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Tracking the Ebola outbreak in near real-time: HealthMap, ProMED and other tools

Tracking the Ebola outbreak in near real-time: HealthMap, ProMED and other tools | Biodefense News | Scoop.it

Sobering news keeps coming out of the West African Ebola outbreak. According to numbers released on August 6, the virus has sickened 1,711 and claimed 932 lives across four nations. The outbreak continues to grow, with a high risk of continued regional spread, according to a threat analysis released byHealthMap (an outbreak tracking system operated out of Boston Children’s Hospital) and Bio.Diaspora (a Canadian project that monitors communicable disease spread via international travel).


“What we’ve seen here—because of inadequate public health measures, because of general fear—is [an outbreak that] truly hasn’t been kept under control,”John Brownstein, PhD, co-founder of HealthMap and a computational epidemiologist at Boston Children’s Hospital, told ABC News. “The event started, calmed down and jumped up again. Now, we’re seeing movement into densely populated areas, which is highly concerning.”


If you’re interested in keeping tabs on the outbreak yourself, there are several tools that can help:


  • HealthMap’s Ebola map. The HealthMap team is maintaining a dedicated, interactive map and timeline of the epidemic athealthmap.org/ebola (embedded at the top of this post). Both map and timeline are regularly updated as new information becomes available, as is the HealthMap Twitter account.
  • ProMED. The International Society for Infectious Disease, a non-profit organization for infectious and emerging disease research, operatesProMED, a disease news monitoring service that tracks outbreaks of human and veterinary infectious diseases. ProMED (short for Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases) has been sending out regular email and Twitter alerts about the Ebola outbreak since it was first noticed in March.
  • US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC is regularly posting updated news and patient counts—as well as travel and preparedness guidance and other information about the virus—on both their website and Twitter.
  • World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO’s Global Alert and Response system is providing regular updates on disease spread and control efforts. The organization is also distributing updates via its Twitter feed.

Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Biodefense News's insight:

One glaring omission from this list is http://www.ascelbio.com, which is supplying CDC/GDD with outbreak information and forecasting.  Ascel Bio was also in constant contact with Samaritan's Purse and asked to help respond to evacuate.

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M. Philip Oliver's curator insight, August 15, 2014 12:33 PM

Thanks To Dr. Stefan

Luigi Cappel's curator insight, August 16, 2014 5:53 PM

Not only is this a great site, but when I went in, it automatically identified that I live in New Zealand and showed me areas close to me where there are notifiable diseases. It showed that currently measles is growing around our country. This is a great site to check out, whether you are traveling overseas and want to see if there are things you want to be forewarned about, perhaps be inoculated against, or in the case of something like Ebola, places you might be better off staying well away from at least in the short to medium term. 

 

I recommend checking it out, whether you are traveling, or simply want to see great use of maps to show real time data. The time-lapse video showing the expansion of Ebola is fascinating. This is the sort of thing we usually just see on movies showing the CDC, like one of my favorite TV shows 24. Where's Jack Bauer when you need him? Oh, I here a rumor he may be coming back:)

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Homeland Security Today: Biological Terrorist Attack on US an 'Urgent and Serious Threat'

In the wake of the recent Ebola crisis, the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness, Response and Communications convened a hearing Wednesday to examine US preparedness for a bioterrorist attack.
 
“The risk of a biological terrorist attack to America is an urgent and serious threat. A bioattack could cause illness and even kill hundreds of thousands of people, overwhelm our public health capabilities, and create significant economic, societal and political consequences,” said subcommittee chairman Martha McSally (R-Ariz). “Our nation’s capacity to prevent, respond to, and mitigate the impacts of biological terror incidents is a top national security priority.”
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Preparing for the next biosecurity threat

Being in the business of developing countermeasures and treatments for a biological outbreak or chemical or nuclear event is a lot like the story of the boy who cried wolf. How do we, as representatives of this industry, continuously convince our fellow citizens, the government and the world that we face a potential danger and we must all prepare in the unlikely event the unthinkable happens? That is our challenge – preparing for unthinkable and unpredictable events, while at the same time collectively hoping they won’t occur. 

Unfortunately we live in a world in which the potential for a biological outbreak, natural or man-made, is ever-present. It could be a resurgence of Ebola, an intentional release of smallpox or anthrax, or the use of a chemical or nuclear weapon. As weapons technologies have become easier to acquire, and as the human population experiences naturally emerging infectious diseases at a greater rate than ever before, we can never be sure what or when the next threat will be. We must, therefore, strive to be prepared for the most likely and the most disruptive potential threats. This is true at home and equally true around the globe.  
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Discover the biodefense market size, share, analysis and forecasts till 2020 - WhaTech

Global biodefense market is expected to reach USD 13.33 billion by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. Growing R&D investments in the field of biotechnology coupled with increasing threat of bioterrorism and disease outbreaks is expected to drive market growth during the forecast period.
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To Protect Ourselves From Bioweapons, We May Have to Reinvent Science Itself

To Protect Ourselves From Bioweapons, We May Have to Reinvent Science Itself | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
In June 2012, a team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin published a paper in the journal Nature about airborne transmission of H5N1 influenza, or bird flu, in ferrets. The article changed the way the United States and nations around the world approached manmade biological threats.

This was not the researchers’ intent.

The team had altered the virus’s amino acid profile, allowing it to reproduce in mammal lungs, which are a bit colder than bird lungs. That small change allowed the virus to be transmitted via coughing and sneezing, and it solved the riddle of how H5N1 could become airborne in humans. 

The U.S. government initially supported the work through grants, but members of Congress, among other critics around the world, responded to the publication of the research with alarm and condemnation. A New York Times editorial described the experiment and similar research conducted in the Netherlands, eventually published in the journal as "An Engineered Doomsday." So the researchers agreed to a voluntary moratorium on their findings. In October, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced that it would halt funding for research into how to make diseases more lethal — so-called “gain-of-function” studies — and asked anyone doing such research on deadly diseases to cease and desist.
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Homeland Security Today: Blue Ribbon Panel Hears How to Respond to Biological and Chemical Threats

If America were to be beset by a biological or chemical weapons attack, who would be in charge of responding?
 
According to the consensus of the post-9/11 Commission Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense arrived at during its fourth and final meeting last week, “The federal government doesn't have a good answer to that question.”
 
"The last thing we want to do is experience a successful bio-attack in the United States and not be in a position to respond," said former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). "It's hard to get people's attention about biological and chemical threats that can't be seen or touched but have devastating consequences nonetheless. We have to make this a public health issue."
 
Following Rogers's testimony, panel co-chair Tom Ridge presided over five discussions that explored methods of responding to biological and chemical weapons attacks -- and the "leadership vacuum" that plagues response efforts – especially the response to a large-scale, mass casualty bio or chemical attack.
 
"The federal government has stated that a public health disaster or pandemic is one of the top strategic threats our country faces," said Dr. Kenneth Bernard, a former biodefense official in the Clinton and Bush administrations. "Yet, we were still largely unprepared for the Ebola outbreak this year. We're not managing our leadership properly."
 
Three veterans of the Clinton and Bush administrations spoke of a "balkanized" response to biological and chemical threats. They called for future presidents to make biodefense a bigger priority -- and to delegate authority to a White House official to coordinate the activities of federal agencies.
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PositiveID Successfully Detects Multiple Organisms From a Single Assay on Its Firefly Dx PCR Chip

PositiveID Successfully Detects Multiple Organisms From a Single Assay on Its Firefly Dx PCR Chip | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
DELRAY BEACH, Fla., April 2, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB:PSID), a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, today announced that it has successfully completed additional testing of its phase II Firefly Dx prototype handheld, real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) pathogen detection system, and detected multiple organisms with a multiplex assay designed to simultaneously test for up to four pathogens on the Firefly Dx PC
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The Pentagon Is Putting Big Money Into Synthetic Biology

The Pentagon Is Putting Big Money Into Synthetic Biology | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon’s $2.9 billion technology research arm, plans to invest heavily in “synthetic biology” — a field focused on creating man-made life which is widely seen as a future source of drugs, materials, and biofuels.
Foreseeing brain implants, bionic limbs, and more Ebola-like outbreaks, DARPA says that biology “is rich in potential breakthroughs” for the military and national security, according to a report published on Thursday. A decade ago, physics and computer science dominated its efforts. Now more than than $300 million of the agency’s budget goes toward biological projects — a number that is expected to grow.
“We think there are very potent opportunities to harness biology as a technology,” said DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar at a briefing last week on the new report.
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FDA approves Emergent BioSolutions' anthrax treatment

FDA approves Emergent BioSolutions' anthrax treatment | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
(Reuters) - Emergent BioSolutions Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its treatment for inhaled anthrax, triggering a $7 million milestone payment from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Emergent Bio developed the treatment, Anthrasil, as part of a $160 million contract it signed in 2005 with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a part of the HHS. The drug is already being stored in the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, the
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Government Is ‘Delusional’ in Overlooking Biological and Chemical Defense, Tom Ridge Says

The Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense concluded that the U.S. is unprepared for a biological or chemical weapons attack and lacks the infrastructure necessary to detect such an attack. 

The panel, consisting of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), former Sen. Joe Lieberman, former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge, former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, former Sen. Tom Daschle, former Rep. Jim Greenwood and the Honorable Kenneth Wainstein, concluded the third of four meetings on the subject. 

“Our legislative and executive branches are not capable of producing an effective reaction to an eventual biological threat,” Whitehouse said in a press release. “The Blue Ribbon Study Panel is addressing a vital issue that government hasn’t been able to rally behind.” 

The third meeting consisted of the warnings and discussions about how to improve surveillance for biological and chemical threats.

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PositiveID Corporation Files Additional U.S. Patent for Its Firefly Dx Real-Time PCR System

PositiveID Corporation Files Additional U.S. Patent for Its Firefly Dx Real-Time PCR System | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
DELRAY BEACH, Fla., March 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB:PSID), a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, today announced that it has filed an additional U.S. patent for its Firefly Dx real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) pathogen detection system titled, "A Cyclical PCR Device with Reusable Heat Zones." This brings the Company's patents and patents pending for Firefly Dx to four, and the Company's total number of patents and patents pending to 18.

Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results using PCR chemistry in a handheld device, thereby leading to treatment scenarios at the point of need that are not possible with existing systems, which require lab-based equipment and can take hours or even days to provide results. This new patent application covers a PCR device to provide test results in less than 20 minutes while still using standard laboratory volumes and processes in an automated cartridge.
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Take it Easy on S&T – Cancelled Biodetection Program Isn’t a Big Deal

A recent DHS Inspector General report found that the Science and Technology Directorate mismanaged a biodetection project, effectively wasting $23 million. The IG’s findings should be taken with a dose of understanding. Here are three ...
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BVTI aims to hire interagency biodefense analyst

BVTI aims to hire interagency biodefense analyst | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Best Value Technology (BVTI) said in a recent job posting that it is seeking an interagency biodefense analyst.

This position acts as a support person for interagency coordination with biodefense assessment, prioritization efforts and risk-reduction activity in the field of homeland security. An interagency analyst will assist in assessments of capabilities in biodefense methods and coordinates the interagency interfaces during these assessments. The analyst also will evaluate models of assessments to make improvements to the methodologies of identifying risks and will review the quality of data and other outcomes. This analyst also will be expected to support recommendations on prioritization of risk reduction across the solution space.
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Scientists warn of 'perfect storm' for outbreak of human plague

Scientists warn of 'perfect storm' for outbreak of human plague | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Scientists have warned massive agricultural expansion in Tanzania could lead to a 'perfect storm' for human plague transmission by encouraging an increase in the number of disease-carrying rats.

A new study published yesterday in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene by researchers from the University of California found that the expansion of crop lands by 70 per cent over recent years has caused the number of plague-carrying rodents to double.

Rats which live in human areas are also particularly competent hosts for plague and are more likely to interact with humans, increasing the chance of humans being bitten by plague-infected fleas.
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Thanks OODA Loop for flagging!

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WHO admits failings in dealing with the Ebola crisis | Al Jazeera America

The World Health Organization has admitted serious failings in its handling of the Ebola crisis and pledged reforms to enable it to do better next time, its leadership said in a statement posted on the WHO website on April 16, which was reported on Sunday by Reuters.

“We have learned lessons of humility. We have seen that old diseases in new contexts consistently spring new surprises,” said the statement, attributed to WHO Director-General Margaret Chan and the deputy director-general and regional directors.

“We have taken serious note of the criticisms of the Organization that, inter alia, the initial WHO response was slow and insufficient, we were not aggressive in alerting the world ... we did not work effectively in coordination with other partners, there were shortcomings in risk communications, and there was confusion of roles and responsibilities,” it said.

The statement listed eight lessons learned, including areas where the WHO's response to Ebola could have been better, such as information sharing and communication.
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New Laws for New Threats Like Drones and Bioterrorism

New Laws for New Threats Like Drones and Bioterrorism | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
You walk into your shower and see a spider. You don’t know whether it is venomous—or whether it is even a real spider. It could be a personal surveillance mini-drone set loose by your nosy next-door neighbor, who may be monitoring the tiny octopod robot from her iPhone 12. A more menacing possibility: Your business competitor has sent a robotic attack spider, bought from a bankrupt military contractor, to take you out. Your assassin, who is vacationing in Provence, will direct the spider to shoot an infinitesimal needle containing a lethal dose of poison into your left leg—and then self-destruct.

Meanwhile, across town, an anarchist molecular-biology graduate student is secretly working to re-create the smallpox virus, using ordinary laboratory tools and gene-splicing equipment available online. Not content to merely revive an extinct virus to which the general population has no immunity, he uses public-source academic research to make it more lethal. Then he infects himself and, just as his symptoms start, strolls around the airport to infect as many people as he can.
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System undergoes technical demonstration, heads to South Korea | Article | The United States Army

System undergoes technical demonstration, heads to South Korea | Article | The United States Army | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
DUGWAY PROVING GROUND, Utah (April 16, 2015) -- An innovative system to warn of a biological attack recently underwent an advanced technical demonstration at Dugway Proving Ground, or DPG, and is now in South Korea for an operations demonstration by Soldiers.

The Joint U.S. Forces Korea Portal and Integrated Threat Recognition, or JUPITR, system employs a variety of detectors working together to enhance biosurveillance, and reduce false positives.

"It's a system of systems approach toward biological detection," said Russ Bartholomew of DPG's Life Sciences Division, and test officer for the JUPITR advanced technical demonstration at DPG.

Detecting harmful microbes within a natural background of airborne materials is a daunting, complex task. Bartholomew said that JUPITR is an array of instruments that includes acoustic, seismic, motion and other sensors with chemical and biological detectors. In a suspected biological attack, data from each instrument is scrutinized determine whether an attack occurred, and what type.

The Department of Defense defines a system of systems approach as, "a set or arrangement of systems that results when independent and useful systems are integrated into a larger system that delivers unique capabilities."

Recently, at one of DPG's massive outdoor test grids, JUPITR's sensors were set in an array identical to the South Korea configuration. Benign microbes with characteristics similar to biological agents were released in varying scenarios, simulating biological attacks. Each scenario was electronically recorded, for playback at the South Korea operations demonstration.
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Let’s Hit ‘Pause’ Before Altering Humankind

Let’s Hit ‘Pause’ Before Altering Humankind | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Modern biological research continues to generate new technology at a staggering pace, bringing to society new challenges and new opportunities. A recent appearance is the so-called CRISPR/Cas9 technology for altering genes in the body’s cells, including, most troublingly, early embryonic cells.

To understand the challenge brought by this technology it is important to make a distinction between somatic cells and germ-line cells. Somatic cells are the run-of-the-mill cells of our bodies: muscles, nerves, skin and the like. Germ-line cells are the egg and sperm cells that, when joined, give rise to offspring. Making gene changes in somatic cells can have dramatic effects, but they are not transmitted to the next generation and therefore fall comfortably into the category of pure therapeutics and generate minimal controversy. It is changes in germ-line cells that create heritable alterations.

The advent of CRISPR/Cas9 again sees a biomedical technology challenging norms and raising concerns. CRISPR/Cas9 makes it comparatively easy to modify germ-line inheritance by inserting, deleting or altering bits of DNA. It may be possible to make these alterations quite precise, with no undesired changes in the genome. Nevertheless, such changes would be inherited not only by the next generation but by all subsequent generations. Thus the decision to alter a germ-line cell may be valuable to offspring, but as norms change and the altered inheritance is carried into new genetic combinations, uncertain and possibly undesirable consequences may ensue.
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Panel: U.S. still has biopreparedness work to do

Panel: U.S. still has biopreparedness work to do | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
In the nearly 14 years since the anthrax attacks, the United States has made progress on how to deal with potential bioterror threats, experts said Wednesday at the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense.

As the Ebola virus continues to ravage west Africa and with evidence that the Islamic State is trying to weaponize bubonic plague, however, experts on the panel said the U.S. still has a lot of work to do.

“It’s been a long slog,” former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) told members of the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense. The panel has met four time over the last few months and plans to send biodefense recommendations to Congress.

As a Michigan Republican in Congress for 14 years – and chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence for the last four – Rogers witnessed the evolution of biodefense on the federal level. That has included the creation of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), the federal arm that manages the development and procurement of countermeasures against a number of agents and infectious diseases.

Dan Abdun-Nabi can attest to that. When his company, Emergent BioSolutions, was founded in 1998, the Department of Defense was still viewed as the necessary overseer of bioterror initiatives.

That paradigm shifted in 2001 after the anthrax attacks left five civilians dead and infected 17 others.

“What we learned is bioterror is not only a military issue,” Abdun-Nabi, who serves as Emergent’s president and CEO, said. “It affects civilians and we learned we were ill-prepared to address a large-scale bioterrorist attack on civilians in this country.”

Since then, Emergent BioSolutions has gone on to become the only Food and Drug Administration-licensed creator of an anthrax vaccine. Known as Biothrax, the goal is to eventually have 75 million doses of the vaccine in the Strategic National Stockpile.
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iBio, Inc. (IBIO) Announces No Opposition on Bio-Defense Product Patent in Europe Following Expiration

iBio, Inc. (NYSE: IBIO) announced it received notice from the European Patent Office that the opposition period expired for a bio-defense product patent granted to iBio, and no opposition was filed.

The patent, entitled "Yersinia Pestis Antigens, Vaccine Compositions and Related Methods" (European patent EP 2178558), includes claims covering plague antigens fused to a thermostable protein such as the Company's iBioModulator " thermostable immunomodulator, as well as vaccine compositions and a method for producing the antigen.

"This is an important extension of our commercial platform," said Robert Erwin, iBio's president. "We expect our success with vaccine and therapeutic product candidates for use against serious infectious disease agents with weapon potential, such as plague bacillus, to be of interest to governments and companies engaged in supplying disease countermeasures."
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The Biological Weapons Convention at Forty

The Biological Weapons Convention at Forty | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
Forty years ago today, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, better known as the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC), entered into force. It was the first multilateral treaty to ban an entire category of weapons. 

The BWC continues to be an essential element in the international community’s efforts to prohibit and eliminate these weapons, the use of which the treaty declares “would be repugnant to the conscience of mankind.”  173 countries have joined the Convention, a significant accomplishment, but still not enough. Universal membership in the treaty would demonstrate humanity’s consensus that biological weapons are illegitimate and that all states have a responsibility to prevent anyone from obtaining them.       

Since the BWC entered into force, the tremendous advances in science and technology that have made it easier to diagnose and treat diseases have also made it easier to develop biological weapons, including by terrorists. The same equipment and technical knowledge used to save lives can also be used to weaponize pathogens. This is not just a theoretical concern.  We experienced this horror in 2001 when anthrax was sent in letters to Members of Congress and others, killing six Americans. The threat is continues today, as the technology to develop biological weapons is widespread and disguising such efforts is surprisingly easy.
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Worldwide Biosurveillance Network Still a Distant Goal

Worldwide Biosurveillance Network Still a Distant Goal | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
A measles outbreak and a deadly strain of flu that caused the deaths of some children this winter are just two examples of diseases that recently caught U.S. public health officials by surprise.

“The rate and scope and spread of the illnesses were not detected before severe consequences occurred,” said Jeff Runge, former chief medical officer for the Department of Homeland Security, and now director of the National Collaborative for Bio-Preparedness at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The West African Ebola outbreak was also unexpected, he added.

“These are cautionary tales underscoring the need for better biological intelligence,” he said at an Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association homeland security conference.

Since the anthrax attacks of 2001, the U.S. government’s intention has been to create a global disease-monitoring system. This proposed network would be similar to weather services that report not only what is occurring now, but offers forecasts and predictions so governments, the public and private sectors can react. This regime would also include plant and animal diseases that pose threats to humans.

“It has been 10 years since we embarked on this, and progress has been quite slow,” Runge added.

President Barack Obama issued a national strategy on biosurveillance in 2012, which included a technology roadmap identifying research-and-development priorities.

The document said a biosurveillance network should provide essential information to decision-makers, said Navy Cmdr. Janka Jones, director of medical programs in the office of the assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense.

That information must be put in the hands of doctors, veterinarians, “all the way to a mayor that might be making a decision to stop a metro line from running,” said Jones, who helped co-write the national strategy while serving in the White House.

“We’ve got a lot of capability. We don’t have a lot of money to build new capability. [And] the capability we have is just not leveraged ideally,” she said.
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Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome

Scientists Seek Ban on Method of Editing the Human Genome | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
A group of biologists, including the scientist who developed the technique, has called for a worldwide moratorium on using the method to change human DNA.
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PositiveID Announces First Firefly Dx Testing and Delivery of Positive PCR Results Within 20 Minutes

PositiveID Announces First Firefly Dx Testing and Delivery of Positive PCR Results Within 20 Minutes | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
DELRAY BEACH, Fla., March 12, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB:PSID), a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, today announced that it has successfully completed its first round of testing of its phase II Firefly Dx prototype handheld real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) pathogen detection system, and has delivered positive PCR results within 20 minutes. The Company's Firefly Dx testing was performed at standard laboratory volumes and achieved equivalent results to laboratory-based PCR instruments, which can take hours to perform the same PCR process.

The Company previously announced it completed its Firefly Dx PCR design, and it has now completed successful testing on its Phase II breadboard Firefly Dx system, with consistent and repeated detection of each positive challenge. With the completion of the PCR chip design with confirmatory results, the Company is now in the next phase of testing to encompass optimization and a broader spectrum of tests.

"Having recently completed our Firefly Dx breadboard prototype, these initial positive results of our new PCR chip, which could fundamentally change the real-time PCR industry, are very encouraging," stated William J. Caragol, Chairman and CEO of PositiveID. "These test results also validate our approach covered in the PCR chip patent application we just filed. Our Firefly Dx testing and development continues to progress on schedule."

Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results in a handheld device, thereby leading to treatment scenarios at the point of need that are not possible with existing systems, which require lab-based equipment and can take hours or even days to provide results. Firefly Dx is targeting the global PCR market, which is projected to reach approximately $27.4 billion this year, according to a Research and Markets' report Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) - Products/Tools - A Global Market Watch, 2009-2015. Firefly's applications include point of need monitoring of pathogenic outbreaks (such as Ebola, influenza, etc.), agricultural screening in both domestic sectors and developing countries, and for the detection of biological agents associated with weapons of mass destruction.
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PositiveID Corporation Files U.S. Patent for Its Firefly Dx Real-Time PCR System

PositiveID Corporation Files U.S. Patent for Its Firefly Dx Real-Time PCR System | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
DELRAY BEACH, Fla., March 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB:PSID), a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, today announced that it has filed a new U.S. patent for its Firefly Dx real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) pathogen detection system. The patent filing, A Cyclical and Continuous Flow PCR Device, covers a cyclical mechanism of thermal cycling required to complete real-time PCR and deliver results in less than 20 minutes. This brings the Company's total number of patents and patents pending to 17.

Firefly Dx is designed to provide real-time, accurate diagnostic results in a handheld device, thereby leading to treatment scenarios at the point of need that are not possible with existing systems, which require lab-based equipment and can take hours or even days to provide results. Firefly Dx is targeting the global PCR market, which is projected to reach approximately $27.4 billion this year, according to a Research and Markets' report Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) - Products/Tools - A Global Market Watch, 2009-2015. Firefly's applications include point of need monitoring of pathogenic outbreaks (such as Ebola, influenza, etc.), agricultural screening in both domestic sectors and developing countries, and for the detection of biological agents associated with weapons of mass destruction.
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PositiveID Corporation Launches New Website at www.psidcorp.com

PositiveID Corporation Launches New Website at www.psidcorp.com | Biodefense News | Scoop.it
DELRAY BEACH, Fla., Feb. 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB:PSID), a developer of biological detection and diagnostics solutions, today announced that it has launched a new corporate website at www.psidcorp.com.

PositiveID's M-BAND (Microfluidic Bio-agent Autonomous Networked Detector) continuously and autonomously analyzes air samples for the detection of biological airborne threats in the form of bacteria, viruses, and toxins for up to 30 days. Results from individual M-BAND instruments are reported via a secure wireless network in real time to give an accurate and up-to-date status of field conditions. M-BAND is the only system of its kind successfully demonstrated in the field under the DHS' BAND Program (Bio-agent Autonomous Networked Detector). 

PositiveID's Firefly Dx is a point-of-need, handheld system designed to deliver molecular diagnostic results from a sample in less than 20 minutes, compared to two to four hours for a lab device, using real-time PCR (polymerase chain reaction) chemistry. The system is a two-part device consisting of a portable handheld instrument with wireless communication and disposable single-use cartridges containing all necessary analytical elements. The system is designed to process a variety of sample types, including whole blood, buccal and nasopharyngeal swabs, urine, and environmental field samples.
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