to be reasonable and necessary.” As part of the qualifying conditions, to obtain this new Medicare benefit a person has to submit a request for a National Coverage Determination decision on each specific obesity treatment. The Coverage Issues Manual , Section 35-26, which is online, includes a link to the Medicare Coverage Process page http://www.cms.hhs.gov/coverage/8a.asp to learn how to submit a request. This Process page has links to the full text of current laws and Regulations which relate to National and Local Coverage Determinations applications and decisions. The full text of latest Federal Law (Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003) and Regulation (“Medicare Program: Review of National Coverage Determinations and Local Coverage Determinations, Final Rule, Federal Register, V. 68, No. 216, November 7, 2003, pages 63691-63731) on our topic are both found on The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services(CMS) Laws and Related Regulations page http://www.cms.hhs.gov/regulations/ .
The CMS home page http://www.cms.hhs.gov/coverage/default.asp is the best place for more background information.
OBESITY Obesity was a problem for 97 million adults in 1998 and in 1999, for 61 percent of the adults and 13 percent of America’s children and adolescents. First Federal Obesity Clinical Guidelines Released was the 1998 Press Release announcing the Surgeon General’s issuance of America’s first obesity guidelines: Clinical Guidelines on the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults (http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_gdlns.htm) and also to other obesity-related publications on the Obesity Guidelines home page http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/guidelines/obesity/ob_home.htm. As of April 2002, the Surgeon General still views obesity as more of a problem because “Overweight, Obesity Threaten U.S. Health Gains.” (FDA Consumer Magazine, March-April 2002) http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2002/202_fat.html. More about the problem and possible answers are found in The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity is a 2001 report about the current battle with obesity found at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/obesity. America’s struggle to overcome obesity and its related problems has been around for a while and appears to be long and difficult.
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September 21, 2004