War on Terrorism

Thursday, April 17, 2008

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News-April 16, 2008

Health Monitoring Systems Releases EpiCenter(TM)
“The open source EpiCenter incorporates advanced algorithms and other statistical
management and analytical techniques that process and correlate multiple streams of heath-related data in real time. The system pinpoints and manages emerging and current threats to public health and safety, such as infectious disease outbreaks. EpiCenter also features new collaborative work tools to enable public health officials to manage investigations and to share analysis and findings with colleagues and across regions. […] The company maintains online networks to collect data from hospitals and other healthcare providers […] then offers advanced analytics of the aggregated information to detect […] epidemic spread and bioterrorism attacks.” (PR Newswire; 15Apr08; John Buckman) http://www.prnewswire.com/cgi-bin/stories.pl?ACCT=104&STORY=/www/story/04-15-2008/0004793122&EDATE

NIST [National Institute of Standards and
Technology], Army researchers pave the way for anthrax spore standards
“Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Army Dugway (Utah) Proving Ground have developed reliable methods based on DNA analysis to assess the concentration and viability of anthrax spores after prolonged storage. The techniques and data are essential steps in developing a reliable reference standard for anthrax detection and decontamination. […] The NIST-Army study showed that laboratory-grade Bacillus anthracis spores in suspension maintained their viability and did not clump when stored for up to 900 days.” (GEN; 15Apr08; Michael E. Newman)

Small company gets US go-ahead on bird flu patch
“A small biotechnology company trying to develop needle-free vaccines won a boost to its efforts on Tuesday with U.S. government approval to test a bird flu skin patch on more people. Iomai's patch is not a vaccine, but rather delivers what is called an adjuvant -- an immune boosting agent that will be delivered along with a vaccine to try to make it work better. […] The company reported the skin patch helped boost a bird flu vaccine so well that people appear to be protected by a single dose. […] Iomai is also working to use its needle-free technology to make vaccines against anthrax, seasonal influenza and traveler's diarrhea.” (Reuters; 15Apr08; Maggie Fox) http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/N15462451.htm

Retired NY
Firefighter Invents and Patents Portable Air Shield
“[…] Retired N.Y.
firefighter Jim Thomsen […] developed new technology able to protect against anthrax or other airborne terrorism attacks. […] The PASS [protective air shield system] system is a suitcase sized unit that can suck in and neutralize anthrax, nerve gas, ricin, dirty bomb radioactivity. […] Fire departments, police, government, shopping centers, hotels, cruise ships and schools now have this new tool to respond to the threat of bioterrorist attacks, disasters and routine airborne hazards to protect their staff, the public and customers.” (California Newswire; 14Apr08; Valerie Gotten) http://californianewswire.com/2008/04/14/CNW1288_190539.php

[Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation] Gates boosts global animal health
“Officials at Washington State University are understandably excited about a $25 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to establish the School for Global Animal Health. The mission of the new school will be to prevent the spread of diseases from animals to people. […] Some of the diseases are bacterial, like Salmonellosis, anthrax, brucellosis, E. coli and plague.” (The Daily Astorian; 14Apr08)

HHS [Health and Human Services] Names First Director of the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority
“The Department of Health and Human Services today announced the selection of Robin Robinson, Ph.D., as the first director of the Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority (BARDA), which was established in 2007 in the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. […] BARDA manages Project BioShield, which includes the procurement and advanced development of medical countermeasures for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear agents, as well as manages the advanced development and procurement of medical countermeasures for pandemic influenza and other emerging infectious diseases that fall outside the auspices of Project BioShield.” (Department of Health and Human Services; 14Apr08) http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2008pres/04/20080414a.html

Army set to destroy old chemical weapons on island of Oahu [Hawaii]
Army says it is ready to begin destroying a stockpile of old chemical weapons found during cleanup of a training range on the island of Oahu. The Army calls it the largest concentration of unexploded chemical weapons ever found in the U.S. Most of the artillery shells and other weapons contain the choking agent phosgene and one holds an agent that causes a reaction like tear gas.” (Associated Press; 15Apr08) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hztD07JJjsSEdK917nZd602wL-0wD902GUB00

Ground broken on facility to destroy chemical weapons [Pueblo, Colorado]
“Construction has begun on a facility to neutralize a stockpile of chemical weapons stored at a complex in Pueblo. For years, the federal government has planned to destroy about 780,000 mortar rounds and artillery shells at the site, but the project has been delayed. […] Construction of the facility is expected to take until 2011[…].” (Denver Post; 15Apr08)

Iran NGO calls for review of Iraq’s 1980s chemical war
“Dr. Shahriar Khateri, the head of public and international relations for Iran’s Society for Chemical Weapons Victims Support (SCWVS), […] called on the international community to comprehensively review Iraq’s use of chemical weapons (CW) in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war in view of new information which has come to light through UN inspections and the subsequent U.S.-led occupation of Iraq. Khateri, whose NGO conducts awareness programs addressing the consequences of war and the use of CW, while also providing health advice and social support for tens of thousands of Iranian survivors of Saddam’s CW attacks during the 1980s, said that recent political upheavals in Iraq had produced an ‘unexpected treasure-trove of authentic primary materials casting fresh light on Iraq’s use of CW, and in particular on the role played by the United States and other countries in making this possible.’” (Mehr News; 15Apr08)

Iran unveils new medicine for cancer treatment
“Iran unveiled new medicine, Gamma Immunex, for cancer treatment. Minister of Health and Medical Science Education Kamran Lankarani said at the ceremony that Gamma Immunex is also prescribed for treating victims of chemical weapons. […] He added that victims of chemical weapons suffering from pulmonary diseases can also benefit from the medicine. After the United States and Germany, Iran is the third country that succeeded in producing the medicine.” (Mathaba; 15Apr08; IRNA) http://mathaba.net/news/?x=588850

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Croatia Meets OPCW [Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons] Director-General
“On 9 April 2008 the Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Croatia, H.E. Mr Gordan Jandrokovi, met the OPCW Director-General, Ambassador Rogelio Pfirter. […] Director-General Pfirter also commended the Government of Croatia for its exemplary cooperation and steadfast support for the Convention’s implementation and for the work of the OPCW.” (OPCW; 15Apr08) http://www.opcw.org/pressreleases/2008/News04_2008.html

Aeolus Pharmaceuticals' AEOL 10150 Protects Lungs from Fractionated Radiation; Reduces Angiogenesis and Inflammation
“[A study by] Aeolus Pharmaceuticals […] show[s] the Company’s lead compound, AEOL 10150, provided statistically significant protection of the lungs of Fisher 344 rats exposed to fractionated radiation in a study led by Zeljko Vujaskovic, M.D. Ph.D. of Duke University. ‘In addition to its support for the potential use of AEOL 10150 in cancer radiation therapy, this data supports the possible use of AEOL 10150 against radiation-induced tissue damage from radiological or nuclear terrorism and nicely complements ongoing studies showing AEOL 10150 as a potentially protective agent against chemical terrorist agents such as mustard gas,’ stated John L. McManus, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aeolus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.” (The Earth Times; 15Apr08) http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/aeolus-pharmaceuticals-aeol-10150-protects,352442.shtml

Terrorism News is prepared by the Chemical and Biological Weapons Nonproliferation Program of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in order to bring timely and focused information to researchers and policymakers interested in the fields of chemical, biological, and radiological weapons nonproliferation and WMD terrorism.

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