Bioterrorism

Effect Measure

Category archives for Bioterrorism

Rationality as innovation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano is asking academics to work with her agency to develop “innovative initiatives” to protect the nation from terrorist threats. This is what I would call a faith-based initiative, in this case, faith in the technological fix. DHS could certainly use some help. It’s one of the…

FBI’s mercy killing of the anthrax case

This is our 10th post on the anthrax attacks. Will it be our last? Yes, if the FBI has anything to say about it. They are closing the case. A case they messed up pretty thoroughly from the outset but now want us to believe they’ve solved, even though the culprit they fingered, Dr. Bruce…

When the Bush Administration awarded a construction grant to put a Level 4 laboratory in Galveston, Texas to work on the most dangerous biological agents, a lot of people, including we here at Effect Measure, thought it was pretty stupid siting. Isn’t Galveston open to Gulf hurricanes? Wasn’t it the site of one of the…

Is biotech a security problem?

A Reuters piece under the headline, “Biotechnology Boom Raises Security Fears: Mild Diseases Could Be Turned Into Deadly Ones, Experts Caution” we see the biotech Frankenstein/terrorist bogeyman raised once again by “experts” in the area at a scientific conference in Casablanca. The weekend conference was run by a tiny group (budget of less than $250K)…

Ebola and the henhouse

When an Ebola virus related lab accident in German occurred, special pathogens researchers girded themselves for bad news. Working with agents for which there is currently no treatment of vaccine requires high containment laboratories, often touted as being virtually fail safe. While engineering and procedural controls can be instituted to minimize accidents, the wild card…

My public health colleague DemFromCT continues his public health interview series on the front page of DailyKos today, talking to Dr. Georges Benjamin, Executive Director of the American Public Health Association (APHA). Dem clearly likes Dr. Benjamin, which is not a surprise. He is a very likable person. I have been a member of APHA…

When the FBI said that they had conclusive scientific evidence that biodefense scientists Bruce Ivins of the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) was the 2001 anthrax attacker, many people asked to see the evidence. Don’t worry, we were told. It will be published for all to see in the peer reviewed…

Fort Detrick stands up by standing down

Among the many things going on (or not going on) the last couple of weeks is a total “stand down” of the country’s main biodefense research laboratory at Fort Detrick, Maryland. Here’s the inter memo, dated February 4:

Nanothinking at NIH

My Scibling Mark H. over at the Denialism blog has reproduced an internal NIH memo that is something to behold: If you aren’t used to the conventions of scientific collegiality you might not realize at first the unbelievable stupidity of this. A visiting international scientist (a Canadian or someone from Latin America, a European, often…

One resource the incoming Obama administration is certainly to find no shortage of is advice. We don’t know whom they will listen to, although we know much of it — maybe most of it — is likely to be of the self-serving variety. How to separate the wheat from the chaff will be a delicate…