By Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention "may never know" how a fairly harmless form of bird flu was cross-contaminated with a dangerous bird flu strain before it was sent to a laboratory outside of the CDC, an agency spokesman said on Monday. The CDC disclosed the bird flu incident as part of an internal investigation into the agency's mishandling of live anthrax in June, potentially exposing dozens of its own lab workers to the pathogen. While no humans fell ill as a result of the bird flu breach, CDC Director Dr Thomas Frieden has called it “the most distressing" in a series of safety breaches at the agency because of the public risk posed by the virus.
A group of seven leading drugmakers has agreed to share an array of neglected experimental medicines with British academic researchers in the latest example of the deepening ties between industry and external scientists. British business minister Vince Cable announced the new partnership on Tuesday between the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the companies, under which the researchers will gain access to "deprioritized" pharmaceutical compounds. AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson & Johnson, Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Takeda and UCB have all signed up to the scheme, which builds on the success of an earlier two-way program between AstraZeneca and the MRC.
By Irene Klotz CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Forty-five years after the first Apollo lunar landing, the United States remains divided about the moon's role in future human space exploration. Ten more U.S. astronauts followed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's July 20, 1969, visit to the moon before the Apollo program was canceled in 1972. Instead, NASA was directed to begin planning for a human expedition to an asteroid. This path, however, is fraught with technological cul-de-sacs that do not directly contribute to radiation protection, landing systems, habitats and other projects needed to build the road to Mars, a National Research Council panel concluded in June.
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - Experts have mapped a huge magma reservoir below Mount Rainier in Washington state that begins melting deep in the Earth's mantle before pushing upwards to where it will eventually be tapped for eruption. Their findings, published this week in the journal Nature, are aimed at helping experts understand the volcano's inner workings, and eventually determine when it might again erupt. A state landmark, Mount Rainier last erupted in the 19th century. The tallest volcano and fifth-highest peak in the contiguous United States, it towers some 14,410-feet (4,392 meters) about 58 miles (93 km) southeast of Seattle, from most of which it is visible.
Nora Beirne, a senior keeper at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), contributed this article to Live Science's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights. When I went to The College of New Jersey, I was an English major, but I took several pre-med classes. Then, in my senior year, Pat Thomas — associate director of the Bronx Zoo and vice president and general curator for the Wildlife Conservation Society — gave a talk to the biology department. In six years as a zoo keeper, I've trained red pandas for injections, fed black bears jelly off a spoon and held a komodo dragon.