• New compound breaks down HIV's outer envelope

    One of the reasons HIV is so difficult to treat is that it continually evolves the proteins on its membrane to increase its resistance to immune systems; researchers at Texas A&M University and the Scripps Research Institute have now discovered a compound which breaks down the outer envelope of HIV

  • Study promises possible therapy for radiation sickness

    Studies of potential radiation therapies suggest they would be effective in humans only if administered within a few minutes or hours of radiation exposure, thus making them impractical for use in response to events involving mass casualties; the larger time window for administering a new 2-drug regimen ofeers the prospect that it could become a mainstay of the response to public health threats such as a nuclear power plant accident or nuclear terror attack

  • CDC concludes NBA outbreak investigation

    A recently concluded investigation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that norovirus was the cause of an outbreak that sidelined more than twenty-four NBA players and staff members from thirteen teams in 2010

  • Listeriosis outbreak causes 29 deaths, costs producer $150 million

    Four outbreak strains of L. monocytogenes, the bacterium that causes listeriosis, were found in twenty-six states, leading to twenty-nine deaths and thirty-three additional illnesses; settlements to the families may cost $150 million; an investigation by the FDA and CDC identify a Colorado cantaloupe producer as the source of the outbreak

  • Alien species: a dangerous new bioterrorism threat

    Federal counterterrorism officials have a potentially catastrophic new threat to worry about – invasive alien species; the threat is so serious, Lawrence Roberge, an associate professor of anatomy and physiology at Laboure College, warned that terrorists could seek to use invasive species as biological weapons

  • Research into bird flu raises bioterrorism fears

    In order to stay ahead of H5N1, scientists have been tweaking the virus’s genes in the lab to learn more about how this virus works and what it is capable of; in the process, these scientists made the virus more virulent and more contagious; now, security experts and scientists debate whether or not to make the results of these recent experiments public; security experts say doing so could potentially reveal how to make powerful new bioweapons.

  • Schools help spot disease outbreaks early

    Local public health authorities in Canada are teaming up with schools to develop an early warning disease tracking system; in an effort to spot potential disease outbreaks before they occur, health officials in Peel, Canada are monitoring school absenteeism and emergency department visits

  • Ionized plasmas as cheap sterilizer in tough places

    Scientists show that ionized plasmas like those in neon lights and plasma TVs not only can sterilize water, but make it antimicrobial; these plasma devices could be life-savers in developing countries, disaster areas, or on the battlefield where sterile water for medical use is in short supply and expensive to produce

  • New plan to fight cholera in Haiti meets resistance

    Haiti’s latest attempt to stamp out the cholera epidemic that has ravaged its population is meeting sharp criticism from public health authorities; Haiti’s two most prominent health care organizations plan to deploy hundreds of workers to the country’s remote villages and the impoverished alleys of the capital to administer vaccines

  • Jefferson County tests flu pandemic vaccination capabilities

    Local public health authorities in Jefferson County, New York are currently testing their ability to administer large quantities of flu vaccines in the event of a pandemic by offering to inoculate its residents for free

  • Flu shots not effective enough in global outbreak, report finds

    A new study reveals that seasonal flu shots are not effective enough to protect people in the event of a pandemic; “Today’s flu shot is like an iPhone 1.0,” said the study’s author, Dr. Michael Osterholm, the director of the Center of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance at the University of Minnesota; “What we need is an iPhone 10.0”

  • Mysterious incident leaves more than 20 high-schoolers sick

    Public health authorities in Texas are investigating a mysterious incident that left more than twenty people sick during a high school football game in Houston last Friday; the stadium was immediately evacuated and a Hazmat team dispatched, while a total of twenty-two students were taken to several local hospitals for treatment

  • Quickly and accurately tracing food-borne outbreaks

    Researchers have developed a new technique that could pinpoint the exact nature and origin of food-borne bacteria with unprecedented accuracy

  • "Printing" food with plant DNA to prevent counterfeiting

    Branded foods from the waters off Japan are becoming popular in Asia; the growing popularity has lured counterfeiters into the market, where they sell common foods as the high-value brand, in the process destroying markets and reputation of the real item

  • "Vampire" bacteria may serve as living antibiotic

    A vampire-like bacteria that leeches onto specific other bacteria — including certain human pathogens — has the potential to serve as a living antibiotic for a range of infectious diseases, a new study indicates