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 [...]
Dr. William “Bill” C. Patrick III, 84, passed away on Friday, Oct. 1, 2010. Born on July, 24, 1926 in Southhampton, SC, Patrick was a U.S. veteran and influential microbiologist that devoted over three decades of service to the U.S. Army’s headquarters for biological weapons research in Fort Detrick, MD. After serving in the Army [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
Professor of pathobiological sciences, Gary Splitter, DVM, PhD, was suspended from laboratory work above BSL-1 until 2013 because unauthorized work was conducted with an antibiotic-resistant strain of Brucella, a select agent, by his graduate student in 2007. The University was also fined $40,000 because this work broke federal regulations. Brucella bacteria can cause the disease Brucellosis, which presents as a prolonged non-specific febrile illness in humans accompanied by chills, sweats, headache, fatigue, myalgias (muscle pain), arthralgias (joint pain), and anorexia. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that Dr. Splitter, a member of UW-Madison’s Biosafety Committee, denies knowledge of his graduate student’s experiments – but email records indicate otherwise.