• Korean scientists develop fast, accurate pathogen detection sensor

    On average 540 million people become sick with harmful bacteria every year with fifteen million losing their lives to infectious disease around the world; the key to fighting infectious disease is for doctors to determine quickly what kind of pathogen or infectious agents have entered the body and sidestepped the natural immune system

  • Beating mosquitoes at their own game

    Japanese researchers came up with a brilliant idea: why not use mosquitoes as “flying vaccinators” or “flying syringes”? Normally, when mosquitoes bite, they inject a tiny drop of saliva that prevents the host’s blood from clotting; the Japanese group decided to add an antigen — a compound that triggers an immune response — to the mix of proteins in the insect’s saliva; it worked

  • Nuclear Medical Center established for early detection of injuries

    The Israeli military uses a new technology which allows early detection of injuries sustained by soldiers better than any other diagnostic tests; the system uses a new nuclear medicine system, which includes a new nuclear camera; the new camera has a sensitivity of 100 percent for diagnosing stress fractures, enabling the diagnosis of an injury already at the stage of a minor fracture and prevents it from worsening

  • iPhone app saves lives

    A new iPhone app guides users as to what to do when resuscitating critically ill patients in cardiac arrest or near cardiac arrest; depending on the age and condition of the patient, the user follows certain prompts to remind them of what to do

  • How best to protect first responders from anthrax

    The first responders who rushed to Senator Tom Daschle’s office on 15 October 2001 were protected by personal protective equipment (PPE); yet, nasal swabs taken from them after they got out of the building revealed that some had been exposed to anthrax; experts argue that first responders and emergency personnel should all be vaccinated

  • Two New York labs to develop anti-botulism drugs

    U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University’s Institute of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery to receive $1.4 million in Department of Defense research funds to develop anti-botulism drugs

  • New ways found to tackle deadly South American hemorrhagic fever viruses

    New World hemorrhagic fevers are nasty, serious, and often fatal diseases which cause Ebola-like symptoms; most outbreaks occur in rural regions of Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, and Brazil; the outbreaks of New World hemorrhagic fever tend to be brief and brutal, with mortality rates of 20 to 30 percent; scientists have discovered exactly how one type of New World hemorrhagic fever virus latches onto and infects human cells, offering a much-needed lead toward new treatments

  • iBio to license vaccine production facility using green plant technology

    iBio will license the iBioLaunch platform to G-Con, LLC, a private Texas company; the “GreenVax Project” uses Nicotiana plants grown hydroponically; the green plant technology platform holds the promise of shortening vaccine production from months to weeks

  • $150 million anthrax vaccine contract goes to firm with close Democratic Party ties

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on the evening of 29 December that it was awarding PharmAthene $150 million to develop and produce an anthrax vaccine; FOXNews notes the strong ties to the Democratic Party of senior company executives

  • Europe would be better with a generic, rather than disease-specific, pandemic response plan

    New study argues that the emphasis in Europe on disease-specific emergency plans utilized by most European countries could cost precious time and resources; “Countries and organizations invest enormous resources in developing plans for specific diseases, which may not even present a threat in the future,” the study says

  • Montana State team developing new way to fight influenza, bioterrorism threats

    Researchers develop aerosol spray containing tiny protein cages that will activate an immune response in the lungs; the protein cages trigger the rapid production of lymphoid tissue in the lung; the technology could be used to prevent or treat a range of pulmonary diseases including influenza; it might counter bioterrorism threats, such as airborne microbes

  • Immunovaccine offers enhanced anthrax vaccine candidate

    Currently, to provide protection from anthrax, individuals receive a 6-dose regime with three injections given two weeks apart, followed by three additional injections given at 6, 12, and 18 months; annual booster injections of the vaccine are recommended thereafter; Canadian company Immunovaccine says it developed a method to cut this arduous regimen by half

  • Tulane University, Corgenix awarded $15,000,000 to expand Lassa fever research

    Lassa fever, because of its high fatality rate, the ability to spread easily by human-to-human contact, and the potential for aerosol release, is classified as a bio safety level 4 agent and is included on the NIAID Category A list of potential bioterrorism threats; new study will focus on identification of novel B-cell epitopes on Lassa virus proteins, aiming to develop agents to treat and prevent the disease

  • Five infectious diseases that might re-emerge

    Dreaded infectious diseases of the past have largely been kept at bay by antibioitcs and other medical advances; these diseases still linger, though, and could pose a threat – either because some parents refuse to vaccinate their kids owing to concerns about possible links between such vaccination and autism (Mumps), or because terrorist might use the pathogens in a bioterror attack (small pox)

  • Drug could save many injured soldiers’ lives

    Loss of blood is the main problem with many battlefield injuries; when the body loses a lot of blood, it tries to compensate by going into shock; researchers show that valproic acid, an HDAC inhibitor already used to treat epilepsy, increased survival rates in rats that had lost a lot of blood; it does so by causing certain “survival pathways” to remain switched on