Feature: Racing to Respond
Public health threats are unpredictable. In 2015 and 2016, the emerging threats were infectious diseases, but the next threat could be a chemical spill, radiological event or natural disaster.Without a source of comprehensive funding for all potential threats, the health of the American public cannot be adequately protected.
As it stands today, cannabis is a Schedule I narcotic, on the same US government list as heroin, ecstasy and other illicit drugs deemed to have high abuse potential. For 28 states and the District of Columbia where cannabis is legal for medical and/or recreational adult use, this is a huge problem, especially for state agencies and laboratories tasked with regulatory oversight and public health surveillance of cannabis safety.
Feature: AMP Up Your Biosafety System
Your staff can cite the BMBL verbatim, they wear PPE as directed, they follow internal protocols and procedures precisely. But does this mean that your facility controls biosafety and biosecurity risks effectively? Not necessarily. According to leading experts, labs should follow a risk management process, AMP (assessment, mitigation, performance) to improve laboratory effectiveness and worker safety. Find out how to AMP up your system.
Feature: Where In The World Has Your Food Been? And Who's Keeping It Safe?
Japanese wagyu, Mexican limes, Chilean sea bass, Spanish olive oil. US consumers enjoy a variety of food and produce from around the world on a daily basis. But what they don’t enjoy is the assortment of foodborne pathogens that may come with it. Find out how national and global partnerships are keeping our tables protected.
Feature: Next Generation Sequencing: Stories From the Field
Public health laboratories in New York, Maryland and Wisconsin have put next generation sequencing (NGS) to use in a variety of disciplines, often with life-saving results. But with technology sometimes leaping ahead of adequate funds and knowledge, is innovation enough?
Feature: Strengthening Lab Systems Under GHSA
The Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) aims to assure all participating countries implement the revisedWHO International Health Regulations so they are able to prevent, detect and respond to disease outbreaks in near real-time. APHL is using the lessons learned in-country through PEPFAR programs to support GHSA initiatives involving public health laboratories around the world.
Feature: Leveraging Laboratories to Halt Ebola
After a tally of well over 20,000 cases and more than 9,000 deaths, there are signs that Ebola incidence is leveling off in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia — the three countries hardest hit. As experts review the circumstances that enabled the virus to flourish, one thing stands out: pervasive weakness of the public health infrastructure and national health systems.
Feature: The Great Food Safety Reformation: How Long Will It Last?
Under the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011 (FSMA), FDA is investing millions to support accreditation of food- and feed-testing laboratories under ISO Standard 17025:2005 – the gold standard for food testing. The public health benefit is clear: ISO accreditation has prevented and minimized outbreaks. But how will the growing network of ISO-accredited labs be sustained long-term?
Feature: Becoming Climate Ready
For governmental laboratories, the consequences of climate change are just beginning and may well include enhanced biomonitoring if adverse environmental exposures increase as expected. Reports predict farm workers and consumers will suffer increased pesticide exposure as more chemicals are applied to combat an invasion of pests exploiting newly expanded habitats. However, like most aspects of climate change, the precise influence on laboratory operations is difficult to gauge.
Feature: ELR: Making Surveillance Better
The Alabama Bureau of Clinical Laboratories generates about 2,000 lab reports a day. Seven years ago they had to be printed on paper, folded, stuffed into an envelope and mailed. Today, roughly 85 to 90 percent of the lab’s test volume comes in through electronic orders. While this dramatic shift offers vastly increased efficiency and, in many cases, near real-time data, it has also created new frustrations.
Feature: Invisible No More: Sharing the Value of Public Health Laboratories
The need for a laboratory voice has become more urgent recently, and “human-to-human relationships” are as critical as technical knowledge. So how does a public health laboratory raise its profile within the community? By telling a good story…over and over again.