Tag Archives: homeland security

Ebola Response: Detecting the Disease

Ebola virus particles

How existing and emerging technologies can help stop the spread of a worldwide epidemic.

By Steve Melito, S&BP Editor

In October, Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S. after medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian hospital initially misdiagnosed his condition. Later that month, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the emergency use of the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Ebola Virus VP40 Real-Time RT-PCR assay on the 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR instrument from Applied Biosystems (ABI), Inc. This polymerase chain reaction (PCR) instrument uses real-time nucleic acid amplification and five-color fluorescence detection for in vitro diagnostic use.

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Countering Nuclear Terrorism: How DNDO Supports Detection and Forensics

radiation portal DHS border crossing

An Interview with Dr. Huban Gowadia, Director, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Dr. Huban A. Gowadia was appointed as the Director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) on 20 September 2013. Under her leadership, DNDO develops nuclear detection capabilities, measures detector system performance, ensures effective response to detection alarms, conducts transformational research and development, and coordinates the improvement of technical nuclear forensics capabilities across the U.S. Government. Prior to this role, Dr. Gowadia served at DNDO as the Acting Director from 2012 to 2013 and in several other roles since 2005. 

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Against All Threats: Protecting America’s Power Grid

United States NASA space image night lights

S&BP asks experts about the best ways to protect electrical infrastructure from physical and cyber attacks, geomagnetic disturbances, an electromagnetic pulse, and radio frequency and microwave weapons.

By Steve Melito, TDM Contributing Correspondent

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Fielding Readiness Through Training

ColBrodeur

An interview with Assistant Commandant of the U.S. Army CBRN School, Colonel Jeffrey Brodeur.

By Kevin Hunter

CST & CBRNE: Please speak to your role and functions as Assistant Commandant, U.S. Army CBRN School, Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

COL Brodeur: As Assistant Commandant, my role is to continue to implement the vision of the previous Commandant and Chief of the Chemical Regiment, Brigadier General Peggy Combs. The task is both simple and complex. She articulated a clear vision; however, there are many challenges in trying to program resources to increase our capabilities over the next seven to ten years.

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Germs, Spores, and Borders

Protecting the U.S. Homeland from Biological Threats Requires a Holistic Approach

By Steve Melito

IMG3_Mexico

Last December, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reviewed its leading health challenges of 2013. “Our biggest successes,” said CDC director Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, “may be the bad things that did not happen.” This included stopping the outbreak of a smallpox-like virus in the Eurasian Republic of Georgia, and preventing other infectious diseases from reaching the U.S. “Global health and protecting our country go hand in hand,” Dr. Frieden explained.

The CDC isn’t part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), but DHS works in concert with the nation’s health protection agency. The DHS Office of Health Affairs (OHA) also coordinates efforts with the U.S. Department of State to share information both across the U.S. federal government and with Canada and Mexico. As part of OHA, the National Biosurveillance Center (NBIC) integrates biomonitoring activities to provide a common operating picture.

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Cyber Resilience

Towards a Realistic Cybersecurity Policy

Guy_Fawkes_mask_22mai2012

Dr. Allan Friedman is a renowned cyber expert and the co-author with P.W. Singer of “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know” (Oxford University Press, 2014). A visiting scholar at the Cyber Security Policy Research Institute at George Washington University, Friedman has written on subjects ranging from telecommunications policy to electronic medical records to the recent NSA controversy. Allan Friedman was interviewed by S&BP Assistant Editor George Jagels.

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What’s Happening on the 49th Parallel

Last month, Tactical Defense Media went to Detroit to take in a conference on the U.S./Canada border. Battling storms and power outages, the organizers ended up putting on an insightful show. Here’s a quick rundown:

The conference was based around the “Beyond the Border” initiative. Signed in 2011 by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama, “The Declaration estab­lished a new long-term partnership built upon a perimeter approach to security and economic com­petitiveness. This means working together, not just at the border, but ‘beyond the border’ to enhance our security and accelerate the legitimate flow of people, goods, and services. Leaders called for the development of a joint Action Plan to realize this goal…”

One major theme discussed was “pushing the border out.” In other words, knowing what is coming into the two countries before it arrives. This entails pre-inspection in ports of departure and prioritizing containers to be searched before they arrive (thereby streamlining the loading and unloading process). The eventual goal is an “inspected once, cleared twice” outcome in which, for example, a container cleared by Canadian customs could be transported by rail into the U.S. without needing to stop at the border for a second inspection.

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