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 December 14, 2001 [posted]
 What's New for 2002 MeSH®

drop cap graphic of letter T his article highlights the additions to several parts of 2002 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).

A total of 847 new descriptors were added, 185 descriptors were replaced with more up-to-date terminology, 2,041 see references (i.e., entry terms) were added, and 47 descriptors were deleted. Lists of all new descriptors and of deleted and replaced descriptors are posted on the MeSH Web site. The Introduction to the Annotated Alphabetic List - 2002 is also posted on this site. Headings can be quickly found using the MeSH Browser.

The following changes and additions are of particular importance for MeSH 2002:

All viruses were reviewed and updated to conform with the 7th Report of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV). The most significant change is its official approval of the concept of viral species and the codification of the official form of virus species names using the format of first letter of first word capitalized, first letter of other words all lower case.

In line with the Report, many new virus names have been added to MeSH and older terminology has been changed. Among the significant changes the names of the all genera in the family Retroviridae have been revised. Most species and strains of HTLV viruses (now under Deltaretrovirus) have been reorganized and specific coxsackieviruses are now referred to as specific enteroviruses.

Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The terminology related to complementary and alternative medicine has been re-structured into sub-groups in order to facilitate searching those divisions. The field can most broadly be divided into physical, sensory, mind-body and spiritual, plus some which occur in more than one category. Physical includes acupuncture, musculoskeletal manipulations done by professionals; sensory includes play-, dance-, sound-, color- and other such therapies; mind-body includes biofeedback, breathing, hypnosis, laughter, relaxation; spiritual includes faith, magic, occultism, and witchcraft. Unclassified includes homeopathy, phytotherapy, and natural childbirth.

Plants and Phytotherapy
Terminology related to plant family and genera headings have been greatly expanded with more use of the scientific Latin binomials names and less use of common names as preferred terminology. In addition, indexing of studies involving plants for therapy will now be coordinated with Phytotherapy and the most specific plant (family, genus or species) in B6 that is available. Because of the importance of what part of the plant is being used, coordinate indexing will use specific Plant Components (B06.413).

Through joint effort with the Kennedy Institute of Ethics, there was enlargement and enhancement of terminology in the area of bioethics. This cooperative project was in preparation for the addition into PubMed of the journal citations which formerly constituted the BIOETHICSLINE database. Some 50 new descriptors were created and numerous other changes were made in MeSH. Please see the article, Bioethics Citations Added to PubMed. NLM Tech Bull. 2001 Sep-Oct;(322):e5, for more information on the conversion of bioethics citations.

Transport and Carrier Proteins
There are 50 new categories of transport proteins under Membrane Transport Proteins. In addition, 34 headings that were formerly under Carrier Proteins, Membrane Proteins or Permeases are now arrayed under Membrane Transport Proteins. Many of the 2,018 Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs) that formerly were mapped to Carrier Proteins are now mapped to specific categories listed under membrane transport proteins. Several non-mammalian organism-specific protein classes have been added to accommodate the increasing need for indexing of proteins from model organisms. Many of the organism-specific SCR proteins are now more clearly distinguished with organism names and heading maps to these protein classes. The High Mobility Group (HMG) proteins have been organized according to new nomenclature guidelines, which were published in: Trends Biochem Sci. 2001 Mar;26(3):152-3. The new rules were established with the coordinated efforts of staff from MeSH, NCBI and scientists working in the field of HMG protein research.

MeSH Publications and Data Distribution
MeSH publications were produced this year using portable document files (PDF) created from MeSH data maintained under the Oracle DBMS. The new PDF files were created using desktop publishing software for the MeSH publications: Annotated MeSH, MeSH Tree Structures, and Permuted MeSH. For the first time printing will be done from data files instead of the paper originals used since the inception of MEDLARS.

2002 MeSH data are now available in XML, the same general format used for MEDLINE data. The Extensible Markup Language (XML) is proposed as the universal format for structured documents and data on the Web. Data provided in this format replaces that previously distributed in ELHILL Unit Record Format. Please see the Technical Note, MeSH 2002 Files Available for Downloading in this issue for details.

PubMed will use 2002 MeSH in its translation tables and MeSH Browser as well as in the citation data as soon as end-of-year activities are completed. Please see the article, MEDLINE/PubMed End-of-Year Activities in this issue for details.

For more information about 2002 MeSH, please see the MeSH Home Page.

For questions concerning content, distribution, format, etc., please contact:
Jacque-Lynne Schulman
Medical Subject Headings

By Jacque-Lynne Schulman
MeSH Section

black line separating article from citation information

Schulman JL. What's New for 2002 MeSH®. NLM Tech Bull. 2001 Nov-Dec;(322):e9.


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Last updated: 16 April 2012