Monday, May 20, 2024

Short Takes – 5-20-24

WHO updates bacterial priority pathogens list. article. Pull quote: “Also new in the high-priority pathogen group is fluoroquinolone-resistant Shigella, which is the second most common cause of diarrheal mortality in all age-groups globally. Previously listed in the medium-priority group, Shigella primarily affects children in the developing countries where it is prevalent, but the WHO notes that multidrug-resistant Shigella strains are being increasingly reported in men who have sex with men in urban areas in high-income countries, suggesting a shift in AMR trends.”

Elevated carbon dioxide lets Sars-CoV-2 live far longer in droplets. article. Pull quote: “‘To understand viral decay in respiratory aerosol, one needs to understand the complex pH dynamics occurring in the respiratory droplet,’ says Haddrell. ‘There is a significant amount of bicarbonate in respiratory fluid. When the bicarbonate leaves the aerosol in the form of CO2, it takes with it a large amount of acid. This results in a dramatic shift in pH of the droplet from neutral to more than 10. The high pH that respiratory aerosol reaches following exhalation is a major driver of viral decay. Thus, anything that reduces the pH of the aerosol will significantly prolong the time the virus will remain infectious in the air, consequently increasing overall transmission risk.’ Higher environmental carbon dioxide levels mean that the chemical equilibrium of the droplets is shifted and less bicarbonate decomposes, making the aerosols’ pH more acidic and hospitable to viruses.”

Wastewater testing finds H5N1 avian flu in 9 Texas cities. article. Pull quote: “In a May 10 response update, the CDC said more than 260 people have so far been monitored for H5N1 symptoms following exposure to infected or potentially infected animals. Of at least 33 who had flulike symptoms, no additional human cases have been reported beyond an initial case in a Texas dairy worker who had conjunctivitis.”

This Year’s La Niña Could Worsen Atlantic Hurricane Season. article. Short explainer. Pull quote: “Normally, air rises over the Amazon and Indonesia because moisture from the tropical forests makes the air more buoyant there, and it comes down in East Africa and the eastern Pacific. During La Niña, those loops intensify, generating stormier conditions where they rise and drier conditions where they descend. During El Niño, ocean heat in the eastern Pacific instead shifts those loops, so the eastern Pacific gets stormier.”

Researchers studying ‘doomsday glacier’ make worrying discovery. article. Pull quote: ““It will take many decades, not centuries” for the Thwaites Glacier to fully melt,” Rignot told USA Today. “Part of the answer also depends on whether our climate keeps getting warmer or not, which depends completely on us and how we manage the planet.””

Di-isodecyl Phthalate (DIDP) and Di-isononyl Phthalate (DINP); Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) Peer Review of Draft Documents; Notice of SACC Meeting; Availability; and Request for Comment. Federal Register EPA notice. Summary: “The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA or “Agency”) is announcing the availability of and soliciting public comment on the draft manufacturer-requested risk evaluation for Di-isodecyl Phthalate (DIDP) and the draft physical chemical, fate, and hazard assessments for Di-isononyl Phthalate (DINP) prepared under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). The draft documents will also be submitted to the Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC) for peer review. EPA is also announcing that there will be two virtual public meetings of the SACC: On July 23, 2024, for the SACC to consider the scope and clarity of the draft charge questions for the peer review; and on July 30-August 2, 2024, for the SACC to consider the draft documents and public comments for peer review.”

Fall 2024 Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency SBOM-a-Rama; Meeting. Federal Register CISA event notice. Summary: “CISA will facilitate a public event to build on existing community-led work around Software Bill of Materials (SBOM) on specific SBOM topics. The first goal of this two-day event is to help the broader software and security community understand the current state of SBOM. Secondly, this event will foster discussion between organizations interested in exploring SBOM automation solutions and those focusing on open source and proprietary tools.” Event Dates: September 11th and 12th, 2024.

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