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Bethlehem's Orasure gets government contract to develop quick Ebola test

LEIGH VALLEYLIVE  by Tony Rodin                             June 12, 2015

BETHLAHEM, PENNSYLVANIA  --OraSure Technologies Inc., a Bethlehem company that pioneered a quick test for determining HIV infection, has received a more than $10 million multiphase government contract to do the same for Ebola diagnosis, the company said Friday morning.

The company has developed a prototype device "that appears to deliver analytical performance similar to laboratory PCR tests when evaluated on stored samples from infected patients," the company said.

The three-year contract begins with a $1.8 million commitment and can add $8.6 million for clinical and regulatory activities, the company said.

The Ebola test will utilize the same OraQuick technology used in the company's rapid HIV and hepatitis C test kits, the company said.

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http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/bethlehem/index.ssf/2015/06/bethlehems_orasure_gets_govern.html

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How Computer Modelers Took On the Ebola Outbreak

submitted by Sarah Slaughter         

           

At The Epidemic’s Epicenter: A Liberian child sits in an Ebola isolation ward housing people who might have contracted the contagious disease.  Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Did real-time epidemic modeling save lives in West Africa?

spectrum.ieee.org - by David Brown - May 28, 2015

. . . “agent-based” models will give a more nuanced picture of how pathogens affect and sicken a population. “This is the wave of the future,” says Stephen Eubank, deputy director of the Virginia Tech lab. “It’s going to take a concerted effort to gather the data and the expertise. But it’s going to happen.”

And so, too, will another Ebola outbreak.

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Phone and Web Companies Race to Reconnect Quake-Hit Nepal

          

"Beach ball" mobile antenna being inflated in Chautara, Nepal, image provided by the World Food Programme, 12 May 2015.

trust.org - in.reuters.com - by Joseph D'Urso - May 12, 2015

LONDON, May 12 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Buildings wrecked by Tuesday's earthquake in Nepal, already weakened by last month's huge quake which killed over 8,000, will take years to rebuild. But another type of infrastructure will bounce back much sooner: communication networks.

Enabling aid workers and civilians to access the internet, make a phone call or send a text is now seen as a vital part of any humanitarian response. The World Food Programme (WFP) has deployed some innovative kit to make this possible in Nepal.

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DHS Successfully Transitions Search and Rescue Tool That Pinpoints Buried Victims

dhs.gov - May 7, 2015

Washington, D.C.– The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), in partnership with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory, announced today the transition of the final prototype of the Finding Individuals for Disaster and Emergency Response (FINDER) technology to the commercial market.  FINDER is a radar technology designed to detect heartbeats of victims trapped in wreckage. Two commercial partners have been licensed to manufacture the device: R4 Inc. of Eatontown, N.J. and SpecOps Group Inc. of Sarasota, Fla.

Earlier today, S&T and NASA demonstrated its newest capabilities at the Virginia Task Force One  (VA-TF1) Training Facility in Lorton, Va., finding “survivors” in a simulated disaster. This is thanks to the new locator feature, which can help pinpoint the location of the victim to within about five feet – depending on the type of rubble. This key change saves rescuers time, increasing chances for locating survivors.

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How Israeli Life-Saving Tech Is Leading Rescue Efforts In Nepal

      

Bringing new life into the world in Kathmandu

nocamels.com - by Maya Yarowsky - April 30, 2015

Five days after one of history’s most devastating earthquakes hit Nepal, countries near and far are pouring in funds and personnel to address the state of emergency. Leading the pack in terms of medical and rescue personnel on the ground is Israel, with an aid convoy of 260 personnel, including about forty doctors. . . . the Israeli team is using innovative and ingenious technology to rescue more people from the areas of destruction and to provide first-class medical care to those who need it most.

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Resources - Energy - Communication - Water - Sanitation

Here we present a list of ideas and resources that might be beneficial for use in disaster response, or for use in areas with inadequate infrastructure . . .

 

Energy

A Box Full of Light Saves Lives
http://www.haitiresiliencesystem.org/node/234

Voltaic Systems - Solar Chargers
http://resiliencesystem.org/voltaic-systems-solar-chargers

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A Force for Good: How Digital Jedis are Responding to the Nepal Earthquake (Updated)

A building and statue damaged by the April 25th quake.

Image: A building and statue damaged by the April 25th quake.

irevolution.net - April 27th 2015

Digital Humanitarians are responding in full force to the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal. Information sharing and coordination is taking place online via CrisisMappers and on multiple dedicated Skype chats. The Standby Task Force (SBTF), Humanitarian OpenStreetMap (HOT) and others from the Digital Humanitarian Network (DHN) have also deployed in response to the tragedy.

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Paper and Phones Could Soon Diagnose Ebola and HIV for $1

NEWSWEEK  by Conner Gaffey                               April 16, 2015
Diseases such as HIV and Ebola are on the verge of being diagnosed almost instantly using paper-based technology costing less than $1.

                                       Diseases may soon be tested for via paper and smartphones Getty

The devices, known as biosensing platforms, are made from cheap materials including plastic film and cellulose paper. Results are captured using a smartphone camera and sent back to hospitals or clinics for immediate diagnosis.

Current HIV diagnosis can cost up $48 (45) for a negative test and $64 (60) for a positive test. Checks for Ebola cost some $100 (95), take up to six hours to produce a result and require sophisticated diagnostic equipment, the type of which is often unavailable in western Africa where the disease is especially prevalent.

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CDC announces smartphone coaching app for Ebola workers

CGN                                                    April 17, 2015

(Scroll down for underlying press release.)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a free smartphone application that provides intuitive coaching on CDC's guidelines for proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent transmission of Ebola.

Powered by 22otters, a mobile patient engagement platform, CDC's PPE app is an animated, speech-enabled, step-by-step mobile coaching tool to help healthcare workers access easy-to-follow directions for putting on and removing PPE and respirators in accordance with CDC guidelines to prevent transmission of Ebola. Following the initial Ebola app release, 22otters will release a variant of the app allowing training progress tracking and content modules customized for providers.

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Crowdsourced Mapping Could Help Prevent the Next Big Ebola Outbreak

TAKEPART.COM by Jessica Dollin                                                                     April 14, 2015

Ebola dominated headlines this past year, but the epicenter of the outbreak wasn’t on a map until after the virus had infected and killed thousands. Without geographical resources, aid workers were tasked with the challenge of navigating remote areas to locate people in need of assistance.

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