Navigation Links
Boston subway system to be used to test new sensors for biological agents
Date:8/24/2012

The idea that disease and infection might be used as weapons is truly dreadful, but there is plenty of evidence showing that biological weapons have been around since ancient times.* Bioterrorism, as it is dubbed, is nothing new, and although medicines have made the world a safer place against a myriad of old scourges both natural and manmade, it still remains all too easy today to uncork a nasty cloud of germs.

The Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) has scheduled a series of tests in the Boston subways to measure the real-world performance of new sensors recently developed to detect biological agents.

S&T's "Detect-to-Protect" (D2P) Bio Detection project is assessing several sensors (made by Flir Inc., Northrop Grumman, Menon and Associates, and Qinetiq North America) to alert authorities to the presence of biological material. These devices with "trigger" and "confirmer" sensors have been designed to identify and confirm the release of biological agents within minutes.

In 2009, and in early August this year, inert gasses were released in the Boston subway system in an initial study to determine where and how released particulates would travel through the subway network and to identify exactly where to place these new sensors. The current study will involve the release of a small amount of an innocuous killed bacterium in subway stations in the Boston area to test how well the sensors work. After the subway stations close, S&T scientists will spray small quantities of killed Bacillus subtilis in the subway tunnels. This common, food-grade bacterium is found everywhere in soil, water, air, and decomposing plant matter and, even when living, is considered nontoxic to humans, animals, and plants.

S&T's Dr. Anne Hultgren, manager of the D2P project, says, "While there is no known threat of a biological attack on subway systems in the United States, the S&T testing will help determine whether the new sensors can quickly detect biological agents in order to trigger a public safety response as quickly as possible."

DHS leads federal efforts to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a possible domestic biological attack. The testing will continue periodically for the next six months and will be monitored by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority as well as state and local public health officials.

The particles released in the stations will dissipate quickly. But before they do, their brief travels will provide invaluable data for DHS' ongoing effort to protect American travelers from potential hazards. Unlike the "Charlie on the MTA" made famous by the Kingston Trio folk group, these particles will NOT "...ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston."


'/>"/>
Contact: John Verrico
john.verrico@dhs.gov
202-254-2385
US Department of Homeland Security - Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. BUSM/VA Boston Healthcare System investigators identify new gene linked to PTSD
2. Boston Healthcare Associates Roundtable Explores Challenges and Opportunities Surrounding the Value of Big Data within the Life Sciences
3. Attendees Save Up To $800 on Boston-area Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Conferences, Early Bird Discounts Expiring April 27
4. Annual Drug Discovery Conferences Being Held in Boston MA, Spring 2012
5. Team receives $22.5 million to shed light on the immune system
6. Chief of Naval Research moderates panel at Unmanned Systems Conference
7. Molecular economics: New computer models calculate systems-wide costs of gene expression
8. $3.2 million to develop battery management system for electric-car batteries
9. Bacteria-immune system fight can lead to chronic diseases, study suggests
10. New milestone book documents changes in the south Florida marine ecosystem
11. Mice have distinct subsystem to handle smell associated with fear
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Boston subway system to be used to test new sensors for biological agents
(Date:4/4/2017)... 2017   EyeLock LLC , a leader of ... States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued U.S. ... of an iris image with a face image acquired ... company,s 45 th issued patent. ... given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have recently come ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... 2017  On April 6-7, 2017, Sequencing.com will host ... hackathon at Microsoft,s headquarters in Redmond, ... on developing health and wellness apps that provide a ... Genome is the first hackathon for personal genomics ... companies in the genomics, tech and health industries are ...
(Date:3/30/2017)... NEW YORK , March 30, 2017 ... by type (physiological and behavioral), by technology (fingerprint, AFIS, ... recognition, voice recognition, and others), by end use industry ... travel and immigration, financial and banking, and others), and ... Europe , Asia Pacific ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, Inc. ... event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on August 31st, ... was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 ... ... this year’s recipients of 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who ... be presented in a scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness Center announces the ... of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness and health regimens. ... operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two founders, Lilach Mazor ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... WALTHAM, Mass. , Oct. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... pioneering work of three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, ... whose breakthrough developments in cryo-electron microscopy ... this technology within the structural biology community. The ... Scientific. Scientists can now routinely produce highly resolved, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: