U.S. and North Korea relations, disposal of nuclear weapons components and much more. From the Blogs Strategy Lacking for Disposal of Nuclear Weapons Components: According to an internal Department of Energy contractor report, there is a “large inventory” of classified nuclear weapons components “scattered across” the nation’s nuclear weapons complex and awaiting disposal. But, there [...]
Coverage of some of the key sessions from the Biosecurity Conference at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) 2011, which occurred in Washington DC on June 29-30, can be found in the FAS Biosecurity Blog. A View from the Hill: A Conversation on Global Biodefense and Biosecurity Jim Greenwood, the President of BIO, opened the first [...]
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 [...]
Reuters is reporting that the US Strategic National Stockpile will begin acquisition of a new smallpox vaccine. The new product, Imvamune, promises reduced side-effects and potentially improved protection for patients who are treated after exposure to the virus. These traits could make the vaccine much more effective as a countermeasure against a biological attack using smallpox.
Though the story of Imvamune ultimately demonstrates that improved countermeasures to biological threats can be developed, the story also illustrates some of the challenges involved in the process.
Our complete coverage of the BIO 2010 Biosecurity Conference in Chicago can be found in the FAS Biosecurity Blog archives at: http://fas.org/blog/bio/tag/bio2010
Several recurring themes emerged in the presentations by the world’s experts in fields like public health, national security, food defense, biological weapons, and new advances in research. Here is our analysis of some of the themes observed at the conference.
Representatives from industry, NGO’s and the government gathered to discuss ways to manage biological threats at the second day of the 2010 Biosecurity convention. The session focused on the coordination that would be required to respond to biological incidents.
The final biosecurity panel of the day was an extended Q&A session with a panel of seven participants from the US government and industry. The panel discussed countermeasures to biological threats, and offered an interesting contrast between where the two sides agreed and differed on the issues.
The BIO Biosecurity conference is underway, with an opening session featuring a number of senior Obama Administration officials. This event marks perhaps the highest profile Industry-sponsored look at biosecurity issues, and the Administration appears to be committed to making sure that the discussion gets off to a productive start.
A new report by the UPMC Center for Biosecurity suggests that the US remains unprepared for the task of decontaminating the site of a major biological weapon attack. Decontamination after the comparatively small-scale Anthrax attacks of 2001 is estimated to have cost hundreds of millions of dollars, while shuttering some facilities for as long as two years. By comparison, the costs of a larger scale attack on a major city could be staggering.