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05.27 Teen cancer death rate causes alarm [it's from pollution, of course]

05.27 The west country cheddar maker powered by solar and cow dung

05.27 ExxonMobil is in its climate change bunker and won’t let reality in

05.26 Pollution From Canadian Oil Sands Vapor Is Substantial, Study Finds

05.26 Australia's dirtiest power station may be closed or sold, French owner says

05.26 FDA to announce whether it will approve implant for opioid addicts

05.25 Interview: CO2 'Air Capture' Could Be Key to Slowing Global Warming [Algae?]

05.25 Up against strict laws, Texas women learn do-it-yourself abortions [Is this what "conservatives" want?]

05.25 World War III will be fought over water

05.25 Coastal flooding: a sign of the damage our economy is wreaking on our fragile environment

05.25 My father warned Exxon about climate change in the 1970s. They didn't listen

05.25 How cracking down on America's painkiller capital led to a heroin crisis [As seen in Portugal and elsewhere, physicians prescribing safer, dosage-controlled drugs to addicts would save lives and suppress illegal drug cartels]

05.24 World could warm by massive 10C if all fossil fuels are burned

05.24 Single-payer health care is more popular than ever. Here are 10 questions for its future.

05.24 Largest U.S. Water Reservoir Shrinks to Record Low Amid Major Drought

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05.27 Journalists blast NY Times for pro-Israel bias and “grotesque” distortion of illegal occupation of Palestine

Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

05.27 Sanders to Trump: Let's Debate in 'Biggest Stadium Possible'

05.27 Sanders’ DNC platform team pushes for Palestinian rights, blasts Israeli war crimes

05.26 The Hourly Wage Needed to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment Is Rising

05.26 They don’t want Trump or Hillary: Half of voters would consider a third-party presidential candidate

05.26 Elizabeth Warren labels Trump 'money-grubber' who rooted for financial crash [videos]

05.26 “Come with me if you want to live”: Morning Joe panel gets weird, claims white men trust Trump to protect them from robots [governments, as yet, have no plan, policy or response to rapid robotic automation that's certain to replace millions of workers]

05.26 State Department audit finds Hillary Clinton broke agency rules with private email server

05.25 Here’s the Full List of Companies & Organizations That Paid Hillary Clinton From 2013-2015

05.25 Protests at Donald Trump rally overshadow Washington primary win [1:09 video]

05.24 Disposable Americans: The Numbers are Growing

05.24 Hillary Clinton’s Energy Initiative Pressed Countries to Embrace Fracking, New Emails Reveal

05.24 Sanders names Cornel West, Keith Ellison to DNC platform committee

05.24 'I'm not with her': why women are weary of Hillary Clinton

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05.24 Machine Bias

05.23 #AirBnBWhileBlack and the Legacy of Brown vs. Board

High Crimes?

05.23 Attacking Doctors in Conflict Zones is a War Crime. So Why is No One Prosecuted For It?

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05.27 Revealed: 9% rise in London properties owned by offshore firms

05.27 Bernie Sanders Easily Wins the Policy Debate

05.26 Average CEO Raise Last Year Amounted to 10x What Most Workers Make in Total

05.25 The Pentagon’s War on Accountability

05.24 IMF tells EU it must give Greece unconditional debt relief

05.23 Panama Papers Confirm Miami a Disneyland for Fraud

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05.27 Story of cities #future: what will our growing megacities really look like?

05.27 Story of cities #50: the reclaimed stream bringing life to the heart of Seoul

05.27 Riot police crack down on Paris protests against labour reforms

05.26 Is this the world’s most radical mayor?

05.26 Operation Condor conspiracy faces day of judgment in Argentina court

05.26 Brazil senate head recorded proposing to weaken bribes investigation

05.26 'There are two governments': Mexican elections held in shadow of the cartels

05.26 Foxconn replaces 60,000 humans with robots in China

05.25 Rousseff's impeachment may be about stopping a massive corruption investigation

05.25 Politicians condemn 60% foreign ownership of London skyscraper [the super-rich are pandered to while workers are demonstrably ignored]

05.25 Rockefeller reaches 100 resilient cities target, but 'work is only just beginning'

05.25 Viet Con

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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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