• First Oral Anthrax Vaccine for Livestock, Wildlife

    Anthrax, a disease caused by a bacterium called Bacillus anthracis, contaminates surface soil and grasses, where it may be ingested or inhaled by livestock or grazing wildlife. This is especially common in the western Texas Hill Country, where each year the disease kills livestock and wildlife. There may soon be a new weapon in the centuries-old battle against anthrax in wildlife.

  • Kremlin Refuses to Have Navalny Flown to Germany for Treatment, or have German Doctors Examine Him in Russia

    The Kremlin says it will not allow opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, who is in a coma in a Siberian hospital with suspected poisoning, to be flown to Germany for treatment because of “medical reasons.” The attending physician at the Omsk hospital’s ICU said Navalny suffers from “metabolic disorder,” and that there was no need for foreign specialists to examine him. Navalny’s wife was not allowed to see him. Navalny’s personal physician said that “they are waiting three days so that there are no traces of poison left in the body, and in Europe it will no longer be possible to identify this toxic substance.” Other medical experts agree with her, and also support her assertion that “metabolic disorder” is not a diagnosis but a condition which, among other things, can be caused by poisoning.

  • Data Omission in Key EPA Insecticide Study Shows Need for Reviewing Industry Studies

    For nearly fifty years, a statistical omission tantamount to data falsification sat undiscovered in a critical study at the heart of regulating one of the most controversial and widely used pesticides in America. Chlorpyrifos, an insecticide created in the late 1960s by the Dow Chemical Co., has been linked to serious health problems, especially in children. It has been the subject of many lawsuits and banned in Europe and California. The EPA itself nearly banned the chemical, but in 2017 the Trump administration backtracked and rejected EPA’s own recommendation to take chlorpyrifos off the market. The EPA plans to reconsider the chemical’s use by 2022.

  • Nuclear Threats Are Increasing – Here’s How the U.S. Should Prepare for a Nuclear Event

    On the 75th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, some may like to think the threat from nuclear weapons has receded. But there are clear signs of a growing nuclear arms race and that the U.S. is not very well-prepared for nuclear and radiological events. Despite the gloomy prospects of health outcomes of any large-scale nuclear event common in the minds of many, there are a number of concrete steps the U.S. and other countries can take to prepare. It’s our obligation to respond.

  • China’s Campaign Forcibly to Reduce Uighur Births May Amount to Genocide: Reports

    Four years ago, China has launched a broad campaign to reduce birth rates among Uighurs, Kazakhs, and other Turkic Muslim populations in Xinjiang province in western China. The Chinese authorities have implemented various population control measures in Xinjiang, including mandatory pregnancy checks and forced insertion of intrauterine devices. Officials and armed police conducted night raids to look for hidden children and pregnant women, fining and detaining parents of three or more children and forcing abortions and sterilizations on women.

  • Preventing Cyberbiosecurity Threats and Protecting Vulnerable Countries

    AI can automate the manipulation of medical datasets, expanding a cyberattack’s impact through health and biotech industries. Cyber- and biosecurity threats can erode trust in technology. Eroded trust in technology is dangerous at any time but especially during a global pandemic such as COVID-19.

  • Gear Treated with “Forever Chemicals” Poses Risk to Firefighters

    Firefighters face occupational hazards on a daily basis. Now, new research shows they face additional risk just by gearing up. Fabric used for firefighter turnout gear tested positive for the presence of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), according to a new study.

  • Research Integrity: Why We Should Trust Registered Clinical Trials

    In a time when we have to rely on clinical trials for COVID-19 drugs and vaccines, a new study brings good news about the credibility of registered clinical trials.

  • Breakthrough for Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine

    When it comes to livestock, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is probably the most devastating picornavirus on the planet. FMD is a serious and economically devastating livestock disease. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV), the virus causing FMD, is extremely contagious and afflicts animals with cloven hooves like cows, pigs, sheep and deer.

  • Oilfield Water Can Safely Be Reused for Irrigation in California

    Reusing low-saline oilfield water mixed with surface water to irrigate farms in the Cawelo Water District of California does not pose major health risks, as some opponents of the practice have feared, a new study finds.

  • America’s Never-Ending Battle Against Flesh-Eating Worms

    Screwworms once killed millions of dollars’ worth of cattle a year in the southern U.S. Their range extended from Florida to California, and they infected any living, warm-blooded animal: not only cattle but deer, squirrels, pets, and even the occasional human. Sarah Zhang writes that to get the screwworms out, the USDA to this day maintains an international screwworm barrier along the Panama-Colombia border. The barrier is an invisible one, and it is kept in place by constant human effort. “The insect is relentless in its search for hosts. Those who fight it must be relentless too.”

  • Global Warming Now Pushing Heat into Territory Humans Cannot Tolerate

    The explosive growth and success of human society over the past 10,000 years has been underpinned by a distinct range of climate conditions. But the range of weather humans can encounter on Earth – the “climate envelope” – is shifting as the planet warms, and conditions entirely new to civilization could emerge in the coming decades. Even with modern technology, this should not be taken lightly.

  • How the Lyme Disease Epidemic Is Spreading and Why Ticks Are So Hard to Stop

    I have been following Lyme disease’s spread for nearly four decades. Over that time, Lyme disease cases increased from a few hundred reported in 1982 to more than 33,000 in 2018. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the actual number of Lyme disease cases is about 10 times greater than those reported. Warm weather is arriving and people are beginning to seek outside respite from COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. This is the same time that ticks are beginning to search for their next meal, and the risk of getting Lyme disease rises. Its spread to new areas involves a complex interplay among animals that may aid in helping scientists slow its continuing advance.

  • Cyber Operations against Medical Facilities During Peacetime

    In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, governments around the world have tried to compensate for insufficient hospital beds and intensive care units by nationalizing private medical facilities and relying on military ships and improvised evac hospitals. Adina Ponta writes that at a time when overcrowded medical and testing facilities struggle with shortages in supplies and a huge influx of patients, hacker groups have exploited their inattention to cybersecurity.

  • German start-up in global demand with anti-virus escalators

    Tanja Nickel and Katharina Obladen were still in high school when they patented an idea to disinfect escalator handrails using UV light. Michelle Fitzpatrick writes (AFP / Barron’s) that a decade later, their small German start-up UVIS can barely keep up with orders from around the world for their coronavirus-killing escalators and coatings for supermarket trolleys and elevator buttons. “Everybody wants it done yesterday,” Obladen, 28, told AFP at the company’s workshop in central Cologne. “The pandemic has made businesses realise they need to invest in hygiene precautions for staff and customers. It’s gone from nice-to-have to must-have.” As Germany begins to relax some lockdown restrictions, the start-up’s five-person team has been inundated with requests from shops, offices and cafes eager to reopen to a public newly aware of the health risks lurking in shared spaces.