News & Perspective

Dec 13, 2012

Dec 13, 2012

With new rules, few public health labs to handle riskiest agents

(CIDRAP News) – With tougher security requirements set to take effect next April, few state public health laboratories plan to maintain stocks of certain pathogens considered most tempting to bioterrorists, according to the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and officials with state labs.

Aug 17, 2012

Aug 17, 2012

Public health officials respond to critique of BioWatch

In the wake of a newspaper investigation that questioned the value of the federal BioWatch program for detecting dangerous airborne pathogens, some public health officials familiar with the program acknowledge that it's far from perfect, but they say it's not time to scrap it.

Sep 28, 2011

Sep 28, 2011

Report: 395 mishaps at US labs risked releasing select agents

(CIDRAP News) – US government laboratories had 395 incidents that involved the potential release of select agents between 2003 and 2009, though only seven related infections were reported, according to a new National Research Council (NRC) report.

Jun 15, 2011

Jun 15, 2011

Panel calls for refining, paring select-agent list

(CIDRAP News) – A federal advisory committee is recommending that 11 bacterial species and viruses on the current "select agent" list, including anthrax and Ebola virus, be singled out for special safeguards and that another 19 agents be dropped from the list entirely.

May 12, 2011

May 12, 2011

NRC seeks changes in US vaccine program for biodefense workers

(CIDRAP News) – A report from the National Research Council (NRC) calls for some changes in a US Army immunization program for lab researchers who work with dangerous pathogens, saying the vaccines need to be made more accessible to civilian scientists.

Feb 12, 2010

Feb 12, 2010

Report: For biodefense, US needs closer ties to industry

(CIDRAP News) – The US government needs much closer collaboration with private industry—like the arrangements used in building aircraft carriers and putting men on the moon—in order to improve the nation's medical defenses against biological, chemical, radiological, and nuclear threats, says a report from a federal advisory panel.

Sep 09, 2008

Sep 09, 2008

HHS funds work on new anthrax antitoxin

(CIDRAP News) – Emergent BioSolutions Inc. recently announced that it won a federal contract worth $24.3 million to develop a monoclonal antibody treatment to block the effects of anthrax toxin.

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