Public health

  • U.K. to train workers in counter-terrorism

    Home Office says 60,000 U.K. workers will be trained in counterterrorism so they can assist in responding to terror incidents; the trained workers will augment the existing force of 3,000 dedicated counterterrorism police officers

  • Questions raised about private inspections of food companies

    What the mortgage meltdown did to the financial services sector, the recent salmonella outbreak has done to to food industry: critics charge that both cases exposed the inherent weaknesses of industries regulating and inspecting themselves

  • Drug industry uneasy with Obama's choice for FDA deputy

    Food, pharmaceutical, and medical device groups said they were happy with Margaret Hamburg, President Obama’s pick to lead the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); these groups are less comfortable with Joshua Sharfstein, the nominee to be her deputy; Sharfstein worked under Henry Waxman (D-California)

  • Killing mosquitoes dead with laser

    They used to tell us that rather than kill mosquitoes, we should dry up the swamp; forget that: a new handheld laser can locate individual mosquitoes and kill them one by one

  • Obama to bolster food safety

    Each year, about 76 million people in the United States are sickened by contaminated food, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and about 5,000 die; thirty-five years ago, the FDA. did annual inspections of about half of the nation’s food-processing facilities; last year, the agency inspected just 7,000 of the nearly 150,000 domestic food facilities; its oversight of foreign plants was even spottier

  • Dedicated band for medical devices

    Making medical records digital, and transmitting medical information among doctors, pharmacies, and insurance companies, would save a lot of money and avoid many medical mistakes; the same with allowing patients to stay at home and have the medical equipment they rely upon monitored and activated from afar; trouble is, such digital system is susceptible to network congestion and hacking

  • Questions raised about private inspections of food companies

    What the mortgage meltdown did to the financial services sector, the recent salmonella outbreak has done to to food industry: critics charge that both cases exposed the inherent weaknesses of industries regulating and inspecting themselves

  • Roche takes over Genentech for $47 billion

    Swiss drug giant pays $95 per share for 44 percent of Genetech (Roche already owns 56 percent); the combined company would be the seventh-largest U.S. pharmaceutical company in terms of market share and would generate about $17 billion in annual revenues with a payroll of around 17,500 employees in the U.S. pharmaceuticals business alone

  • Cost of bioterror false alarms, anthrax hoaxes rises

    The U.S. government has spent more than $50 billion since the 2001 anthrax attacks to beef up U.S. defenses against biological attacks; there has not been another attack so far, but the cost of hoaxes and false alarms is rising steeply

  • Deadly avian flu virus found in wild duck in Germany

    German authorities discovered the virus in a wild duck shot during a hunt near Starnberg, in Bavaria; this is the first case of a virus found in a wild bird for over a year

  • Human vaccine against bird flu a reality with new discovery

    Aussie researchers added a compound, known to increase immunity, to the flu vaccine in an animal model; the addition of this compound promoted significant generation of potent killer T cell immunity and provided protection from infection

  • Web site to offer real-time information on food in stores

    Consumer Web site adds food rating to its roster of consumer safety and carbon-footprint ratings for non-food goods; food sold in supermarkets around the globe will be rated in terms of chemicals, colorings, additives, and nutrition

  • Innovative pandemic flu vaccine effective against H5N1 in mice

    The current method of growing seasonal influenza vaccines in chicken eggs is slow and inefficient; Emory University scientists have developed an alternative: virus-like particles, empty shells that look like viruses but do not replicate

  • Scientists reveal how culprit in 2001 anthrax attacks was found

    Scientists unveil evidence that shows how the FBI traced the spores used in the attacks to a single flask at a U.S. government lab —but evidence does not explain why the FBI made Bruce Ivins, who worked at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the chief suspect; that evidence may have to wait the end of legal skirmishes in the matter

  • Salmonella contamination found at Texas peanut plant

    Salmonella found in ground peanuts in a Plainview, Texas plant which received peanuts from the now-bankrupt Georgia peanut processing company; contaminated products from the Plainview company were found in Colorado