War on Terrorism

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

CBR Weapons and WMD Terrorism News- March 4, 2009

[Scripps Research Institute] scientists engineer vaccination that provides instant immunity [immune response] to cancer [and shows promise for biotoxin immunity]
“A team of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has found a way to use specially programmed chemicals to elicit an immediate immune response in laboratory animals against two types of cancer. The experiments, thus far performed only in mice, appear to overcome a major drawback of vaccinations—the lag time of days, or even weeks, that it normally takes for immunity to build against a pathogen. This new method of vaccination could potentially be used to provide instantaneous protection against diseases caused by viruses and bacteria, cancers, and even virulent toxins.” (Bioresearch Online; 04Mar09; Source: Scripps Institute) http://www.bioresearchonline.com/article.mvc/Scientists-Engineer-New-Type-Of-Vaccination-0001?

Achaogen [Inc.] inks $26 million plague-drug contract

Achaogen Inc. will seek drugs to fight bubonic plague and other infections that might be used in terror attacks under a new contract with the National Institutes of Health. The San Francisco drug company signed the deal, worth up to $26.6 million over five years, with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. It will focus on bacteria like Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague and Francisella tularensis, which causes tularemia or ‘rabbit fever.’ Both are rare diseases in the United States, but could be modified by terrorists.
Tularemia has been studied as a biological weapon by the United States, Soviet Union and Japan in the past.” (San Francisco Business Times;

Stamford [CT] recruits volunteers for emergency corps

“The city [of Stamford, CT] Department of Health and Social Services plans to fight worst-case scenarios with an all-volunteer Medical Reserve Corps to assist the community during public health emergencies. […] The department in December received a $10,000 state grant to market, mobilize and train a unit of medical and nonmedical volunteers for emergency mass immunization or medicine distribution clinics, said Anne Fountain, the city's public health emergency response coordinator. Corps volunteers could respond to anthrax, small pox and pandemic flu outbreaks, for example.” (Advocate; 02Mar09; Devon Lash)

The Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition announces its official formation
“The Healthcare Waste and Emergency Preparedness Coalition (CleanMedWaste.org) has been formed to raise awareness and provide education about […] healthcare facility operational sustainability during a crisis and the proper methods of discarding hazardous medical waste […] during emergencies, transportation breakdowns, and patient surges. […] Under a wide-spread community problem, the volume of hazardous materials would dramatically increase when a large population suddenly contracted a contagious disease (via a pandemic or bioterrorism) […].” (PR Newswire; 03Mar09)

UW [University of Waterloo, Canada] professors awarded new and renewed Canada research chairs worth $8.5 million [for biological research]
“A University of Waterloo professor [Dongqing Li] will investigate how to develop tiny devices for biomedical diagnostics […]. The federal program gives eight researchers $8.5 million in total over five to seven years. That figure includes support for research infrastructure, such as laboratories and equipment, from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). […] The research explores micro-fluidic and nano-fluidic phenomena and processes […] [and how] to develop these phenomena into new technology in lab-on-a-chip miniaturized devices. His work will result in new hand-held diagnostic tools for applications in biomedical clinical diagnosis, environmental monitoring, food safety and anti-bioterrorism.” (Exchange Magazine; 04Mar09)

Little-known U.S. agency [the National Nuclear Security Administration] hunts down radioactive castoffs
“The four-man government disposal team arrived […] to take away the small canister of plutonium […] [which] had been owned by a Silicon Valley company for nearly 30 years and was stored safely in a 10-foot hole in the ground. But in the wrong hands, federal officials say, the highly radioactive isotope could pose a serious threat to public safety and conceivably provide terrorists with material for a dirty bomb. The crew from the little-known National Nuclear Security Administration […] [was] satisfied that they had eliminated a threat to national safety. […] Between 2,500 and 3,000 radiological sources are registered each year as unwanted. Last year, the agency […] [had] a backlog of 8,800 known items.” (Los Angeles Times; 03Mar09; Richard Paddock) http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-plutonium3-2009mar03,0,678423.story

Government of Canada invests over $35 million for science and technology projects to enhance Canada's safety and security
“The Honourable Peter Gordon MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway, today announced that the Government of Canada is investing more than $35 million for 24 new research projects to […] strengthen Canada's ability to deal with potential chemical, biological, radiological-nuclear and explosives threats. […] These research projects are funded under the Chemical, Biological, Radiological-Nuclear, and Explosives Research & Technology Initiative (CRTI) managed by Defence Research and Development Canada, an agency of the Department of National Defence.” (MSNBC; 03Mar09) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29491224/

South Korea awards ICx Technologies a mass spectrometry contract with an estimated value of up to $40 million
“ICx Technologies, a developer of advanced sensor technologies for homeland security, force protection and commercial applications, announced today that [it] has been awarded a multi-year contract […] for the development of a chemical and biological mass spectrometer (CBMS) for use in military reconnaissance vehicles […]. The CBMS system will be capable of detecting both chemical and biological warfare agents […]. ICx will partner with Seoul-based Hankuk Communication Company, through Tradeways Ltd. based in Annapolis, Md. […]. Hankuk Communication Company is a leading provider of chem/bio equipment to the South Korean military […].” (Market Watch; 04Mar09; Source: ICx Technologies)

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.

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