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Today's Headlines: September 13, 2017

Biological Agents & Infectious Diseases

Human Infection with Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus - China ( WHO) On 18, 25 August and 4 September 2017, the National Health and Family Planning Commission of China notified WHO of four additional laboratory-confirmed cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H7N9) virus in China. Go to article


Domestic Preparedness & Response

Texas Calls in US Air Force to Counter Post-storm Surge in Mosquitoes ( Reuters) Texas has launched aerial attacks on mosquitoes swarming coastal regions of the state and threatening to spread disease and hinder disaster recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Go to article


Government Affairs & National Security

NIH Awards $15 Million to Support Development of 3-D Human Tissue Models ( National Institutes of Health) More than 60 percent of investigational drugs fail in human clinical trials due to a lack of effectiveness, despite promising pre-clinical studies using cell and animal research models. To help combat this translational science problem, the National Institutes of Health announced 13 two-year awards totaling about $15 million per year, with FY18 funds subject to availability, to develop 3-D microphysiological system platforms that model human disease. The funding is for the first phase of a five-year program. Go to article

First HHS Medical Support Team Arrives in Florida Keys ( HHS.gov) A National Disaster Medical System team from the US Department of Health and Human Services became part of the first wave of federal responders transported today into the Florida Keys as part of the Trump Administration's government-wide efforts to provide relief to those affected by Hurricane Irma. The team will establish a mobile medical unit and begin providing medical care to assist a local hospital. Go to article


Medicine & Public Health

New Gene-therapy Treatments Will Carry Whopping Price Tags ( New York Times) The first gene therapy treatment in the US was approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration, heralding a new era in medicine that is coming faster than most realize - and that perhaps few can afford. The treatment, Kymriah, made by Novartis, is spectacularly effective against a rare form of leukemia, bringing remissions when all conventional options have failed. It will cost $475,000. Go to article

Frieden's Next Act: Heart Disease and Preparing for New Epidemics (New York Times) After running the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for eight years under President Obama, Dr. Thomas R. Frieden is starting a global health initiative that will focus on two big areas: heart health and epidemic preparedness. Called Resolve, it is funded with $225 million over five years by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Go to article


Science & Technology

Study Sets New Distance Record for Medical Drone Transport ( Science Daily) Researchers have set a new delivery distance record for medical drones, successfully transporting human blood samples across 161 miles of Arizona desert. Throughout the three-hour flight, they report, the on-board payload system maintained temperature control, ensuring the samples were viable for laboratory analysis after landing. Go to article

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