LLNL Nerve Agent Antidote Shows Great Potential

Scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have been working with live agent, supercomputers, and accelerated mass spectrometry, to develop a new nerve agent antidote, namely LLNL-02. 

Their work has been showing great promise, and with somw refinement of the LLNL-02 antidote and identifying a second potential candidate molecule, they are working towards approval of LLNL-02 by the FDA. 

You can read all about the work thay have beem doing, and how in this research highlight article from LLNL. 

Explosion at VECTOR Laboratory

Monday, September 16th, saw reports emerge of an explosion at the Russian State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology, known as Vector.

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Ebola Bombali Detected in Guinea

Researchers from The University of California, Davis, have recenctly publsihed their findings regarding the discovery of the sitxth ebolavirus, Bombali, in Angolan free-tailed bats roosting inside people’s houses in Guéckedou and Kissidougou, Guinea. 

The team from UC Davis One Health Institute first discovered the Bombali virus in Angolan and little free-tailed bats in Sierra Leone. This is the first time a strain of ebola has been detected in an animal resevoir before being detected in a sick human or animal. Various research teams have been on the lookout for Bombali since the UC Davis team frist discovered it, and from reults It appears that Bombali has a wide disrtibution. 

Bombali is distinct from the other five strains of ebola, and teams of scientists are currently trying to ascertain whether Bombali has spilled from it's bat resevoir in to the human populace. At present tests show that Bombali can infect human cells and studies are ongoing to ascertain the risk it poses. 

 

Children Attacked with "Irritant Gas"

Ten children and their teacher were attacked at a train station in Germany by a perpetrator using what has been referred to as an "irritant gas".

A 39 year old man apparently approached the group and sprayed them with a yet unnamed substance. The children were initially treated at the scene, having their eyes flushed and faces rinsed. Some of them were also suffering from shortness of breath. 

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Dropping CFATS Program Could be Dangerous

David Wulf, who oversees chemical security for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has warned congress that dropping The Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) Program could leave chemical plants vulnerable to attacks. 

CFATS, which is due to come to an end in 2020,  is the first regulatory program in the U.S. focused specifically on security at high-risk chemical facilities. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) manages the CFATS program by working with facilities to ensure they have security measures in place to reduce the risks associated with certain hazardous chemicals, and prevent them from being exploited in a terrorist attack. 

Speaking at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee David Wulf said said that a chemical plant attack could have “devastating consequences," and “We cannot allow terrorists to access dangerous chemicals. If we can imagine a scenario, a motivated terrorist can imagine a worse one.”

 

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