Updates

USDA Recovery Efforts for Hurricane Irma

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds rural communities, farmers and ranchers, families and small businesses affected by Hurricane Irma that USDA has programs that provide assistance in the wake of disasters. USDA staff in the regional, state and county offices stand ready and eager to help.

Sheltering and Immediate Assistance Available After Hurricane Irma

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, life, personal safety, and access to safe shelter remains a priority of local officials, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the entire federal family. Multiple immediate assistance and short-term housing options are available to support survivors in building a bridge to recovery.

Global Open Consultation for Innovative Personal Protective Equipment

The World Health Organization has convened a series of expert consultations and workshops to address urgent requests for advice on appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) use. The members of the committee have drafted the preliminary Preferred Product Characteristics document for PPE for the healthcare workers at the frontline for consultation.

Radiation Analysis Software Makes Emergency Responders’ Jobs Quicker, Easier

When law enforcement officers and first responders arrive at an emergency involving radiation, they need a way to swiftly assess the situation to keep the public and environment safe. Decision-makers in these emergencies can now turn to a tool called InterSpec, which can rapidly and accurately analyze gamma radiation data collected at the scene.

Machine-Learning Earthquake Prediction in Lab Shows Promise

By listening to the acoustic signal emitted by a laboratory-created earthquake, a computer science approach using machine learning can predict the time remaining before the fault fails. The machine-learning technique used in this project also identifies new signals that provide forecasting information throughout the earthquake cycle.

Salmonella Vaccine Reduces Animal Disease and Foodborne Illness

Some types of salmonella cause disease in food animals, like pigs. Others cause foodborne illness in humans. A new vaccine developed by United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists in Ames, Iowa, protects against both human and animal disease-causing salmonella in food animals.

New Biosecurity Initiative Launched

A new biosecurity initiative at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) aims to identify and mitigate biological risks, both natural and manmade, and safeguard the future of the life sciences and associated technologies. The initiative advances the beneficial applications of the life sciences while reducing the risks of misuse by promoting research, education, and policy outreach in biological security.

DHS Announces Grant Allocations for Fiscal Year 2017 Preparedness Grants

As part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) ongoing efforts to support state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, Acting Secretary Elaine Duke announced final allocations of $288 million for six Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 DHS competitive preparedness grant programs. Preparedness grants strengthen the nation’s ability to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

National Guard WMD Civil Support Teams Pursue Innovation

National Guard weapons of mass destruction (WMD) civil support teams respond to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear incidents throughout the homeland and advise and assist local and civil authorities on response measures. A team's success can often be measured by how quickly it can analyze and identify the threat and provide the incident commander with an assessment for containing the situation.

DNA Detectives Crack the Case on Biothreat Look-Alikes

Biological “detectives” are tracking biothreats, but they constantly face the challenge of avoiding false positives. Sounding the alarm over a bioattack, only to find it is a harmless relative in the same genus, reduces credibility and public trust. New work at Los Alamos National Laboratory is reducing confusion over Francisella bacteria, a few species of which include highly virulent pathogens.