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Blog posts tagged with 'anthrax'

Only 10% of Imports Checked

The 2001 anthrax event, which resulted in 5 deaths and more than 20 illnesses, was the “worst case of bioterrorism in U.S. history” thus far, Homeland Security reports that the 2001 anthrax attack that killed 5 people and left 20 more with serious illnesses was the worst case of bioterrorism the US as experienced to date. Then when you take into consideration the current geo-political climate, the threat of another more severe event happening becomes more relevant. Add to that the revelation that “only 7 to 10% of the cargo that enters US ports are scanned for illegal drugs or chemicals.” The chances of another bioterrorism threat grow exponentially. Now more then ever, first responders need to be properly prepared with the most reliable and trustworthy technologies the current marketplace as to offer. AdVnt Biotechnologies prides itself on being the leading provider of first responder’s Hand Held Assays. Our products are specifically designed with the Professional Emergency Response Team in mind. From proactive real-time training kits to reliable real-time on the job test results in less then 10 minutes, the AdVnt first response line of products including Badd, Attack and Prostrips are ready to go into affirmative defensive action 24/7.

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BIOTERRORISM AND THE FUTURE OF OUR FOOD SUPPLY.

(Editor’s note re-printed from Homeland Security Newswire)

The state of public health and biodefense

Published 7 September 2009

There are two bookends to U.S. concern with bioterror attacks on the United States: the fall 2001 anthrax-by-mail attacks, and the December 2007 report by a blue-ribbon commission, headed by former senators Bob Graham of Florida and Jim Talent of Missouri, asserting that of all the weapons of mass destruction, terrorists would likely use biological weapons against the United States because these weapons are easier to produce and deliver than nuclear weapons, and much deadlier than chemical weapons.

The Bush administration did not wait for the commission’s report to allocate $5 billion to its BioShield project, which distributes money to companies engaged in research and development of vaccines and treatments to counter bioterror attacks.

The interest in food safety is a more recent phenomenon, reflecting growing worries about the side effects of globalization. More and more food items – and ingredients used in food items — are imported into the United States. Trouble is, many of the countries from which these items are imported have much lower health and safety standards than the United States does – and often, even if health and safety measures are on the books, endemic corruption in many of these countries guarantees that these standards are not enforced.

What exacerbated the problem was the Bush administration’s cuts in the budget of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), making the agency’s already difficult inspection task nearly impossible. These two conflicting trends – a steady increase in the importation of food and food ingredients into the United States, and a steady decline since 2001 in the budget and inspection personnel of the FDA – combined to create an explosion of food recalls in 2007 and 2008, prompting Congress to consider much tougher food inspection regime, but also prompting the industry and individual companies to formulate their own tougher policies of health and safety standards.

Just as the growing awareness of bioterrorism has been beneficial to many biotechnology companies – especially start ups – so has the awareness of the need for more effective food safety regime. Thus, according to BCC research, the U.S. food safety testing market value increased from $2.0 billion in 2006 to about $2.1 billion in 2007, and it should reach $2.8 billion by 2012, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8 percent. The growth rate reflects demand for pathogen testing, where implementation of standard hygiene practices and a stringent regulatory environment has slowed the incidence of microbial infections.

The research form says that the potency of toxins should propel testing for contaminants from a $78 million market in 2007 to a $135 million market in 2012, a CAGR of 11.6 percent.

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Terrorism is simply a different point-of-view. 300,000 dead American's is our problem.

Anthrax looks to be a terrorist’s best friend. Yet our current national circumstances seems to be preoccupying all of us that there are other, more important, worries for the USA in our short-term future.

Well, I don’t know what a real terrorist thinks about anthrax, but I can share with you what the progressive elite of Kuwait are willing to lecture in public. Please click the link to view.

After viewing that video, I am trying to visualize myself entertaining ideas of western democracies establishing friendly relations with the radicals of the Islamic world.

While watching the inflammatory rhetoric of the speaker remembering that this is not a Jihadists from Iran but a professor from Kuwait – a country with every reason to be grateful to the USA for liberating it from the tyranny of Saddam Husseins invasion. That would be Desert Storm in the early 90′s. I can only say, WOW. I guess being prepared makes some sense, ya think?

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

It’s been pretty evident that swarming the enemy with technology, saturating the theater of engagement, overwhelming their “in-play” strategies has been somewhat effective.

For CBRNe targets, two of the keys are to saturate our living and working areas with efficient, effective and affordable screening devices for wide area bio-sensor coverage and being vigilant daily.

I believe that Advnt Biotechnologies has created and patented just such a product. That would be our ProStrips Rapid Screening System™. Truly an affordable, efficient, effective product that can actually detect anthrax at less than an infectious dose, in less than 15 minutes, for less than $70.00 USD.

The best way to discourage a specific attack requires the deployment model to include easy and early detection with prompt and appropriate treatment.

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Is Al Qaeda Seeking Weapons of Mass Destruction?

By Dr. Neil Livingstone.

REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM DomesticPreparedness.com

SPRING 2009

Reports surfaced in early January that approximately forty Al Qaeda members in Algeria died from plague after the deadly bacteria escaped from a surreptitious laboratory where they were attempting to weaponize the disease. Although there has been no official confirmation that that is exactly what happened, it is clear that something out of the ordinary did occur in Algeria at that time, and the reports are part of a mounting body of evidence, both circumstantial and confirmed, that Al Qaeda is attempting to acquire weapons of mass destruction – most likely, in this situation, a bio weapon.

It has long been an article of faith that the United States and its allies would get an early warning – through an accidental release or an outbreak of some unusual disease – about the possible misuse of bio agents. Accidental releases are not common, but they have occurred a number of times in the past – most notably in 1979 in the region around a Soviet biological weapons facility in Sverdlovsk, where there was an accidental anthrax release that killed 68 people. The Soviets, of course, denied not only that anthrax had caused the fatalities but also that the facility was engaged in the production of biological weapons – in contravention of the Biological Weapons Convention. The incident remained a matter of controversy during the Reagan administration, but after the fall of the Soviet Union the Russians ultimately acknowledged what happened.

After the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001, the U.S. intelligence community found substantial evidence, in Afghanistan and elsewhere, that Al Qaeda was indeed working on acquiring biological weapons – and, according to the 9/11 Commission, the effort was more advanced than previously believed. Although Al Qaeda had investigated the possible use of other dangerous agents, including plague and even ebola, its more immediate goal seemed to be to create a fully stable and weaponized strain of anthrax.

Ebola, however, is a hemorrhagic fever and one of the deadliest diseases in the world – also one of the most contagious. The good news is that there is no known incidence of it being successfully weaponized, and many experts believe that, because it outruns its hosts so quickly, it also dissipates quickly and therefore does not expand beyond a certain critical mass. The Japanese Am Shinrikyo cult – which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway attack using Sarin (a G Series nerve agent) – tried to acquire an ebola culture but ultimately gave up and moved onto more conventional bio agents.
Weaponized anthrax also represents a formidable scientific challenge, so it is not surprising that Al Qaeda may have focused on plague – most likely bubonic plague, which was known as the “Black Death” in the Middle Ages, is considerably easier to develop, and can be created in a modest laboratory with commercially available equipment. Plague is still a problem in Africa, so it would not have been too difficult for Al Qaeda to have acquired a sample culture. Plague also would require less scientific expertise than trying to create weaponized anthrax or smallpox.

In that context, it should be remembered that Ayman al-Zawahiri (Al Qaeda’s number-two man after Osama bin Laden) is not only a trained medical doctor with a master’s degree in surgery, but also the son of a pharmacologist and a chemistry professor. In addition, he is known to have had an interest in biowarfare – and, interestingly, spent time in Russia in the 1990s. According to the former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko, al-Zawahiri received training from the FSB, the successor organization to the KGB, and was the FSB’s principal connection to Al Qaeda. Litvinenko, of course, became internationally famous, belatedly, when he was murdered by a dose of plononium-210, an extremely rare and costly radiological agent that, it is believed, had been slipped into his food in a Soho sushi restaurant in London.

Plague is disseminated via a “vector,” most commonly an infected flea carried by a rat, which is known as the reservoir host. Traditionally, the best way of controlling the plague has been the creation and implementation of effective rodent-management programs. Largely for that reason, most Western countries are believed to be – thanks to their modern hygiene standards and medical facilities – far less at risk from plague than are the so-called “lesser developed” countries of Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
In addition to hard drives, floppy discs, and material gleaned from interrogations, the United States has accumulated a great deal of evidence related to Al Qaeda’s continuing, and apparently increasing, interest not only in bio weapons, but also in chemical and radiological weapons (especially RDDs, better known as Radiological Dispersion Devices – i.e., “dirty bombs”). Among the more substantive evidence confirming this theory are some NBC (nuclear, biological, and chemical) protective suits seized by British police during a raid on a Finsbury Park mosque in 2003. In addition, Jordanian authorities claimed to have thwarted a major chemical attack in 2004, and there have been credible reports that Abu Musab Zarqawi, Al Qaeda’s late leader in Iraq, had managed to acquire or develop ricin, one of the three deadliest substances on earth (the others being plutonium and botulinal toxin).

Although difficult to deliver to a widely dispersed group of human targets, ricin, a derivative of the lowly castor bean, is an excellent assassination weapon and may have been used by the Soviets to murder several heads of state and other leading Third World politicians. Another telling clue is that Al Qaeda in Iraq hired two chemists in 2004 and tasked them with trying to develop crude chemical and biological weapons. Fortunately, U.S. Marines discovered their laboratory (in Falluja) before any weapons had been manufactured. The Marines did find materials, however, that could have been used to make hydrogen cyanide. Other U.S. troops discovered caged dogs and other animals that they believed were going to be used by Al Qaeda as “guinea pigs” to test either chemical or biological weapons.
Jihadists believe that Muslims have a religious duty to wage an “offensive jihad” against infidels, and there seems to have been no lessening of Muslim antipathy toward the West in recent years. Many observers believe, in fact, that the threat of a Jihadist attack employing weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) is growing rather than receding, despite the recent presidential election in the United States and the dramatic growth of homeland-security precautions against terrorism. Former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) said even prior to 9/11 that the possibility of a terrorist WMD attack against the United States is no longer a question of “if” but “when” such an attack might occur.

Nunn’s statement was echoed by former Vice President Dick Cheney in an interview two weeks after leaving office. According to Cheney, there is a “high probability” of a nuclear or biological attack against the United States within the next few years. That chilling possibility is backed up by a study cited by Gary Ackerman, research director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, in which respondents indicated that they believe there is a thirty percent probability of a WMD attack against the United States within the next five years.

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New York City's Failed Bio-Threat Project Costs Tax Payers Millions.

Faulty gadgets foiling city’s bio-threat project

Wednesday, May 13th 2009,

A pilot program to detect biological threats had to be scrapped because the new experimental gizmos didn’t work, officials acknowledge.

The high-tech monitors were supposed to take air samples and analyze them automatically, compared to conventional monitors where samples are sent to a lab. Federal sources said five of the six monitors started registering odd anthrax signals, even though no agent was present.

The faulty signals started in December. The main engineering firm tried unsuccessfully to fix and clean the machines.

The NYPD shut them down at the end of March. The risk of false positives and the possibility of a panic was behind the move, a police spokesman acknowledged.

The malfunctioning prototypes, along with conventional air monitors, were installed four years ago as part of a $120 million federal BioWatch program.

The plan is to fix the problematic devices and get them back online in six months.

In the mean time, we at Advnt Biotechnologies recommend that maybe considering a fool proof bio-agent detection system that costs less than $70.00 USD and is a DHS ” Approved Product For Homeland Security” under the “SAFETY ACT OF 2002” might make cents! (I know, “sense” might be asking too much, but when you print money just because you have the ink and paper, oh well)

Certificate Of Conformance

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ADVNT'S PATENTED BIOWEAPONS DETECTION TECHNOLOGY "PROSTRIPS" IS REGARDED AS "BEST IN THE WORLD"

LOS ANGELES, CA – Universal Detection Technology (OTCBB: UNDT), a developer of early-warning monitoring technologies to protect people from bioterrorism and other infectious health threats and provider of counter-terrorism consulting and training services, announced today that through its deal with US Department of Commerce’s Commercial Service, it is promoting the Company’s handheld assays, used for detection of up to five bioterrorism agents. UNDT is listed as a Featured US Exporter on Commercial Service’s Iraq website. UNDT’s 5-agent Bioterrorism detection kits have been extensively used by first responders and private industry throughout the United States. Testing of the kits by the U.S. DOD as well as the United Kingdom military show that the kits demonstrate no cross-reactivity with near neighbor species and no false positives with commonly encountered “white powders.” The kits are designed to test for anthrax, botulinum toxin, Ricin, plague (Y. Pestis) and SEBs in as little as 3 minutes.

According to Universal Detection Technology, terrorists have used WMDs in the course of the Iraqi insurgency, in particular the use of chlorine gas on the civilian population. It is quite conceivable for the insurgents to utilize toxins such as botulinum or ricin to terrorize the population or disrupt key government ministries in Baghdad.

“We are pleased to make our equipment available on the Iraqi website of the US Commercial Service as we grow our presence in the Middle East,” said Mr. Jacques Tizabi, UNDT’s Chairman and CEO.

We at AdVnt are pleased to have UDT represent our “flagship” product in such an enthusiastic manner.

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