Posts tagged with Public Health

FAS Roundup:November 18, 2013

Death by polonium poisoning, negotiations between Iran and the United States and more. Iran is Negotiating with the Wrong U.S. Officials Last week, Iranian officials met with representatives of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany (the P5 +1) regarding Iran’s nuclear program and economic sanctions imposed by the United […]

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 […]

Cassava Roots (Credit: Wikimedia)

Emerging Disease Threatens Cassava Crop

The New York Times reported today on the emergence of Cassava Brown Streak Virus in regions of Africa where the tuber is a key food crop. Emphasizing the food’s importance, the Times notes:

“After rice and wheat, cassava is the world’s third-largest source of calories. Under many names, including manioc, tapioca and yuca, it is eaten by 800 million people in Africa, South America and Asia.”

The new virus, a recently characterized emerging variant in East Africa, renders the crop inedible. The estimated $50 million in research funding aimed at deterring the disease is a small fraction of the amounts spent on diseases that infect humans in the developing world.

Globalizing Public Health and Bio-Surveillance

In an era of increased globalization, public health and surveillance are playing an increased role in biosecurity. Whether novel pathogens are intentionally created bioweapons or naturally occurring emerging infectious diseases, recognizing the threat is a necessary prerequisite to countering it. This panel brings together representatives from Federal public health agencies, industry researchers, and representatives of NGO’s.