FDA Releases New Edition of its Guide to Foodborne Pathogens PDF Print E-mail
CIDRAP News, Monday 9 April 2012

Information on all the major types of pathogens and natural toxins that can find their way into food is provided in the second edition of the US Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) guide to the subject, released last week.

The Bad Bug Book: Foodborne Pathogenic Microorganisms and Natural Toxins Handbook covers scores of types of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and natural toxins. The 264-page volume offers scientific and technical information about disease agents, though it is not intended to be a comprehensive scientific or clinical reference, the agency says.

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Public Health Surveillance and Infectious Disease Detection PDF Print E-mail
Biosecurity and Bioterrorism: Biodefense Strategy, Practice, and Science, Wednesday 28 March 2012

Emerging infectious diseases, such as HIV/AIDS, SARS, and pandemic influenza, and the anthrax attacks of 2001, have demonstrated that we remain vulnerable to health threats caused by infectious diseases. The importance of strengthening global public health surveillance to provide early warning has been the primary recommendation of expert groups for at least the past 2 decades. However, despite improvements in the past decade, public health surveillance capabilities remain limited and fragmented, with uneven global coverage.

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Point-of-care Flu Microchip Test Performs Well in Trial PDF Print E-mail
CIDRAP News, Wednesday 28 March 2012

A point-of-care prototype microchip test performed better in detecting flu than other rapid tests and as well as common lab tests, according to a recent study in PLoS One. Boston University scientists tested a single-use microfluidic chip they developed that integrates solid-phase extraction and molecular amplification via reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to amplify the RNA of influenza type A viruses. After testing 146 specimens, they reported 96% sensitivity (95% confidence interval [CI], 89%-99%) and 100% specificity (95% CI, 95%-100%) compared with conventional RT-PCR. The positive predictive value was 100% (95% CI, 94%-100%) and the negative predictive value was 96% (95% CI, 88%-98%).

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State of the Climate 2012 PDF Print E-mail
CSIRO media release, Wednesday 14 March 2012

Australia's land and oceans have continued to warm in response to rising CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

This is the headline finding in the State of the Climate 2012, an updated summary of Australia's long term climate trends released by CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology today (14 March 2012).

CSIRO Chief Executive, Dr Megan Clark, said the latest analysis painted a clear decade-to-decade picture of Australia's climate, while at the same time noting its highly variable nature from one year to the next. "Much of Australia may have lurched from drought to floods since the previous State of the Climate, but this has occurred against a backdrop of steadily increasing air and ocean temperatures and rising sea levels. What's more, the rate of change is increasing.

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