The U.S. Department of Homeland Security in Montgomery County, Pa., has reportedly installed five ‘super-sensitive air monitors,’ designed to trace biological pollutants. These monitors have built-in filters devised to test the presence of pathogens such as smallpox or anthrax. Positive results for pathogens would signal Homeland Security to stop the spread of bioterrorism pathogens. “We will get an immediate report and can put our response plan into action. The earlier we get notice, the quicker we can respond and the better off everyone will be,” said Joseph M. DiMino, health director of Montgomery County.
Researchers from Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed detailed protocols for bioconjugated quantum dots (qdots) to be used for detection of bioterrorism agents such as anthrax, plague, botulism, and viral hemorrhagic fevers. The research describes qdots as a conglomeration of nanoparticles of various sizes set inside beads made from polymers. The operation of these qdots is based on the process of ‘multiplexing,’ where the nanoparticles are fine-tuned to luminescent colors which are then used to tag multiple protein biomarkers.
A recent profile of Escape Velocity Systems in the International Food and Safety Quality Network discusses the adoption of stricter certification standards for food products bearing kosher and halal labels. “Most consumers believe that kosher and halal food products follow stricter quality standards than non-kosher products in the same category and since safety is a real priority for consumers, regulator practices from HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) to the Bioterrorism Act to lot traceability, food manufacturers are responding,” said TR Cutler, author of the profile and manufacturing journalist.
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