February 7, 2017

Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
Hospital Preparedness Program - Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreement.
This funding opportunity announcement is intended to support the US public health and healthcare systems' ability to prepare for and to respond effectively to public health emergencies within the United States and associated territories and freely associated states. HPP and PHEP awardees are expected to use their cooperative agreement funding to build and sustain their public health and healthcare preparedness capabilities, ensuring that federal preparedness funds are directed to priority areas within their jurisdictions as identified through their strategic planning efforts.  (Grants.gov, 2/3/17)
Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Yellow Fever Vaccination Among Men During an Outbreak - Luanda, Angola, 2016.
During April 23-25, 2016, a knowledge, attitudes, and practices rapid assessment was administered by CDC researchers to men at 10 sites in the four municipalities of Luanda with the greatest number of confirmed cases.  (CDC, 2/3/17)
Resilience AmeriCorps: Helping Communities Better Manage the Unavoidable and Avoid the Unmanageable.
Partnerships among public health professionals and agencies and private entities like non-profits, businesses, or community organizations, are not only a key strategy in advancing national health security, they are also a way to increase the visibility and viability of public health projects, reducing development risk, mobilizing underused resources, and increasing overall cost effectiveness in the process.  (ASPR, 2/2/17)
Zika Virus Protection by a Single Low-Dose Nucleoside-Modified mRNA Vaccination.
NIAID researchers demonstrate that a single low-dose intradermal immunization with lipid nanoparticle-encapsulated nucleoside-modified mRNA (mRNA-LNP) encoding the pre-membrane and envelope (prM-E) glycoproteins of a 2013 ZIKV outbreak strain elicited potent and durable neutralizing antibody responses in mice and non-human primates.  (Nature, 2/2/17)

Toxin Mediates Sepsis Caused by Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis.
While it has been commonly believed that invariant structures on the surface of CNS trigger sepsis by causing an over-reaction of the immune system, NIAID scientists show here that sepsis caused by methicillin-resistant S. epidermidis is to a large extent mediated by the methicillin resistance island-encoded peptide toxin, PSM-mec.  (PLOS Pathogens, 2/2/17)

Strengthening the Links in Disaster Supply Chain Management.
When you are responding to a pandemic flu outbreak, you don't just need a safe and effective vaccines and antivirals - you also need syringes and other medical supplies so that they can be administered.  Sounds simple, but supply chain issues caused serious problems during the responses to the H1N1 influenza outbreak, Hurricane Sandy, and Ebola.  (ASPR, 2/1/17)
Omnibus BAA for Biodefense, Radiation Exposure Countermeasures.
The BAA -- expected to be formally released by NIAID on February 21, 2017 -- supports research related to the basic understanding of microbiology and immunology leading to the development of vaccines, therapeutics, and medical diagnostics for the prevention, treatment, and diagnosis of infectious and immune-mediated diseases.  (Global Biodefense, 2/1/17)
Trump Immigration Ban Upends International Work on Disease.
Diseases don't respect borders, laws or walls. And efforts to combat them rely on networks of scientists to detect outbreaks early, understand how the diseases operate and then intervene. Researchers say that President Donald Trump's travel ban challenges that process, putting the United States at risk.  (Nature, 2/1/17)
International Exchange and American Medicine.
Over the past 50 years, the U.S. biomedical research enterprise has benefited greatly from the ideas, creativity, ingenuity, and drive of international medical graduates and other non-U.S. nationals engaged in biomedical research. It is well known that a large proportion of the most talented and productive research trainees come from abroad.  (New England Journal of Medicine, 2/1/17)
Beat Foodborne Illness this Super Bowl.
As excitement for this year's Super Bowl grows, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourages consumers to use safe food handling practices at a championship level and avoid becoming one of the estimated 48 million Americans who gets sick from foodborne illnesses each year.  (USDA, 1/31/17)
Congress Needs to Act Now to Prevent Another Biodisaster Like Anthrax, Zika.
In December, the president signed into law the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Each year, the NDAA authorizes activities at the Department of Defense and for other national defense programs. Tucked among the nearly 1,000 pages of this year's bill is a critical provision that implements a major recommendation of the bipartisan Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense: the development of a strategy and implementation plan for national biodefense.  (The Hill, 1/30/17)
Zika Virus: A Primer for Nurses.
CDC developed slides and a facilitation guide about Zika virus for nurses that can be used for grand rounds and other presentations.  (CDC, 1/25/17)
The Mexico City Policy: An Explainer.
The Mexico City Policy is a US government policy that - when in effect - has required foreign NGOs to certify that they will not "perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning" with non-US funds as a condition for receiving US global family planning assistance and, as of Jan. 23, 2017, any other US global health assistance, including US global HIV (under PEPFAR) and maternal and child health (MCH) assistance.  (Kaiser Family Foundation, 1/23/17)

Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
McSally National Security Bills Advance the House.
The first bill, the CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act, aims to improve information sharing practices between the US Department of Homeland Security and local law enforcement agencies to attacks using chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.  (Homeland Preparedness News, 2/2/17)

Science & Technology Policy
Cutting International Science Funding Will Only Hurt America.
The president ran on a nationalistic, America-first-and-great platform. That doesn't bode well for science -- especially in a world where the biggest discoveries come from collaborative, multinational teams.  (Wired, 2/3/17)
NIH to Expand Critical Catalog for Genomics Research.
Funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of NIH, the ENCODE Project is generating a catalog of all the genes and regulatory elements - the parts of the genome that control whether genes are active or not - in humans and select model organisms. With four years of additional support, NHGRI builds on a long-standing commitment to developing freely available genomics resources for use by the scientific community.  (NIH, 2/2/17)
Federally Developed Technologies Go to Work.
A tool to assess and address cyber and physical security issues and an inexpensive way to create a microscope out of a cell phone are being used by businesses and individuals, thanks to teams who worked to move them out of the laboratory and into the marketplace.  (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2/2/17)
All of Us Research Program Announces Funding Opportunity for Community Partners.
The National Institutes of Health has announced a new opportunity for organizations interested in helping engage volunteers in the All of Us Research Program, part of the Precision Medicine Initiative. This funding opportunity, open to national and regional organizations, as well as local community groups, will support activities to promote enrollment and retention in the All of Us Research Program across diverse communities.  (NIH, 2/1/17)

NCSES Publishes Latest Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering Report.
The report shows the degree to which women, people with disabilities and minorities from three racial and ethnic groups -- black, Hispanic and American Indian or Alaska Native -- are underrepresented in science and engineering (S&E). (National Science Foundation, 1/31/17)


DoD's "Organ-on-a-Chip" Innovation Wins Big.
This technological feat could save lives and money by allowing new drugs to be screened more effectively and reliably for their toxicity, as well as enabling better prediction of a new drug's efficacy in humans. Also, the model makes some previously impossible human threat agent assessment possible for DoD.  (Armed With Science, 1/30/17)
Detection of Genome Editing.
While genome editing technology will enable new biological breakthroughs, the unintentional or deliberate misuse of genome editing tools may have adverse economic, health, and national security implications. IARPA is interested in tools and methods that can be used to detect evidence of genome editing in biological organisms, including viruses.  (FedBizOpps, 1/23/17)
DOE State of the National Labs Report.
Overall, the report concludes that the vitality of the DOE National Laboratories has improved over the past decade in part due to investments made through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and from a focus on enhancing the relationship between the Laboratories and the DOE, but that hurdles remain in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest researchers and staff, updating aging infrastructure for 21st century needs, continuing to improve operational efficiencies, and further strengthening the partnership with DOE.  (Department of Energy, 1/17)
This Week's Hearings

The State of the World: National Security Threats and Challenges. US House Committee on Armed Services. 2/1/17, 10 AM. Rayburn 2118. More


Modernizing Our Nation's Infrastructure. US Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works. 2/8/17, 10 AM. Dirksen 406. More


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