MIT SUMMER PROFESSIONAL COURSES
The MIT Professional Institute will be offering the following course this summer.
Combating Bioterrorism/Pandemics: Implementing Policies for Biosecurity [17.60s] July 28-30, 2008
“The threats of bioterrorism and global pandemics pose new challenges for public health, law enforcement and national security agencies. All these agencies face new biosecurity priorities, including learning to collaborate with each other. Yet agencies have deeply embedded professional norms and organizational cultures, which resist change.
MIT experts and affiliates explore the obstacles to implementation and strategies to overcome them.”
FORUM ON BIOSECURITY [Reprint]
“The International forum on biosecurity will be held in Amman (Jordan) under the title ‘Confronting Biological Threats: Biosecurity, Biological Weapons Nonproliferation, and Regional Cooperative Mechanisms.’ This forum will take place in Amman, Jordan on October 27 – 29, 2008. The event brings together academic experts and practitioners from governments, inter-governmental organizations, academic institutions, civil society and the private sector.” (Arab Institute for Security Studies; 02Jun08).
Ennis trial hears of Ricin find
“A jury in the Central Criminal Court has heard that the lethal toxin Ricin was found in the prison cell of a former Las Vegas poker dealer accused of conspiring with a Clare woman to kill her partner and his two sons. Detective Garda Gerald Fahy told Ms Una Ní Raifeartaigh that he had received intelligence which led him to suspect that the toxin was hidden somewhere in Mr Essam Eid’s cell in Limerick Prison where he had been held since his arrest following the burglary of the Howard family business in September 2006.” (The Irish Times; 20June08) http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2008/0620/breaking92.htm
More than 100 doses of tetanus vaccine given during local floods [Iowa]
“Hamilton County Public Health administered 101 doses of tetanus vaccine to workers and volunteers helping with the recent flooding events, according to Shelby Kroona, public health administrator. She reported the figures to the Board of Health during its regular session Thursday. Kroona said the agency had been scheduled to conduct a bioterrorism drill this month, but the weather related events of the past two weeks allowed the department to put into action many of the drill elements. They were then able to assess the agency’s strengths and weaknesses in the disaster. Kroona said her agency was able to immediately begin administrating tetanus shots at no cost to the flood workers. She added that the agency needs to formalize the instant command procedures and roles, as well as make better use of alerts and information from the Health Alert Network.” (The Daily Freeman Journal; 20June08; Anne Blankenship)
Report on the social and ethical challenges of synthetic biology
“An independent report on the social and ethical challenges associated with research into synthetic biology has been published this month (see press release). The report, ‘Synthetic Biology: social and ethical challenges’, has been written by Andrew Balmer and Paul Martin of the Institute for Science and Society at the University of Nottingham and was commissioned by the BBSRC’s Bioscience for Society Panel. The report begins by giving an overview of synthetic biology and summarising the main areas of research in this field. It then goes on to review the main social and ethical issues raised in public debate and the corresponding policy responses. The key issues were identified as uncontrolled release, bioterrorism, patenting and the creation of monopolies, trade and global justice and creating artificial life.” (PHG Foundation; 20June08; Dr.Sowmiya Moorthie)
Kennedy-Burr Bill Targets Potential Threats From Within Bio-Research Labs
“As the fear of biological attack spurs an expansion of high-security research labs, a new threat has emerged from a place receiving less attention — the labs themselves. Sens. Edward M. Kennedy , D-Mass., chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and Richard M. Burr , R.-N.C., who formerly headed the Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness Subcommittee, have introduced legislation (S 3127) to check that risk.” (CQ Politics; 19June08; Matt Korade)
Preparing for terror's aftermath [Valencia, California]
“From biological warfare to bomb attacks, local health officials prepared for the worst case scenarios Wednesday at a training session at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital. Health care professionals ranging from law enforcement to firefighter trained this week to be able to respond to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive weapon warfare.” (The Signal; 19June08; Katherine Geyer)
Maryland to seek Superfund status for Fort Detrick dump site
“Maryland’s environmental secretary, hoping to speed the cleanup of ground water tainted by an old Army dump, has asked federal regulators to add the site at Fort Detrick to a list of the nation’s most polluted places. The Army says it has spent $43 million since 1992 to remove industrial and laboratory waste dumped decades ago in unlined trenches, but it has yet to clean up the contaminated ground water.” (The Herald; 18June08) http://www.herald-mail.com/?cmd=displaystory&story_id=196702&format=html
Low approval rate for vets' chemical tests claims
“The Veterans Affairs Department has granted only 6 percent of health claims filed by veterans of secret Cold War chemical and germ warfare tests conducted by the Pentagon, according to figures obtained Thursday by The Associated Press. Veterans advocates called the number appallingly low. By comparison, about 88 percent of processed claims from Gulf War vets were granted as of last year, according to VA documents. More than 90 percent of processed claims from Iraq and Afghanistan vets were granted as of earlier this year.” (Associated Press; 19June08; Erica Werner) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5h6mM70jju27eQpAELACuysUGpHOAD91DF4FG0
Oregon to allow Army to burn waste at depot
“The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission agreed Thursday to allow the Army to resume burning agent-contaminated waste -- like rags and protective suits -- at the Umatilla Chemical Depot. The decision came after the commission accepted a report commissioned by the Department of Environmental Quality that concluded that burning nerve agent, poisonous gas and its waste posed minimal health and environmental risk.” (Tri-City Herald; 20June08; Mary Hopkin) http://www.tri-cityherald.com/901/story/217840.html
Neighbors of Hill AFB Alerted of Combat Drills [Utah]
“Utah's Hill Air Force Base is about to go on alert. The base is running a practice drill next week to get an idea of how people there would do in a chemical combat environment.” (KUTV; 19June08)
The influence of N-acetyl-L-cysteine on oxidative stress and nitric oxide synthesis in stimulated macrophages treated with a mustard gas analogue
“Sulphur mustard gas, 2, 2a-dichlorodiethyl sulphide (HD), is a chemical warfare agent. Both mustard gas and its monofunctional analogue, 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulphide (CEES), are alkylating agents that react with and diminish cellular thiols and are highly toxic. Previously, we reported that lipopolysaccharide (LPS) significantly enhances the cytotoxicity of CEES in murine RAW 264.7 macrophages and that CEES transiently inhibits nitric oxide (NO) production via suppression of inducible NO synthase
(iNOS) protein expression. NO generation is an important factor in wound healing.” (7th Space Interactive; 20June08) http://7thspace.com/headlines/285012/the_influence_of_n_acetyl_l_cysteine_on_oxidative_stress_and_nitric_oxide_synthesis_in_stimulated_macrophages_treated_with_a_mustard_gas_analogue.html
Colorado wants mustard gas destroyed
“Colorado health officials ordered the Defense Department to speed up its destruction of mustard gas at a chemical weapons depot, saying the military had ignored requests to do so. Health department spokeswoman Jeannine Natterman said Wednesday's order affecting the Pueblo Chemical Weapons Depot was mandatory. About 2,600 tons of the gas are stored at the site.” (Los Angeles Times; 19June08; Associated Press) http://www.latimes.com/features/health/medicine/la-na-pueblo19-2008jun19,0,7289585.story
CNS ChemBio-WMD 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.