Position Filled: Project Manager for Biosecurity, Education

The Biosecurity Program at the Federation of American Scientists is expanding.

Job Title: Project Manager for Biosecurity

Location: Washington, D.C.

Description: FAS is looking for a smart, energetic individual to help manage the Biosecurity Program and further develop existing research programs on biological and chemical weapons. Job duties include developing high-quality educational material, including expanding our already top notch dual use education modules to include plant pathogens and other agricultural topics, creating an educational training video for the FBI based on past FAS research, engaging the biosecurity community to utilize the Global Forum on Biorisks online community portal and assisting with major conferences for the Virtual Biosecurity Center (VBC). Continue reading

Update: RNAi Based Treatments for Ebola

PMI Backbone Structure (Credit: AVI BioPharma)
PMO Backbone Structure (Credit: AVI BioPharma)
Another RNAi based treatment for Ebola has been developed. Researchers at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) found that >60% of monkeys given a lethal dose of Zaire Ebola virus survived after treatment with AVI-6002, a targeted, positively charged, anti-sense phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMO) developed by AVI BioPharma . Another targeted PMO, AVI-6003, was able to protect 100% of monkeys from a lethal dose of Lake Victoria Marburg virus. Both drugs were given daily for either 10 or 14 days. Both the Zaire Ebola virus and Lake Victoria Marburg virus are filoviruses that can cause deadly hemorrhagic fevers and are potential biological weapons agents.

As explained before, viral RNAi treatments consist of small pieces of RNA, siRNA, that bind and block specific viral RNA sequences.   Continue reading