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Biosecurity Bills Before Congress

With the lame-duck congressional session drawing to a close there is not much time for action on the biosecurity related bills before Congress.  So what does this mean for biosecurity and biosecurity related legislation?  Congress is considering several bills related to biosecurity, but little progress is expected during the remainder of the lame-duck session. First, […]

Ridding the World of Rinderpest

Humanity’s 5,000 year struggle with the cattle disease rinderpest is over according to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization.  In 1994, the FAO launched an aggressive program to eradicate this dangerous disease through vaccinations and monitoring, and the last known case was detected in 2001.  Ten years later, in 2011, FAO will officially mark the […]

Overview: HHS Screening Framework for Providers of Synthetic dsDNA

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released its much-anticipated Guidance report on Wednesday, Oct. 13th 2010, describing a recommended screening method for synthetic double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) manufacturers. The report provides the recommended framework for the screening of orders to ensure manufacture compliance with current Select Agent Regulations (SAR) and Export Administration Regulations […]

Who is in Charge of Biodefense?

Who is in charge of carrying out our nation’s biodefense policy?  This question was raised repeatedly in Wednesday’s hearing of the Senate Labor-Health and Human Services subcommittee.  The hearing focused on bioterrorism, biosecurity, and medical countermeasures in contrast to last week’s senate hearing on terrorism during which the topic was barely mentioned. The hearing was […]

Bioterror Absent from Committee Agenda

Terrorism is the “greatest security challenge of our age,” explained Senator Joe Lieberman, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, during a hearing last Wednesday on “Confronting the Terrorist Threat to the Homeland.”  Because of this great challenge, FBI Director Robert Mueller, said in his testimony that protecting America from terrorism […]

Anthrax Outbreak in Bangladesh

An anthrax outbreak in Bangladesh has infected more than 500 individuals since August 18th.  The infections were acquired from eating or handling contaminated cattle.   In one instance, a man purchased a cow which became ill a few days later.  He brought the cow to a veterinarian where it was vaccinated against anthrax.  This would have […]