January 31, 2017

Public Health & Healthcare Preparedness
Multistate Outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Dough Mix - United States, 2016.
On January 4, 2016, CDC PulseNet, the molecular subtyping network for foodborne disease surveillance, identified a cluster of 10 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 infections with indistinguishable pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern combinations.  (CDC, 1/27/17)
CDC's Collaboration with Academia to Strengthen Public Health Workforce Capacity.
The purpose of this FOA is to advance the educational preparation of public health, medical, and baccalaureate and higher degree nursing students and provide opportunities that strengthen population health and public health practice competencies through innovative approaches.  (Grants.gov, 1/27/17)
Federal Hiring Freeze Disrupts USDA's Food Safety Testing.
As the federal government continues the transition that comes every time a new administration moves into the White House, a hiring freeze and an order from President Donald Trump that temporarily puts new regulations on hold are having varying consequences for food safety efforts.  (Food Safety News, 1/27/17)
International Research in Infectious Diseases, including AIDS.
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) encourages applications from organizations/institutions in eligible foreign countries that propose research related to infectious diseases that are of interest/importance to that country.  (Grants.gov, 1/27/17)
The Role of Public-Private Partnerships in National Health Security.
When it comes to national health security, creating new partnerships between private organizations and public entities is a key priority. These public-private partnerships (PPPs) often work to support health security efforts in new ways that can support communities in need, especially during or after a disaster event.  (ASPR, 1/27/17)
From Lessons Learned to Planning Tools: Find Out How You Can Help Communities Cope With Disasters.
The Disaster Behavioral Health Concept of Operations (DBH CONOP) describes how HHS organizes itself to provide response and recovery behavioral health support to state, local, territorial, or tribal (SLTT) governments. The CONOP also provides a framework for understanding the patchwork of disaster behavioral health resources spread throughout the federal government, SLTT governments, and non-governmental organizations.  (ASPR, 1/27/17)
Key Global Health Positions and Officials in the US Government.
The Kaiser Family Foundation has published a running list of key personnel (acting and appointed) charged with overseeing the USG's global health efforts.  (Kaiser Family Foundation, 1/26/17)
1st AML Hosts Operational Clinical Infectious Disease Course.
As the US Army's only deployable lab, personnel from the 1st AML are trained in surveillance, confirmatory analytical laboratory testing and health hazard assessments of environmental, occupational, endemic and CBRNE threats in support of force protection and counter-weapons of mass destruction missions.  (Global Biodefense, 1/24/17)
DHS Seeks to Improve Analytics for Prediction of Bio-Threat Incidents.
The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) Chemical Biological Defense Division is seeking white papers supporting the capability to provide early warning and detection of a chemical or biological incident in a cost-sustainable way. (Global Biodefense, 1/23/17)
CDC Abruptly Cancels Conference on Health Effects of Climate Change.
The organizers were not told by the administration to cancel the conference. They did so on their own with the intention of heading-off a possible last-minute cancellation or other repercussions from the administration, which may not approve of spending resources on climate change science.  (Ars Technica, 1/23/17)
Why the CDC’s Power to Quarantine Should Worry Us.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new regulations this month that give it broad authority to quarantine Americans. The rules outline for the first time how the federal government can restrict interstate travel during a health crisis, and they establish in-house oversight of whether someone should be detained, without providing a clear and direct path to challenge a quarantine order in federal court.  (New York Times, 1/23/17)
Bioterrorism Preparedness & Response: A Proposed Model for Bioterrorism Response - Initial Operations and Characterization.
This paper presents the position of the InterAgency Board (IAB) on an approach to developing a national bioterrorism response capability. The IAB proposes a model for a biothreat response capability that brings together public safety jurisdictions, federal resources, processes, standards, and doctrine to support the creation of a network of locally owned and operated validated bioterrorism response teams.  (InterAgency Board, 1/17)

USDA ARS 4th International Biosafety & Biocontainment Symposium: Global Biorisk Challenges - Agriculture and Beyond.
The conference will take place in Baltimore, MD from February 6-9, 2017. Topics include: biorisk management challenges in a One Health world, arthropods, highly pathogenic avian influenza, laboratory assessment programs and tools, and risk assessment. (ARS Symposium, 1/17)


Federal Select Agent Program Compliance.
A public webcast of the Multi-Agency Informational Meeting Concerning Compliance with the Federal Select Agent Program will be held February 8, 2017. The event is an opportunity for the affected community and other interested individuals to obtain specific regulatory guidance and information concerning biosafety, security and incident response issues related to the Federal Select Agent Program.  (Global Biodefense, 1/17)

Homeland Security & Disaster Preparedness
Super Bowl Security: Behind the Scenes Look at Game Day Preparations.
The Super Bowl will put Houston squarely in the international spotlight, and the FBI and its local, state, and federal law enforcement partners have been working hard to make sure the game and the events leading up to it in Houston are without incident.  (FBI, 1/30/17)
Presidential Memorandum Organization of the National Security Council and the Homeland Security Council.
As President, my highest priority is to ensure the safety and security of the American people.  In order to advise and assist me in executing this solemn responsibility, as well as to protect and advance the national interests of the United States at home and abroad, I hereby direct that my system for national security policy development and decision-making shall be organized as follows.  (The White House, 1/28/17)
The First Responder Network (FirstNet) and Next-Generation Communications for Public Safety: Issues for Congress.
Congress included provisions in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96) for planning, building, and managing a new, nationwide, broadband network for public safety communications, by creating the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).  (Congressional Research Service, 1/26/17)
National Special Security Events: Fact Sheet.
Major federal government or public events that are considered to be nationally significant may be designated by the President -- or his representative, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security-- as National Special Security Events (NSSE). P.L. 106-544 designated the US Secret Service as the lead federal agency responsible for coordinating, planning, exercising, and implementing security for National Special Security Events.  (Congressional Research Service, 1/25/17)
CDC Assisting Illinois and Wisconsin Investigation of Seoul Virus Outbreak Associated with Home-based Rat-Breeding Facilities.
Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with the Illinois Department of Health and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to investigate cases of Seoul virus infections among eight people who worked at several rat-breeding facilities in the two states.  (CDC, 1/20/17)

REPORT Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy. The Cultural Resources Climate Change Strategy sets out a vision and broad approach for managing impacts to and learning from cultural resources under modern climate change. (National Park Service, 1/17)


Science & Technology Policy
Trump's Ban isn't Just Inhumane -- It'll Make America Dumber.
Universities and colleges across the US have come out in condemnation of Trump's ban because of this threatened brain drain, from Harvard to the University of California.  (Wired, 1/30/17)

Proposed US Biotech Rules Raise Industry Hopes and Anxieties.
The system that divvies up the safety review of these products between the Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and US Department of Agriculture is in the middle of a years-long overhaul, in part to accommodate modern gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR. And a set of new proposals released last week offers hints about what those agencies still hope to change.  (Science, 1/27/17)
The Race to Pass Obama's Last Law and Save Tech in DC.
This is the story of how a band of technophiles from both sides of the political aisle joined forces in the last minutes of the Obama administration to ensure that President Obama's efforts to modernize the government would survive his term of office.  (Wired, 1/27/17)
Sudden Changes at the EPA, USDA, and CDC Under Trump, Explained.
This is a tense moment for science in America, now that a president who is skeptical of proven ideas like climate change and vaccine safety is in office.  (Vox, 1/25/17)
Keep Politics Out Of Science, Says Departing FDA Chief.
Robert Califf, the legendary cardiologist who has run the FDA for the past year, has his own opinion about the agency's direction. The system of collecting medical data used to test new drugs and medical devices is indeed "antiquated," he says. But the way forward requires putting science above politics and focusing on creating new ways to prove medicines help patients without causing undue side effects.  (Forbes, 1/23/17)
This Week's Hearings
The Electricity Sector's Efforts to Respond to Cybersecurity Threats. US House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Energy. 2/1/16, 10:15 AM. Rayburn 2322.  More

Obamacare Emergency: Stabilizing the Individual Health Insurance Market. US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. 2/1/17, 10 AM. Dirksen 430.  More

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