• 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

  • Llamas’ antibodies to aid bioterror fight

    A new system, which utilized antibodies found in llamas, detects seven types of botulinum neurotoxins simultaneously; the system uses antibodies from llamas; the llama antibodies, which are proteins made by the body to fight disease, are “nanobodies,” sometimes called single domain antibodies, and are molecularly flexible, unlike traditional antibodies; the new method could lead to increased protection of food and water supplies against bioterror attacks

  • Ebola, Marburg vaccines undergoing tests in South Africa

    Because Ebola and Marburg have been confined to Africa and outbreaks limited, drug companies have not had a financial incentive to come up with a vaccine; only the threat of bioterrorism has prompted the U.S. government to spend millions on vaccine research

  • Texas foundation wins contract to assist in fight against bioterrorism

    Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research receives first installment of $456,216 of a $2.2 million contract to do research on Ebola and Marburg viruses, which could be used as potential bioterror weapons

  • U.S. post Office to deliver antidote in case of anthrax attack

    President Obama signed an executive order instructing the Post Office to deliver antidotes to citizens in the event of an anthrax attack; the executive order calls for armed escorts to accompany delivery personnel

  • OSU president Burns Hargis defends anthrax research cancellation decision

    Hargis had ended an anthrax vaccine research project at OSU because it would have resulted in euthanizing baboons; he says he did not bow to pressures from animal rights activists – or from the wife of billionaire T. Boone Pickens, both OSU alumni and major donors to the school.

  • Potent new biodefense technology shows promise

    Medizone International’s AsepticSure technology continues to break the “6 log” decontamination barriers, this time with two very different spore forming bacteria, Claustridium difficile and Bacillis subtilis

  • Oklahoma State rejects anthrax study over euthanasia of primates

    The U.S. National Institutes of Health wanted OSU to conduct research on treatment for anthrax; the study involves baboons, which must be destroyed after anthrax exposure to ensure they do not infect others; In April, OSU announced that animals will no longer be euthanized in teaching labs at the veterinary school; measure was the result of pressure by Madeleine Pickens, the wife of billionaire benefactor and OSU alumnus T. Boone Pickens

  • Experts call for changes in U.S. vaccine creation process

    The current U.S. vaccine-manufacturing plan was developed prior to the cold war, and has never been updated; currently, the United States grows its vaccines in eggs over the course of six to eight months, and as there has been no real financial incentive to upgrade the vaccine making process, pharmaceutical manufacturers have instead focused on more profitable medications rather than vaccines

  • Governments worry about more cases of drug-resistant H1N1

    Health officials in the United Kingdom and the United States report the likely person-to-person spread of a drug-resistant strain of H1N1; most patients thus far infected with the strain have already been immune-deficient

  • Bioterrorism poses new challenges for the health care systems worldwide

    A new book points out to one of the essential challenges bioterrorism poses: Nations’ primary health care system must be prepared properly to cope with cases of exceptional morbidity due to uncommon generators

  • UIC to develop antibiotics against potential bioterrorism agents

    The University of Illinois at Chicago receives $4 million in stimulus package funds to develop new antibiotics to treat anthrax, tularemia and plague

  • Ricin antidote ready for production

    U.K. scientists develop the first antidote to ricin poisoning; security experts say ricin — roughly 1,000 times more toxic than cyanide — could be used in a bio-terror attack; what worries experts about ricin is not only its toxicity, but its ready availability: Ricin is extracted from castor beans, which are processed throughout the world to make castor oil; the toxin is part of the waste “mash” produced when castor oil is made

  • NIAID allocated $208 million to fight emerging infectious diseases from bioterrorism

    Using its own research funds, augmented by stimulus package money, NIH awarded $208 million to two programs that support research better to understand the human immune response to emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, including those that may be introduced into a community through acts of bioterrorism