• George Mason University opens $50 million biomedical lab to fight bioterrorism

    George Mason University has opened a $50 million biomedical research laboratory as part of the U.S. effort to fight bioterrorism; research will focus on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and on pathogens the government thinks could be used in a bioterrorism attack

  • The optimal balance of vaccine stockpiles

    Once a disease has been eradicated there is a danger it could reappear, either naturally or as a result of an intentional release by a terrorist group; how much vaccine should be produced and stored for a disease that may never appear again — or which may infect hundreds of thousands tomorrow? modelers target optimal vaccine storage for eradicated diseases

  • A first: plastic antibodies pass initial test

    Plastic antibodies, which mimic the proteins produced by the body’s immune system, were found to work in the bloodstream of a living animal; the discovery is an advance toward medical use of plastic particles custom tailored to fight an array of antigens

  • Michigan biter did not violate bioterrorism laws

    A judge dismissed bioterrorism charges against an HIV-positive Michigan man who bit his neighbor during a fight; the prosecution argued that the defendant intended to infect the neighbor with the virus, thus violating Michigan bioterrorism laws

  • Dengue fever strikes United States after 65-year absence

    After an absence of sixty-five years, dengue fever has reentered the United States through the Florida Keys; the CDC reports that twenty-eight people in Key West came down with the dangerous fever; infected mosquitoes have been moving northward thanks to global warming, and there has been increased travel between the United States and South and Central America and the Caribbean — areas which have seen nearly five million cases of dengue fever from 2000 to 2007

  • Workshop to evaluate threat of insect-based terrorism

    One way terrorists may use unleash a bioterror attack on U.S. population centers is by introducing pathogen-infected mosquitoes into an area, then let the insects pursue their deadly mission; many of the world’s most dangerous pathogens — Rift Valley, chikungunya fever, or Japanese encephalitis — already are transmitted by arthropods, the animal phylum that includes mosquitoes

  • Epidemic, bioterrorism study in Las Vegas

    A research project in Nevada looks to help hospitals and public health officials do a better job of quickly identifying the sources and pathways of influenza, E. coli, and other contagious pathogens that can quickly spread through a population; the project will also help in designing ways to cope with a bioterror attack

  • Korean scientists develop fast, accurate pathogen detection sensor

    On average 540 million people become sick with harmful bacteria every year with fifteen million losing their lives to infectious disease around the world; the key to fighting infectious disease is for doctors to determine quickly what kind of pathogen or infectious agents have entered the body and sidestepped the natural immune system

  • NRC panel has "high confidence" in Fort Detrick BioLab's security procedures

    The U.S. Army plans to expand its biocontainment laboratories at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, to study deadly pathogens; a few incidents at the lab heightened security concerns in the neighboring communities, but National Research Council report finds that current safety procedures and regulations at the labs meet or exceed accepted standard

  • New ways found to tackle deadly South American hemorrhagic fever viruses

    New World hemorrhagic fevers are nasty, serious, and often fatal diseases which cause Ebola-like symptoms; most outbreaks occur in rural regions of Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil; the outbreaks of New World hemorrhagic fever tend to be brief and brutal, with mortality rates of 20 to 30 percent; scientists have discovered exactly how one type of New World hemorrhagic fever virus latches onto and infects human cells, offering a much-needed lead toward new treatments

  • New way to control disease-spreading mosquitoes: Prevent them from urinating

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit the virus that causes dengue fever, putting 40 percent of the world’s population at risk of catching the disease, and causing 50 million to 100 million infections and 22,000 deaths annually; researchers find a way to control the mosquitoes: Prevent them from urinating as they feed on blood

  • Useful tree provides low-cost water purification method for developing world

    A billion people across Asia, Africa, and Latin America are estimated to rely on untreated surface water sources for their daily water needs; of these, some two million are thought to die from diseases caught from contaminated water every year, with the majority of these deaths occurring among children under five years of age; seeds from the Moringa oleifera tree, can produce a 90.00 percent to 99.99 percent bacterial reduction in previously untreated water

  • Montana State team developing new way to fight influenza, bioterrorism threats

    Researchers develop aerosol spray containing tiny protein cages that will activate an immune response in the lungs; the protein cages trigger the rapid production of lymphoid tissue in the lung; the technology could be used to prevent or treat a range of pulmonary diseases including influenza; it might counter bioterrorism threats, such as airborne microbes

  • Five infectious diseases that might re-emerge

    Dreaded infectious diseases of the past have largely been kept at bay by antibioitcs and other medical advances; these diseases still linger, though, and could pose a threat – either because some parents refuse to vaccinate their kids owing to concerns about possible links between such vaccination and autism (Mumps), or because terrorist might use the pathogens in a bioterror attack (small pox)

  • Ebola, Marburg vaccines undergoing tests in South Africa

    Because Ebola and Marburg have been confined to Africa and outbreaks limited, drug companies have not had a financial incentive to come up with a vaccine; only the threat of bioterrorism has prompted the U.S. government to spend millions on vaccine research