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Local Gov’t Stories, Events

08.15 RIDE FOR THE OVERRIDE

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

08.30 Punishing the Poor: Welfare Reform and Its Democratic Apologists

08.30 Japan’s ‘Hail Mary’ at Fukushima Daiichi: An Underground Ice Wall

08.30 Is your shampoo safe? We simply don't know

08.30 High birth rates and poverty undermine a generation of African children – report

08.30 Nasa: Earth is warming at a pace 'unprecedented in 1,000 years'

08.29 California has urged President Obama and Congress to tax carbon pollution

08.29 The Evidence for ‘Born This Way’

08.29 Should Environmentalists Worry About Hillary Clinton’s Transition Team Chief?

08.29 Floating solar device boils water without mirrors

08.29 Brain wiring needed for reading isn’t learned—it’s in place prior to reading

08.28 The Unlimited Power of Ocean Winds

08.27 EV Revolution Set To Cripple More Than Just The Oil Industry

News Media Matters

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

08.30 If You Want to Celebrate a "Landslide" Clinton Victory, Don't Call Me

08.30 What Landslide? New Polling Shows Clinton and Trump Still Neck and Neck

08.29 Trump's slump in Nascar country deepens Republican fears of defeat

Justice Matters

08.30 In 'Tacit Admission' of Cruelty, DHS Says It Too May End For-Profit Prisons

08.30 Nigerian rapists escape punishment using money, influence – and marriage

08.28 DoJ Says Jail for Not Making Bail is Unconstitutional [9:13 video & transcript]

High Crimes?

08.30 Up to 15,000 bodies may be buried in mass graves in Syria and Iraq – survey

Economics, Crony Capitalism

08.29 Can Cooperative Businesses Save Communities?

08.28 How the Trumps Got Rich

08.28 Mylan CEO sold $5m worth of stock while EpiPen price drew scrutiny [Jay And The Americans.....Only In America]

International

08.30 Don't wear dresses in India, tourists warned

08.30 Why did you become a humanitarian? Aid workers share their motivations

08.30 Girls learn app coding to navigate a way out of their Mumbai slum

08.30 North Korea executes officials with anti-aircraft gun in new purge – report [let's hope for this insane, cruel dictatorship to end]

08.30 Germany mulls plan to force mothers to reveal child’s biological father

08.30 Apple ordered to pay up to €13bn after EU rules Ireland broke state aid laws

08.30 UN pays tens of millions to Assad regime under Syria aid programme

08.29 TTIP Has 'De Facto Failed,' Says German Economic Minister

08.29 South Korea Can Afford Its Own Defense

08.28 Trump and the Transformation of Politics

08.28 America’s Syria SNAFU: Pentagon’s Militias fight Turkey & CIA’s Militias

08.28 Brexit 'will put 75% of workers at risk of pension shortfall'

08.28 Turkey targets Kurdish forces south of Syria's Jarablus

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  Obama Team Sets the Stage for Science
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REPORT:

Obama Team Sets the Stage for Science

Offers first glimpse of federal flu plan

by Jim Dawson
Inside Science News Service

Scientists say that so far there is no indication that the H1N1 virus will become more dangerous.

August 13, 2009 • Washington (ISNS)The 21 members of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) crowded into a small conference center across the street from the White House last week to review the science that will be on the agenda of President Barack Obama's administration for the next several months.

The group covered a wide array of topics ranging from the federal government's response to the anticipated return of the swine flu virus this fall to changes in agricultural practices that might be required to deal with the effects of climate change.

The group covered a wide array of topics ranging from the federal government's response to the anticipated return of the swine flu virus this fall to changes in agricultural practices that might be required to deal with the effects of climate change.

First on the agenda was a summary of a quick two-week study done in late June to assess how prepared the country is for the expected return of the H1N1 virus.

The study will be released in the next few days and will provide "an integrated set of recommendations to aid in our response [to the flu's return]," said Eric Lander, a co-chair of PCAST. He said the report contains "strong suggestions for concrete scenario planning, a review of the current surveillance system [to detect outbreaks], and a look at what barriers to a rapid response might exist."

Harold Varmus, another PCAST co-chair and the former head of the National Institutes of Health, said studies of the H1N1 virus have found that only nine varieties out of hundreds are resistant to the vaccine under development. Varmus said that while there is concern that the H1N1 virus is following a pattern similar to the devastating 1918 Spanish flu virus—mild in the spring and deadly upon its return in the fall—so far there is no indication that the H1N1 virus will become more dangerous.

Langer said the scenarios used to forecast the flu's spread include the most likely events. The extreme possibilities have been discussed, but not developed in detail. Agencies across the federal government are working together, he said, "and lines of communication have been clarified. We want to engage the entire country." The goal, he said, is for federal, state, and local governments to "think this through and make sure we're all on the same page."

Next on the agenda was plant evolutionary biologist and PCAST member Barbara Schaal, who said her council subcommittee is focusing on agriculture in relation to global warming, obesity, and safety. As the climate changes, she said, researchers need to find a way to sustain agricultural output. To combat obesity, she said, the question that needs to be asked is, "can agriculture produce foods that are helpful?" She also discussed food safety issues such as reducing the amount of E. coli and other bacterial contamination in food.

University of Maryland physicist S. James Gates Jr. said his group is working on improving K-12 science and technology education, an area the U.S. has been neglecting for more than a decade. "But we don't want to replicate activities that have been done before," Gates said. "We're looking for unique opportunities." They are examining innovative schools that have good science programs in the hopes of modeling their success on a broader scale.

Other reports focused on energy and security, using robotics and nanotechnology to improve manufacturing, the impact of rapidly changing technology on the U.S. economy, and the role of science and technology in international security.


This article is provided courtesy of Inside Science News Service, which is supported by the American Institute of Physics, a not-for-profit publisher of scientific journals. Contact: Martha Heil, editor, 301-209-3086, mheil@aip.org.



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This story was published on August 13, 2009.
 

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