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Smartphone attachment detects viruses and bacteria - The Engineer - September 18, 2013

Researchers at UCLA have developed a portable smartphone attachment that can be used to perform field testing to detect viruses and bacteria.

This cellphone-based imaging platform could be used for specific and sensitive detection of sub-wavelength objects, including bacteria and viruses and therefore could enable the practice of nanotechnology and biomedical testing in field settings and even in remote and resource-limited environments,’ Aydogan Ozcan, professor of electrical engineering and bioengineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, said in a statement.

Using this device, which attaches directly to the camera module on a smartphone, Ozcan’s team was able to detect single human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) particles.

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Whooping Cough Vaccine Loses Effectiveness Faster Than Thought, Study Finds - by Mike Stobbe - September 12, 2012

NEW YORK — As the U.S. wrestles with its biggest whooping cough outbreak in decades, researchers appear to have zeroed in on the main cause: The safer vaccine that was introduced in the 1990s loses effectiveness much faster than previously thought.

A study published in Wednesday's New England Journal of Medicine found that the protective effect weakens dramatically soon after a youngster gets the last of the five recommended shots around age 6.

The protection rate falls from about 95 percent to 71 percent within five years, said researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Research Center in Oakland, Calif.


Study - NEJM - Waning Protection after Fifth Dose of Acellular Pertussis Vaccine in Children

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Analysis of Warning Process: Swine-Origin Triple Reassortant Influenza A(H3N2) Virus In USA

by James Wilson, M.D. - Biosurveillance - December 21, 2011

We have been monitoring the situation with swine-origin triple reassortant influenza A(H3N2) virus (S-OtrH3N2) inside the United State for some time now.  Recent reports of likely human-human transmission sparked debate, discussed here in this post.

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Rare 'Survivor' Dolphin Gives Hope for Finding Cause of Deaths Since BP Spill

by Kaija Wilkinson - - November 27, 2011

Institute Director Moby Solangi watches a sickly dolphin make circles in its pool at the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies on Saturday, Nov. 26, 2011. (The Mississippi Press/Kaija Wilkinson)

GULFPORT, Mississippi -- A sickly, stranded dolphin that was found in Alabama and transported to Gulfport to convalesce and be studied could provide clues to a spike in dolphin deaths that has occurred over the past year.

The 2-year-old male is the first to be found alive since the BP oil spill last spring, according to Moby Solangi, director of the Institute for Marine Mammal Studies, where the dolphin is being held.

The spike coincided with the spill, but to date no definitive link has been made between the spill and the deaths, which in south Mississippi and Alabama are three to four times what they are in a normal year.

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IT and Information Sharing Environments for Community Health Resilience

Information Technology (IT) and Information Sharing Environments (ISEs) are crucial to the evolution of community health resilience.  Most people working to improve community health resilience do not understand the nuances of Information Sharing Environments, and how the rapid shifts in IT, mobile devices, social media, cloud computing, peer to peer parallel processing, smart grids, and the linking of millions of people, mobile devices, computers, and sensors are creating a societal mind, which is transforming community health resilience and the health and human security of Americans.

If you have thoughts on these topics, please comment within this collaboratory thread.

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National Community Health Resilience Workshop

Near Final Version 


2011 Community Health Resilience Workshop AGENDA




8:30-8:50 - Welcome, Introductions and Opening Remarks

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Is 'Contagion' Fact or Fiction?

by Kim Carollo - ABC News - September 7, 2011


Jennifer Ehle stars as Dr. Ally Hextall in the film "Contagion." (Courtesy Warner Bros.)

There may not be any zombies, vampires or mutant monsters wreaking bloody havoc on innocent people, but the fact that "Contagion" has a premise that experts say is all too possible may make it the scariest movie of the season.

In the film, a star-studded cast battles a lethal species-jumping virus rapidly spreading sickness and death around the world. Director Steven Soderbergh said in interviews that he aimed for scientific and medical realism in the film. Producers and writers consulted with a number of leading virologists and shot some scenes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.

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Controversial Study Shows Higher Cancer Risk in 9/11 Firefighters

CBS News - September 2, 2011


A firefighter breaks down after the World Trade Center buildings collapsed September 11, 2001 after two hijacked airplanes slammed into the twin towers in a terrorist attack.  (Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

(CBS) The 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City killed almost 3,000 people, but what about New Yorkers who were in the area at the time but survived? New studies show they face heightened risk for asthma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and cancer - but not all health experts agree the attacks are to blame for survivors' health problems.

For one study - published in the September 1 issue of The Lancet - Mount Sinai researchers evaluated more than 27,000 police officers, firefighters, construction workers, and office workers who were in or around ground zero over the nine years following 9/11. The researchers found more than one in five responders had multiple physical or mental health illnesses.

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Software Uses Twitter To Track Dengue Outbreaks In Brazil

submitted by Mary Suzanne Kivlighan

Kaiser Family Foundation - July 19, 2011

The New Scientist reports on a software program that is being used "to identify a high correlation between the time and place where people tweet they have dengue and the official statistics for where the disease appears each season."

Researchers at two Brazilian National Institutes of Science and Technology worked together to create the software, which filters tweets containing the word "dengue" and user location details. "Dengue outbreaks occur every year in Brazil, but exactly where varies every season. It can take weeks for medical notifications to be centrally analyzed, creating a headache for health authorities planning where to concentrate resources," the publication notes. Using Twitter could speed up response time, according to Wagner Meira, a computer scientist at the Federal University of Minus Gerais who led the study (Corbyn, 7/18).

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