• DHS's Fort Detrick biolab about to open

    The new DHS biolab at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is slowly coming to life; the eight-story building has three distinct sections: administrative offices near the front, biosafety level 2 and 3 labs, and then biosafety level 4 labs on the other side of a thick concrete wall; designing the BSL-4 labs as essentially their own building has several benefits; most importantly, a fire or other hazard in the other section of the building wouldn’t require the BSL-4 labs to be frantically evacuated

  • DHS in Manhattan, Kansas, to discuss the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

    DHS visits the site of the site of the planned $725 million National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas, on the campus of the Kansas State University; DHS officials held a public meeting with Manhattan residents to discuss the new lab

  • U.S. not ready for clean up effort after a bioterror attack

    The small 2001 anthrax attack in the United States cost hundreds of millions of dollars in decontamination costs, and some of the facilities attacked could not be reopened for more than two years; a large-scale biological release in an American city, though, could potentially result in hundreds of thousands of illnesses and deaths and could cost trillions of dollars to clean up

  • Tularemia bacteria detected in Columbus, Ohio; no bioterror attack suspected

    BioWatch sensors in Columbus, Ohio, last week picked up higher than normal presence of the bacteria tularemia — a bacteria which may be used in bioterror attacks; Columbus Public Health officials continued to emphasize that people are not at risk and there is no suspicion that bioterrorism was attempted here

  • Killing malaria bugs dead with laser

    Mosquito-killing laser demonstrated; if bed nets are the low-tech solution to combat the deadly malaria — caused by a parasite transmitted when certain mosquitoes bite people — the laser is a high-tech one; the laser detection is so precise, it can specify the species, and even the gender, of the mosquito being targeted

  • 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

  • Mystery solved: Scientists now know how smallpox kills

    New discovery fills a major gap in the scientific understanding of pox diseases and lays the foundation for the development of antiviral treatments, should smallpox or related viruses re-emerge through accident, viral evolution, or terrorist action

  • DoD bill will fund biological attack sensors

    The $636 billion Defense bill will send money to Michigan for bioterror research; $1.6 million will go to Dexter Research Center in Dexter, Michigan, to continue its development of a security sensor meant to protect military installations from chemical and biological attacks; Kettering University in Flint, Michigan will receive $1.6 million to help DoD with its Chemical Agent Fate Program

  • Maine to receive more than $3 million to aid bioterror research

    Research institutions in Maine will receive more than $3 million for bioterrorism research; a grant of $1.9 million will go to Orono Spectral Solutions to continue its development of an infrared detection system for chemical and biological agents; another $1.3 million will be set aside for Sensor Research & Development in Orono, for real time test monitoring of chemical agents, chemical agent stimulants and toxic industrial chemicals

  • Regional biodefense stockpiles could aid Europe in event of bioattack

    A plan for European preparation for a terrorist bioattacks calls for a regional stockpiling system within Europe; a Baltic stockpile, Nordic stockpile, and so on would be of great import and would aid in covering countries that have not expressed a desire to form their own stockpiles.

  • OSU president Burns Hargis defends anthrax research cancellation decision

    Hargis had ended an anthrax vaccine research project at OSU because it would have resulted in euthanizing baboons; he says he did not bow to pressures from animal rights activists – or from the wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, both OSU alumni and major donors to the school.

  • Military researcher infected with tularemia at research laboratory

    Researchers at U.S. Army Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has contracted tularemia; tularemia, which is not transmitted by person to person contact, is considered a potential agent of bioterrorism and biowarfare.

  • New guidelines for genetic screening to prevent bioterrorism split scientists

    As the production of very accurate and valid scientific results from genetic screening has become more common among synthetic-biology companies, a fear that this ability will allow bioterrorists to exploit the system has arisen; there is a disagreement over the best method of genetic screening.

  • Obama administration to review U.S. response to health threats

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that she ordered the evaluation of the U.S. responses to health threats in part because the H1N1 vaccine shortage had highlighted the nation’s dependence on antiquated technology

  • Potent new biodefense technology shows promise

    Medizone International’s AsepticSure technology continues to break the “6 log” decontamination barriers, this time with two very different spore forming bacteria, Claustridium difficile and Bacillis subtilis