Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local News & Opinion

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Travel
Books, Films, Arts & Education

04.26 Why can’t we read anymore?

04.26 Are You Smarter Than an 8th Grader?

Letters
Open Letters:

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

04.27 Five billion people have no access to safe surgery

04.27 We need our leaders to speak out on climate change, not stay silent

04.26 In India, Profitable Farming With Fewer Chemicals

04.24 Hopes raised for new genetic therapy to prevent inherited diseases

04.24 Can this new blueprint for fossil fuel divestment stir industry to action?

04.23 Hundreds of Chinese Cities Don’t Meet Air Standards, Report Finds

04.23 Oceans are world's seventh largest economy worth $24tn, says WWF report

04.23 Natural Disasters: Preparing for the Big One

04.23 Water Wheel scoops 19 tons of Baltimore's Inner Harbor trash in one day [2:38 video]

04.23 Study Finds Low Cost in Reducing Methane Emissions

04.23 Catching Waves and Turning Them Into Electricity

News Media

Daily FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & Culture

04.27 Decline in U.S. science spending threatens economy, security: MIT

04.27 The GOP’s demonic alliance: How the religious right & big business are dumbing down America

04.26 Baltimore Freddie Gray protests turn violent as police and crowds clash

04.26 Zombies of 2016

04.25 Hillary Wants a Piece of the Elizabeth Warren Love Fest

04.25 Declassified Report Shows Doubts About Value of N.S.A.’s Warrantless Spying

04.25 'Freddie Gray was me': frustration with police simmers after death in Baltimore

04.25 Baltimore’s ‘Broken Relationship’ With Police

Justice Matters

04.21 The American Nightmare: Debbie Milke Recounts Life on Death Row

High Crimes?

04.24 Armenian genocide survivors' stories: 'My dreams cannot mourn'

Economics, Crony Capitalism

04.27 Opinion: How this debt-addicted world could go the way of the Mayans

04.26 The Revolution Will Not be Fast-Tracked

04.25 The Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Death of the Republic

04.23 Vietnam 40 years on: how a communist victory gave way to capitalist corruption

04.20 Iceland looks at ending boom and bust with radical money plan

International

04.27 Bill Maher, American hero: Laughing at religion is exactly what the world needs

04.27 Nepal earthquake: fears grow for uncontacted villages as more than 3,600 confirmed dead [1:31 video]

04.25 Angelina Jolie criticizes UN security council for paralysis over Syria

04.24 Seven Must-Read Stories (Week Ending April 25, 2015)

04.24 One Hundred Years of Silence: Turks Slowly Take Stock of Armenian Genocide

04.24 The $18bn arms race helping to fuel Middle East conflict

04.22 UN expert: rich countries must take in one million refugees to stop boat deaths

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  Obama Team Sets the Stage for Science
Newspaper logo

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.



Copyright © 2009 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.

This story was published on August 13, 2009.
 


Public Service Ads: