1544 26 SEPTEMBER 2014 • VOL 345 ISSUE 6204
AROUND THE WORLD
Deadly vaccine mix-up
IDLIB, SYRIA | Human error appears to
be to blame for the deaths of 15 children,
all or most under age 2, during a measles
immunization campaign in an opposition-held area of northern Syria last week.
Up to 50 more children were sickened.
Investigations are continuing, but at this
point the cause looks like a “terrible, terrible mistake,” in which a strong muscle
relaxant was administered along with the
measles vaccine, says epidemiologist Chris
Maher of the World Health Organization
in Amman. He and others worry that the
tragic incident and rumors that the vaccine
was deliberatly spiked may derail immunization across Syria, which faces the threat
of a large measles outbreak next spring.
Prize to spot resistant germs
WASHINGTON, D.C. | The U.S. government
is offering a new incentive in the fight
against antibiotic-resistant bacteria: a
$20 million prize for a quick diagnostic
test to recognize highly resistant infections. The prize is co-sponsored by the
National Institutes of Health and the
Biomedical Advanced Research and
Development Authority, and its guidelines
will be refined after an upcoming public
meeting. It is one in a slew of U.S. actions
announced last week to signal greater
attention to the threat of antibiotic-resistant microbes. The White House also
released a national strategy setting goals
to be achieved by 2020, and the president
signed an executive order creating an advisory council of nongovernmental experts
and an interagency task force co-chaired
by the secretaries of the Health and
Human Services, Defense, and Agriculture
NIH cleared of interference
WASHINGTON, D.C. | A federal watchdog
office has dismissed allegations that in
2013 National Institutes of Health (NIH)
officials improperly interfered with
another federal office’s oversight of a
tration of CO2 in the atmosphere proposed as a “safe” upper bound
to limit global warming by NASA scientist James Hansen and others
in 2008. The march cast a wide net, drawing scientists, politicians,
indigenous groups directly afected by changing climate, and numer-
ous famous faces. Among the big names: former Vice President Al
Gore, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, scientist Jane Goodall,
actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Emma Thompson, and musician Sting.
People bore posters calling for more clean energy, an end to deforestation, and stopping the Keystone XL Pipeline project. The event came
2 days before a U.N. climate summit and coincided with more than
2800 “solidarity” events in 166 countries, according to the organizers.
People’s climate march draws 400,000
The climate marchers’ causes ranged from indigenous rights to the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“They wanted to impose a scheme of alarm, of psychological terrorism.” Venezuela President Nicolás Maduro in a speech broadcast on 17 September, about his ordered prosecution of doctors who spoke out about nine people
who recently died from an unidentified infectious disease, possibly chikungunya.