On October 1, 2020, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) will retire the previously stand-alone websites, Genetics Home Reference, HealthReach and ToxTown, and move most of the content to MedlinePlus, NLM’s flagship website for health information for patients, families, and the general public. This change is part of NLM’s initiative to align and consolidate the Library’s consumer health information to make it easier for online health information seekers to find and navigate trusted health information from NLM.
Genetics Home Reference
As noted in the NLM Technical Bulletin article, information from the Genetics Home Reference website is now available in a new topic section called MedlinePlus Genetics. The topic page includes information on more than 1300 genetic conditions, 1475 genes, all of the human chromosomes, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). There you will also find the Help Me Understand Genetics primer, which offers a basic explanation of how genes work and how mutations cause disorders, as well as current information about genetic testing, gene therapy, genetics research, and precision medicine. As knowledge of the genetic basis of diseases steadily increases and genetic testing becomes more prevalent, MedlinePlus will continue to produce reliable genetic disease information. The URLs for Genetics Home Reference content that has been integrated will redirect to the corresponding pages on MedlinePlus. Additionally, selected information from Genetics Home Reference will be available via data files and API, and via MedlinePlus Connect.
Additional information is available on the MedlinePlus is the New Home of Genetics Home Reference page.
Most material previously available at HealthReach will become accessible via MedlinePlus. Established in 2007 as the Refugee Health Information Network, HealthReach has provided access to free, high-quality multilingual consumer health information resources for those providing services to individuals with limited English proficiency. HealthReach users are invited to explore health information in multiple languages on MedlinePlus:
Tox Town offered high quality consumer-level non-technical information about connections between chemicals, the environment, and the public’s health. NLM invites users to visit topics related to environmental health, safety, and toxicology on MedlinePlus. Also, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) offers related resources that may be of interest:
Other News related to MedlinePlus
A new topic has been added to MedlinePlus: Cleaning, Disinfecting, and Sanitizing. This page underscores the importance of regularly cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects and washing your hands often to avoid becoming infected by germs.
The AIDSource website was discontinued on September 14, 2020 and will transition to the NIH Office of AIDS Research (OAR). After the transfer, content can be accessed at https://hivinfo.nih.gov/ and https://clinicalinfo.hiv.gov/. NLM will temporarily host a page on the aids.nlm.nih.gov domain directing users to access AIDSource content at these new URLs. NLM recommends that users update their browser’s bookmarks. Also, users are invited to visit topics related to MedlinePlus topic page, HIV/AIDS, available in on MedlinePlus, available in English and Spanish.
On the horizon, NLM will also retire Pillbox on January 29, 2021. This includes the Pillbox drug identification and search websites as well as production of the Pillbox dataset, image library, and application programming interfaces (APIs). Pillbox’s final data and image update will continue to be available as static files to support research, development, and education. These files will not be updated and should not be used for pill identification. MedlinePlus Drugs, Herbs and Supplements is a trustworthy source of consumer-focused drug information and DailyMed continues to provide the FDA drug label (package insert) for all marketed drugs in the United States. Please note, these resources do not provide pill identification.
Please contact NLM Customer Service with any questions or suggestions.