In a recent WPXI news story, Pitt medical student Angelica Escobar demonstrates how using virtual reality (VR) can be incorporated in medical training. In her scenario, she approaches a person found lying in the basement and has to decide her first response. Will she give them naloxone? Or call 911? “It makes something that is very scary, that can be very daunting, it makes it more approachable in a safe environment,” Escobar said.
This virtual reality program developed at the WISER Institute in conjunction with WyzLink technologies will be available at Falk Library, providing a new way to connect our Pitt health sciences community with simulations and applications utilizing cutting-edge VR technology. The library-based equipment includes Lenovo Explorer headsets connected to graphically enhanced computers running Windows Mixed Reality. Handheld controllers are used to navigate through the virtual scenario, such as walking through a room or selecting an object. In all scenarios, you can experience the immersive feeling just by wearing the headset and maneuvering the handheld controllers. Chairs are provided for those using the technology to provide a safer experience.
Medical training experiences, like the one that Escobar demonstrates, will be the core offerings on the HSLS-based VR equipment, allowing for curriculum-integrated training. Other medical applications include 3D Organon VR Anatomy, an anatomy atlas, and MedicalHolodeck DICOM viewer for MRI and CT scans. Simple scenarios also are available for those who just want to explore what the virtual reality experience is like.
Interested in trying out the virtual reality equipment? Inquire at the Technology Help Desk on the upper floor of Falk Library. Your Pitt ID will be needed to access the equipment, and an online reservation system is pending.
In August of 2010, two longtime health journalists, Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus, founded Retraction Watch, “a site dedicated to reporting on scientific retractions and related issues” to bring to light how many scientific papers are withdrawn yearly and why.
“Although retractions are on average occurring sooner after publication than in the past, citation analysis shows that they are not being recognized by subsequent users of the work…More aggressive means of notification to the scientific community appear to be necessary.”
Celebrate the season by joining us for a holiday concert performed by the PalPITTations, an a capella vocal group of health sciences students from the University of Pittsburgh. The PalPITTations will perform on Monday, December 17, at 12:15 p.m., on the upper floor of Falk Library. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome for this free concert!
Over winter break, curl up with a good book from the HSLS Leisure Reading Collection of newly-published fiction and nonfiction. The Leisure Reading Collection is located on the left as you enter main floor of Falk Library next to the comfortable seating area.
Several of the popular books in the leisure collection include:
Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel by Katherine Arden
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (Winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction and this year’s One Book, One Community selection.)
Likewar: The Weaponization of Social Media by P.W. Singer
November Road by Lou Berney
The Fox by Frederick Forsythe
The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
The Orphan’s Tale by Pam Jenoff
Under My Skin by Lisa Unger
Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
You can easily browse the collection or use PITTCat or the Pitt Resources Quick Search box to locate specific titles. Multiple books may be borrowed for a three-week period. If a book you want to read is checked out to another person, place a hold on the book and you’ll be notified when it is returned. We welcome recommendations, send your suggestions to Ask a Librarian.
Online preprint servers allow researchers to quickly disseminate work freely without compromising copyrights. While making new research easy to find, download, and cite, preprint servers also establish primacy and the versioning record.
Preprints qualify for this treatment because the manuscript has not yet been submitted to, accepted by, or revised in any way by a publisher, and the copyright is held by the author(s). Most, but not all, publishers now approve of preprint servers. To be certain that your planned journal permits preprint publication, check it using the SHERPA/ROMEO tool in advance!
We’ve all seen those pervasive health ads that pop up while browsing a newsfeed or shopping online. Some ads, known as clickbait, capture attention with sensational photos or headlines such as “Let’s eat clay!” Some declare quick fixes to treat acute and chronic conditions such as arthritis or diabetes. Still others instill fear or push conspiracy theories by claiming “doctors don’t want you to know this.” These ads may use positive or negative emotional appeal to entice some consumers to waste money on unproven remedies which lack scientific evidence, and are unlikely to provide health benefits. Additionally, use of untested approaches can lead to delays in seeking proper diagnosis and treatment, and cause serious harm or even death.
In response to online health-related scams, a team of interdisciplinary health professionals at the University of British Columbia created a simple tool to help consumers evaluate such ads for deception. The Risk of Deception Tool assigns a point value based on the number of persuading aspects in the ad, such as use of celebrity endorsement, pseudo-technical jargon, claims of product scarcity, or evidence of efficacy. A high overall point tally signifies a greater likelihood that the ad is fraudulent.
According to the study, the Risk of Deception Tool “appears to have some initial face validity in assisting in the assessment of suspect Internet health marketing.” It was developed with the intention of helping healthcare professionals “educate the public on how to assess the risk of healthcare products and services promoted through the Internet, and to improve public safety.” The Tool could also be considered for use as a classroom learning exercise for students in the health sciences, or as a health promotion activity for consumers attending health information fairs.
If you are searching for trustworthy, high quality web information, HSLS librarians can point you to strategies for evaluating the credibility of web resources. Contact us via HSLS Ask-a-Librarian for assistance.
Scientists have to be disciplined to follow the rigors of research inquiry, experimentation, and investigation, as well as publishing requirements. Some thrive in the structured environment, while others may crave another outlet where they can practice freedom of expression. Since art can be a perfect counterbalance for the rigidity of their work, it comes as no surprise that many scientists choose to express themselves via artistic means.
Each year, Donna Stolz, associate professor of cell biology, and Jonathan Franks from the Center for Biologic Imaging (CBI), highlight the artistic side of research through Science as Art exhibits during the annual science and technology event at Pitt. For Science 2018, the curators re-envisioned the exhibit, inspired by Pitt structural biology researcher, Esra Bozkurt, who shared her idea to feature artwork of fellow Pitt scientists. They reached out to the University community, and the resulting exhibit presented works of 45 faculty and students from all Pitt schools of health sciences and various research departments.
HSLS is now hosting an encore of this exhibit in our rotating gallery space on the upper floor of Falk Library. We invited all artists to display their work at Falk Library for longer exposure to a wider University community. The positive response from the artists and the team at CBI prompted the Scientists as Artists Reprise exhibit, on display from December 3, 2018, through January 16, 2019, on Falk Library’s upper floor. More than 50 works including paintings, photography, sculpture, and more are on display. The bonus feature of the Scientists as Artists Reprise exhibit is that additional pieces, not seen prior at Science 2018, have been added. The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular library hours.
HSLS, along with academic health sciences libraries at NYU Langone Health, Duke University, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hofstra University, University of Maryland at Baltimore, University of Virginia, and Wayne State University, participates in the Data Catalog Collaboration Project (DCCP). The DCCP recently received an award from the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Great Team Science Contest. “One of the goals of the CTSAs is to promote team science through establishing mechanisms by which biomedical researchers can collaborate, be trained in why team science is important, and develop evaluation measures to assess teamwork in biomedical research contexts.” “One hundred seventy applications were submitted, and the DCCP received the highest score for the Top Importance category.”
As a participant in the DCCP, HSLS developed the Pitt Data Catalog, a tool that provides Pitt researchers with an easy way to make their datasets discoverable as well as to identify other usable data.
Jacques-Fabien Gautier D’Agoty (1717-1785), the French anatomist and printmaker, produced his first color printed image of a shell in 1737. He started color printing by making reproductions of oil paintings, but soon turned to producing color-printed images for science. Between 1745 and 1785, he produced more than a dozen illustrated works on anatomy and physics. His cooperation with anatomist Joseph-Guichard Duverney resulted in the publication of three anatomy atlases. After the anatomist’s death, Gautier himself took over the anatomical dissections and demonstrations used for later works. He provided color plates for many periodicals. As a member of the Académie des Sciences, Arts et Belles-Lettres de Dijon, he used his scientific activity to promote his business. His entrepreneurial skills made his printing atelier into a successful family enterprise. He and all of his five sons were influential members of printing and artistic communities in Paris in the mid-18th century. Continue reading →
The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, etc.
All author and presenter names in bold are HSLS-affiliated
Kate Flewelling, NNLM MAR Executive Director, was elected Chair-Elect of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association. Flewelling was also accepted to Pitt’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs to pursue the Master of Public Policy and Management.
Veronica Leigh Milliner, NNLM MAR All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator, was appointed to the Children and Technology Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children within the American Library Association for a two-year term. Continue reading →