Stripping down bacterial armor: A new way to fight anthrax

EurelAlert  July 15, 2019 Researchers in Belgium successfully applied Nanobodies® – small antibody fragments – to control the assembly of the bacterial armor and study its structure. The Nanobodies were not only effective in preventing the armor from forming, but also proved highly efficient in breaking down existing S-layers. When applied to live bacteria, breaking down the armor slowed bacterial growth and led to drastic changes in the surface of the bacterial cell. Nanobodies were tested as a treatment in mice infected with B. anthracis. All treated mice recovered from lethal anthrax within days…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE

Biological Threat Reduction: Design and Build Effluent Treatment System at Kenya’s FMD Vaccine Facility

Global Biodefense  June 18, 2019 The Kenya Veterinary Vaccine Production Institute/National Veterinary Quality Control Lab (KEVEVAPI/NVQCL) is the national foot and mouth disease vaccine producer and a quality control laboratory in Kenya. Pathogen containment capacity at the lab is an important milestone to reduce the risk of widespread foot and mouth disease outbreaks. The Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP) is seeking eligible performers to design and install a new Effluent Treatment System…read more. Solicitation

The Pentagon is studying an insect army to defend crops. Critics fear a bioweapon.

Washington Post  October 4, 2018 The program funded by DARPA has a warm and fuzzy name: “Insect Allies.” The bugs would carry genetically engineered viruses that could be deployed rapidly if critical crops such as corn or wheat became vulnerable to a drought, a natural blight or a sudden attack by a biological weapon. The concept envisions the viruses making genetic modifications that protect the plants immediately, during a single growing season. A team of skeptical scientists and legal scholars published an article in the journal Science  arguing that the Insect Allies program opens a “Pandora’s box” and involves technology […]