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The search for a safer smallpox vaccine: New data released on promising candidate
When used as an aerosolized weapon, smallpox could be controlled by a new vaccine under study at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, according to new data. The research by Dr. Mark Buller and his colleagues demonstrated that the vaccine, given to mice, protects against a virus related to smallpox that has been aerosolized. Buller said this closely models how smallpox could be delivered during a potential bioterrorist attack. His goal is to develop a safer vaccine than the current vaccine. (2004-05-26)

Grant funds computer worm research
Florida Tech's Dr. Richard Ford, a computer science research professor, has earned a $76,000 grant from Cisco System's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Group. The grant is to investigate the spread of computer worms in a (2004-04-05)

Social problems linked to mental illness in Pakistan
In Pakistan, relationship problems and financial difficulties are linked to anxiety and depression, whereas supportive family and friends may protect against the development of these disorders, finds researchers in this week's BMJ. (2004-04-01)

Balancing risks
Why do great powers often initiate risky military inventions in far off lands? Tufts University Professor Jeffrey Taliaferro discusses this complicated question, asserting that such interventions are driven by the refusal of senior officials to accept losses in their state's relative power, international status, or prestige. (2004-03-26)

Astronomers unravel a mystery of the Dark Ages
Scientists at Cardiff University, UK, believe they have discovered the cause of crop failures and summer frosts some 1,500 years ago - a comet colliding with Earth. The team has been studying evidence from tree rings, which suggests that the earth underwent a series of very cold summers around 536-540 AD, indicating an effect rather like a nuclear winter. (2004-02-03)

Avian influenza: The threat looms
The potential threat of avian influenza is discussed in this week's editorial. Five human deaths have been reported in Vietnam up to Jan 20, 2004. The disease is caused by influenza virus type A, and infects many animal species. (2004-01-22)

Traditional Christmas snack under threat
An international group of scientists is warning that the traditional Christmas snack of Brazil nuts could be under threat if intensive harvesting practices continue in persistently exploited areas. (2003-12-18)

Media influences perception of terrorism, but fails to sway action by the public, study says
A national survey of 1,000 Americans indicates that nearly two-thirds of respondents feel the media has influenced their views on the importance of terrorism as a national problem, according to the Jimirro Center for the Study of Media Influence at Penn State. However, respondents did note that while they were influenced by media reports on terrorism, they did not necessarily take related action. (2003-10-31)

Interdisciplinary coral bleaching research funded
Dr. Semen Koksal, associate professor of mathematical sciences, has earned the university's first interdisciplinary grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The $97,168 grant will fund her work on the coral bleaching problem, which she will undertake with Dr. Robert van Woesik. A Florida Tech professor of biological sciences, van Woesik is also an internationally recognized authority on coral reefs and coral bleaching. (2003-09-30)

Row erupts over asteroid scares
Astronomers are so horrified by press scares of near-Earth asteroid collisions that they are toning down the scale they use to rate the threat posed by an asteroid. They say that the Torino scale tends to create anxiety rather than quantify the damage an asteroid will cause. (2003-09-17)

University of Illinois at Chicago receives $15.7 million grant to stop anthrax
A team of ten researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago has received a $15.7 million grant for a multi-pronged program to develop drugs to treat and stop the spread of anthrax, the often fatal infectious disease that has been rated second to smallpox in potential impact as an agent of bioterrorism. The grant is the largest ever received at UIC. (2003-09-10)

Crawler reconnaissance
It can follow a search instruction plan, classify, and map underwater mines in ocean surf zones. It travels 6 feet per second on land, and 2 feet per second in the water. It avoids obstacles. These 90-lb, fully autonomous amphibious reconnaissance vehicles have been used to search under the World Trade Center, to search Afghan caves, to look at wreckage off Normandy, and several are now deployed in Iraq. (2003-06-30)

Anthropologist predicts major threat to species within 50 years
If the world's human population continues to rise at its current rate, the planet will increase the numbers of threatened species at least 7 percent worldwide in the next 20 years and twice that many by the year 2050. In a recent model of the impact human population growth has on biological diversity, Ohio State University anthropologist Jeffrey McKee and his colleagues warn that the United States alone will add at least 10 additional species to the (2003-06-09)

Biotechnology taught as a tool for teaching
The global threat of Ebola Virus, biologically-inspired materials development at NASA, and work toward enhancing the nutrient value of foods through transgenics are among topics to be discussed at the 8th Biotechnology Educators' Conference at Virginia Tech July 16 to 19. (2003-06-09)

Direction of another's gaze influences how you perceive emotion
Whether someone is looking directly at you or not when they are angry or afraid has an effect on how your brain interprets those expressions, says a group of Dartmouth researchers. (2003-06-05)

Studies suggest age-related declines may be overestimated
Forget everything you've heard about forgetfulness. Researchers at North Carolina State University believe that age-related declines in memory and cognitive functioning may not be as pronounced as once believed. (2003-05-22)

Sneak copulations and the demise of the integrity of wild salmon populations
Releases of cultured organisms threaten native biodiversity and integrity of natural communities. In species of salmon it was believed that threat from the spread of domesticated traits in the wild was reduced by poor reproductive success of males escaping from netpens. Recent evidence in the June Ecology Letters indicates that the male offspring of farm spawners mature precociously in freshwater darting in next to the female's ovipositor at spawning and fertilizing large numbers of eggs. (2003-05-22)

American College of Preventive Medicine to host conference on Waterborne Disease and Water Terrorism
Some of the nation's top environmental health officials, bioterrorism specialists, and waterborne disease experts will discuss waterborne disease and water terrorism issues during a one-day conference hosted by the American College of Preventive Medicine (ACPM). Also sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Water Works Association, and American Medical Association, Waterborne Disease and Acts of Water Terrorism: The New Role of the Physician as Front-line Responder, will be held June 4, 2003, at ACPM's headquarters in Washington, DC. (2003-05-21)

Sunlight converts common anti-bacterial agent to dioxin
Sunlight can convert triclosan, a common disinfectant used in anti-bacterial soaps, into a form of dioxin, and this process may produce some of the dioxin found in the environment, according to research at the University of Minnesota. The researchers said that although the dioxin was a relatively benign form, treating wastewater with chlorine could possibly lead to the production of a much more toxic species of dioxin. (2003-04-14)

Regional warming-induced species shift in NW Mediterranean marine caves
Chevaldonné and Lejeusne found the first convincing illustration that climate change is directly affecting marine organisms. They monitored two species of endemic cave mysids and demonstrated they have different tolerances to temperature. During recent episodes of warm weather, populations of the cold-loving species were replaced by congeners of warmer affinities. However, the geographical context of the Mediterranean makes it impossible for such (2003-04-08)

First step towards detecting exposure to biowarfare agents
Army researchers are laying the groundwork for what one day could be a test to identify individuals who have been exposed to biological agents. They present their findings today at the American Society for Microbiology's Biodefense Research Meeting. (2003-03-11)

WWII discovery may counter bioterrorists
A biochemical discovery during World War II might be an effective response against today's threat of bioterrorism, particularly the use of poison gases. Two faculty members at the Ft. Wayne Center for Medical Education discuss this topic in the March issue of Annals of Emergency Medicine. (2003-02-27)

Coping with anxiety during high risk terrorist alerts
Fear and anxiety are normal human reactions to a perceived threat or danger. However, such uncertainty is manageable if people keep the threat in perspective, the American Psychiatric Association said today. (2003-02-12)

UC Institute wins $2.9 million grant to train next generation to deal with nuclear threats
The University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC), a statewide UC research center for international affairs, has received a $2.9 million Integrative Graduate Education Research and Traineeship (IGERT) grant from the National Science Foundation to train the next generation of policymakers, scholars, and international security analysts to deal effectively with the continuing nuclear threat. (2003-01-22)

Rare Asian dolphin threatened by human activities
A rare dolphin species known for assisting fishermen by driving fish into their nets may soon disappear from the great Asian river for which the animals are named. According to a recent scientific survey by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and its partners, the Irrawaddy dolphin may vanish from the Ayeyarwady River (formerly Irrawaddy) without efforts to protect these aquatic mammals from human activities along the river. (2003-01-15)

Red alert over rare species
The well-known (2003-01-15)

U-M researcher calls for new approach to biological disarmament
Just as nuclear war was seen as the major international threat of the 1950s, biological warfare looms over the 21st century. (2002-11-14)

Biological Challenges to Humanity: Emerging and Re-emerging Pathogens
While we have more information than ever before on viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens that plague humanity, new concerns are constantly arising--from drug resistant organisms to the threat of biological weapons. Armed with increasing amounts of genomic data and new biotechnologies, scientists are addressing these arising challenges to better understand how pathogens interact with hosts and the environment. The distinguished speakers will discuss the latest results at the forefront of infectious disease research. (2002-10-04)

Georgetown to host bioterrorism workshop
Georgetown University Medical Center and MedStar Health will sponsor a Bioterrorism Workshop to present and discuss the latest developments in our country's effort to combat the threat of bioterrorism, and to develop safe, effective vaccinations. (2002-09-12)

Internet banking causes biggest industry shake-up in 400 years
A Professor of E-business at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, has surveyed 26 UK banks and building societies offering services via the Internet and found that new companies are posing a major threat to the traditional banking industry by cleverly adapting to the 21st Century 'Martini' customer, who demands banking 'anytime, anywhere, anyplace'. As a result, internet banking is causing the biggest shake up in the British financial services industry since the 17th Century. (2002-09-08)

From parasitism to mutualism
In the September issue of Ecology Letters, Johnstone and Bshary demonstrate that when coral reef fish approach a 'cleaner' wrasse to have their parasites removed, the cleaner can take advantage of the client by biting living tissue as well. (2002-09-06)

New EC directive threatens life-saving trials
Europeans should wake up to the threat of a new European Directive, which will make many potentially life-saving studies performed in emergency medicine impossible, warn researchers in this week's BMJ. (2002-07-25)

Alcoholics have 'blunted' responses to psychological stressors such as public speaking
Researchers measured the cardiovascular responses of alcoholics and nonalcoholics to the psychologically stressful act of public speaking. Alcoholics had 'blunted' heart-rate responses to public speaking even though they reported similar anxiety responses to the nonalcoholics. This suggests a disconnection between perception of threat and the resulting physiological responses among the alcoholics. (2002-06-17)

Smaller aneurysms best left alone
Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) can be deadly if they rupture, but a study by the Department of Veterans Affairs has found it is better not to correct the problem with surgery unless the aneurysm exceeds a certain size. The common hazards of surgery can be the greater threat unless the aneurysm is larger than 5.5 centimeters in diameter, according to findings published in the May 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. (2002-05-08)

Study of letters to newspaper editors suggests Sept. 11 polarized country
Horrific events of Sept. 11 helped draw Americans together in some reassuring ways, but they also had a polarizing effect on tolerance in political culture, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill sociologist says. (2002-05-03)

Tackling the threat of nuclear terrorism
The only effective way to tackle the threat of nuclear terrorism is to abolish nuclear weapons and establish strict international control of all fissile materials that could be used to make new weapons, argue three US physicians in this week's BMJ. (2002-02-07)

JHU SAIS to host conference on bioterrorism and infectious diseases
The Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies will hold a daylong conference, (2001-10-30)

Plant scientists work to protect U.S. from foreign diseases
In an effort to assist regulators, the world's largest organization of plant health scientists is preparing a list of diseases posing the greatest threat to U.S. agriculture and forestry. (2001-10-12)

Terrorist threats to agriculture studied
Researchers at the Texas Agricultural Experiment Station say prevention, detection and clean up methods for bioterrorism at the farm level must be found now to avoid human harm and economic devastation of the food and fiber supply. (2001-10-11)

Seventeen per cent of veterans believe they have Gulf war syndrome
Seventeen per cent of Gulf war veterans believe they have Gulf war syndrome, find researchers in this week's BMJ. The study has implications for future health protection programmes intended to protect against the threat of chemical and biological warfare. (2001-08-30)

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