No. 270 July 2005
MAPS: FAST AND FREE The TopoZone, in partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey, is an online interactive source for online topographic maps. TopoZone provides a free “Place Name Search” engine which allows one to view the USGS topographic quadrangle map for any address, place, or city in the United States. Free registration in TOPOZONE allows further sampling and use of the interactive functions of its map service. For those who subscribe, subscription allows complete use of the TopoZone Map service and access to “every USGS topographic, orthophotomap, and aerial photograph in the United States.” Some of the interactive services for subscribers include Interactive Coordinate Display, Public Land Survey System Lookup, Extra-Large TopoZone Maps, Free downloads of original USGS topo maps, Ariel maps with street overlays, and Topographic maps with aerial photo overlays. TopoZone Pro is the interactive subscription service which provides a complete library of maps and aerial photography from the USGS and other sources. TopoZone is found at http://www.topozone.com/ is second only to your local federal depository library which may carry the paper version of the USGS topographic maps.
BREAST IMPLANT INFORMATION Those women who are about to make any decision about breast implants, need the latest information about breast implants issues and problems. Those individuals or anyone trying to resolve breast implant problems also need to visit the Food and Drug Administration website which has a wealth of information. In June 2004, the FDA released FDA Breast Implant Consumer Handbook – 2004. This online 76 page volume “covers such topics as the status of breast implants, potential complications, issues to consider, timeline of FDA activities related to breast implants, and breast implant resource groups.” Other related information about Implants studies, Listservs, Mentor Information, Patient Labeling, and Complications information are also found at the FDA Breast Implants website (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/breastimplants/ ). This site includes a link to the handbook which is available in html segments or as a single PDF file (http://www.fda.gov/cdrh/breastimplants/indexbip.html).
AHRQ PATIENT SAFETY NETWORK (PSNet) The U.S. DHHS, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality is the federal agency for information about medical errors prevention and patient safety. With error prevention and patient safety as primary concerns of the AHRQ, it has created a new web-based resource which will collect, house, and make available the latest news and essential resources of information about medical error occurrence and prevention for patient safety. AHRQ Patient Safety Network (PSNet) (http://psnet.ahrq.gov/index.aspx ) has a What’s New feature which provides citations to some of the latest safety literature, news articles, and meetings/conferences, or kits/tools which relate to patient safety. In addition to the latest, the Patient Safety Classics lists the most cited and influential books, articles, and sources of information on patient safety. AHRQ WebM&M: Morbidity & Mortality Rounds on the Web (http://webmm.ahrq.gov/ ) is a new monthly which features “Cases & Commentaries” on user-submitted cases of medical errors. Health professionals can access and read “case and commentary” articles about actual medical errors which have occurred. Signed discussions as to why errors occurred and how they can be prevented in the future. This online journal allows the health professional to also register and submit articles and to receive electronic notices of new issues and case commentaries.
BIRD FEEDERS BREED BIRD DISEASES AND MORTALITY Hoof and Mouth Disease is well known disease which plagued the cattle and horses of America’s pioneers and is still a problem. West Nile Virus is a bird disease which can bring death to both birds and humans. There have to cows, horses, and birds to find both diseases occurring in your back yard. Some birds just “passing through” may bring West Nile Virus. However, those households which have birdfeeders show know the dangers of birdfeeders. Did you know there are four diseases which are originate in and are spread by the bird feeders in your own back yard? The four diseases which can kill these birds are Salmonellosis, Trichomoniasis, Aspergillosis, and Avian Pox. House Finches, and Mourning Doves are two breeds that use bird feeders and can catch the diseases that originate and exist in bird feeders. There are eight easy steps which can prevent bird feeders from being the source of these bird diseases. There are eight “Precautions against Disease” found in The National Wildlife Health Center’s Fact Sheet: Coping With Diseases at Bird Feeders http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/pamphlets/coping_with_birdfeeder_diseases_pamplet.pdf (Note: this PDF may be slow to upload to your computer.) This Fact Sheet also provides information about the Diseases, the disease microbe, how it works, how to identify sick birds, how the disease spreads, and how to prevent it and preventing the spread of the diseases.
ANIMALS HEALTH AND DEATH INFORMATION For human health and mortality information the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Public Health Service, and the National Center for Health Statistics are the federal agencies which should be consulted. What about animals? Our furry friends who live on the land, in the sea, and in the air have the National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC)( http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/) , which monitors their birth, life, diseases, illnesses, and deaths. There are animal diseases such as Duck Plague, Hoof and Mouth Disease, West Nile Virus, Avian Cholera, Avian Botulism, and Avian Pox which are included in the 14 Emerging Diseases in Wildlife which are the major concern of wildlife scientists. The CDC monitors human health issues and the NWHC in Madison Wisconsin was established to monitor the health of America’s wildlife. The NWHC monitors animal diseases and the impact of those diseases on animal populations. The NWCH has diseases research programs, conducts investigations, develops disease prevention and control techniques, and publishes information. Since 19994, the NWHC has collected information about specific instances of wildlife mortality events throughout the United States. The Quarterly Mortality Report (http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS57910) identifies any reported events of animals’ deaths as to State, Location (County/City), Dates, Species (name), Mortality (numbers), Diagnosis (cause), and Reporting Source. This quarterly documents when, where, why, and how America’s wildlife have died.
HEALTH STATUS OF AMERICA: PEOPLE AND ANIMALS For the first time, there is health status information for both people and animals. (A) for people: Health, United States, 2005, with Chartbook on Trends in the Health of Americans is the 29th annual report on the Health Status of the American people issued by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). It presents the latest national health statistics and trends in 156 Trend tables covering four major subject areas. The subject areas include: (1) health status and determinants, (2) health care utilization, (3) health care resources, and (4) health care expenditures. This edition includes eight new tables on topics such as multiple births, birth certificates, respiratory conditions, headaches, back pain, vision and hearing limitations, leisure-time physical activity, and adult vaccinations. This volume (circa 550 pages) is available online in single or multiple PDF files, excel spreadsheet files, and in a compact disk format. All the details are found on the CDC website (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm). The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued it (B) for animals, The 2004 United States Animal Health Report is the first review of the Nation’s animal health system. “Within its eight chapters, the report addresses the many components of the U.S. animal health infrastructure, animal populations, new animal health initiatives, and approaches to foreign animal disease (FAD) surveillance.” Topics covered include veterinarians, diagnostic laboratories, and federal and state animal and veterinary health services, demographics of livestock, poultry, and aquaculture production. Disease occurrences such as avian flu, mad cow disease, and foreign fish virus are documented as are USDA disease control and eradication programs and activities. Issued as Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 798, this 82 page review of animal health is available as a PDF file on the USDA website at http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS64960.
HISTORY OF VETERINARY MEDICINE Did you know there were people practicing animal healing procedures in Mesopotamia in 300 B.C. and there were animal hospitals in India in 273 B.C. In 62 AD the Roman scholar Columella wrote 12 volumes on animals, livestock and breeding which included animal healing, diseases, and medications. In 1760’s, there were veterinarian colleges programs in Sweden, Germany, and Denmark, and Austria, and in 1770 in France. In 1844 the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, a 5-year program was established in Great Britain. . Medical care for animals in the United States was lacking until the mid 19th century even though George Washington had an interest in animals, and Jefferson was interested in a sheep disease. There were some “expert cow doctors” who were had been came from England to Virginia in 1625 and anyone who had any veterinary expertise was from the old world. It was not until 1879, that the first veterinary college was established in the United States, a rather recent date for a very old profession. According to some historians, veterinarians in the United States were not recognized as health professionals, equal to medical doctors until the 1940’s and 1950’s. Information Resources on Veterinary History at the National Agricultural Library, http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/VetHistory/vethistory.htm compiled by Judith Ho, National Agricultural Library, Animal Welfare Information Center is 57 pages. The first tem pages discuss the historical chronology of major events in the history of veterinary science. Going from about 400 BC to present day, Ho discusses the names, dates, places, and important publications which make up veterinary history. The last 47 pages is the “Bibliography of Sources” of information about the history of veterinary science.
VIRTUAL ANIMAL DISSECTION Did you ever study anatomy? High school and college biology students dissect frogs, cats, and other animals to learn about the anatomical similarities and differences between humans and select lower animal species. Many of these students can relate stories about the “joy and excitement” of dissecting an animal. Animal dissection is not for anyone who has “squeamish tendencies.” Computers and world of “virtual reality” have solved the problem for those who have missed the biology classes which allow the opportunity to dissect animals. The computer’s virtual dissection may help the squeamish and those who would not want some additional practice and anatomical education. Selected Internet Resources for Science Fairs, Animals in Education and Research, Kids Pages, and Animal Careers (http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/scifair.htm) compiled by Dr. Richard Crawford in November 1999 and Revised in July 2000 is the webpage for squeamish yet budding anatomist. The Animals in Education and Research Section of this web page provides links to related virtual dissection of several virtual dissection sites including About biology.com (http://biology.about.com/ ) website which links to the dissection of over ten animals previous found only the in the classroom.
ANIMAL GENOMES & VIRTUAL ANIMALS At the National Library of Medicine’s The Visible Human Project website (http://www.nlm.nih.gov/research/visible/visible_human.html ) you will find the Human Genome. The computer produced genetic structure and picture of the visible human man and woman, begun in 1986 as a NLM long term project now exists as a genetic picture of the human being. Genetic researchers have now begun the study of the genetics of animals and plants. In 2002 the Interagency Working Group on Domestic Animal Genomics was created to coordinate the genomic research of eight federal agencies. Scientists are now working on sequencing the genomes of the cow, pig, honey bee, and chicken. This Working Group is also exploring the possibility of sequencing the catfish, the rainbow trout, and Pacific Oyster. The genomic mapping has already been done for other nonagricultural animals such as the mouse and dog. “Forum—Finding Out What Makes Animals Tick –Genetically” by Ronnie Green, Agricultural Research Magazine, V. 53, No. 1, January 2005, page 2 ( http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan05/ ) provides all the details about the beginnings of Animal Genome research.
USDA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH SERVICE (ARS) & ANIMAL GENOMES PROJECTS Even though bees are small, it’s time consuming and expensive to map and sequence the genome of a bee. The ARS and National Institutes of Health’s National Human Genome Research Institute and the have provided the funding for selected research projects at major universities which have under taken the projects of mapping and sequencing the genomes for the honey bee, pig, cow, and chicken. “Unraveling the Genome of the Honey Bee, Pig, Cow, and Chicken, An Agency Effort to Sequence Genomes,” by David Elstein, Don Comis, Jan Suszkiw, and Alfredo Flores in Agricultural Research Magazine, V. 53, No. 1, January 2005, pages 4-8 http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan05/ provides all the details about animals, universities, researchers names, and projects. Also included are details about other research projects and general genome research progress for each animal.
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