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  • Swine Flu Deja Vu?

    For a handful of scientists, the swine flu hitting the southern U.S. and Mexico bears an eerie resemblance to another outbreak more than 30 years ago. Then, a strain of swine flu hit soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey, setting off panic and efforts to vaccinate 40 million people. The feared epidemic never materialized—but hundreds who received the vaccine fell seriously ill, leaving U.S.

  • Swine Flu Behavior "Potentially Scarier Than the Outbreak of Avian Flu"

    The level of worry about a swine flu outbreak in the United States rose a notch today, as health officials linked the virus that has infected eight people here to a strain circulating in Mexico that may have spread to hundreds of people and caused dozens of deaths. “Our concern has grown since yesterday,” said Richard Besser, the acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .

  • Obama Administration Maintains Bush-Era Travel Limits on NIH

    Some federal scientists who thought the Bush Administration policy limiting travel to scientific meetings would be changed got a shock this week. Staff at the National Institutes of Health campus in Bethesda, Maryland, were informed that a cap on travel to big meetings imposed under the Bush Administration by the Department of Health and Human Services, will stay in place.

  • Obama Science Shop Gets Tech Boss

    Buried in the news of President Barack Obama's recent appointment of Aneesh Chopra as chief technology officer in the White House is the fact that Chopra will also serve as technology honcho for the Office of Science and Technology Policy. "He'll be double-hatted, just as I am," John Holdren tells ScienceInsider, referring to his dual roles as presidential science adviser and science office director.

  • Obama to Address National Academy of Sciences

    On Monday, President Barack Obama will give his first speech on science and technology since taking office 3 months ago. The venue will be the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

    "The National Academy is the country's paramount scientific organization," presidential science adviser John Holdren told ScienceInsider. "So it just makes sense for him to go there."

  • Swine Flu Infects Seven; Genetic Make-Up Has Scientists Stymied

    A swine flu strain that has infected seven people in the United States since late March is an unusual hybrid that carries genetic material from four different sources, officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this afternoon. The agency says the situation is no reason for major concern yet, since the spread of the virus appears limited, and unlike the avian H5N1 flu, it does not appear to cause a very severe disease.

  • Afghanistan Gets First National Park

    Afghanistan has outlined its first national park this week, thanks to help from the U.S. Wildlife Conservation Society. The park, called Band-e-Amir, boasts six deep blue lakes separated by dams of natural travertine rock. The lake gets its dazzling azure color from calcium carbonate deposits in the water. It lies in the country’s central Bamiyan province—an area currently free from conflict, sitting 2,900 meters above sea level in the Hindu Kush mountain range.

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