News & Perspective

Oct 09, 2001

Oct 09, 2001

Plague genome suggests organism evolved from gut to blood pathogen

Oct 10, 2001 (CIDRAP News) – Genetic mapping of Yersinia pestis, the agent that causes plague, indicates that the organism used numerous genes collected from other bacteria and viruses to change from a relatively innocuous enteric pathogen into a lethal bloodborne pathogen, according to a report in the Oct 4 issue of Nature.

Dec 10, 2001

Dec 10, 2001

HHS announces new bioterrorism research initiatives

(CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced seven new research grant programs to speed efforts to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases related to bioterrorism.

Mar 18, 2002

Mar 18, 2002

NIAID releases lengthy bioterrorism research agenda

(CIDRAP News) – The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has released a 68-page report on its plan for expanding research on "Category A" bioterrorism agents: anthrax, smallpox, plague, tularemia, viral hemorrhagic fevers, and botulism.

May 02, 2002

May 02, 2002

Single gene change enabled plague bacterium to ride in fleas

A single gene change enabled a recent ancestor of Yersinia pestis to use fleas as its transmission vehicle, launching the transformation of a relatively benign microbe into the agent that causes plague.

May 20, 2002

May 20, 2002

Handling frogs could be a Salmonella infection risk factor

(CIDRAP News) – Some people find frogs disgusting, but now a study of an illness outbreak in Mississippi suggests that frogs may be literally nauseating. The case-control study implicates contact with amphibians as a potential risk factor for infection with Salmonella enterica serotype Javiana.

Nov 07, 2002

Nov 07, 2002

CIA believes four nations have secret smallpox virus stocks, report says

(CIDRAP News) – The CIA has good evidence that four nations—Iraq, North Korea, Russia, and France—have secret stores of smallpox virus, according to a Washington Post report based on comments from officials speaking anonymously.

Jan 17, 2003

Jan 17, 2003

Report of missing plague specimens in Texas was false alarm

(CIDRAP News) – A researcher's report of missing vials of the bacteria that causes plague led to a full-scale alert and investigation at Texas Tech University in Lubbock this week, but the alarm was called off when the researcher revealed he had previously destroyed the vials.

Jan 29, 2003

Jan 29, 2003

Bush initiative would promote new defenses against bioterror diseases

Editor's note: This story was updated Jan 30, 2003, with additional information from the Department of Health and Human Services.

(CIDRAP News) – President Bush yesterday proposed an initiative, called Project Bioshield, to speed the development and production of vaccines and treatments for smallpox, anthrax, botulism, and other diseases that could be spread by terrorists.

Mar 20, 2003

Mar 20, 2003

Senate panel approves 'BioShield,' nixes smallpox compensation plan

(CIDRAP News) – A Senate committee yesterday unanimously approved the Bush administration's "BioShield" plan to promote vaccines and treatments for biodefense but blocked the administration's proposal for compensating healthcare workers harmed by the smallpox vaccine.

May 12, 2003

May 12, 2003

Multistate exercise tests response to biological, radiological attacks

(CIDRAP News) – A large-scale exercise to test the ability of government to respond to terrorism begins today with simulated signs of a biological attack in Chicago and a mock "dirty bomb" explosion in Seattle.

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