Vayl S. Oxford Named Defense Threat Reduction Agency Director

Vayl S. Oxford, a member of the Senior Executive Service has been named Director of the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) located on Ft. Belvoir, Virginia. As DTRA Director, he will lead over 2,000 uniformed service members and Department of Defense civilians working on the full spectrum of counter weapons of mass destruction and improvised threat efforts.

NIST Releases Six New Community Resilience Planning Guide Briefs

Six new “Guide Briefs” issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cover planning for hazard events. The documents complement NIST’s Community Resilience Planning Guide for Buildings and Infrastructure Systems, which lays out a six-step process to plan for resilience in the face of natural, technological, and human-caused hazards.

Secure Schools Alliance Research & Education Releases Second Brief in 'Securing our Schools' Toolkit

The Secure Schools Alliance Research and Education organization has released the second brief in its new toolkit for K-12 learning institutions and law enforcement – Securing Our Schools – entitled, "Partner Roles and Responsibilities for Securing Our Schools." This brief discusses school preparedness, threats facing schools and the critical roles that all segments of the community have in securing our schools.

Cherokee Nation Emergency Management Now a Type 3 FEMA Response Team

Cherokee Nation’s Emergency Management team is now equipped with the expertise and vehicles to respond to a Type 3-level Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) disaster. As defined by FEMA, a Type 3 team can respond within hours to a natural disaster, a public health emergency, a large-scale crash, or another crisis within tribal boundaries.

Emergent BioSolutions Unveils Its Expanded Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing in Baltimore

Emergent BioSolutions Inc. celebrates the opening of the company’s newly expanded Center for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing (CIADM) in Baltimore. The facility is one of three centers designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide advanced development and manufacturing of medical countermeasures to support the U.S. government’s national security and public health emergency needs.

Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security Emergence Program

Applications are now being accepted for the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security's newest offering, the Emergence Program. This program is for homeland/public safety officials in the early stages of their careers. The deadline for applications is July 28.

A Faster, Less Costly Test Detects Foodborne Toxin

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have developed a new test that's faster, more sensitive and less expensive than current tests in detecting a major foodborne toxin. The bacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, which makes a variety of toxins, is one of the most common causes of food poisoning.

Fentanyl Can Sicken First Responders. Here’s a Possible Solution.

Scientists from the National Institute of Standards and Technology are working to address the first responder hazard of handling unknown powders. They report that two technologies, Ion Mobility Spectrometry and Direct Analysis in Real Time Mass Spectrometry, can detect trace amounts of fentanyl even when mixed with heroin and other substances. This research suggests new ways to protect law enforcement officers, evidence examiners, and drug-sniffing dogs.

Pluristem Announces Promising Results From Non-Human Primate Pilot Study of PLX-R18 in Acute Radiation Syndrome

Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. announced the results of its non-human primates pilot study for PLX-R18 as a treatment for Acute Radiation Syndrome. The study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of PLX-R18. Efficacy measures included survival as well as level of bone marrow function, which is affected by exposure to high levels of radiation as may occur in a nuclear accident or attack.

New Report Shares Best Practices, Guidance and Case Studies for Using Social Media in Public Safety Exercises

A new report by the Social Media for Emergency Services and Disaster Management Advisory Committee, which was established by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate, addresses social media in all aspects of an agency’s emergency preparedness, response and recovery operations, including in the agency’s exercises.