Posts tagged with Biotechnology

HHS BARDA Awards Four Contracts to Medical Countermeasure Technologies

BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), recently awarded four contracts for the research and development of innovative platform technologies in medical countermeasure development.

Contracts were awarded to the following organizations to continue development: the Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) in Seattle, VaxDesign Corp. in Orlando and Pfenex Inc. in San Diego. A collective total of $24.6 million is allotted for initial phases and up to $53.6 million over three years.

Future Treatment: Immune Modulation

Instead of strictly offensive measures (e.g. antivirals, antibiotics, and siRNA treatments), scientists are developing ways to improve our own natural defense against pathogens, our immune system.  This can be done both by enhancing immune function and preventing immune overreactions. Enhancing the Immune System A study released last month found a way to protect mice from […]

Future Treatment: siRNA

During 1940s, penicillin, the first commercially available antibiotic, was hailed as a “wonder drug.”  Penicillin helped make WWII the first American war where infection was not the major cause of death.  But by the 1950s, antibiotic resistance became widespread.  Scientists were engaged in a veritable arms race, constantly modifying and developing new classes of antibiotics […]

Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genome: A Future Biosecurity Concern?

J. Craig Venter of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) in Rockville, MD announced last week that his team was able to successfully create a bacterial cell controlled by a chemically assembled, man-made genome. This breakthrough discovery in the emerging field of synthetic genomics raises some concern in the biosecurity community and prompted President Obama to […]