DHS aims for faster detection of airborne pathogens

first_img “We can’t afford to put a system out there that’s going to make a mistake, because the [response] actions of that mistake are tremendous,” he said. The equipment is part of DHS’s BioWatch program, which involves continuous testing of the air in 30 major cities for pathogens such as anthrax. The program was launched in the wake of the anthrax letter attacks of 2001, which killed five people and sickened 17 others. “Operational testing and evaluation of this technology is scheduled for April 2009, about a year later than initially planned,” Jenkins reported in written testimony. The reason for the delay is that DHS’s OHA revised the functional requirements for the equipment in January, about 4 months before the science and technology division was scheduled to complete the “Generation 3.0 prototype detector,” he said. Although the new equipment will be used in some indoor locations, Jenkins said, “No procedural guidance exists for responding to positive results from detectors placed indoors. According to OHA officials, they plan to develop this guidance by October 2008 and apply it to all future BioWatch detectors deployed indoors.” “This interim system will be deployed in high-consequence indoor environments to provide coverage of the highest risk facilities before the Generation 3 system will be ready for deployment,” Hooks said in his written statement. The time savings “will potentially save thousands of lives each day an attack, such as anthrax, is detected ahead of human syndromic surveillance and other public health indicators,” Robert Hooks, deputy assistant secretary for weapons of mass destruction and biodefense in DHS’s Office of Health Affairs (OHA), told the subcommittee in written testimony. The Generation 3 detectors are expected to cost considerably less: $80,000 to 90,000, with yearly operation and maintenance costs of $12,000 to $41,000, Jenkins said. Under questioning by a subcommittee member, Hooks said the original schedule for setting up the new system was too optimistic. “Over a period of time as we managed the program, we looked optimistically at deploying the equipment earlier than was actually realistic,” he said. (A recording of the hearing is available from the Homeland Security Committee Web site.) Hooks said the automated equipment will be tested at two BioWatch sites for 3 to 6 months. If DHS then decides to proceed with the system, initial deployment will begin in the fall of 2010. The program has detected “dozens” of pathogens of concern, or “BioWatch actionable results,” over the years, Hooks reported in his written statement. “These valid laboratory findings have been attributed in all cases to naturally occurring environmental sources,” he said. Jenkins, in his written statement, said DHS officials told him they plan to start operational tests of the Generation 2.5 detectors in November. If they pass the tests, the agency plans to buy more than 100 of them, at a cost of $120,000 each, plus annual maintenance costs of $65,000 to $72,000, he reported. No false-positivesIn other comments at the hearing, Hooks said the BioWatch program has analyzed more than 7 million samples without generating a single false-positive result since its inception in 2003. See also: Interim system for indoor sitesIn the face of that time lag, DHS is working on setting up an interim automated system to provide fast detection of pathogens in certain high-risk indoor locations, DHS officials told the subcommittee. The interim system, called Generation 2.5, is designed to identify pathogens in 4 to 6 hours, but it is more costly than the Generation 3 equipment and will not test for as many different agents. Jenkins said plans call for the new detectors to replace all the current detectors by 2013. Jul 22, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to adopt new automated equipment that will be able to detect dangerous airborne pathogens in major US cities in as little as 4 hours, with a goal of starting deployment in the fall of 2010, DHS officials told Congress last week. In response to questions about DHS’s ability to start operational testing of the new detectors in April 2009, BioWatch Director Dr. Jeffrey Stiefel said DHS expects to meet that schedule, but stressed that the equipment must be tested thoroughly because of the high stakes involved. Currently, filters from collection equipment are removed manually, taken to a laboratory, and tested, a process that takes from 10 to 34 hours, officials told the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology. The new equipment will collect and test air samples automatically, reducing detection time to between 4 and 6 hours, officials said. The new system is also designed to test for more pathogens than the existing system. Stiefel told the subcommittee in response to questions, “We are operational in New York City in a couple of venues with Generation 2.5.” However, development of the automated sampling equipment is about a year behind the original schedule, said William O. Jenkins Jr., director of homeland security and justice issues for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’s investigative arm. Statement by the GAO’s William O. Jenkins Jr. to the House subcommitteehttp://www.gao.gov/new.items/d08960t.pdflast_img read more

FIFA stop players from internationals duties amid travel ban

first_img European national teams are scheduled to begin qualifying groups for the 2020-21 Nations League, with games on Sept. 3-8. The women’s international call-up dates are Sept. 14-22. Loading… Promoted ContentPretty Awesome Shows That Just Got CanceledBest & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show YouBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemWho Is The Most Powerful Woman On Earth?5 Of The World’s Most Unique Theme ParksYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeMeghan And Harry’s Royal Baby: Everything You Need To Know2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This YearWhat Are The Most Delicious Foods Out There?8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its Growth Clubs may be exempt from releasing players for upcoming national-team games in European countries that have travel restrictions because of the pandemic, FIFA said Monday. FIFA said it will waive the obligation on clubs to hand over their players for the international break that starts Aug. 31 if they have to go to countries with national travel restrictions or quarantine periods of at least five days. The other five continental confederations opted to postpone games that were scheduled for the same window. UEFA has asked member federations to seek exemptions for soccer players from national governments in order to avoid quarantines. Read Also: Ronaldinho set to be granted freedom from house arrest If those exemptions are not given, FIFA said Monday that players don’t have to leave their clubs if their travel demands would require a five-day quarantine or self-isolation period. Some of Europe’s top soccer leagues, including England and Spain, have their opening games on the Sept. 12-13 weekend – fewer than five days after the international call-up period ends. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Marty provides stability in 3rd-year program

first_img Published on October 25, 2010 at 12:00 pm Contact Jarrad: jdsaffre@syr.edu Comments Paul Flanagan points to a photograph to the right of the door in his spacious corner office. In the picture, 12 girls are standing at the blue line before a sparse crowd at the Tennity Ice Skating Pavilion. Their sticks are held straight as their eyes focus on the North American flags they’re paying respect to overhead. The bubbled blue-lettered caption reads ‘The Beginning,’ with ‘October 13th, 2008’ right beneath. Stefanie Marty is in this picture. She may as well have painted it. ‘She was definitely the primary building block when we got the program started,’ said Flanagan, the Syracuse ice hockey coach. ‘You couldn’t manufacture a better player to build a program around.’ Marty transferred to Syracuse in the fall of 2008 after playing minimally in her freshman season at New Hampshire. Upon arrival, she helped build stability at a tentative new program. And now she’s the face of the third-year program. A Nussbaumen, Switzerland, native, Marty had played hockey at a professional level since the age of 15 in her home country. In 2003, she signed with the Swiss professional team EV Zug. She was selected to the national team the same year.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text But in 2007, she moved to America in pursuit of a better education. A powerful forward with a whistling slap shot, Marty became the ideal attacking scorer for Flanagan to build his offense around. In the program’s inaugural season in 2008-09, she led the team in scoring with 22 points. And her high-level competitive experience made her the perfect prototype for Flanagan to build his program around. ‘Even as a sophomore,’ Flanagan said, ‘she was so dedicated in everything, from how she ate to how she trained.’ In just its third season as a program, SU has graduated from an expansion laughingstock to a bonafide contender in the College Hockey America conference. After finishing last in 2008-09, the Orange finished second last year. This season, at 4-2-1, the program has maintained its elevated conference status while building a competitive national profile. Already this season, Syracuse has a win over a nationally ranked team when it bet then-No. 8 New Hampshire on Oct. 8. And in many ways, Marty’s development as a player is a mirror image of the program she’s helping to build. Just look at the differences between her two Olympic experiences as a member of the Swiss national team. As an 18-year-old playing on a global stage for the first time in 2006, Marty said she and her teammates weren’t quite ready for the magnitude of the event. She didn’t record a point as her Swiss team was eliminated in three quick games. ‘That was the first Olympics for the whole team,’ Marty said. ‘It was really hard to focus on just hockey with all the external distractions.’ But by the 2010 games, Marty was a 21-year-old international veteran who had represented her country in five World Championships and the 2006 Olympics. Focusing strictly on hockey, she recorded an Olympic-record nine goals while leading her team to a fifth-place finish. With her performance in last year’s Olympics, Marty too had graduated from those initial stages of inexperience that marked both her first Olympics and the inaugural season of the SU program. ‘Four years later, we knew what to expect,’ Marty said. And now at SU, she knows what to expect: a dynamic offensive threat with the fearless personality that has made her into a leader. Marty is currently fourth on the Orange with eight points through the team’s first seven games. And she is tied for second on SU with four goals. Back in his office, Flanagan has shifted his focus to the 30-inch flat screen attached to a straight-ahead wall. The NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils are playing on the screen. Flanagan points to Sidney Crosby and discusses how the Penguins wunderkind provided a much-needed spark for a fledging NHL franchise. ‘Kind of like what Stef Marty is doing for us,’ he said. ‘Making Syracuse hockey matter.’ jdsaffre@syr.educenter_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Moses shines as Nigeria humiliates Cameroon

first_imgAfter a rather tentative start by the home team, Ighalo marked his return with the opening goal after 29 minutes.He overpowered his marker after he received a clever assist from skipper Mikel John Obi before he fired past a diving goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa.The Eagles doubled their lead in the 43rd minute, when Mikel turned scorer by poking a Victor Moses corner from the left beyond the Cameroon goalkeeper.In the 55th minute, Moses made it 3-0 when he initiated a quick counter and then released Moses Simon, who did well to pass back to his namesake, who fired the third goal.A fourth goal from a flying header by substitute Kelechi Iheanacho off an Onazi Ogenyi cross in the 76th minute crowned a very satisfying outing for the hosts.Both teams went into the attack from the first whistle with Cameroon threatening through Moumi Ngamaleu, but his effort from inside the box missed narrowly as Ikechukwu Ezenwa was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the early minutes of the game.The Indomitable Lions took the game to Nigeria rather than sit back in their defence.The Egyptian referee struck off a Nigerian goal by Ighalo for offside after 24 minutes, before Victor Moses header off a Moses Simon cross missed target four minutes later.However, the home fans celebrated the first goal of this bruising contest just before the half hour with Nigeria never looking back to seal an important win.Cameroon had their chances. In the 48th minute Ezenwa did well to save a low drive by Zambo Anguissa.Ezenwa then kept out a tricky shot from distance in the 64th minute before Nigeria again surged forward to create two more goals and complete the demolition of the Indomitable Lions.Share on: WhatsApp Nigerian players salute their fans.Moses helps Nigeria trounce CameroonUyo, Nigeria | AFP |  Chelsea ace Victor Moses and Chinese-based Odion Ighalo starred as Nigeria trounced Cameroon 4-0 on Friday to take a big step towards qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.The Super Eagles moved up to nine points from three matches in Group B in Africa zone qualifying, while Cameroon remain on two points. Both teams clash again on Monday in Yaounde.Zambia and Algeria have a point each and meet on Saturday in Lusaka.Cameroon’s Belgian coach Hugo Broos admitted Nigeria deserved the win.“They were better, faster and more determined than us in one against one. We had one chance maybe,” he said.Broos added the African champions will play for their honour at home on Monday, but does not fancy their chances of qualifying for the World Cup.“There is something like honour, we will defend that on Monday in Yaounde. If the players have the same attitude I have, we will fight to beat Nigeria on Monday,” he vowed.“But we will now need to win our next three matches and expect Nigeria to lose their next three games to stand any chance. I don’t think this is possible.”last_img read more