oregon bill talks of banning pit bulls & euthanizing them
from katu: A new bill on pit bulls [940kb PDF] that hasn't even hit the Senate floor yet is already getting a lot of heat from folks on both sides of the issue.
mad scientists from rockefeller still mixing hiv & monkeys
from reuters: Scientists have created a strain of the human AIDS virus able to infect and multiply in monkeys in a step toward testing future vaccines in monkeys before trying them in people, according to a new study. This strain of HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, was developed by altering a single gene in the human version to allow it to infect a type of monkey called a pig-tailed macaque, the researchers said on Monday. The genetically engineered virus, once injected into this monkey, proliferates almost as much as it does in people, but the animal ultimately suppresses it and the virus does not make it sick, they said. The strain is called simian-tropic HIV-1, or stHIV-1.
italy's gypsy vaccination scheme begins
from ft: Italy’s Red Cross has launched its biggest vaccination programme since the second world war, with the goal of immunising several thousand gypsy children living in camps around Rome. The operation began at Casilino 900, a camp on the eastern outskirts of the capital that is believed to be one of the largest gypsy settlements in Europe. Some two dozen doctors were among 200 Red Cross volunteers that included clowns to provide entertainment in one of the big tents erected for the exercise.
wv guard members may have been exposed to toxin in iraq
from boston globe: The West Virginia National Guard is trying to track down 130 reservists who were probably exposed to a cancer-causing chemical in 2003 while guarding a water facility in southern Iraq. The move follows similar efforts by the Indiana and Oregon National Guards, whose soldiers were also believed to have been exposed to sodium dichromate. The soldiers were guarding civilians who were repairing the Qarmat Ali plant under the supervision of Houston-based defense contractor KBR. Hundreds of soldiers and civilians are believed to have worked near the chemical, which is used to prevent pipes from rusting but which also greatly increases the risk of cancer and other health problems. The Pentagon and KBR were aware in 2003 that the chemical was piled around the looted facility, and took blood samples from some soldiers and civilians in Iraq to try to determine their level of exposure. But six years later, little effort has been made to systematically alert all those who worked at the plant. "They knew back in 2003 that this stuff was dangerous and they told us it wasn't," said one former West Virginia reservist who asked that his name not be used because he feared it would be detrimental to his military career.
holt wants anthrax commission - modeled on 9/11 commission
from nj courier-post: A New Jersey congressman wants to set up a congressional commission to investigate the anthrax attacks of 2001. Rep. Rush Holt, D-N.J., has introduced legislation that would also probe the federal government's reaction to and investigation of the anthrax scare. The commission he proposes would be similar to the independent panel that probed the 9/11 attacks in New York and suburban Washington.
'accidental' contamination of vaccine virtually impossible
from paul joseph watson: Czech newspapers are questioning if the shocking discovery of vaccines contaminated with the deadly avian flu virus which were distributed to 18 countries by the American company Baxter were part of a conspiracy to provoke a pandemic. The claim holds weight because, according to the very laboratory protocols that are routine for vaccine makers, mixing a live virus biological weapon with vaccine material by accident is virtually impossible. “The company that released contaminated flu virus material from a plant in Austria confirmed Friday that the experimental product contained live H5N1 avian flu viruses,” reports the Canadian Press.
cnn/cfr gupta will reportedly turn down surgeon general post
from thinkprogress: Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, will reportedly not leave his television career to become Surgeon General. “Gupta, who had been the leading candidate for the post, withdrew his name even as President Obama hosted a health care summit at the White House. Gupta did not attend.” He encountered criticism for “his mugging of Michael Moore over Sicko” and for having a cozy relationship with drug companies. On the Wonk Room, Igor Volsky floats Howard Dean as a possible replacement... "Sanjay Gupta was under serious consideration for the job of surgeon general," an administration official told CNN. "He has removed himself from consideration to focus more on his medical career and his family. We know he will continue to serve and educate the public through his work with media and in the medical arena."