november 2015

Updates

Managing the Data Deluge for National Security Analysts

In this information age, national security analysts often find themselves searching for a needle in a haystack. The available data is growing much faster than analysts' ability to observe and process it. Sandia National Laboratories' Pattern Analytics to Support High-Performance Exploitation and Reasoning (PANTHER) team has made a number of breakthroughs that could help solve these problems.

Updates

Xenex Germ-Zapping Robot Destroys Ebola Virus & Anthrax Spores in New Study Performed at Texas Biomed Biosafety Level 4 Lab

To validate how the Xenex Germ-Zapping Robot can be used for the decontamination of facilities, vehicles, and equipment affected by a natural or intentional outbreak, Xenex Disinfection Services tested its disinfection device against live Ebola virus and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) spores in collaboration with the biosafety level 4 laboratory at Texas Biomedical Research Institute.

Updates

HomeAid Partners With Bank of America to Support Housing for Veterans This Homelessness Awareness Month

In November 2015, HomeAid recognized Homelessness Awareness Month as a critical time to focus on challenges faced by many of today's combat veterans. As a leading nonprofit provider of housing, HomeAid is committed to providing veterans with the resources they need to lead a stable life. Among HomeAid's key partners in this mission is Bank of America.

Preparedness

Keeping It Simple - Low-Cost Technologies With High Payoffs

by Timothy Moshier -

Detection of hazardous materials can be a very costly endeavor. However, there are ways to simplify the process, reduce costs, and increase the performance of previously purchased legacy equipment. Leveraging the operating environment and informing personnel to make better decisions are two methods for achieving these goals.

Updates

FACT SHEET: The U.S. Commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda

During the G-20 Leaders' Summit in Antalya, Turkey, President Obama announced that the United States and 30 partner countries have made a commitment to work together to achieve the targets of the Global Health Security Agenda, a world safe and secure from infectious disease threats.

Updates

FDA Releases Groundbreaking Food Safety Rules for Produce Farms and Imported Food to Modernize and Strengthen Food Safety System

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took major steps to prevent foodborne illness by finalizing rules implementing the bipartisan Food Safety Modernization Act that, for the first time, establish enforceable safety standards for produce farms and make importers accountable for verifying that imported food meets U.S. safety standards.

Updates

HHS to Procure Two Inhalational Anthrax Treatments for National Supply

To better protect public health in an anthrax attack, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response will add two types of anthrax antitoxin drugs for the Strategic National Stockpile as options to treat inhalational anthrax.

Updates

PositiveID Corporation Develops New Firefly Dx Prototype System With Sample Preparation Added to PCR Capabilities

PositiveID Corporation announced that it has completed a new sample preparation breadboard system which complements, and works in conjunction with the Company's Firefly Dx polymerase chain reaction breadboard prototype pathogen detection system. PositiveID's Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results in less than 20 minutes from a handheld device, thereby leading to treatment scenarios at the point of need.

Reports

The 2015 Network Profile of the Medical Reserve Corps

This report provides a comprehensive look at the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) network. The Medical Reserve Corps, created after the September 11, 2001 attacks identified a need for an organized volunteer network to assist first responders in the event of an emergency, is a national network of more than 200,000 local volunteers dedicated to the safety, preparedness, and health of their communities.

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Resilience

Bringing the Gold Standard to the Front Line

by Christopher Petty -

Clandestine laboratories are just one evolving threat that first responders face at unexpected times. As this and other types of threats evolve, so must the technology to monitor, detect, and analyze these seen and unseen dangers. High-pressure mass spectrometry is one such technology that is helping first responders perform these tasks in real time while in the field.

Commentary

Beyond Paris - A Growing Terrorist Threat

by Richard Schoeberl -

Paris is the most recent reminder of the barbaric acts of brutality and terrorism committed by the Islamic State. Although this extremist terror organization has committed despicable acts - such as crucifixions, beheadings, live burnings, and bombings - the threat of its brutality is expanding beyond Europe, with even deadlier consequences.

Updates

CBP Announces Way Forward on the Use of Body-Worn Cameras

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske announced his decision to expand CBP's camera review, including the integration of new body-worn camera testing into law enforcement operations such as checkpoints, vessel boarding and interdictions, training academies, and outbound operations at ports of entry, as well as mobile camera options in vehicles.

Commentary

How the Nation Is Failing in Public Health Preparedness

by Patrick Rose -

As public health funding and staffing continue to decline, communities are left more vulnerable to the next catastrophic public health emergency. The United States is failing in its public health preparedness efforts. The nation's resilience depends on the government and public health making critical changes to reverse this downward trend.

Updates

NIST Study of Colorado Wildfire Shows Actions Can Change Outcomes

The U.S. Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) new study of Colorado's devastating 2012 Waldo Canyon wildfire demonstrates that prompt and effective action can significantly change the outcome of fires that occur in areas where residential communities and undeveloped wildlands meet.

Updates

Researchers Develop a New Tool to Guide Recovery From Disasters

Here and abroad, there is an urgent need for systematic strategies for recovering critical lifelines once disasters strike. Northeastern University researchers have drawn on network science to develop a computerized tool for guiding stakeholders in the recovery of large-scale infrastructure systems, which can be extended to water-distribution systems, power grids, communication networks, and even natural ecological systems.

Updates

Multistate Foodborne Disease Outbreaks Sicken Thousands, Highlight Need for Action

Multistate outbreaks cause more than half of all deaths in foodborne disease outbreaks according to a new report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The report highlights the need for food industries to play a larger role in improving food safety by following best practices for growing, processing, and shipping foods.

Updates

Nanoparticle Delivery Maximizes Drug Defense Against Bioterrorism Agent

Scientists from the California NanoSystems Institute have developed a nanoparticle delivery system for the antibiotic moxifloxacin. This system vastly improves the drug's effectiveness against pneumonic tularemia, a type of pneumonia caused by inhalation of the bacterium Francisella tularensis, which has been designated a top-tier bioterrorism agent by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Healthcare

Public Health's Role Beyond Biologicals

by Audrey Mazurek & Raphael M. Barishansky -

Public health's role is often synonymous with biological events such as Ebola, H1N1, and SARS, but the field of public health offers many capabilities that are relevant to chemical, radiological, nuclear, and explosive events as well. To leverage these capabilities, a joint effort from the federal, state, and local levels must make public health a national priority.

Reports

HHS Could Take Further Steps to Enhance Understanding of Public Health Risks

This U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) report addresses: (a) federal activities to enhance understanding about the risks climate change poses to public health; (b) federal resources used by selected states and localities to address these risks; and (c) challenges states and localities face and actions federal agencies could take to mitigate these risks.

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Healthcare

New Decontamination Resource - Information & Expertise

by Craig DeAtley -

A new federal resource equips healthcare providers with a valuable information repository. This resource also offers a way to request technical assistance and provides a forum for peer-to-peer discussions. Decontamination is just one of the many in-depth topics addressed by subject matter experts in the healthcare field.

Updates

Therapies Against Biowarfare Subject of $7.6M Defense Grant to Pitt Center for Vaccine Research Scientists

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded a $7.6 million grant to a collaborative group of scientists in the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research for groundbreaking work that could lead to countermeasures against bioterrorism attacks. The latest DOD-funded project seeks to accelerate the development of drugs and vaccines against alphaviruses.

Updates

NRC Accelerates Schedule for Earthquake Risk Analysis at U.S. Reactors

The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), after reviewing updated earthquake hazard information from all U.S. nuclear power plants, has concluded the plants can, where appropriate, complete in-depth analyses of their updated earthquake risk earlier than originally planned. In other cases, the NRC has concluded reactors no longer need to submit an in-depth analysis.

Reports

Risk-Informed Covert Assessments and Oversight of Corrective Actions Could Strengthen Capabilities at the Border

This testimony addresses the extent to which the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's covert operations: (a) assessed capabilities at air, land, and sea ports and checkpoints to detect and interdict nuclear and radiological material smuggled across the border; and (b) reported results and provided oversight to ensure that corrective actions were implemented.

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Updates

Wireless Emergency Alerts Guided by Lessons Learned

The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) service is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Integrated Public Alert and Warning System (IPAWS), which provides an additional dissemination path for alert and warning messages. Research areas include improving the geo-targeting capabilities of mobile alerts, warnings, and understanding, as well as improving public response to WEAs.

Updates

NIST Releases New Community Resilience Planning Guide

The U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued the "Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems" to help U.S. communities better withstand and rebound from the shocks of severe weather, earthquakes, and other hazards.

Preparedness

Next-Generation, Layered Security Screening

by David W. Cullin -

Security checkpoints help law enforcement officers enhance public safety by detecting chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, explosives, and other threats. With advancements in multiplexed luminescence technologies, the detection of trace amounts of explosives can expand beyond stationary checkpoints using handheld tools that are cost-effective and simple to use.

Updates

ECBC Team Working to Improve World's Biosurveillance Technology

As part of the Assessment of Environmental Detection (AED) leg for Project JUPITR (Joint U.S. Forces in Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition), members of an Army chemical-biological research team from the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) set up biological sensors for an operational demonstration at a U.S. military installation in Osan, Republic of Korea.

Reports

Next Steps to Enhance Biosafety and Biosecurity in the United States

The White House released a strategy to improve the Federal Government's biosafety and biosecurity enterprise. This strategy results from a comprehensive review ordered in the wake of incidents at federal facilities that conduct infectious disease research.

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Updates

Old Dominion University Offers Symposium on the Acquisition, Procurement, and Contract Management Workforce

Old Dominion University and the Public Contracting Institute are offering a Symposium on the Acquisition, Procurement, and Contract Management Workforce. The symposium provides best practices and lessons learned, which can be applied immediately to an organization's and program's acquisition, procurement, and contract management workforce.