DNA synthesis technologies— a cornerstone of life sciences research and biotechnology development—are becoming more advanced and commercially available. Although much of this technology is used for clinical diagnosis and treatment, its potential exploitation may lead to ominous biological... Read More »
Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) CEO and Co-Chairman Ernest J. Moniz called on public and private sector leaders at last week’s 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) to work to reduce the biological risks associated with advances in technology.
Safety and security measures have not kept pace with... Read More »
Global health security may need an overhaul.
That’s how Kathryn Bouskill, a social scientist at the RAND Corporation and associate director of the RAND Center for Global Risk and Security, sees the future of the discipline.
In her recently published paper ‘Global Health and Security:... Read More »
Confirmed infections of the Wuhan coronavirus reached five people in the United States over the weekend, with already known cases in Washington state and Chicago being joined by new patients in California and Arizona.
In all cases, the patients recently returned to the United States from Wuhan,... Read More »
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed a second U.S. case of the Wuhan coronavirus on Friday, pointing to a patient in Chicago while revealing that 63 other possible cases are being tracked across 22 states.
Though Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center... Read More »
Pandemic preparedness collaboration among private businesses with the public sector is critically important at this time, say experts at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, the World Economic Forum, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
“The next severe pandemic will not only... Read More »
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. got the go-ahead from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to pursue its proposed development plan for its chikungunya virus vaccine candidate.
The company has proposed conducting a Phase 3 trial using Serum Neutralizing Antibodies (SNA) to predict clinical benefit of... Read More »
It’s a disease that’s killed millions of pigs globally, crippled farming, and has no cure. African swine fever has devastated the Asian pork industry, as China has culled about half of its total swine population since the disease took hold of that country in August 2018.
Outbreaks of African... Read More »
The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry advanced a bill to create as a national security laboratory to combat bio-and agro-terrorism threats.
The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) Act of 2019 (S. 2695) would establish the National Bio and Agro-Defense... Read More »
Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) | bio hosted two events during the 2019 Biological Weapons Convention Meeting of States Parties in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this month.
A panel of international biosecurity experts was the focus of the first event. The experts discussed efforts to reduce... Read More »
The U.S. House Appropriations Committee on Monday released the domestic priorities and international assistance appropriations minibus, which includes ramped-up final budget amounts for several biodefense-related items, including the Strategic National Stockpile.
In releasing the text of the... Read More »
One of the most searing memories Thomas Frieden had during the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak was one in which he deeply questioned the international community’s effectiveness in supporting the health infrastructure of Ebola-plagued nations.
Then head of the Centers for Disease Control and... Read More »
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) are testing a vaccine to protect against serious diarrheal illnesses caused by food and water contaminated with bacteria like E. coli and Shigella.
Drs. Wilbur Chen and Eileen Barry will lead these tests, thanks to $4.5... Read More »
The constantly changing nature of the influenza virus makes it an annual effort of scientists, manufacturers, and the medical community to devise and disseminate vaccines to combat the disease.
What if those efforts could be streamlined to develop a universal flu vaccine that could attack any... Read More »
The nation’s land grant universities play an important role in helping the federal government bolster agro-defense, according to scientists, policymakers, industry and academic leaders who participated in a recent Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense event held at Colorado State University... Read More »
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently approved the reopening and partial operations of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DOD’s) lead laboratory for medical biological defense research.
This... Read More »
China is rapidly gaining on the United States when it comes to creating technology that mitigates disease threats and developing pharmaceuticals faster, and it’s a phenomenon driven by a philosophy that the state, military, and the private sector are one in the same.
That was the testimony of... Read More »
Researchers at Colorado State University were awarded a $1.2 million subcontract from the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle for immunology research to accelerate progress in tuberculosis vaccine development.
The institute is part of the National Institutes of Health, which gave a... Read More »
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) last week issued final guidance for developing smallpox treatment studies, providing clarity to drug manufacturers.
“Despite recent advances in developing an effective treatment for smallpox, drug developers still face challenges in bringing... Read More »
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) officials are espousing the potential benefits of new technology to quickly address endemic, emerging and engineered pathogenic threats.
The organization’s newest biotechnology funding opportunity, the Detect It with Gene Editing Technologies... Read More »
Integral Molecular won a $5.5 million National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) contract last week that will, over the next five years, fund efforts to define antibody responses to various pathogenic viruses and advance along the path to making vaccines for them.
"Our nearly... Read More »
The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) awarded a $6 million contract to Burlingame, Calif.-based Inflammatix Inc. to develop a new testing technology that reads gene expression patterns in the immune system.
The innovative technology, known as host-response testing,... Read More »
An online platform launched earlier this year crowdsources intelligence to predict the outcomes of disease outbreak.
The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security implemented its publicly available disease prediction policy dashboard 10 months ago, and officials hope forecasting efforts might... Read More »
More than 40 experts from nine Central African nations met in October at an event hosted by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to advance biosafety and biosecurity in the region.
The event, held in Libreville, Gabon, was the... Read More »
The chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security opened Wednesday’s hearing on global terrorism criticizing President Donald Trump and his bid to name a new acting director of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), on the day before Kevin McAleenan was scheduled to end his five-month... Read More »
Countries are not prepared for the possible international spread of new or emerging pathogens or for the deliberate or accidental release of dangerous agents, according to a new index that assesses the capabilities of 195 nations.
The Global Health Security Index is a joint project by the... Read More »
Antimicrobial resistant (AMR) microorganisms, also known as superbugs, increasingly threaten every person on Earth, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and national experts.
“Antimicrobial resistance is one of the most urgent health risks of our time and threatens to undo a... Read More »
Terrorist threats against the United States continue to grow and evolve, including the use of non-conventional weapons, begging the question of whether this country is well-equipped for such attacks.
The conclusion of experts who testified Thursday before the U.S. House Homeland Security... Read More »
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials have appointed Dr. Alfonso Clavijo as director of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).
The NBAF, which is currently under construction by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is a research and diagnostic facility designed to... Read More »
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has earmarked funds to aid the development of new technology that could bolster emergency preparedness by producing platelets outside the human body.
If the two-year, $4.9 million agreement between HHS Biomedical Advanced Research and Development... Read More »
A new report issued by leaders in international health says the world may face great risk from pathogens, including a rapidly moving, highly lethal pandemic projected to kill 50 to 80 million people and wiping out nearly 5 percent of the world’s economy.
High-impact respiratory pathogens, such... Read More »
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Center for Global Health was designated as a Collaborating Center for Biosafety and Biosecurity by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO).
The designation -- the first awarded to a CDC/WHO collaborating... Read More »
The Sept. 14 gas explosion that stoked a fire at a Russian bioweapons facility in Siberia where viruses and bacteria including smallpox, Ebola and anthrax are stored reminded the world that humans are only one catastrophic biological event away from a pandemic that could kill tens of millions of... Read More »
There’s a new word on the street that packs a lot of punch: cyberbiosecurity, which is introducing a host of new multilayered threats to biodefense.
Members of the newly named Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense — formerly the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense — last week sought a... Read More »
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. said Tuesday it was awarded a contract for its smallpox vaccine from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) valued at approximately $2 billion over 10 years.
The contract... Read More »