Early detection for protection
Being able to rapidly detect biological agents is among the most difficult and yet urgent
tasks facing the nation. Whether the threat is from a natural outbreak or a terrorist's
release of threat agents, medical treatment cannot effectively begin without first
identifying the bioagent. At the same time, effective understanding and response to a
biological threat requires rapid communication across the health-care system.
They have been called the foundation of the biosphere, invisible yet essential. And now researchers know
bacteria are unimaginably abundant but just don 't know
exactly who they are.
Using pathogen sequence data
As scientists delve into the vast quantity of biological data currently being produced, the problems of handling such a treasure trove of information
are daunting. New tools and techniques for managing, storing, analyzing, mining and visualizing this information are the focus of much attention in
the scientific community, especially when the data can have a bearing on public health and even emergency response.
Rapid Syndrome Validation Project
Los Alamos National Laboratory is collaborating on a new tool that will provide
public health officials with an early warning and response system for threats to public health.
'SNP'ing' away at human health issues
In the summer of 2000, scientists around the world
cheered as the effort to unravel the mystery of the human
genome reached a milestone—a completed draft of the
human genome sequence. The sequence is a set of
instructions that determines individual characteristics
ranging from the cosmetic, such as hair and eye color, to the
medically important, such as susceptibility to disease and
response to treatments.
Science fiction becomes science reality
Who dreams up James Bond's toys? 007 and his gadgets may be a creation of Ian Fleming and Hollywood but those imaginative fellows do exist. A few of them work in INEEL's National Security Division. And there is a government organization that sponsors some of their projects - the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.