• Anti-dengue mosquitoes to be released in Australia and Vietnam

    Some 100 million people in the tropics get dengue fever each year, and 40,000 are killed by it; the virus’s range is expanding, and last week France reported its first locally acquired cases; Australian scientists will release mosquitoes called Wolbachia that infect the disease-carrying Aedes mosquitoes, and makes them less able to carry the dengue virus; the release will take place in Australia and Vietnam

  • Sea floor organisms offer response to bioterrorism

    Two companies, with $30 million funding from the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency, will search for new antibiotics at the bottom of the ocean that could be used to fight bioterrorism; the companies expect to find treatments for the bubonic plague, Yersinia pestis, and other bacterial infections that could be utilized by terror groups for an attack on the United States

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  • A new dual vaccine protects against both smallpox and anthrax

    A new protective vaccine against both smallpox and anthrax, two agents of bioterrorism, shows promise in animal models; the new vaccine more quickly elicited immunity and was more effective than the licensed anthrax vaccine, BioThrax, in protecting mice and rabbits against anthrax

  • Georgia county tests drive-thru shot clinic

    Decatur County, Georgia, Health Department’s drive-thru flu shot clinic was held last Friday, and more than 250 people received their vaccination; the important thing, said Sherry Hutchins, Decatur of the County Health Department, is that “The clinic—- gives the health department a chance to test our ability to swiftly, efficiently dispense medicines during a mass-exposure event like a bioterrorism attack, a disaster or an influenza pandemic”

  • The world is running out of helium

    It has taken 4.7 billion years for the Earth to accumulate our helium reserves, which we will have exhausted within about a hundred years of the U.S.’s National Helium Reserve having been established in 1925; there is no chemical way of manufacturing helium, and the supplies we have originated in the very slow radioactive alpha decay that occurs in rocks

  • Virus related to smallpox rising sharply in Africa

    Thirty years after the eradication of smallpox, and the end of the mass smallpox vaccination campaign, rates of a related virus known as human monkeypox have increased dramatically in the rural Democratic Republic of Congo, with sporadic outbreaks in other African nations and even the United States

  • Exploring effectiveness of supply chain security

    Businesses have been taking greater strides to protect their supply chains since the 9/11 terrorist attacks; new study finds that having a clear supply chain security strategy is far more valuable in perceived effectiveness than either availability of resources or management support

  • Aethlon Medical says its Hemopurifier can serve in counter-bioterror applications

    Aethlon Medical says its Hemopurifier says the device is the first medical device selectively to target the removal of infectious viruses and immunosuppressive proteins from the entire circulatory system, and as such it is the most advanced and perhaps the only true broad-spectrum countermeasure against viral threats most likely to be weaponized against civilian and military populations

  • CDC says U.S. prepared to investigate urgent disease reports

    CDC recently released a new report that found that all fifty states have the ability to investigate urgent disease reports, including bioterror attacks, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week

  • U.S. training developing world's docs to detect outbreaks earlier

    U.S.-funded program helps health workers in developing countries track disease and speed response to outbreaks; the CDC has established 35 programs since 1980, mostly in developing countries, with funding from several U.S. government agencies and nongovernmental organizations, and has 11 more in the works. Participants investigated 216 outbreaks in 2009

  • Vaccine work offers protection against weaponized plague bacteria

    Plague has been used as a weapon since the Middle Ages, when armies would hurl plague-infested bodies over castle walls; more recently, the United States, Japan, and the former Soviet Union have all studied the use of Y. pestis as a biological warfare agent; new research on the immune system’s response to plague could improve efforts to vaccinate the public against the world’s oldest form of biological warfare

  • New $186.6 million contract shows anthrax threat real

    In an indication that the threat of an anthrax outbreak as a result of bioterrorism remains a major priority for the Obama administration, Maryland-based Emergent BioSolutions received a contract valued at up to $186.6 million from the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a recombinant protective antigen anthrax vaccine, which is likely to produce a more rapid response to anthrax infection than existing vaccines

  • Work begins on the new U.S. premier BioLab

    DHS has released $40 million to allow work to begin on the U.S. new National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, located on the campus of Kansas State University; the lab will replace the aging lab on Plum Island as the premier research center to combat the threat of naturally occurring animal diseases or agroterrorism; the Levl 4 BioLab will conduct research on human and animal disease to which there is yet no known cure

  • Day of synthetic pathogens-based bioterrorism nears

    Scientists have been engineering genetic sequences for decades and commercial gene sequencing has been around for years — but this year, researchers for the first time were able to design and produce cells that do not exist in nature without using pre-existing biological matter — marking the latest evolution in the rapidly advancing field of synthetic biology; the developments could pave the way for advancements in medicine, energy, and agriculture, but also could put sensitive materials in the wrong hands; it will soon be possible to recreate bacterial pathogens like smallpox — and even enhance these pathogens, making them more potent

  • Researchers develop next generation antibiotics to combat drug-resistant "superbugs"

    Each year 90,000 people in the United States die of drug-resistant “superbugs” — bacteria like Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a deadly form of staph infection resistant to normal antibiotics; certain bacterial strains include enzymes which help the bacteria to inactivate antibiotics — and a team of researchers are working on turning this powerful mechanism against the bacteria itself