May 9, 2017

Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
Modeling of Infectious Disease Agent Study Research Projects.
This research opportunity encourages applications from institutions/organizations that propose to provide the scientific and public health communities better resources, knowledge, and tools to improve their ability to prepare for, identify, detect, control, and prevent the spread of infectious diseases caused by naturally occurring or intentionally released pathogens, including those relevant to biodefense.  (, 5/7/17)
Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report.
Often called "the voice of CDC," the MMWR  series is the agency's primary vehicle for scientific publication of timely, reliable, authoritative, accurate, objective, and useful public health information and recommendations.  (CDC, 5/5/17)
CDC Faces Budget Loss of Hundreds of Millions of Dollars After AHCA Passes House.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund, rarely mentioned as the House debated the broader legislation to repeal and replace major elements of the Affordable Care Act, gets portioned out to federal agencies including the CDC, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Administration for Community Living.  (STAT News, 5/4/17)

See also
DoD Seeks to Enhance Navy's Biological Warfare Agent Identification Systems.
The US military's Joint Product Director for Biological Detection Systems (JPD-BDS) is conducting a market survey to identify sources capable of manufacturing fully automated biological warfare agent identifiers using Raman Spectroscopy.  (Global Biodefense, 5/4/17)
Smallpox Vaccine Potency Testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced intentions to award a sole source contract to Sanofi Pasteur Biologics, LLC for the purchase of services to perform a plaque titration to quantify the titer of Wetvax for the CDC smallpox stability program.  (Global Biodefense, 5/4/17)
President Donald J. Trump Announces Intent to Nominate Matthew Bassett to the United States Department of Health and Human Services.
President Donald J. Trump today announced his intent to nominate Matthew Bassett to the United States Department of Health and Human Services. If confirmed, Matthew Bassett of Tennessee will serve as Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services, Legislation.   (The White House, 5/4/17)
Zika Update: Findings from the US Zika Pregnancy Registry and Updated Clinical Guidance.
Materials from a recent COCA call on the US Zika Pregnancy Registry have been made available.  (CDC, 5/4/17)
H.R. 1628: The American Health Care Act.
This report contains three tables that, together, provide an overview of all the AHCA provisions. Table 1 includes provisions that apply to the private health insurance market, Table 2 includes provisions that affect the Medicaid program, and Table 3 includes provisions related to public health and taxes.  (Congressional Research Service, 5/4/17)
Strength in Numbers: Community Preparedness Partnerships.
New partnerships between organizations are an essential part of advancing national health security. Joint efforts allow participating organizations to minimize their weaknesses and augment their strengths. One of the quickest and easiest ways a government agency specifically can expand its capabilities is to collaborate with another entity with that specific expertise, building new relationships in the process.  (ASPR, 5/3/17)
US Budget Plan Includes Support for Readiness, Research, Response.
A bipartisan plan to fund the US government through the end of September mainly spares infectious disease, research, and preparedness efforts from deep cuts signaled by President Donald Trump's earlier budget proposals, but it appears to reduce support for global health organizations.  (CIDRAP, 5/2/17)
Worse Than Ebola: US Not Preparing for the Next Bio-Threat.
"This is actually an area where it has been pretty easy to bring Republicans and Democrats together on," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees biomedical research. Yet the money hasn't been there, and no one person or agency is in charge of making sure the United States is ready for the next outbreak of Ebola or Zika or the next anthrax attack, Cole and other experts said at a meeting of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C.  (NBC News, 5/1/17)
Autism and Preparedness.
Children are affected by disasters differently than adults. Mental stress from a disaster can be harder on children because they may not understand what is going on around them and don't have experience bouncing back from difficult situations. Having autism can further compound this stress for a child and their family.  (CDC, 5/1/17)
Feud Erupted Between CDC, Puerto Rico Over Reporting of Zika Cases, Document Shows.
S health officials have privately expressed deep concern that Puerto Rico is downplaying the extent of its Zika problem and have struggled to get a grasp on the issue because of a protracted and ugly dispute with health officials in the territory.  (STAT News, 5/1/17)
USDA Offers Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Flooding.
The National Weather Service reports that significant flooding will continue across the region and more than 79,000 people are without power as additional rainfall and high winds are expected. Destruction and power outages caused by severe weather can compromise food storage, especially frozen and refrigerated foods.  (USDA, 5/1/17)
Congress Releases FY17 Omnibus.
On May 1, 2017, Congress released the FY 2017 Omnibus bill, which provides funding for the US government through the rest of the fiscal year including for US global health programs at the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  (Kaiser Family Foundation, 5/1/17)
Community Mitigation Guidelines to Prevent Pandemic Influenza - United States, 2017.
When a novel influenza A virus with pandemic potential emerges, nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) often are the most readily available interventions to help slow transmission of the virus in communities, which is especially important before a pandemic vaccine becomes widely available. NPIs, also known as community mitigation measures, are actions that persons and communities can take to help slow the spread of respiratory virus infections, including seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses.  (CDC, 4/21/17)

Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
Science and Clarity in the Chemical Fog of War.
Without Project Vanguard, an experimental satellite program endorsed by the National Science Foundation and conducted by NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab in the 1950s, the technology to monitor a modern day chemical war in the Middle East would not exist.  (War on the Rocks, 5/3/17)
The U.S. Tsunami Program Reauthorization in P.L. 115-25: Section-by-Section Comparison to P.L. 109-479, Title VIII.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA's) National Weather Service (NWS) manages two tsunami warning centers, which monitor, detect, and issue warnings for tsunamis.  (Congressional Research Service, 5/3/17)
Predictive Cybersecurity: Prepare for Attackers Before They're At Your Door.
Researchers in the Cyber-attack Automated Unconventional Sensor Environment (CAUSE) program, run by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), are spending more than three years developing new methods to help forecast attacks, including those in the planning stage.  (FedTech Magazine, 5/1/17)

Radiological & Nuclear Disaster Preparedness
Dress Rehearsal for Armageddon: How Cities Plan for a Nuclear Attack.
Agencies like FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security prepare for this cataclysmic scenario by holding meetings and running through lots of exercises. While this sounds like a mundane and bureaucratic nightmare, these meetings are vital because this is where the technical, operational, and administrative people from several agencies all sit down and figure out what needs to be done-and which agency can do it.  (Popular Mechanics, 5/8/17)

Science & Technology Policy
Future Defense Scientists Take on Challenge of Synthetic Biology.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency is leading the charge in the Defense Department's synthetic biology effort. DTRA's work to increase understanding of synthetic biology and bioengineering among future military officers is manifested in the DTRA Syn Bio Academies Challenge, which kicked off with its inaugural year in 2016, culminating in the recent presentation of a perpetual trophy to the winning team, the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.  (Armed With Science, 5/4/17)

New NIST Data to Aid Production and Storage of "Fascinating" Medication.
Amantadine hydrochloride may be the most common medication you've never heard of. This compound has been around for decades as the basis for antiviral and other medications, from flu therapy to treatments for brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease and the fatigue associated with multiple sclerosis.  (NIST, 5/2/17)

FDA and NIH Release Final Template for Clinical Trial Protocols.
A little more than a year ago, FDA and NIH announced the availability of a draft template for investigators to use when organizing clinical trial protocols, which are essentially roadmaps for conducting a clinical trial.  (FDA, 5/2/17)
This Week's Hearings
Cyber Threats Facing America: An Overview of the Cybersecurity Threat Landscape. US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs. 5/10/17, 10 AM. Dirksen 342.  More

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