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

Former SU field hockey standout, Laura Hurff, playing lacrosse this spring

first_imgOne day in third grade, Laura Hurff was “it” in a game of tag. After less than two minutes, Hurff had tagged everyone.She came up to her teacher, who happened to be her mother, Linda, and asked, “What’s next?” Linda remembered making sure not to make her daughter “it” again so the game would last longer.“That’s probably her biggest asset,” Linda said. “Her speed. She’s used it. I’ve always said she’s been given a God-given talent and that’s what you need to do, use it.”That speed helped Hurff become a three-time All-American in field hockey at Syracuse. She was part of the first women’s national championship at SU as a member of the 2015 field hockey team. She hopes to continue her field hockey career as an Olympian for the United States. For now, in her last semester as an undergraduate, she’s returned to her first sport, lacrosse, as a defender for the Orange (2-0) women’s lacrosse team. Hurff said she hopes it’s just another stepping stone toward her field hockey goals.“Her former high school coach was an old friend,” SU head coach Gary Gait said. “… She mentioned it when she was coming, you’ve got a really good lacrosse player that plays field hockey … Sure enough, we got that opportunity to have her.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textLinda played college lacrosse herself at Delaware. She was a member of the second-ever NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse national title team in 1983, her senior year.Syracuse field hockey head coach Ange Bradley, who played both lacrosse and field hockey at UD a few years after Linda graduated, was at that national championship game, Linda remembered. Bradley remembered Linda when Hurff first came to SU, Linda said.Because Linda had devoted much of her life to lacrosse, it was natural for Hurff to pick up a stick early in elementary school, trailing her mother to camps when she couldn’t be left at home. Hurff began playing club lacrosse soon thereafter.“She just pushed me to be the best that I could,” Hurff said, “and to be honest, without my mom coaching me when I was little I don’t know where I would have been.”  Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorIn middle school, Linda was Hurff’s coach, meaning Hurff was never going to have a free pass. One gameday, Hurff went to the nurse’s office and her temperature was around 102 degrees. So Linda brought her daughter to her office in the school, had her sleep all day and made sure Hurff played well enough in the game’s first half that she could sit out the second.“If I told her to go through this wall,” Linda said, “she would have run through it.”In high school, Hurff played field hockey, basketball and lacrosse. Linda said she thinks her daughter could have played D-I lacrosse, and Hurff said the head coach at Delaware reached out about the possibility. But Hurff always wanted to play in the Olympics, and field hockey is in the Olympics, while lacrosse isn’t.Syracuse, which had turned into an NCAA tournament regular under Bradley, became the place for Hurff to use her speed. Though Hurff didn’t play her mother’s sport, she chose to wear the No. 14 that Linda wore at UD. By Hurff’s sophomore season, she had become the key cog at the heart of SU’s midfield, the year SU won its national title. She had reached the collegiate peak but was still chasing her Olympic dream.As a high schooler, Hurff spent time with the United States under-17 national team. The summer before her junior year, she played with the U.S. under-21 team. All that’s left to reach is the senior team. She’ll be away from Syracuse twice during the season, once for a camp later this week in Chula Vista, California, where the U.S. will take on Canada, and once over spring break.“My hope is that right after college, (U.S. head coach Janneke Schopman will) pull me up officially to the team, and we’re still waiting for that,” Hurff said. “I’m not gonna say that it’s definitely gonna happen because I have no idea but that’s just what I’m hoping will happen.”When Hurff reached out to Gait after the field hockey season ended, first via email and then in his office, she wasn’t sure what to expect. She and Linda had spoken about using a graduate year to play lacrosse, but Hurff took the initiative to finish her senior year with the sport.She feels lacrosse aids her chances of field hockey success. As a defender in lacrosse, Hurff gets opportunities to catch up with attackers, get in front of them and turn them. It’s a skill she hopes will translate to field hockey.Hurff isn’t sure how much she’ll play for SU. Hurff told her mother to get to games early, Linda said, to make sure she can watch her daughter play during warmups.But for the Syracuse senior, it’s not about the playing time. It’s about a chance to further her field hockey career. And it’s coming full circle in the first sport Hurff ever played.Two years from now, in Tokyo, the U.S. field hockey team will be playing in the Olympics. Hurff said she hopes she’ll be there playing, in the sport she chose to reach that peak.“Her mindset is, ‘I’m going, mom. I’m going to be there,’” Linda said. Comments Published on February 19, 2018 at 9:53 pm Contact Billy: wmheyen@syr.edu | @Wheyen3center_img Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

Final buildup: Arsenal v Chelsea – head-to head, team news and more

first_imgArsene Wenger will attempt to end his Jose Mourinho hoodoo when Arsenal host Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium, live on Super Sunday.The Gunners, who have won more points in 2015 than any other Premier League side, find themselves 10 points adrift of Chelsea at the top of the table and their slim title hopes rest on victory over the Blues.However, Arsenal, who lost 2-0 in the reverse fixture at Stamford Bridge last October, have only won two of their last 12 league matches against Chelsea and Wenger has never beaten Mourinho when the Portuguese manager is in the opposition dugout.Mourinho will be hoping to extend that run to hand Chelsea a win that would take them to within three points of a first league title in five years.The clash will also see former Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas return to the Emirates for the first time as an opposing player and he will be hoping to add to his league-high 16 Premier League assists this season.Team news Per Mertesacker is doubtful because of an ankle injury picked up in last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final win over Reading.Gabriel Paulista is ready to come in at centre-half. Goalkeeper David Ospina, as well as full-backs Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal, are expected to return, having sat out last weekend’s FA Cup semi-final against Reading at Wembley.Captain Mikel Arteta (ankle) and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) are still not match fit.Mourinho will make a late decision on whether to risk Diego Costa’s fragile hamstrings at the Emirates.Costa has missed the last two matches, but could return ahead of schedule in place of Didier Drogba, who is fit after an ankle knock, as Chelsea seek a win which would see them move within three points of the title. Striker Loic Remy (calf) is definitely out, so Dominic Solanke could come on to the substitutes’ bench if Costa fails to make it.Head-to-head– This is going to be the 170th game between these sides in all competitions– Arseanal have beaten Chelsea 0n 66 occasions, with Chelsea winning 55 and 48 matches ended in draws– Arsenal have failed to score in any of their last four meetings with Chelsea (in all competitions). They have conceded 10 in those four games.– They have won just two of their last 12 league clashes with Chelsea (D2 L8).– The Gunners’ last home win over Chelsea was back in 2010. Since then, there have been two 0-0 draws and a 2-1 defeat in the Premier League, along with a 2-0 League Cup defeat.– In the reverse fixture against the Blues back in October, Arsenal failed to have a shot on target for the first time in a Premier League match since September 2003.– Wenger, the Arsenal manager, is yet to beat Mourinho in 12 meetings ahead of his side’s top-of-the-table Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium.  Arsenal– Arsenal are aiming for a ninth consecutive league victory. They have won their last 11 matches in all domestic competitions and their tally of 33 points in 2015 is higher than any other Premier League side.– The Gunners are looking for a 10th consecutive league victory at the Emirates. They haven’t dropped points at home since losing 2-1 to Manchester United on 22 November.– It is over a year since Arsenal last failed to score in a league match at the Emirates – a 0-0 draw with Man Utd in February 2014.– Arsene Wenger has lost just five competitive home games by a 3+ goal margin during his tenure as Arsenal manager; three of those have come against Chelsea.– Olivier Giroud has scored 10 goals in his last 12 matches in all competitions.           Chelsea– Chelsea are looking for a fifth consecutive Premier League victory, which would be their best winning run of the season.– The Blues are aiming for a sixth consecutive away victory in the top flight. The last time they dropped points away from home was also in north London – a 5-3 defeat at Tottenham on New Year’s Day.– Chelsea have scored in their last 19 league games – the only team to stop them scoring in any competition this season is Sunderland.– Jose Mourinho has never lost as an opposition coach against Arsene Wenger in any competition (W7 D5 L0).– Chelsea have scored first in all 20 of their games in all competitions in 2015.– Cesc Fabregas has a league-high 16 Premier League assists this season. Only Thierry Henry (20 in 2002-03), Frank Lampard (18 in 2004-05) and Fabregas himself (17 in 2007-08) have ever registered more in a single Premier League campaign.–last_img read more

Northern players shine at St Rule Trophy

first_img The St Rule Trophy, played over the New and Old courses at St Andrews, turned into a Cheshire and Lancashire celebration thanks to Emma Goddard, Bethany Garton, Emily Taylor, Charlotte Wild and Brogan Townend. Emma Goddard (Royal Liverpool Ladies’) was runner-up on five-under par for the 54-hole event, finishing two shots behind the winner, Scottish champion Laura Murray. Emma (image © Leaderboard Photography) had posted the clubhouse target of five-under-par 222 with half the field still to come in, after scoring four-under-par 72 in the final round on the Old Course. In the end only Laura Murray overhauled the Cheshire player. Emma had a startling recovery from a double bogey six at the comparatively simple first hole when she birdied the next five holes and also the ninth to be out in four-under-par 34. She bogeyed the 11th but birdied the 13th in level par 38 home. Bethany Garton (Royal Lytham & St Annes, Lancashire) saved her best to last, shooting the low score of the tournament in the final round with a six-under 70 which lifted her into a share of third place on her debut appearance. The 18-year-old had 31 putts in a bogey-free round. Irish strokeplay champion Emily Taylor (Royal Lytham & St Annes) won the U18 event for the Lawson Trophy. Her final round of 71 was the joint second best and included six birdies with just one bogey. The field of 17 competitors aged U18 was a record for the tournament, which was first played in 1984. Overall, Emily tied for seventh place with Charlotte Wild (Mere, Cheshire), who had a great run in the middle of the final round with birdies on the fourth-fifth-sixth and then on the eighth-ninth-tenth. Charlotte is a past English strokeplay champion. Charlotte, Emily and Brogan Townend (Pleasington, Lancashire) combined to give England second place in the international team event, two shots behind the winners, Scotland. Leading final scores Par 227 New Course (first round) par 75, CSS 76 Old Course par 76, CSS 78 76 220 Laura Murray (Alford) 73 74 73 222 Emma Goddard (Royal Liverpool Ladies) 75 72 72 223 Bethany Garton (Royal Lytham) 74 79 70, Jenny Haglund (Sweden) 73 78 72, Louise Kenney (Pitreavie) 74 75 74 224 Megan Briggs (Kilmacolm) 76 77 71 225 Emily M Taylor (Royal Lytham) 76 78 71, Charlotte Wild (Mere) 78 73 74 226 Eilidh Briggs (Kilmacolm) 76 74 76 227 Jessica Meek (Carnoustie Ladies) 75 77 75 228 Jane Turner (Craigielaw) 76 76 76, Clara Young (North Berwick) 79 76 73, Kelsey MacDonald (Nairn Dunbar) 77 78 73 231 Emilie Lundstrom (Sweden) 78 81 72 232 Lesley Atkins (Gullane Ladies)  74 75 83, Ailsa Summers (Carnoustie Ladies) 80 76 76, Ami Storey (Ponteland) 79 77 76, Jess Wilcox (Blankney) 78 79 75 233 Chloe Williams (Wrexham) 79 79 75, Gabriella Cowley (West Essex) 74 77 82, Alyson McKechin (Elderslie) 76 85 72 234 Rachael McQueen (Troon Ladies) 78 80 76, Susan Jackson (Ladybank) 77 78 79 235 Hannah McCook (Grantown on Spey) 80 78 77, Lauren Blease (Burhill) 76 81 78, Samantha Birks (Wolstanton) 75 83 77, Joelle Van Baarle (Belgium) 82 78 75, Brogan Townend (Pleasington) 76 81 78 6 Jun 2012 Northern players shine at St Rule Trophy last_img read more

Leafs look to build on first win of season

first_imgThe Nelson Leafs will be looking to add to its one-game winning streak when the club visits Grand Forks Border Bruins in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action tonight in the Boundary City.The Leafs, 1-4 to start the season, are still smarting from a 6-2 pounding the club took at the hands of the Bruins and hope to right the wrong of a week ago.“The game in Grand Forks we had kind of a depleted lineup,” said Leaf coach Chris Shaw, who picked up his first win of the season Sunday against Penticton Lakers. “That was kind of a weird hockey game where all of their six goals came on the power play.” The good thing for the Leafs is the Green and White have had little time to forget, which could be bad for the Bruins.Saturday, the road to respectability doesn’t get any easier as the high-flying Fernie Ghostriders visit the NDCC Arena.The ‘Riders are unbeaten in four games, and leaders of the Eddie Mountain Division, heading into the weekend. Fernie boasts former Beaver Valley scoring leader Scott Morisseau and Jordie Cool as offensive weapons.Morisseau, with seven points in four games, had 84 points last season for the Hawks. Game time is 7 p.m.Look for Marcus Beesley and Darren Hogg to continue to split the goaltending duties for Nelson.Nelson hosts Spokane Braves Wednesday at the NDCC Arena.sports@thenelsondaily.comlast_img read more

Local triathlete Steve Archdekin featured in British magazine

first_imgThe article touched on various parts of Archdekin’s life on, and off, the triathlon circuit.A key part of the story was information regarding his run-in with a goat — an attack that kept him off the triathlon circuit for some time.But while it was good for Archdekin to see his name in print, on glossy paper, he’s got a bigger goal. A goal he hopes the article opens a few doors for sponsors.“I hope this story builds some momentum,” said Archdekin, who hopes to run a triathlon every week at stops around the world over a two-year period to raise money for a charity he started called International Triathlon for Kids.The goal is to raise funds and awareness for the children’s charities.“It doesn’t take much for me to open my mouth once I start racing,” he adds. “People seem to pay attention once I get started.”Unfortunately for Archdekin, if he didn’t have bad luck he’d have no luck at all.After healing from the goat attack, he was close to returning to action this season when he was hit with food poisoning and was bed-ridden for some time.But he finally got back into the water, hopped on his bike and ran the five-kilometers during the recent Christina Lake race.“I looked at this race, even with all the controversy I was dealing with, (Christina Lake) would be a good, kick in the pants, kick start for me to get my brain wrapped around racing again,” said Archdekin.“So now I just have to deal with moving again and I’ll be in town where I’ll be right near the water and I can get back training again.”While most people have a few aches and pains following a triathlon, Archdekin lives with those same aches and pains daily.Despite the hardship, he lives for his goal to raise money for his charity.“It’s do this or die. Whatever comes first . . . literally,” Archdekin admits.“This is what I’m doing so my body will collapse again. I get windows of opportunity, and when I get them, I dive through them.”Archdekin hopes to use this triathlon season to rebuild and repair his body in preparation for the big world-wind tour beginning, September of 2013.Then everyone will see Archdekin make that grand entrance. Steve Archdekin likes to make a grand entrance when he competes at triathlon races — not.But the British Columbian transplant is definitely making a splash on the world triathlon scene after having a story published about him in the British magazine Triathlon Plus.“It was a good article, so I’m glad about that,” Archdekin told The Nelson Daily about the article titled, “Making a Difference”.“I was also psyched that I got to be in the magazine with Lance (Armstrong) on the cover.”It’s been well documented in local media the plight of the Brampton, Ont., native.In September of 1993, the eighth to be exact, Archdekin caught, what he thought, was a bought of the common cold.Little did he know was this common cold turned into a full-blown case of rare form of arthritis called, Reiter’s Syndrome — a form of arthritis that produces pain, swelling, redness, and heat in the joints.However, instead of letting the disease get the better of him, Archdekin decided to forget about all his aches and pains and live life.And living life is competing in as many triathlons as his body allows.Which was well written in the summer edition of Triathlon Plus.“I liked that the article was pretty accurate and said some things that I’ve never really talked about,” Archdekin explained.“Simple things like (a person with my conditions) clothes can hurt my skin if I come into contact with them which is why I wear shorts in the winter.”“I like where the story is located in the magazine and I like that (publishers) used Phil (Best’s) photos, that they’re in there because he’s been good to me and always helped me out,” he adds.Archdekin story is part of the “share a story with us” segment of the magazine where publishers encourage readers to submit ideas.last_img read more