Citizen provision found beneficial to US Endangered Species Act

Citizen provision found beneficial to US Endangered Species Act

When three environmental groups petitioned the US National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on 10 August to list a Pacific population of great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) as  threatened or endangered they made use of a legal tool that some critics  say is a benign as a shark fin slicing through the water.  Read more

US swine flu outbreak spikes

US swine flu outbreak spikes

Today the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the number of reported cases in an ongoing outbreak of an animal flu virus H3N2v that transmits between pigs and humans has jumped to 145  in the past week.  Read more

Texas cancer institute digs out after controversy

Texas cancer institute digs out after controversy

Months after awarding a controversial grant that prompted the resignation of its chief scientist and led to increased public scrutiny of its managers and peer review process, the US$3 billion Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) is trying to get back on track.  Read more

Scaled-back option raised for US agricultural biodefence lab

Scaled-back option raised for US agricultural biodefence lab

The United States needs the capability to conduct research and surveillance for biological threats to its domestic livestock industry and study animal-borne diseases that could infect humans – but that capability need not be housed entirely in one location.  Read more

Study says US conservation agency ignored scientific advice

Study says US conservation agency ignored scientific advice

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has routinely brushed aside advice from scientific experts when setting critical habitats for endangered species, according to a study published in the July issue of BioScience.  Read more

US appeals court upholds rules curbing greenhouse gases

US appeals court upholds rules curbing greenhouse gases

A US appeals court has unanimously upheld the efforts of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to limit greenhouse-gas emissions from industry and automobiles. The 26 June ruling from a federal appeals court in Washington, DC, dismisses the complaints brought against the federal government by, among others, four states – Virginia, Texas, Nebraska, and North Dakota –  and paves the way for further regulations.  Read more

Dolphin genome yields evolutionary insights

Dolphin genome yields evolutionary insights

It seems that being a brainiac is just in a dolphin’s genes. That’s the upshot from a  paper published on 27 June in the Proceedings of the Royal Academy B, which  reveals insights from the recently sequenced genome of the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Researchers say the results should shed light on the evolution of the dolphin nervous system and reveals commonalities with  other large-brained mammals.  Read more

US healthcare research institute awards first grants

US healthcare research institute awards first grants

A US institute focused on comparative-effectiveness healthcare research has announced the winners of its first round of grants for evidence-based studies on treatment outcomes. The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) is funding 50 “pilot projects” totaling US$30 million that will set the stage for their future research agenda by identifying promising methods and data gaps.  Read more

United States launches three biodefence centres

United States launches three biodefence centres

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today awarded contracts for the creation of three new centers tasked with responding to the threat of future pandemics and biological attacks.  Based in Maryland, North Carolina and Texas, the three centres are comprised of academic and industry consortia whose role it will be to hasten the development and manufacturing of vaccines and medications in the event of an emerging biological threat.  Read more