• Congress allocates funds for planning Kansas biolab

    Congress allocates $32 million for planning and design of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan, Kansas; the money for construction of the 520,000-square-foot lab and the transferring of research equipment from Plum Island, New York — about $915 million — will be released only if security concerns are satisfactorily addressed

  • 25 years to Oregon salmonella bioterrorism

    The 1984 Oregon outbreak of Salmonella enterica Typhimurium sickened 751 people and sent 45 to hospitals; the attack was launched by a mystical cult which tried to take over the remote Oregon county

  • The risks of pet-borne disease

    Small mammals, birds, and reptiles may offer companionship to people in situations when dogs, cats, or larger animals are not practical or permitted — but these smaller creatures require particular care to prevent illness; beware especially of salmonella, tularemia, psittacosis, and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus

  • Has biodefense research made America a safer place to live?

    Death of University of Chicago scientist as a result of infection with the plague bacterium, raises more questions about the downside of growing research into bio terror agents — and the means to counter them

  • Citizens worried about Fort Detrick biolab

    A $680 million biolab is being constructed in Maryland; people living in the neighborhood told a panel that the military has not fully considered the possibility of a release of deadly germs by a disturbed or disgruntled worker

  • Mystery surrounds University of Chicago "plague death" victim

    University of Chicago microbiologist died — and an autopsy revealed he had plague bacteria in his blood; the researcher was working with a weakened vaccine strain of Yersinia pestis, intended for the development of vaccines against plague

  • Turning water fountains into infection control units

    Toronto’s Farrow Partnership Architects sees future in infection-control units

  • New business model for researching, producing vaccines

    Relying on venture capital-funded biotech research is problematic when it comes to vaccines for pandemics and bioterrorism; an expert proposes a private-public partnership within the HHS Biomedical Advance Research and Development Authority

  • Pennsylvania bio-terror laboratory fails inspection

    Pennsylvania-based BSL-3 BioLab fails, yet again, a safety inspection; the facility was finished in 2007 but has been beset by an assortment of delays, poor construction, and breakdowns

  • Scientists closer to a safer anthrax vaccine

    The currently available, 40-year-old anthrax vaccine, can prevent disease, but it has significant drawbacks: Immunity is temporary, and five injections over the course of eighteen months are needed to sustain it; one in five vaccine recipients develop redness, swelling, or pain at the injection site, and a small number develop severe allergic reactions; researchers offer a better vaccine

  • Obama administration emphasizes prevention in bioterrorism strategy

    Experts say that the Obama administration’s approach to combating bioterrorism differs from that of the Bush administration; Bush emphasize crisis management — the ability to detect a biological event in process and to reduce its scope; prevention emphasizes actions that could be taken to stop an attack before it occurs

  • Third patient dies of plague in remote Chinese town

    Chinese authorities have sealed off a remote Chinese town after an outbreak of pneumonic plague; authorities have set up a cordon with a 17-mile radius around the town of Ziketan; public buses were pulled off the streets, and the police is patrolling on the streets, advising shops to close

  • DHS is searching for buyers for Plum Island facility

    The Plum Island Biosafety level 4 facility — the only type of research lab authorized to handle diseases that are communicable between humans and animals and for which there is no known cure — is aging; DHS has selected a Kansas site for a new, $500 million replacement; DHS is beginning to look for buyers for the Plum Island facility

  • 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