Public health

  • DARPA searches for instant repair of soldiers' injuries

    DARPA is soliciting proposals for a device that can use adult stem cells for a regenerative free-for-all, producing whatever needed to repair injured body parts, including nerves, bone, and skin

  • Chinese city sealed off after outbreak of bubonic plaque

    Pneumonic plague, a virulent variant of the bubonic plaque, has killed two and infected 10 in a Chinese city; authorities have sealed off the city

  • Anthrax attack on a U.S. metropolitan area could affect more than 1 million

    No matter how well-organized and prolonged a treatment program is, it must be quickly implemented; a campaign of powerful antibiotics initiated two days after exposure would protect as many as 87 percent of exposed individuals from illness

  • Sweeping food safety bill passes House

    House passes new, sweeping food safety bill requiring more government inspections and imposing new penalties on those who violate the law

  • Nasal vaccine developed for swine flu

    Maryland-based Medimmune developed a nasal vaccine for the swine flu; so far, the U.S. government has ordered 12.8 million doses of H1N1 vaccine from Medimmune for $151 million and could order millions more doses

  • CDC to decide today on H1N1 vaccination priorities

    CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meets today in an emergency session to discuss which groups should be targeted to receive the pandemic H1N1 vaccine and whether some should have priority

  • Zimbabwe's crisis lower rate of HIV infection

    Zimbabwe has been in an economic and social free fall for a while: a third of the population has fled the country; unemployment is at 80 percent; the inflation rate can no longer be calculated; social services have collapsed; the one positive aspect of this catastrophe: men are short of money to pay prostitutes or be sugar daddies and keep mistresses, leading to a decline in the rate of HIV infection

  • Europe will fast-track swine flu vaccine

    Worried about the eruption of swine flu infection during the coming winter, the European drug agency is accelerating the approval process for swine flu vaccine; critics, and even WHO, worry about the potential dangers of the accelerated approval process

  • GAO slams choice of Kansas as location of new BioLab

    In a critical report, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) says that the process by which DHS selected Kansas as the site for the $450 million BioLab was not “scientifically defensible”; GAO said DHS greatly underestimated the chance of accidental release and major contamination from such research; Tornado Alley may not be safe

  • When will swine flu vaccine be available?

    Here are clarifications to some of the confusion surrounding swine flu: pregnant women appear more susceptible to infection; WHO estimates that by August, global production of the vaccine will reach 94.5 million doses per week; pregnant women and obese people will likely be first to be vaccinated

  • Scientists unveil new weapon in swine flu fight

    Taiwanese researchers say they have developed an organic compound which could help control the global swine flu epidemic; the compound can destroy viruses such as A(H1N1) swine flu and avian influenza

  • Judge dismisses lawsuit objecting to Kansas location of biolab

    Texas Bio- and Agro-Defense Consortium sued DHS over the department’s decision to build the new BioLab Level 4 in Kansas; judge dismisses case — but without prejudice, opening the way for the consortium to refile the lawsuit later

  • WHO: Swine flu sweeping world at "unprecedented speed"

    WHO said Friday that the speed at which the swine flu epidemic is spreading could tip the world into deflation and delay the economic recovery

  • Breakthrough: Radiation protection drug developed

    American and Israeli researchers developed a drug which offers protection from radioactive radiation; the drug uses proteins produced in bacteria found in the intestines to protect cells against radiation; the FDA is expected to approve the drug within a year or two

  • China orders hospitals to stop shock therapy for Internet addicts

    Two hospitals in China use electro-shock treatment to “cure” Chinese youngsters of what the Chinese term “Internet addiction”; some 3,000 youth were forced to undergo the treatment (to add insult to injury: their families had to pay $805 a month for the privilege); the Chinese define Internet addiction as playing games and looking at pornography rather than working or studying — and getting angry when unable to get online