Updates

Scientists Develop Sugar-Coated Nanosheets to Selectively Target Pathogens

Researchers have developed a process for creating ultrathin, self-assembling sheets of synthetic materials that can function like designer flypaper in selectively binding with viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. In this way, the new platform, developed by a team led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, could potentially be used to inactivate or detect pathogens.

Assessing Community Needs in Real-time

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a new tool to help communities evaluate their needs after natural disasters and understand attitudes and beliefs about specific public health behaviors. CASPER (Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response) is a tool for health departments and public health professionals to assess these and other community needs in real-time.

FDA Blood Supply and Demand Simulation Model Could Help Nation Prepare for Emergencies

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) developed a blood supply model that estimates the amount of blood available in the system during both routine conditions and emergencies. This model is designed to help public health officials effectively plan strategies that will minimize any disruption of the blood supply should blood collection efforts be reduced as a result of an emergency.

DHS and EPA Are Prepared to Restore Subways in the Event of a Bioterrorist Attack

In September 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate completed a four-year Underground Transport Restoration project in collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). S&T and EPA conducted studies and performed exercises to see how disease-causing microbes spread through subway systems, how they can be sampled and cleaned, and how long it takes to be cleaned.

FDA Approves New Treatment for Acute Radiation Syndrome Adding to the Country’s Available Treatments in the Event of Radiological or Nuclear Emergency

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves Leukine for Acute Radiation Syndrome, adding to the nation's available treatments in the event of a radiological or nuclear emergency. Leukine is the third FDA-approved medical countermeasure that is indicated to increase survival in patients exposed to myelosuppressive doses of radiation.

FirstNet Core Delivers on the Promise of a Dedicated Network for Public Safety

AT&T has met another monumental contractual milestone by launching and delivering the FirstNet core to the First Responder Network Authority. It is the first-ever nationwide LTE-enhanced packet core infrastructure built specifically for the nation’s first responder community. The FirstNet core serves as the brain and nervous system of the nationwide network, separating public safety traffic from commercial traffic.

First Proof a Synthesized Antibiotic is Capable of Treating Superbugs

A "game changing" new antibiotic which is capable of killing superbugs has been successfully synthesized and used to treat an infection for the first time – and could lead to the first new class of antibiotic drug in 30 years. The University of Lincoln breakthrough is another major step forward on the journey to develop a commercially viable drug version based on teixobactin.

Monitoring Kentucky Dams – Protecting Waterfront Communities

Out of the approximately 90,000 dams in the United States, roughly 90 percent are state, municipal or privately-owned. That makes two-thirds of the dams in America subject to greater variation in safety standards and disaster preparedness than the rest. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has been researching ways to minimize risk from a dam failure and improve the response capability of stakeholders in affected areas.

Free Software Can Help Spot New Forms of Fentanyl and Other Illegal Drugs

Illicit chemists are constantly cooking new forms of fentanyl, each with a slightly different chemical structure, stymieing law enforcement and putting users at greater risk. To control fentanyl, which mimics heroin but is far more potent, forensic chemists need to identify it. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released a free software tool to help.

USAID and FAO Working Together to Pre-Empt the Next Global Pandemic

A partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has been working to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to manage outbreaks of diseases in farm animals. In the past 12 months, its members have trained over 4,700 veterinary health professionals in 25 countries. The FAO-provided technical training covered a gamut of key competencies, including disease surveillance and forecasting, laboratory operations, biosafety and biosecurity, prevention and control methods, and outbreak response strategies.