• Killing bugs dead

    A new device, based on the old-fashioned mechanical air-pump technology, destroys airborne pathogens by rapidly heating contaminated air under pressure and mechanically compressing it

  • FSIS exemplifies growing inadequacy of U.S. food inspection regime

    Decline and fall: In FY 1981, FSIS spent $13.22 per thousand pounds of meat and poultry inspected and passed; by FY 2007, the figure had fallen to $8.26 per thousand pounds; in FY 1981 FSIS employed about 190 workers per billion pounds of meat and poultry inspected and passed; by FY 2007, FSIS employed fewer than 88 workers per billion pounds

  • MPRI to help CDC prepare for disasters

    Simulation and virtualization are becoming more popular as tools for preparedness; MPRI, a subsidiary of L-3 company, will use its simulation and training expertise to help CDC prepare for all-hazard disasters, including bioterrorism and pandemic outbreaks

  • Infectious diseases on the rise around the world

    Researchers offer proof that there is distinct, measurable rise in infectious diseases around the world; most of these diseases, including SARS and the Ebola virus, originated in wildlife; antibiotic drug resistance has been cited as another culprit, leading to diseases such as extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB)

  • MIT researchers explain spread, lethality of 1918 flu

    The 1918 pandemic outbreak that killed at least fifty million people; MIT researchers explain that the lethality of the 1918 pandemic was the result of an influenza strain which developed two mutations in a surface molecule called hemagglutinin, which allowed it to bind tightly to receptors in the human upper respiratory tract

  • Indonesian girl contracts bird flu, possibly from relative

    A fifteen-year old Indonesian girl contracts H5N1; health authorities fear this is a case of human-to-human infection — signifying a dangerous development in H5N1 trajectory

  • San Diego measles outbreak

    A measles-infected seven-year old passenger on a plane from Switzerland infects other passengers; measles was widespread in the United States before a vaccine was developed in the early 1960s

  • Cost to Irish economy from bird flu outbreak: €2 billion

    Experts say that over a 15-week bird flu pandemic in Ireland, there would be a hospitalization rate of between 0.55 percent and 3.70 percent of the population, and among those hospitalized, a fatality rate of between 0.37 percent and 2.50 percent

  • CDC says influenza B strain does not match vaccine

    The U.S. flu season started out slowly, but activity has increased sharply, which is typically the case; the bad news is that most circulating influenza B viruses tested so far this season do not match this year’s vaccine, signaling that two of the three vaccine components are off-target

  • New method for anthrax decontamination developed

    Yellow Jackets, SMD researchers develop an X-rays and UV-C light-based method for anthrax decontamination; it is rapid and nondisruptive, and also less expensive than currently available decontamination methods; it kills anthrax spores — even those hidden in crevices and cracks — within two to three hours without any lingering effects

  • New vaccine against deadliest strain of avian flu tested by scientists

    University of Pittsburgh researchers test new H5N1 vaccine; unlike other avian flu vaccines, which are partially developed from live viruses, the new vaccine uses a virus-like particle which is recognized by the immune system as a real virus but lacks genetic information to reproduce, making it a potentially safer alternative for a human vaccine

  • MSU lab develops early-warning for biological invaders

    Montana State University lab creates a nationwide team of plant pest experts who work together to identify pests, teach each other from their personal fields of expertise, and track the development of threats to agriculture or, potentially, human health

  • Breakthrough: Researchers identify weakness in anthrax bacteria

    MIT researchers find that nitric oxide (NO) is a critical part of Bacillus anthracis’s defense against the human immune response launched by cells infected with the bacterium; anthrax bacteria that cannot produce NO succumb to the immune system’s attack

  • GAO cites barriers to antiviral, vaccine roles in pandemic

    U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says that a pandemic vaccine might play little role in the early phases of a pandemic because it will take 20 to 23 weeks to develop and produce a targeted vaccine

  • Plague: The new Black Death

    Threat to humanity ignored, researchers warn