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Today's Headlines: July 11, 2018

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

Circulating Vaccine-derived Poliovirus Type 2 - Democratic Republic of the Congo ( WHO) In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, three different circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 outbreaks have been detected in acute flaccid paralysis cases. In February 2018, the government declared cVDPV2 to be a national public health emergency. Go to article


Government Affairs & National Security

What America Gets out of NATO ( New York Times) Donald Trump prepared for this week's NATO summit by doing what no president had done before - making a case that the alliance is a bad deal for the American people. Last week in Great Falls, Mont., he said that he had told Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, "I don't know how much protection we get by protecting you." Mr. Trump has been even tougher on the European Union, branding it "as bad as Nafta" and adding, "Sometimes our worst enemies are our so-called friends." Go to article

FDA Revises Decade-old Guidance on Smallpox Antivirals ( RAPS) In an effort to support the development of antiviral drugs to treat or prevent smallpox (variola virus) infection, the US Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday updated its decade-old drug development guidance. Go to article


Global Health Security

This Doctor Wants to Make Sure No Patient Is out of Reach ( Gates Notes) It is amazing how many lifesaving tools you can carry on your back. I was meeting with Dr. Raj Panjabi, and he was showing me one of the backpacks created by Last Mile Health, the nonprofit he co-founded in Liberia. Raj reached into the bag and took out a vial of medicine to treat pneumonia. Next he pulled out rapid test kits for malaria and HIV. Then, rehydration salts for children with diarrhea. A measuring tape to screen kids for malnutrition. A thermometer to check for fevers. A blood pressure cuff. And so on. It was like watching a magician pull rabbits out of a hat. Go to article

NTI bio 2018 Next Generation for Biosecurity Competition Call for Proposals ( NTI) The NTI bio program and the Next Generation Global Health Security Network announce the 2018 Next Generation for Biosecurity Competition. This year, NTI bio will invest up to $15,000 to allow the winning team to implement their proposal with mentorship from experts in the field. Team members also will attend the 5th Annual High Level Global Health Security Agenda Ministerial in Bali, Indonesia on November 5-6, where they will present their proposal to health security leaders from around the world. Go to article

Grand Challenges in Humanitarian Aid ( Nature) The gap between the magnitude of humanitarian need and the global capacity to respond is massive and growing. Here we describe an attempt to map ways in which that gap might be closed (see 'Top 10 Humanitarian Grand Challenges'). Go to article


Medicine & Public Health

Novel Enterobacter Lineage as Leading Cause of Nosocomial Outbreak Involving Carbapenemase-producing Strains ( Emerging Infectious Diseases) Controlling the dissemination of carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae is challenging because carbapenems are among the few antimicrobial drugs that can be used to treat severe infections in this family. Tzouvelekis et al. calculated the mortality rate of primary bacteremia involving CPEs without active therapy to be 54%. Thus, CPEs may carry the threat of a return to the pre-antimicrobial drug era. Go to article


Science & Technology

Australian Experiment Wipes out over 80% of Disease-carrying Mosquitoes ( CNN) In an experiment with global implications, Australian scientists have successfully wiped out more than 80% of disease-carrying mosquitoes in trial locations across north Queensland. The experiment, conducted by scientists from the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization and James Cook University, targeted Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread deadly diseases such as dengue fever and Zika. Go to article

If You Give Your DNA and Tissues to Science, Should You Get a Peek at What They Might Contain? ( Science) As the tissue samples and DNA of more and more people are shared with researchers, the question of what information buried in those samples to give back is more pressing than ever. Now, a 335-page report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released this morning urges researchers and regulators to return more biological data to the people whose samples yielded it in the first place. Go to article

Software Beats Animal Tests at Predicting Toxicity of Chemicals ( Nature) Machine-learning software trained on masses of chemical-safety data is so good at predicting some kinds of toxicity that it now rivals - and sometimes outperforms - expensive animal studies, researchers report. Go to article

Structures and Functions Linked to Genome-wide Adaptation of Human Influenza A Viruses ( bioRxiv) Human influenza A viruses elicit short-term respiratory infections with considerable mortality and morbidity. Due to high mutation rates, they rapidly adapt to new environments, such as a novel host, or evade immune defenses acquired in prior infections or vaccination. While H3N2 viruses have been circulating for almost 50 years and presumably to do not require more adaptation to the human host, the recent introduction of pH1N1 viruses presents an excellent opportunity for a comparative analysis of the genome-wide evolutionary forces acting on both subtypes. Go to article


Other 21st Century Threats

Novichok Victim Charlie Rowley Speaks to Police Officers ( BBC) A man who was poisoned by Novichok has spoken "briefly" to officers trying to find the source of the nerve agent, Scotland Yard has said. Charlie Rowley, 45, is no longer in a critical condition, Salisbury District Hospital said, after making "further progress overnight". It comes a day after the hospital said he had regained consciousness. Go to article


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