Updates

Modernizing the National Disaster Medical System to Meet the Health Security Threats of the 21st Century

In 2017, the United States suffered three back-to-back hurricanes that caused catastrophic damage in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. That experience highlighted the importance of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) – a federally coordinated system that augments the nation’s medical response capability during times of disasters or public health emergencies.

Justice Department Announces Release of New Fentanyl Safety Video for First Responders

The Office of Justice Programs’ Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) released the Fentanyl Safety Recommendations for First Responders’ companion training video Fentanyl: The Real Deal. The video was produced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to help first responders protect themselves when the presence of fentanyl is suspected or encountered on the job.

S&T Develops the First Line of Defense Against Acts of Targeted Violence

Tragic events at the Boston Marathon, African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, and Pulse nightclub in Orlando are reminders that ideologically motivated violent extremists pose a persistent threat to Americans of all backgrounds. Since 2010, the U.S. government has invested more than $20 million into understanding all forms of radicalization to violence, as well as effective prevention and intervention measures.

Certified Community Paramedic Review Course Now Offered

Columbia Southern University and the International Association of Flight & Critical Care Paremedics (IAFCCP) have partnered for the development of the Certified Community Paramedic Review Course. This online course will focus on the application of concepts related to the critical thinking necessary to do well on the Certified Community Paramedic (C-PC) exam.

BARDA and Its Partners Bring New Ammunition to the Battle Against Superbugs

Antibiotics are over-prescribed and improperly used, which can increase the number of resistant infections. In addition, few alternative drugs capable of overcoming antibiotic resistance are available because most manufacturers have abandoned antibiotic development in favor of products that provide a greater return on investment. Since 2010, BARDA has worked with 12 private companies on developing 15 new antibiotics, and three have already earned approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

A Flexible Clinical Trial Design Suitable for Emerging Disease Outbreaks

U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Drug Evaluation and Research statisticians are designing trials with adaptive features to make clinical evaluation of new drug treatments more efficient and informative. Clinical trials with flexibility and adaptive features are critical for evaluating new treatments during medical emergencies and for diseases, such as cancer.

DHS Announces Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year 2018 Preparedness Grants

As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Secretary Kirstjen M. Nielsen announced final allocations of $345 million for six Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 DHS competitive preparedness grant programs. The FY 2018 preparedness grants focus on the nation’s highest risk areas, and law enforcement and terrorism prevention activities.

A Milestone for Forecasting Earthquake Hazards

Earthquakes pose a profound danger to people and cities worldwide, but with the right hazard-mitigation efforts, from stricter building requirements to careful zoning, the potential for catastrophic collapses of roads and buildings and loss of human lives can be limited. In a milestone for earthquake forecasting, researchers have come up with a physics-based model that marks a turning point in earthquake forecasting.

Handheld Genomic Sequencer Shows Promise in Field Demo

The MinION, a handheld genomic sequencer, showed promise in a recent field demonstration as it continues testing at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command Chemical & Biological Center. Not only can the MinION detect known threats, it can sequence unknown threats, too. These unknown biothreats include emerging and genetically modified pathogens.

NIST Details Steps to Keep Buildings Functioning After Natural Hazards

Keeping structures operational after an earthquake, hurricane, tornado, or other natural hazard could become more likely with improved standards and codes for the construction of residential and commercial buildings, according to a new report recently delivered to the U.S. Congress by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).