S&T Helps Train Public Safety Practitioners in Flood Preparation

The third annual National Geospatial Preparedness Summit provided capacity-building training for the public safety community. The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate First Responders Group provided expertise to support the development of this year’s training program, sessions, workshops, and the functional preparedness exercise based on a real-world flood scenario.

Experimental Ebola Vaccines Elicit Year-Long Immune Response

Results from a large randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in Liberia show that two candidate Ebola vaccines pose no major safety concerns. These vaccines can elicit immune responses by one month after initial vaccination and last for at least one year. The findings are based on a study of 1,500 adults that began during the West Africa Ebola outbreak.

HHS Pursues Reusable Respirator to Better Protect Medical Providers During Pandemics

An adequate supply of respirators for first responders and healthcare professionals is critical to protecting the health of workers responding to pandemics and other public health emergencies. To meet this need, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and Applied Research Associates Inc. will partner to advance the development of respirators that can be reused up to 100 times.

HHS Pursues Therapeutic for Radiation Injury Affecting Blood Platelets

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) announced a partnership with Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, to determine whether a product for treating patients suffering from thrombocytopenia could be used to better protect people in the event of a nuclear incident.

Public Health Innovation Impacts Disaster Relief Efforts

Following Hurricane Harvey, colleagues from the United States and Canada deployed to Rockport, Texas, through an unusual disaster relief organization – Field Innovation Team (FIT), a nonprofit organization that creates cutting-edge disaster solutions. They developed a Public Health Digital Brochure (telephone/Short Message Service hotline) and a donation management system that can be adapted to any community after a disaster.

HHS Sponsors Development of Drug to Treat Infections From Biowarfare Agents, Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, will sponsor the next stages of development of an antibiotic that not only holds potential as a treatment for infections from certain types of drug-resistant bacteria but also may be able to combat infections caused by bacteria used in biowarfare.

Multiple Research Approaches Are Key to Pandemic Preparedness, NIAID Officials Say

Rapid deployment of effective diagnostics, treatments, and vaccines may stop major disease outbreaks from potentially exploding into a pandemic. A new article by Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), examines three approaches to pandemic preparedness: pathogen-specific work, platform-based technologies, and prototype-pathogen efforts.

HHS Leverages Potential Respiratory Drug as Chemical Weapon Antidote

A potential antidote to treat the life-threatening effects of inhaled chlorine gas, a national security threat, will receive drug development support under a contract between the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a component of the Health & Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, and GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK).

DHS Blue Campaign Announces New Training for Aviation Industry

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Transportation have released a new human trafficking training for aviation industry personnel through the Blue Lightning Initiative. Developed by survivor advocates, law enforcement, and aviation experts, the interactive, online module outlines common indicators of human trafficking that aviation personnel may specifically encounter.

NIST’s Quick Test May Speed Antibiotic Treatment and Combat Drug Resistance

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a potential new tactic for rapidly determining whether an antibiotic combats a given infection, thus hastening effective medical treatment and limiting the development of drug-resistant bacteria. Their method can quickly sense mechanical fluctuations of bacterial cells and any changes induced by an antibiotic.