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Vol. LXIV, No. 7
March 30, 2012

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STEP Forum on Bioethics, Apr. 17

The staff training in extramural programs (STEP) committee will present a Current Controversies in Medicine forum on the topic “Bioethics—Why Should We Care?” on Tuesday, Apr. 17, from 9 a.m. to noon in Rockledge II, Rms. 9112-9116.

Basic human values influence decisions in medicine and science. Do you know what determines whether clinical research or a trial is ethical and who is involved in making this decision? How has our understanding of research ethics evolved? The speakers will discuss current practices and address bioethical issues that affect us all.

NIH Plans Earth Day 2012 Celebration, Apr. 26

We are done with the “Winter That Wasn’t” and many plants are rushing through an exceptionally early spring. Like the plants, the Office of Research Facilities, Division of Environmental Protection and the IC Green Teams are also busy. We are planning for NIH’s next big Earth Day event, to be celebrated on Thursday, Apr. 26.

Consider volunteering your green ideas, time and talents to the Earth Day planning committee. If interested, contact Danita Broadnax at Be sure to check out for a full list of Earth Day activities.

‘IT’ Biodiversity Awareness Contest

‘IT’ Biodiversity Awareness Contest

It is time to reveal some clues about the mystery organism featured in the Office of Research Facilities’ annual Earth Day “Name IT Contest.” IT is always an organism that has something to do with drug discovery or medicine and that may be threatened by overharvesting, invasive species, habitat destruction, pollution or other environmental factors. IT provides a living example of the importance to NIH’s mission of protecting biodiversity.

Some clues about this year’s IT (right) :

  • Native Americans traditionally used me as a stimulant and to treat headaches, fever, indigestion and infertility.
  • Scientists are investigating many potential uses of me to treat a variety of diseases including diabetes, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and inflammatory diseases. In laboratory studies, I also showed powerful inhibitory activity against colorectal cancer cells.
  • According to an ancient doctrine going back to the time of Galen and Dioscurides, what I look like suggests the parts of the body that my healing properties may be applied to, so I may be good for treating diseases affecting all parts of the body.
  • Even though my medicinal properties have not been proven, there is wide belief in them and collectors have been depleting my wild populations for over 250 years.
  • States near NIH’s headquarters have established special programs to protect me and only my binomial scientific name will be accepted as a correct answer.

Send your guesses about this year’s IT to by Friday, Apr. 20.

Lectures To Provide Training in Protocol Navigation

The inaugural lecture for the IRP Protocol Navigation Training Program will be held Monday, Apr. 2 from 1 to 3 p.m. in the first floor conference room of Bldg. 50. The program is a trans-NIH effort to develop resources and tools and to provide training for intramural staff involved in protocol development, writing, coordination and management. Speakers will include Dr. Dan Kastner, NHGRI scientific director; Dr. Howard Austin, chair of the NIDDK/NIAMS institutional review board; and members of the NIH Office of Human Subjects Research Protections. All will be available to answer questions from the audience. Refreshments will be served.

Minority Health Month Observed, Apr. 19

In honor of National Minority Health Month, the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities will host the first NIH Minority Health Promotion Day on Thursday, Apr. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Clinical Center’s south lobby and Masur Auditorium. The day-long celebration will highlight the work that NIH institutes and centers, federal agencies and local NIH grantees are doing to improve minority health.

Among the activities planned are a poster session of work to address the health of minority communities; an exhibit of health promotion resources from various agencies; and a speakers forum focusing on social determinants of health and the work of agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of State, the Department of Justice, the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to improve minority health and eliminate health disparities. Visit for details.

5th Annual Free Community Shred Day, Apr. 20

On Friday, Apr. 20, from 4 to 7 p.m., the FAES, in collaboration with Torn2Shredz, will be sponsoring a Free Community Shred Day. Bring up to 2 boxes worth of personal documents for free destruction and recycling. Limited compact fluorescent light bulb and battery recycling will also be available. Watch on closed-circuit TV while your old bank and credit card statements are destroyed and then sent for recycling. Protect your identity while you protect Mother Earth. Location is the FAES Social & Academic Center, 9101 Old Georgetown Rd. For more information, contact Rose McNeely, FAES property manager, (301) 530-2194 or email

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