News media coverage of smoking and health is associated with changes in population rates of smoking cessation but not initiation. (1/30)

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether changes in news media coverage of smoking and health issues are associated with changes in smoking behaviour in the USA. DESIGN AND MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Issue importance in the US news media is assessed by the number of articles published annually in major magazines indexed in The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature. Annual incidence rates for cessation and initiation in the USA were computed from the large, representative National Health Interview Surveys (1965-1992). Patterns in cessation incidence were considered for ages 20-34 years and 35-50 years. Initiation incidence was examined for adolescents (14-17 years) and young adults (18-21 years) of both sexes. RESULTS: From 1950 to the early 1980s, the annual incidence of cessation in the USA mirrored the pattern of news media coverage of smoking and health, particularly for middle aged smokers. Cessation rates in younger adults increased considerably when second hand smoke concerns started to increase in the US population. Incidence of initiation in young adults did not start to decline until the beginning of the public health campaign against smoking in the 1960s. Among adolescents, incidence rates did not start to decline until the 1970s, after the broadcast ban on cigarette advertising. CONCLUSIONS: The level of coverage of smoking and health in the news media may play an important role in determining the rate of population smoking cessation, but not initiation. In countries where cessation has lagged, advocates should work to increase the newsworthiness of smoking and health issues.  (+info)

Protection of patients' rights to privacy. (2/30)

The following statement was agreed [upon] by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (the Vancouver Group) at its meeting last week in San Francisco. It is a complete revision of the initial guidelines on this subject issued in 1991.  (+info)

Print versus electronic journals: a preliminary investigation into the effect of journal format on research processes. (3/30)

PURPOSE: To begin investigating the impact of electronic journals on research processes such as information seeking, the authors conducted a pilot journal-use study to test the hypothesis that patrons use print and electronic journals differently. METHODOLOGY: We placed fifteen high-use print titles also available in electronic format behind the circulation desk; patrons were asked to complete a survey upon requesting a journal. We also conducted a parallel survey of patrons using library computers. Both surveys asked patrons to identify themselves by user category and queried them about their journal use. RESULTS: During the month-long study, patrons completed sixty-nine surveys of electronic and ninety surveys of print journal use. Results analysis indicated that fellows, students, and residents preferred electronic journals, and faculty preferred print journals. Patrons used print journals for reading articles and scanning contents; they employed electronic journals for printing articles and checking references. Users considered electronic journals easier to access and search than print journals; however, they reported that print journals had higher quality text and figures. DISCUSSION/CONCLUSION: This study is an introductory step in examining how electronic journals affect research processes. Our data revealed that there were distinct preferences in format among categories. In addition to collection management implications for libraries, these data also have implications for publishers and educators; current electronic formats do not facilitate all types of uses and thus may be changing learning patterns as well.  (+info)

Learning how scientists work: experiential research projects to promote cell biology learning and scientific process skills. (4/30)

Facilitating not only the mastery of sophisticated subject matter, but also the development of process skills is an ongoing challenge in teaching any introductory undergraduate course. To accomplish this goal in a sophomore-level introductory cell biology course, I require students to work in groups and complete several mock experiential research projects that imitate the professional activities of the scientific community. I designed these projects as a way to promote process skill development within content-rich pedagogy and to connect text-based and laboratory-based learning with the world of contemporary research. First, students become familiar with one primary article from a leading peer-reviewed journal, which they discuss by means of PowerPoint-based journal clubs and journalism reports highlighting public relevance. Second, relying mostly on primary articles, they investigate the molecular basis of a disease, compose reviews for an in-house journal, and present seminars in a public symposium. Last, students author primary articles detailing investigative experiments conducted in the lab. This curriculum has been successful in both quarter-based and semester-based institutions. Student attitudes toward their learning were assessed quantitatively with course surveys. Students consistently reported that these projects significantly lowered barriers to primary literature, improved research-associated skills, strengthened traditional pedagogy, and helped accomplish course objectives. Such approaches are widely suited for instructors seeking to integrate process with content in their courses.  (+info)

GM crops dancing to different tunes. (5/30)

MEDIAWATCH: Parts of the British media are keeping up a campaign against the introduction of genetically modified crops ahead of the governemnet's assessment of the trial programme this autumn, often to the detriment of the arguments.  (+info)

How to...write a paper. (6/30)

Writing a paper may seem like a daunting process for the inexperienced researcher (and sometimes for those who are experienced!). However, this does not need to be the case if the approach is logical and systematic. This article covers some of the most important aspects of writing a scientific paper.  (+info)

Nonhealing skin lesions in a sailor and a journalist returning from Iraq. (7/30)

US health care providers who are not familiar with cutaneous leishmaniasis may now begin to encounter more patients with this challenging entity as military personnel return from rotations in Iraq or Afghanistan. Diagnosis requires a skin scraping, aspiration, or biopsy, followed by examination by an experienced microscopist or pathologist. Demonstration of the parasite DNA by PCR or culture in special media can also be used to confirm the diagnosis. Sodium stibogluconate is the mainstay of therapy, but other options for selected cases include topical thermal or cryotherapy treatment and oral triazole compounds. Assistance is available through the CDC and, for Department of Defense beneficiaries, certain military facilities.  (+info)

Communication and re-use of chemical information in bioscience. (8/30)

The current methods of publishing chemical information in bioscience articles are analysed. Using 3 papers as use-cases, it is shown that conventional methods using human procedures, including cut-and-paste are time-consuming and introduce errors. The meaning of chemical terms and the identity of compounds is often ambiguous. valuable experimental data such as spectra and computational results are almost always omitted. We describe an Open XML architecture at proof-of-concept which addresses these concerns. Compounds are identified through explicit connection tables or links to persistent Open resources such as PubChem. It is argued that if publishers adopt these tools and protocols, then the quality and quantity of chemical information available to bioscientists will increase and the authors, publishers and readers will find the process cost-effective.  (+info)