NY Academy of Sciences reveals how scientists plan to combat bioterrorism & deadly pathogens


Smallpox, anthrax, dengue, plague, hantaviruses, and lassa fever --diseases that many thought had been eliminated, or at least found only in certain parts of the world -- have the potential to re-emerge and spread. Some may even become weapons in the hands of terrorists.

To combat the growing threat of bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases, eight Regional Centers of Excellence (RCEs) for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases Research were recently established by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). These centers have inaugurated the Trans-RCE Biodefense Seminars. This 13-part lecture series uses video and web conferencing to present information on major pathogens for clinical and basic research professionals (including graduate students, laboratory and hospital staff) at participating institutions, and, through the Academy's eBriefings, to scientists worldwide.

The lecture series, which runs through Spring 2005, forms the basis for the Academy's latest eBriefing, Biodefense: Risk, Reality and Solutions: the Trans-RCE Biodefense Seminars (www.nyas.org/biodef/ ). The first lectures focus on smallpox and anthrax from both clinical and research perspectives. Dr. Gregory Poland of the Mayo Clinic provides the introduction.

Future reports will feature the latest information on dengue, plague, lassa fever, and hantaviruses. Highlights include vaccine development, diagnostics, therapeutics, and public health approaches to fighting emerging infectious diseases.

Each report provides video and audio files as well as comprehensive coverage of the lecture. This multimedia eBriefing includes:

  • Overview of the NIAID-sponsored series
  • Bulleted highlights and complete journalist's reports on presentations by experts in the field
  • Chapterized, searchable audio presentations, synchronized with speakers' slides
  • Links to relevant web sites, books, journal articles, and other resources
  • Cross-referenced articles from the Academy about bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases
  • Speaker bios

Since July 2003, with its inaugural eBriefing on promising new drugs for autism, the Academy's eBriefings site at www.nyas.org has proven to be a vital source for thousands of people around the world eager to find out the latest news and research on topics such as diabetes, AIDS, RNAi machinery, vitamin E and health, and other cutting-edge issues. Sponsored by the Academy, one of the oldest and most respected scientific institutions in the United States, eBriefings offer a compendium of what today's researchers worldwide are most concerned about.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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