• Combating bioterrorism needs to be a collaborative effort

    ISBI founder: “If you want to damage the United States, from a terrorist perspective, there are ways to do this extremely effectively that do not entail an attack on the U.S. homeland. There are ways that our economy could be catastrophically devastated and our political system substantially set back in terms of our global leadership that have nothing to do with a centralized domestic attack. Our vulnerabilities do not stop at the border’s edge.”

  • 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.

  • HIV-as-terrorism case draws national attention

    Two Michigan neighbors got into a fight, and one of them bit the other; when prosecutors learned from a TV report that the man who bit his neighbor was HIV positive, they added the charge of bioterrorism to the charges of assault and assault with intent to maim; prosecutors say the new charge is based on a 2004 Michigan law, passed in the wake of 9/11, which speaks of “possession or use of a harmful device,” and they point to a Michigan Court of Appeal’s ruling that HIV-infected blood was a “harmful biological substance” under Michigan law.

  • Bio espionage: New threat to U.S. economy

    In January, DHS warned of an increased cyber attack threat by activists/hacktivists and extremist groups; these groups are known to target life sciences and biotech companies; life sciences sector, pharmaceutical sector, and biotech sector are areas where we should expect information security challenges to increase exponentially for the foreseeable future

  • U.S. DNA suppliers warned against bioterrorism threat

    Analysts have expressed concern that DNA sequences can be abused to terrorize and harm entire populations without so much as a bang; the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidelines for the trade in customized DNA sequencing that, if abused, can lead to bioterrorism, with unforeseeable consequences.

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  • 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.

  • Bioattack threat to U.S. ignored

    The risk of a bioterror attack on the United States is huge; a one-to-two kilogram release of anthrax spores from a crop duster plane could kill more Americans than died in the Second World War (over 400,000), and the clean-up and other economic costs of such an attack could exceed $1.8 trillion; a former White House official says that U.S. media outlets do not cover this story, and it does not appear that the U.S. government is treating it the problem with the proper urgency

  • Making food safer offers business opportunities

    Recalls, import alerts, and new regulations are all combining to put an increased emphasis on analytical food testing; instrument makers are seeing double-digit growth in the food safety market, even in a poor economy. In the lab, food scientists are working to develop faster, more sensitive methods that can broadly screen for both known and unknown contaminants.

  • 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

  • Oklahoma State rejects anthrax study over euthanasia of primates

    The U.S. National Institutes of Health wanted OSU to conduct research on treatment for anthrax; the study involves baboons, which must be destroyed after anthrax exposure to ensure they do not infect others; In April, OSU announced that animals will no longer be euthanized in teaching labs at the veterinary school; measure was the result of pressure by Madeleine Pickens, the wife of billionaire benefactor and OSU alumnus T. Boone Pickens

  • Experts call for changes in U.S. vaccine creation process

    The current U.S. vaccine-manufacturing plan was developed prior to the cold war, and has never been updated; currently, the United States grows its vaccines in eggs over the course of six to eight months, and as there has been no real financial incentive to upgrade the vaccine making process, pharmaceutical manufacturers have instead focused on more profitable medications rather than vaccines

  • Senate panel approves food safety bill

    The Senate last week passed a new food safety bill which would impose user fees, allow mandatory recalls, set performance standards, and impose civil penalties; some business associations are uncomfortable

  • Governments worry about more cases of drug-resistant H1N1

    Health officials in the United Kingdom and the United States report the likely person-to-person spread of a drug-resistant strain of H1N1; most patients thus far infected with the strain have already been immune-deficient