• TOXIC LEGACY9/11 Survivors’ Exposure to Toxic Dust and the Chronic Health Conditions That Followed Offer Lessons That Are Still Too Often Unheeded

    By Roberto Lucchini

    After the 9/11 attack, more than 100,000 responders and recovery workers from every U.S. state – along with some 400,000 residents and other workers around ground zero – were exposed to a toxic cloud of dust that fell as a ghostly, thick layer of ash and then hung in the air for more than three months. The World Trade Center dust plume consisted of a dangerous mixture of cement dust and particles, asbestos and a class of chemicals called persistent organic pollutants. The dust also contained heavy metals that are known to be poisonous to the human body and brain, such as lead and mercury, and PCB.

  • PUBLIC HEALTHSummer 2022 Saw Thousands of Excess Deaths in England and Wales – Here’s Why That Might Be

    By Paul Hunter

    The difference between the actual and expected number of deaths recorded, from any cause, is known as the excess deaths. During the first eight weeks of 2022, despite there being 9,110 deaths documented with COVID mentioned on the death certificate in England and Wales, there were 8,001 fewer total deaths than anticipated. However, since April this has flipped. Between April 2 and August 19 (granted, a longer period) there were 12,321 deaths registered with COVID on the death certificate but notably, 21,475 excess deaths. So if COVID accounts for only a little over half of these excess deaths, what may be driving the rest?

  • PUBLIC HEALTHChronic Lack of Investment in Public Health Puts Americans’ Lives, Livelihoods at Risk

    COVID-19 emergency funding was critical to initial pandemic response but did not address nation’s long-standing underinvestment in public health; $4.5 billion in annual infrastructure funding is needed.

  • EPIDEMICSNew Test May Predict Covid-19 Immunity

    By Anne Trafton

    The paper test measures the level of neutralizing antibodies in a blood sample and could help people decide what protections they should take against infection.

  • PUBLIC HEALTHHow Polio Crept Back into the U.S.

    By Robin Fields

    U.S. public health agencies generally don’t test wastewater for signs of polio. That may have given the virus time to circulate silently before it paralyzed a New York man.

  • UNCONVENTIONAL WEAPONSOrigins of Unconventional War

    By Adrienne Mayor

    Flamethrowers, poison gases, incendiary bombs, the large-scale spreading of disease: are these terrifying agents of warfare modern inventions? Not by a long shot. Societies around the world have used biological and chemical weapons for thousands of years. “One sobering result of writing this book is the realization that there was no time or place when biological weapons were unthinkable,” says Adrienne Mayor, the author of a new book on the subject.

  • SUPERBUGSStudy Highlights Community Spread of Superbugs

    New US surveillance data indicate that infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacterial pathogens are moving beyond the healthcare setting.

  • PUBLIC HEALTHResearchers Launch Global Dashboard to Track Invasive Mosquitoes Carrying Deadly Diseases

    To combat the ongoing threat of mosquito-borne diseases worldwide, researchers have launched a mosquito-tracking dashboard driven by citizen science – a scalable solution proven effective in a recent study.

  • FLOODSFlood Maps Show U.S. Vastly Underestimates Contamination Risk at Old Industrial Sites

    By Thomas Marlow

    Floodwaters are a growing risk for many American cities, threatening to displace not only people and housing but also the land-based pollution left behind by earlier industrial activities. For communities near these sites, the flooding of contaminated land is worrisome because it threatens to compromise common pollution containment methods, such as capping contaminated land with clean soil. It can also transport legacy contaminants into surrounding soils and waterways, putting the health and safety of urban ecosystems and residents at risk.

  • BIOTECHNOLOGYRegenerate: Biotechnology and U.S. Industrial Policy

    By Ryan Fedasiuk

    A revolution in biotechnology is dawning at the precise moment the world needs it most. Amid an ongoing climate crisis, fast-paced technological maturation, and a global pandemic, humans must find new ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve food security, develop new vaccines and therapeutics, recycle waste, synthesize new materials, and adapt to a changing world. The United States needs some form of industrial policy to promote its bioeconomy—one that is enshrined in democratic values and focused on improving access to four key drivers of bioeconomic growth: equipment, personnel, information, and capital.

  • CLIMATE CHALLENGESU.S. Launches Heat.gov with Tools for Communities Facing Extreme Heat

    The administration launched Heat.gov, a new website to provide the public and decision-makers with clear, timely and science-based information to understand and reduce the health risks of extreme heat. Heat.gov will provide a one-stop hub on heat and health for the nation and is a priority of President Biden’s National Climate Task Force and its Interagency Working Group on Extreme Heat.

  • HEALTHCARE & CYBERSECURITYNIST Updates Guidance for Health Care Cybersecurity

    In an effort to help health care organizations protect patients’ personal health information, NIST has updated its cybersecurity guidance for the health care industry. The revised draft publication aims to help organizations comply with HIPAA Security Rule.

  • DUAL-USE RESEARCHStrengthening U.S. Government’s Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogen Framework, Dual Use Research

    Group of scientists, public health experts, policy researchers propose strengthening of U.S. government’s policies regarding enhanced potential pandemic pathogen framework and dual use research of concern.

  • PUBLIC HEALTHReview: IT in Health Care Has Produced Modest Changes — So Far

    By Peter Dizikes

    Large study of existing research shows incremental improvement in patient outcomes and productivity, without big employment changes.

  • FIREFIGHTERSResearch Collaboration Informs International Classification of Firefighting as Carcinogenic

    The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) recently classified occupational exposure as a firefighter as carcinogenic, changing the previous classification of possibly carcinogenic.