Monday, September 22, 2014

Arab Bank Found Liable for Hamas Terrorist Attacks

Arab Bank Found Liable for Hamas Terrorist Attacks

Arab Bank Plc, the biggest lender in Jordan, helped Hamas militants carry out a wave of violence in Israel that killed and wounded hundreds of Americans, a New York jury decided in the first trial of its kind in the U.S.
The Amman-based lender was found liable for doing business with more than 150 Hamas leaders and operatives in the early 2000s, helping finance about two dozen deadly suicide bombings, including attacks on crowded restaurants and buses in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, jurors decided yesterday in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.
“The verdict is an incredible message that should be understood and heard by the entire financial community -- if you do business with terrorists, you can be held liable in the United States,” Michael Elsner, one of the plaintiffs lawyers, said in a phone interview.
The case highlights the ways banks can play a role in funding terrorist groups and the extent to which they can be held responsible for monitoring their customers, even those who aren’t on government lists of terrorists. Credit Lyonnais SA and Bank of China Ltd. are facing similar cases in the U.S., alleging they served as conduits for terrorism financing.
David Miller, a former Manhattan prosecutor who worked on terrorism cases for the U.S. Justice Department and isn’t involved in the Arab Bank case, said the verdict may result in follow-up lawsuits.
Photographer: Mohammed Abed/AFP via Getty Images
A Palestinian militant from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, attends... Read More
The outcome sends “a powerful message to financial institutions of their continuing obligation to know their customers,” said Miller, now a lawyer at Bingham McCutchen LLP in New York.

300 Victims

The plaintiffs, about 300 victims of the attacks or their relatives, are seeking unspecified money damages from Arab Bank that will be decided at a separate proceeding. The trial was the first against a bank on civil claims of violating the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, making the verdict a potential industry landmark.
“There’s a huge sense of relief -- it is an amazing verdict,” said Joshua Faudem, a 39-year-old Detroit native who was injured in a suicide attack on Mike’s Place bar in Tel Aviv on April 30, 2003. “This is a huge wake-up call, not just for banks, but for all big businesses, to wash their hands of these kinds of clients.”
The verdict was handed down the same day a federal appeals court in Manhattan revived a similar suit filed by about 200 Hamas victims against National Westminster Bank, accused of maintaining accounts and transferring money for an alleged Hamas fundraiser, the Palestine Relief & Development Fund.
The court reversed a lower-court dismissal of the suit, filed in Manhattan federal court, ruling that it had used the wrong standard to determine whether NatWest, a unit of Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, knew it was supporting a terrorist organization.

Not Over

“Obviously this case is a long way from over,” U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan, who oversaw the Arab Bank case, said to lawyers after the verdict was delivered yesterday. “We have not finished our work by a long shot.”
The victims linked Arab Bank to 24 terror attacks, including a suicide attack on Holocaust survivors celebrating Passover at the Park Hotel in Netanya, Israel, in 2002, which killed about 30 people and wounded more than 100.
A jury of eight women and three men deliberated fewer than two days before reaching the decision that the bank was liable on all 24 counts linked to the separate attacks.
Arab Bank will appeal the verdict because the judge’s instructions were “erroneous” and mistakes were made in determining which evidence would be allowed, Shand Stephens, a lawyer for the bank, said after the verdict.

Will Appeal

“The plaintiffs evidence in this case is a mile wide and an inch deep,” Stephens told reporters outside the courtroom. “The Second Circuit is going to reverse this,” he said referring to the appeals court in New York.
The events at the center of the trial took place during the Second Intifada, a five-year Palestinian uprising in Israel that began in 2000 and resulted in thousands of deaths, including hundreds of civilians on both sides of the conflict. Non-U.S. victims were barred from joining the case.
Lawyers for Arab Bank told jurors during closing arguments on Sept. 18 that the lender followed international banking rules and that most of the accused customers weren’t designated as terrorists by the U.S., the United Nations or the European Union. The only customer who was a designated terrorist, Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, slipped through the bank’s systems due to a spelling error, the lender argued.

Bank Paymaster

Victims also targeted the bank’s business relationship with The Saudi Committee for the Support of Intifada Al Quds, which was formed to pay the costs of the uprising. The organization used the Arab Bank as a “paymaster” to pass on stipends of more than $5,000 to families of suicide bombers and other terrorists, according to the plaintiffs.
Shukry Bishara, the Palestinian finance minister and a former executive at Arab Bank, testified on Sept. 11 that the lender made payments in the Palestinian territories to provide humanitarian relief, not compensate families of suicide bombers.
Witnesses for the plaintiffs testified that Hamas was probably behind all the attacks at issue in the case, which included deadly 2001 bombings at a beach-front discotheque in Tel Aviv and a Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, as well as the 2003 bombing of a bus carrying families returning from prayers at Jerusalem’s Western Wall, also known as the Wailing Wall.

Others Responsible

Other militant groups in the region claimed responsibility for some of the attacks and may have been responsible, lawyers for the bank said in questioning the witnesses. Hamas was designated a terrorist group by the U.S. in 1997.
Arieh Spitzen, the former head of the Israeli military’s Department of Palestinian Affairs, told jurors in August that the bank transferred about $4 million from 2000 to 2001 to as many as two dozen Hamas leaders and operatives through its New York branch.
Spitzen said he was only able to review limited account information because the bank refused to hand over much of the data. The bank has argued it couldn’t supply more comprehensive information without violating criminal laws of Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories. A federal judge ruled jurors could be told to infer from the bank’s failure to provide the information that it did business with terrorists, giving the plaintiffs a potential edge.

Supreme Court

Arab Bank fought all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to resist sanctions over its refusal to provide the account records to victims. In June, the high court rejected the bank’s appeal.
Arab Bank Chairman Sabih Al Masri, testifying for the company, said the attacks “destroyed opportunities for peace” and denied ever hearing that the bank supported terrorism. Al Masri, who took over management of Arab Bank in 2012 after former Chairman Abdul Hamid Shoman resigned, told jurors his brother was killed by a terrorist and his own life had been threatened because a company he owns supplied food to U.S. troops in the Middle East.
The bank said a verdict for the plaintiffs would “undermine” the compliance systems used by financial institutions throughout the world and would “create vast uncertainty and risk.”
Founded in Jerusalem in 1930, Arab Bank grew to a network of 600 branches in 30 countries, according to its website. Committed to rebuilding the Palestinian economy, it “emerged as the main vehicle for the payments by the international donor community,” Bishara said in a court filing.
The bank opened a branch in New York in 1982, according to Bishara. In 2005, it agreed, without admitting wrongdoing, to pay a $24 million penalty to U.S. regulators over alleged failure to enact sufficient controls and adequately manage risks of money laundering and terrorist financing.

Inactive Branch

The branch is no longer considered active, according to the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation website. The bank said in a financial report that it converted the branch to a different form of office with limited operations.
The penalty was a “great disappointment to Arab Bank,” Bishara said in a 2005 statement. He said the bank agreed to pay the penalty “in order to put this matter behind us.”
The case is Linde v. Arab Bank Plc, 04-cv-02799, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).
To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Larson in New York at; Christie Smythe in Brooklyn at
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at; Andrew Dunn at Peter Blumberg

Breaking: Letter from DOJ has been received and can be seen at:

The letters between Clinton and Alinsky can be read here: The Hillary Letters by Washington Free Beacon

The Hillary Letters Hillary Clinton, Saul Alinsky correspondence revealed

The Hillary Letters

Hillary Clinton, Saul Alinsky correspondence revealed
Lee Balterman / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images
Lee Balterman / The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

Previously unpublished correspondence between Hillary Clinton and the late left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky reveals new details about her relationship with the controversial Chicago activist and shed light on her early ideological development.
Clinton met with Alinsky several times in 1968 while writing a Wellesley college thesis about his theory of community organizing.
Clinton’s relationship with Alinsky, and her support for his philosophy, continued for several years after she entered Yale law school in 1969, two letters obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show.
The letters obtained by the Free Beacon are part of the archives for the Industrial Areas Foundation, a training center for community organizers founded by Alinsky, which are housed at the University of Texas at Austin.
The letters also suggest that Alinsky, who died in 1972, had a deeper influence on Clinton’s early political views than previously known.
A 23-year-old Hillary Clinton was living in Berkeley, California, in the summer of 1971. She was interning at the left-wing law firm Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, known for its radical politics and a client roster that included Black Panthers and other militants.
On July 8, 1971, Clinton reached out to Alinsky, then 62, in a letter sent via airmail, paid for with stamps featuring Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and marked “Personal.”
“Dear Saul,” she began. “When is that new book [Rules for Radicals] coming out—or has it come and I somehow missed the fulfillment of Revelation?”
“I have just had my one-thousandth conversation about Reveille [for Radicals] and need some new material to throw at people,” she added, a reference to Alinsky’s 1946 book on his theories of community organizing.
Clinton devoted just one paragraph in her memoir Living History to Alinsky, writing that she rejected a job offer from him in 1969 in favor of going to law school. She wrote that she wanted to follow a more conventional path.
However, in the 1971 letter, Clinton assured Alinsky that she had “survived law school, slightly bruised, with my belief in and zest for organizing intact.”
“The more I’ve seen of places like Yale Law School and the people who haunt them, the more convinced I am that we have the serious business and joy of much work ahead—if the commitment to a free and open society is ever going to mean more than eloquence and frustration,” wrote Clinton.
According to the letter, Clinton and Alinsky had kept in touch since she entered Yale. The 62-year-old radical had reached out to give her advice on campus activism.
“If I never thanked you for the encouraging words of last spring in the midst of the Yale-Cambodia madness, I do so now,” wrote Clinton, who had moderated a campus election to join an anti-war student strike.
She added that she missed their regular conversations, and asked if Alinsky would be able to meet her the next time he was in California.
“I am living in Berkeley and working in Oakland for the summer and would love to see you,” Clinton wrote. “Let me know if there is any chance of our getting together.”
Clinton’s letter reached Alinsky’s office while he was on an extended trip to Southeast Asia, where he was helping train community organizers in the Philippines.
But a response letter from Alinsky’s secretary suggests that the radical organizer had a deep fondness for Clinton as well.
“Since I know [Alinsky’s] feelings about you I took the liberty of opening your letter because I didn’t want something urgent to wait for two weeks,” Alinsky’s long-time secretary, Georgia Harper, wrote to Clinton in a July 13, 1971 letter. “And I’m glad I did.”
Harper told Clinton that Alinksy’s book Rules for Radicals had been released. She enclosed several reviews of the book.
“Mr. Alinsky will be in San Francisco, staying at the Hilton Inn at the airport on Monday and Tuesday, July 26 and 27,” Harper added. “I know he would like to have you call him so that if there is a chance in his schedule maybe you can get together.”
It is unclear whether the meeting occurred.
A self-proclaimed radical, Alinsky advocated guerilla tactics and civil disobedience to correct what he saw as an institutionalized power gap in poor communities. His philosophy divided the world into “haves”—middle class and wealthy people —and “have nots”—the poor. He took an ends-justify-the-means approach to power and wealth redistribution, and developed the theoretical basis of “community organizing.”
The Prince was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power,” wrote Alinsky in his 1971 book. “Rules for Radicals is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”
Clinton’s connection to Alinsky has been the subject of speculation for decades. It became controversial when Wellsley College, by request of the Clinton White House, sealed her 1968 thesis from the public for years. Conservative lawyer Barbara Olson said Clinton had asked for the thesis to be sealed because it showed “the extent to which she internalized and assimilated the beliefs and methods of Saul Alinsky.” Clinton opponent turned Clinton defender David Brock referred to her as “Alinsky’s daughter” in 1996′s The Seduction of Hillary Rodham.
The paper was opened to the public in 2001. While the thesis is largely sympathetic to Alinsky, it is also critical of some of his tactics.
Clinton described the organizer as “a man of exceptional charm,” but also objected to some of the conflicts he provoked as “unrealistic,” noting that his model could be difficult for others to replicate.
“Many of the Alinsky-inspired poverty warriors could not (discounting political reasons) move beyond the cathartic first step of organizing groups ‘to oppose, complain, demonstrate, and boycott’ to developing and running a program,” she wrote.
The letters obtained by the Free Beacon suggest that Clinton experimented more with radical politics during her law school years than she has publicly acknowledged.
In Living History, she describes her views during that time as far more pragmatic than leftwing.
She “agreed with some of Alinsky’s ideas,” Clinton wrote in her first memoir, but the two had a “fundamental disagreement” over his anti-establishment tactics.
She described how this disagreement led to her parting ways with Alinsky in the summer before law school in 1969.
“He offered me the chance to work with him when I graduated from college, and he was disappointed that I decided instead to go to law school,” she wrote.
“Alinsky said I would be wasting my time, but my decision was an expression of my belief that the system could be changed from within.”
A request for comment from the Clinton team was not returned.

The letters between Clinton and Alinsky can be read here:

The Hillary Letters by Washington Free Beacon

Ebola Guidance for Airlines Interim Guidance about Ebola Infection for Airline Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel

Ebola Guidance for Airlines

Interim Guidance about Ebola Infection for Airline Crews, Cleaning Personnel, and Cargo Personnel

Updated September 19, 2014
Purpose: To give information to airlines on stopping ill travelers from boarding, managing and reporting onboard sick travelers, protecting crew and passengers from infection, and cleaning the plane and disinfecting contaminated areas.

Key Points

  • A U.S. Department of Transportation rule permits airlines to deny boarding to air travelers with serious contagious diseases that could spread during flight, including travelers with possible Ebola symptoms. This rule applies to all flights of U.S. airlines, and to direct flights (no change of planes) to or from the United States by foreign airlines.
  • Cabin crew should follow routine infection control precautions for onboard sick travelers. If in-flight cleaning is needed, cabin crew should follow routine airline procedures using personal protective equipment available in the Universal Precautions Kit. If a traveler is confirmed to have had infectious Ebola on a flight, CDC will conduct an investigation to assess risk and inform passengers and crew of possible exposure.
  • Hand hygiene and other routine infection control measures should be followed.
  • Treat all body fluids as though they are infectious.
Updates: Guidance for airline cleaning personnel  Updated September 5, 2014

Stopping ill travelers from boarding aircraft

A U.S. Department of Transportation rule permits airlines to deny boarding to air travelers with serious contagious diseases that could spread during flight, including travelers with possible Ebola symptoms. This rule applies to all flights of U.S. airlines, and to direct flights (no change of planes) to or from the United States by foreign airlines. (See Department of Transportation Title14 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 382.)

General infection control precautions

Personnel should always follow basic infection control precautions to protect against any type of infectious disease.

Managing ill people on aircraft if Ebola is suspected

It is important to assess the risk of Ebola by getting more information. Ask sick travelers whether they were in a country with an Ebola outbreak. Look for or ask about Ebola symptoms: fever (gives a history of feeling feverish or having chills), severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea (several trips to the lavatory), stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.
The risk of spreading Ebola to passengers or crew on an aircraft is low because Ebola spreads by direct contact with infected body fluids. Ebola does NOT spread through the air like flu.
Even if the person has been in a country with Ebola, cabin crew won’t know for certain what type of illness a sick traveler has. Therefore, cabin crew should follow routine infection control precautions for all travelers who become sick during flight, including managing travelers with respiratory illness to reduce the number of droplets released into the air. If in-flight cleaning is needed, cabin crew should follow routine airline procedures using personal protective equipment available in the Universal Precautions Kit.
See CDC’s Infection Control Guidelines for Cabin Crew Members on Commercial Aircraft for more information on practical measures cabin crew members can take to protect themselves, passengers, and others.

Follow these routine precautions

  • Keep the sick person separated from others as much as possible.
  • Wear waterproof disposable gloves before directly touching the sick person, blood, or other body fluids.
  • When providing direct care to a sick traveler who came from a country with an Ebola outbreak, also wear surgical mask (to protect from splashes or sprays), face shield or goggles, and protective apron or gown (see below: Universal Precaution Kit).
  • Do NOT give a surgical mask for someone who is nauseated or vomiting. Wearing a mask could harm a traveler who is vomiting. Give an air sickness bag if traveler is vomiting or reports feeling nauseated.
    • Give a plastic bag for disposing used tissues or soiled air sickness bag.
  • Give a surgical mask if a sick traveler is coughing or sneezing, if the sick person can tolerate wearing one. If a mask cannot be tolerated, provide tissues and ask the person to cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
Notify cleaning crew: Cabin crew should notify the airline's ground and cleaning crews about any ill traveler on board an aircraft so that preparations can be made to clean the aircraft after passengers have disembarked.
Universal Precaution Kits: Airplanes traveling to countries affected with Ebola should carry Universal Precaution Kits, as recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), for managing ill travelers.

Reporting ill travelers

The pilot of an international flight bound for the United States is required by law to report any onboard deaths or ill travelers who have certain symptoms to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) before arrival. This is consistent with mandatory reporting standards of ICAO (ICAO document 4444 and Annex 9, Ch. 8, of the Chicago Convention).
CDC staff can be consulted to assist in evaluating an ill traveler, provide recommendations, and answer questions about reporting requirements. Reporting to CDC does not replace usual company procedures for in-flight medical consultation or getting medical assistance.
When necessary, CDC routinely conducts contact investigations to alert passengers and crew of their exposure to ill travelers with certain diseases who were possibly contagious on their flight.

What to do if you think you have been exposed

If a traveler is confirmed to have had infectious Ebola on a flight, CDC will conduct an investigation to assess risk and inform passengers and crew of possible exposure. Any airline crew, cleaning, or cargo personnel who think they were exposed to Ebola either through travel, assisting an ill traveler, handling a contaminated object, or cleaning a contaminated aircraft should take the following precautions:
  • Notify your employer immediately.
  • Monitor your health for 21 days. Watch for symptoms of Ebola: fever (temperature of 101.5°F/38.6°C or higher), severe headaches, muscle pain, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, unexplained bleeding or bruising.

When to see a health care provider

  • If you develop symptoms after possible exposure to Ebola, get medical attention right away.
    • Before visiting a health care provider, alert the clinic or emergency room in advance about your possible exposure to Ebola so that arrangements can be made to prevent transmission to health care staff or other patients.
    • When traveling to get medical care, limit your contact with other people. This includes avoiding public transportation. Avoid all other travel until you have been medically evaluated.
  • If you are not in the United States, contact your employer for help with locating a health care provider. The U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where you are located can also provide names and addresses of local physicians.

Guidance for airline cleaning personnel

Ebola spreads through direct contact by touching the blood or other body fluids (like feces, saliva, urine, vomit, and semen) of a person who is sick with Ebola. Infected blood or other body fluids can spread Ebola through breaks in your skin or if they get into your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Treat any body fluid as though it is infectious. Hand hygiene is the most important infection control measure.
When cleaning aircraft and any contaminated areas after a flight with a sick traveler who may have Ebola, CDC recommends that personnel:
Use disposable protective equipment while cleaning the passenger cabin and lavatories. If working with reusable equipment, properly clean and disinfect it after use.
  • Waterproof gloves
    • Change gloves if they become dirty or damaged during cleaning.
    • Consider double-gloving if cleaning large amounts of blood or other body fluids.
    • Throw away used gloves according to your company's recommended infection control precautions.
    • Clean hands with soap and water immediately after gloves are removed or when changing gloves. (When soap is not available, use waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.) Use only soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Surgical mask
  • Eye protection: goggles or face shield
  • Long-sleeved, waterproof gown
  • Closed-toe shoes and shoe covers. If increased risk of splashing or area appears highly contaminated with body fluids, wear rubber boots or shoe covers. Wear gloves to carefully remove shoe covers to avoid contamination of hands.

Safe removal and hygiene

  • Carefully remove protective equipment to avoid contaminating yourself or your clothes.
  • After removing protective equipment, clean your hands. Use only soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.

Clean affected areas

Use an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered cleaner/disinfectant that has been tested and approved for use by the airplane manufacturers.
  • Lavatory surfaces: door handle, lock, faucet, sink, walls, counter, and toilet seat.
  • Sick traveler’s seat and the seats around it, seat backs, armrests, tray tables, video monitor, light and air controls, and adjacent walls and windows
    • If a seat cover or carpet is obviously dirty from blood or body fluids, it should be removed and discarded by the methods used for biohazardous material.
  • If surfaces are contaminated with large amounts of body fluids (such as blood, vomit, feces), clean off the material before applying disinfectant.

Special considerations

  • Special cleaning of upholstery, carpets, or storage compartments is not indicated unless they are obviously dirty from blood or other body fluids.
  • Special vacuuming equipment or procedures are not necessary.
  • Do NOT use compressed air, pressurized water or similar procedures, which might create droplets of infectious materials.

Guidance for air cargo personnel

Packages or luggage should not pose a risk. Ebola virus is spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids (like feces, saliva, urine, vomit, and semen) from an infected person.
  • Don’t handle packages visibly dirty from blood or body fluids.
  • Wash your hands often to prevent other infectious diseases.

Additional information

From CDC

From other sources

Scientists Successfully Implant Chip That Controls The Brain; Allowing Thoughts, Memory And Behavior To Be Transferred From One Brain To Another

 Scientists Successfully Implant Chip That Controls The Brain

Scientists working at the University of Southern California, home of the Department of Homeland Security’s National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events, have created an artificial memory system that allows thoughts, memories and learned behavior to be transferred from one brain to another.

In a scene right out of a George Orwell novel, a team of scientists working in the fields of “neural engineering” and “Biomimetic MicroElectronic Systems” have successfully created a chip that controls the brain and can be used as a storage device for long-term memories. In studies the scientists have been able to record, download and transfer memories into other hosts with the same chip implanted. The advancement in technology brings the world one step closer to a global police state and the reality of absolute mind control.
More terrifying is the potential for implementation of what was only a science fiction fantasy – the “Thought Police” – where the government reads people’s memories and thoughts and can then rehabilitate them through torture before they ever even commit a crime based on a statistical computer analysis showing people with certain types of thoughts are likely to commit a certain type of crime in the future.
We already pre-emptively invade nations and torture alleged terrorist suspects with absolutely no due process of law, so the idea of pre-emptively torturing a terrorist suspect beforehand to prevent them from committing an act of terrorism in the future really isn’t that far fetched of an idea.Perhaps a less sensational example than those I just depicted from Orwell’s famous dystopian novels would be using the technology as it is depicted the modern dayMatrix movies, in which computer programs are uploaded into people’s brains allowing them to instantly learn how to perform a wide variety of tasks.That is exactly the example that Smart Planet uses in their write-up on the USC press release.

The Matrix reality: Scientists successfully implant artificial memory system

It seems the sci-fi industry has done it again. Predictions made in novels like Johnny Mnemonic and Neuromancer back in the 1980s of neural implants linking our brains to machines have become a reality.
Back then it seemed unthinkable that we’d ever have megabytes stashed in our brain as Keanu Reeves’ character Johnny Mnemonic did in the movie based on William Gibson’s novel. Or that The Matrix character Neo could have martial arts abilities uploaded to his brain, making famous the line, “I know Kung Fu.”   (Why Keanu Reeves became the poster boy of sci-fi movies, I’ll never know.)  But today we have macaque monkeys that can control a robotic arm with thoughts alone. We have paraplegics given the ability to control computer cursors and wheelchairs with their brain waves. Of course this is about the brain controlling a device. But what about the other direction where we might have a device amplifying the brain? While the cochlear implant might be the best known device of this sort, scientists have been working on brain implants with the goal to enhance memory. This sort of breakthrough could lead to building a neural prosthesis to help stroke victims or those with Alzheimer’s. Or at the extreme, think uploading Kung Fu talent into our brains.
Decade-long work led by Theodore Berger at University of Southern California, in collaboration with teams from Wake Forest University, has provided a big step in the direction of artificial working memory. Their study is finally published today in theJournal of Neural Engineering. A microchip implanted into a rat’s brain can take on the role of the hippocampus—the area responsible for long-term memories—encoding memory brain wave patterns and then sending that same electrical pattern of signals through the brain. Back in 2008, Berger told Scientific American, that if the brain patterns for the sentence, “See Spot Run,” or even an entire book could be deciphered, then we might make uploading instructions to the brain a reality. “The kinds of examples [the U.S. Department of Defense] likes to typically use are coded information for flying an F-15,” Berger is quoted in the article as saying.
In this current study the scientists had rats learn a task, pressing one of two levers to receive a sip of water. Scientists inserted a microchip into the rat’s brain, with wires threaded into their hippocampus. Here the chip recorded electrical patterns from two specific areas labeled CA1 and CA3 that work together to learn and store the new information of which lever to press to get water. Scientists then shut down CA1 with a drug. And built an artificial hippocampal part that could duplicate such electrical patterns between CA1 and CA3, and inserted it into the rat’s brain. With this artificial part, rats whose CA1 had been pharmacologically blocked, could still encode long-term memories. And in those rats who had normally functioning CA1, the new implant extended the length of time a memory could be held.
Source: Smart Planet
The Smart Planet article goes on to point out that the next phase in testing will be done on and is tested on humans.From the USC press release:

USC: Restoring Memory, Repairing Damaged Brains

Biomedical engineers analyze—and duplicate—the neural mechanism of learning in rats

LOS ANGELES, June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/

Canada Revoking passports to Citizens Joining ISIS, Should the U.S.???

Canada Revoking passports to Citizens Joining ISIS, Should the U.S.???

canada 300x168 Canada Revoking passports to Citizens Joining ISIS, Should the U.S.???
The Canadian Government has decided to revoke the passports of any citizen who leaves the country to work with ISIS and fight in the Middle East. It remains unclear how exactly the government determines who is working with ISIS and at what point a passport would be revoked.

Canadian government begins invalidating passports of citizens who have left to join extremist groups

Canadian government begins invalidating passports of citizens who have left to join extremist groups

More from Stewart Bell | @StewartBellNP
ISIS has released a video showing a masked gunman standing before captured Syrian troops digging their own graves. After speaking 
in what sounded like North American — possibly Canadian —English, he appeared to help execute the kneeling prisoners with a handgun.
SITEISIS has released a video showing a masked gunman standing before captured Syrian troops digging their own graves. After speaking in what sounded like North American — possibly Canadian —English, he appeared to help execute the kneeling prisoners with a handgun.
The government has begun invalidating the passports of Canadians who have left to join extremist groups in Syria and Iraq, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander revealed in an interview on Friday.
The minister told the National Post his department had also revoked the passports of several Canadians who had not yet left the country but who had intended to travel to the volatile region to enlist as foreign fighters.
He would not disclose the number of passports Citizenship and Immigration Canada had revoked over the conflict but said there were “multiple cases.” The government says about 30 Canadians are with extremist groups in Syria and 130 are active elsewhere.
“Yes, I think it’s safe to say that there are cases of revocation of passports involving people who’ve gone to Syria and Iraq already,” Mr. Alexander said. “I just don’t want to get into the numbers, but multiple cases.”
The action means Canadian fighters in Syria and Iraq may effectively be stranded there. Their passports are no longer valid and therefore cannot be used to return to Canada. Nor could they be used to travel elsewhere.
This week the Post revealed the identity of another Canadian with the Islamic State in Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). Mohammed Ali, a 23-year-old from Mississauga, Ont., left Canada in April and later wrote online about playing soccer with severed heads.
Other Canadians allegedly with ISIS and similar extremist groups in the region include Hasibullah Yusifzai of Burnaby, B.C., and Calgary’s Farah Shirdon, who this week threatened attacks on the United States, before Twitter suspended his account.
Abu Turaab/Twitter
Abu Turaab/TwitterMohammed Ali, 23, left Canada in April to fight with ISIS.
Mr. Alexander said while they were few in number, he was troubled that Canadians had joined ISIS, which has been committing widespread atrocities in an attempt to impose its militant version of Islamic law on Syrians and Iraqis.
“We are not by any means the leading contributor of foreign fighters to Syria, even though the dozens that are there and the 130 that are abroad [with other extremist groups] is a disturbing number for all Canadians. But we want to ensure that Canada’s good name is not besmirched by these people any more than it already has been and that Canadians are protected.”
Measures to staunch the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria are among the strategies Canada and its allies have adopted to degrade ISIS. On Friday, Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told the United Nations Security Council, which met to discuss the situation in Iraq, that ISIS was a “terrorist army” that had blended “medieval ideology” with modern weapons. “We must also reject their nihilistic worldview wherever we find it,” he said.
Hours before he spoke, ISIS released an hour-long propaganda video intended to discourage an international military campaign against the group. It included footage of André Poulin, a troubled Muslim convert from Timmins, Ont., who died in Syria in August 2013.
It also showed a masked gunman standing before captured Syrian troops digging their own graves. After speaking in what sounded like North American — possibly Canadian — English, he appeared to help execute the kneeling prisoners with a handgun.
The participation of Canadians in ISIS has become a key focus of the government in recent months, and while the RCMP and Canadian Security Intelligence Service have the lead roles, Mr. Alexander’s department, which includes Passport Canada, has also been actively involved.
The minister said the department was making use of existing regulations that allow officials to revoke or deny a passport when there is evidence a Canadian intends to use it to travel abroad to commit crimes, in this case terrorism.
“When law enforcement and security agencies provide us with that evidence, as they have done, we are able to act,” he said. So far that has taken place “in multiple cases” against those attempting to join extremists in Syria, he said.
“I can’t really get into how many, [or] how many are under consideration right now. These are operational matters and security matters and we don’t comment on them in detail, but this is a power that exists and that is being used.”
Facebook John "Yahya" Maguire, a Muslim convert and former University of Ottawa student, is one of a number of Canadians believed to have left the country to fight with ISIS in Syria.
The new citizenship law enacted in June also gave the government the authority to revoke Canadian citizenship from dual nationals convicted of terrorism. The power has not yet been put to use but the minister said it sends a message that those who join groups like ISIS will pay a heavy price: “You will cease being a Canadian because behaviour of this kind is incompatible with the duties and responsibilities of citizenship.”
This week, Australian police broke up what they said was a plot directed by an Australian ISIS commander to behead a random citizen on video and drape the terrorist group’s black flag over the body. The arrests highlighted concerns that foreign fighters could spread fanatical violence to their home countries, but Canada has fewer extremists in groups like ISIS than Australia and the United Kingdom.
Mr. Alexander said Canada’s success at integrating newcomers was partly responsible. “That tends to create a very high level of allegiance and loyalty to Canada among the vast majority of immigrants, and we should be proud of that,” he said.
“But the pull of this poisonous ideology from the Gulf, from some of the centres of preaching, Pakistan and elsewhere, where it’s really anchored, is strong. And it’s transmitted by the internet. So despite our success on immigration and settlement, we can’t ignore this challenge.”
National Post

Ebola worst-case scenario: Over half a million people infected

Ebola worst-case scenario: Over half a million people infected

Published time: September 19, 2014 21:54
Edited time: September 21, 2014 07:03
Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment centre in Kailahun July 20, 2014. (Reuters/Tommy Trenchard)
Medical staff working with Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) prepare to bring food to patients kept in an isolation area at the MSF Ebola treatment centre in Kailahun July 20, 2014. (Reuters/Tommy Trenchard)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is preparing a worst-case-scenario report on the West African Ebola outbreak. The disease could spread to over half a million people if no additional action is taken to contain it, early estimates predict.
As of Sunday, there were 5335 probable, confirmed and suspected cases of Ebola across Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal. Of those, 2622 people have died, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced Thursday.
The CDC’s report, which is scheduled to be released next week, will estimate how many people the disease will infect by the end of January, assuming no additional aid or intervention by governments and relief agencies occurs.
“CDC is working on a dynamic modeling tool that allows for recalculations of projected Ebola cases over time,” Barbara Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the agency, said in an e-mail to Bloomberg. “CDC expects to release this interactive tool and a description of its use soon.”
The current projection of 550,000 cases is currently being reviewed by researchers, and may change, two people familiar with its contents, who asked to remain anonymous because it isn’t yet public, told Bloomberg.

Combined epidemiological histogram (World Health Organization)
Combined epidemiological histogram (World Health Organization)
While the CDC’s estimate vastly outstrips previous projections, it is perhaps overly pessimistic because countries around the world are scrambling to take action to contain the highly contagious disease.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan has said she will continue to push governments to contribute to the effort. Chan is under attack for her decision to delay designating the Ebola outbreak as a global emergency until thousands were infected in three countries. This week the WHO was eclipsed as the leader of the humanitarian efforts to control the epidemic, Bloomberg reported.
The WHO says it increased its internal risk assessment on Ebola to the highest of four grades, or requiring a “substantial international response,” on July 26, two weeks before declaring a global health emergency. Chan had previously met with the leader of Guinea ‒ where the outbreak began ‒ as well as leaders of Liberia and Sierra Leone. She also mobilized WHO experts and set up a sub-regional hub to coordinate the organization’s response in Conakry, the capital of Guinea.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (Reuters/Pierre Albouy)
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan (Reuters/Pierre Albouy)
New treatments and potential vaccines are being tested in a trial-by-fire in West Africa, with the WHO’s blessing. The experimental drugs have often not gone through testing on animals, and were not previously approved for human trials.
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced the US will send 3,000 troops to West Africa in an attempt to get the situation under control. The United Kingdom previously said it will send military and humanitarian experts to Sierra Leone to set up medical treatment centers in areas affected by the Ebola outbreak. France, meanwhile, is sending 20 specialists in biological disasters to the region.

U.S. President Barack Obama. (Reuters/Larry Downing)
U.S. President Barack Obama. (Reuters/Larry Downing)
Even with all these actions, experts have no idea how devastation the crisis will end up being. Last month, the WHO predicted the outbreak could reach 20,000 cases before it is brought under control. That projection is already outdated, WHO spokesman Dan Epstein told Bloomberg.
“In the three weeks since then the numbers have doubled, so all three countries are still reporting cases on a steep upward curve,” Epstein said in a phone interview on Friday. “We don’t have a good idea of how big this epidemic will become.”
If the response is not increased, there may be as many as 5,000 new cases a week, he said.

(Northeastern University/MOBS Lab)
(Northeastern University/MOBS Lab)
And the larger the epidemic becomes, the higher the risk of it reaching the United States.
"If the epidemic continues at this growth rate and produces more and more cases, obviously the probably increases with time," Alessandro Vespignani told the Washington Post. Vespignani is a Northeastern University professor who is modeling the likelihood of Ebola spreading to the United States. "That means that in October, it would be 20 percent or more, and then it will grow. The probability is increasing."

CDC to airlines about Ebola: Treat all body fluids as though they are infectious

CDC to airlines about Ebola: Treat all body fluids as though they are infectious

Published time: September 22, 2014 22:14
A crowd gathers near a checkpoint, which controls the movement of people in and out of Ebola-hit regions, at the entrance to Bomi county in northwestern Liberia (Reuters / Sabrina Karim)
A crowd gathers near a checkpoint, which controls the movement of people in and out of Ebola-hit regions, at the entrance to Bomi county in northwestern Liberia (Reuters / Sabrina Karim)
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has increased its warnings on Ebola to airlines, detailing how to handle passengers who get sick on board the aircraft. The guidance includes cleaning and reporting procedures.
In the new guidance, the CDC warns flight crew, “Treat all body fluids as though they are infectious,” on top of routine infection control measures, the agency wrote.
Airlines are permitted “to deny boarding to air travelers with serious contagious diseases that could spread during flight, including travelers with possible Ebola symptoms.” If a passenger gets sick on board, cabin crew should follow routine infection control precautions. If it is confirmed that the traveler has “infectious Ebola” on the flight, “CDC will conduct an investigation to assess risk and inform passengers and crew of possible exposure.”
The CDC is attempting to get ahead of the deadly disease, which causes hemorrhagic fever in its victims, before it can arrive in the United States via an infected airline passenger.
The fear of the outbreak spreading beyond the current West African locations (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria and Senegal) ‒ or even the continent ‒ intensified in July, when a Liberian man, sick with Ebola, was able to board an international flight to Nigeria. None of the passengers on that aircraft appeared to have contracted the disease in the weeks after the incident.
The guidance tells flight crews to assess the risk of Ebola by getting more information. “Ask sick travelers whether they were in a country with an Ebola outbreak. Look for or ask about Ebola symptoms: fever (gives a history of feeling feverish or having chills), severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea (several trips to the lavatory), stomach pain, or unexplained bleeding or bruising.”
Ebola spreads by direct contact with infected bodily fluids, so the CDC noted that the risk to passengers and crew aboard an aircraft is low. “Ebola does NOT spread through the air like flu,” the agency stressed.
Even still, the guidance calls for the sick passenger to be separated from others as much as possible. When dealing with the passenger, flight attendants and other crew members should wear surgical masks, face shields or goggles and protective aprons or gowns. It also says that sick passengers should be given surgical masks if they are coughing or sneezing, as long as they can tolerate wearing one. If they cannot, flight crews should “provide tissues and ask the person to cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.”
Dr. Jorge Rodriquez, a board certified internal medicine professional, told The Blaze’s Mike Opelka during a Saturday radio interview that more precautions are needed to combat Ebola transmission on commuter flights. He believes every traveler entering the country should be tested.
Airline captains are legally required to report any individuals suspected of carrying the Ebola virus to the CDC before landing in the United States.
“People who have been exposed to Ebola virus disease should not travel on commercial airplanes until there is a period of monitoring for symptoms of illness lasting 21 days after exposure. Sick travelers should delay travel until cleared to travel by a doctor or public health authority,” the agency said in previous guidelines to airlines about the infectious disease.
The CDC will be issuing a worst-case-scenario report on the West African Ebola outbreak this week. Early estimates predict the disease could spread to over half a million people by January if no additional action is taken to contain it.

PATHOGEN SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCESINFECTIOUS DOSE: Viral hemorrhagic fevers have an infectious dose of 1 - 10 organisms by aerosol in non-human primates Footnote 41.


For more information about Ebola, visit Ebola Virus Disease



NAME: Ebolavirus
SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: African haemorrhagic fever, Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF, Ebola HF), filovirus, EBO virus (EBOV), Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV), Sudan ebolavirus (SEBOV, SUDV), Ivory Coast ebolavirus (ICEBOV), Tai Forest ebolavirus (TAFV), Ebola-Reston (REBOV, EBO-R, Reston Virus, RESTV), Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BEBOV, BDBV), and Ebola virus disease (EVD) Footnote 1 Footnote 2 Footnote 3 Footnote 4.
CHARACTERISTICS: Ebola was discovered in 1976 and is a member of the Filoviridae family (previously part of Rhabdoviridae family, which were later given a family of their own based on their genetic structure). Five Ebola species have been identified: Zaire ebolavirus (ZEBOV), which was first identified in 1976 and is the most virulent; Sudan ebolavirus, (SEBOV); Tai Forest ebolavirus (formerly Ivory Coast ebolavirus); Ebola-Reston (REBOV), originating from the Philippines; and Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BEBOV), the most recent species discovered (2008) Footnote 1 Footnote 3 Footnote 5 Footnote 6 Footnote 7.

Ebola is an elongated filamentous virus, which can vary between 800 - 1000 nm in length, and can reach up to 14000 nm long (due to concatamerization) with a uniform diameter of 80 nm Footnote 2 Footnote 5 Footnote 8 Footnote 9. It contains a helical nucleocapsid (with a central axis), 20 - 30 nm in diameter, and is enveloped by a helical capsid, 40 - 50 nm in diameter, with 5 nm cross-striations Footnote 2 Footnote 5 Footnote 8 Footnote 9 Footnote 10. The pleomorphic viral fragment may take on several distinct shapes (e.g., in the shape of a "6", a "U", or a circle), and are contained within a lipid membrane Footnote 2 Footnote 5. Each virion contains a single-strand of non-segmented, negative-sense viral genomic RNA Footnote 5 Footnote 11.


PATHOGENICITY/TOXICITY: Ebola virions enter host cells through endocytosis and replication occurs in the cytoplasm. Upon infection, the virus affects the host blood coagulative and immune defence system and leads to severe immunosuppression Footnote 10 Footnote 12. Early signs of infection are non-specific and flu-like, and may include sudden onset of fever, asthenia, diarrhea, headache, myalgia, arthralgia, vomiting, and abdominal pains Footnote 13. Less common early symptoms include conjunctival injection, sore throat, rashes, and bleeding. Shock, cerebral oedema, coagulation disorders, and secondary bacterial infection may co-occur later in infection Footnote 8. Haemorrhagic symptoms may begin 4 - 5 days after onset, including hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, pharyngitis, bleeding gums, oral/lip ulceration, hematemesis, melena, hematuria, epistaxis, and vaginal bleeding Footnote 14. Hepatocellular damage, marrow suppression (such as thrombocytopenia and leucopenia), serum transaminase elevation, and proteinuria may also occur. Persons that are terminally ill typically present with obtundation, anuria, shock, tachypnea, normothermia to hypothermia, arthralgia, and ocular diseases Footnote 15. Haemorrhagic diathesis is often accompanied by hepatic damage and renal failure, central nervous system involvement, and terminal shock with multi-organ failure Footnote 1 Footnote 2. Contact with the virus may also result in symptoms such as severe acute viral illness, malaise, and maculopapular rash. Pregnant women will usually abort their foetuses and experience copious bleeding Footnote 2 Footnote 16. Fatality rates range between 50 - 100%, with most dying of hypovolemic shock and multisystem organ failure Footnote 17.
Pathogenicity between species of Ebola does not differ greatly in that they have all been associated with hemorrhagic fever outbreaks in humans (excluding Reston) and non-human primates. The Ebola-Zaire and Sudan strains are especially known for their virulence with up to 90% fatality rate Footnote 18, with reduced virulence noted in the Tai Forest ebolavirus and the more recently discovered Bundibugyo strain, which caused a single outbreak in Uganda Footnote 6 Footnote 7. Bundibugyo was the outbreak virus in Isiro, Democratic Republic of Congo, in 2012. Ebola-Reston was isolated from cynomolgus monkeys from the Philippines in 1989 and is less pathogenic in non-human primates. Ebola-Reston virus appears to be non-pathogenic in humans, with reported health effects limited to serological evidence of exposure as identified in 4 animal handlers working with infected non-human primates Footnote 19.
EPIDEMIOLOGY: Occurs mainly in areas surrounding rain forests in equatorial Africa Footnote 10 with the exception of Reston, which has been documented to originate in the Philippines Footnote 7. No predispositions to infection have been identified among infected persons.
The largest recorded ebolavirus outbreak to date began in March 2014, with initial cases reported in Guinea and then additional cases identified in the surrounding regions (Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria). A new strain of the ZEBOV species was identified as the causative agent of the outbreak Footnote 16 Footnote 21 Footnote 22.
HOST RANGE: Humans, various monkey species, chimpanzees, gorillas, baboons, and duikers are natural animal hosts for ebolavirus Footnote 1 Footnote 2 Footnote 5 Footnote 22 Footnote 23 Footnote 24 Footnote 25 Footnote 26 Footnote 27 Footnote 28 Footnote 29 Footnote 30 Footnote 31. Serological evidence of immunity markers to ebolavirus in serum collected from domesticated dogs suggests asymptomatic infection is plausible, likely following exposure to infected humans or animal carrion Footnote 32 Footnote 33. The Ebolavirus genome was discovered in two species of rodents and one species of shrew living in forest border areas, raising the possibility that these animals may be intermediary hosts Footnote 34. Experimental studies of the virus have been done using mouse, pig, guinea pig, and hamster models, suggesting wild-type ebolavirus has limited pathogenicity in these models Footnote 35 Footnote 36.
Bats are considered to be a plausible reservoir for the virus. Serological evidence of infection with ebolavirus (antibody detection to EBOV, ZEBOV, and/or REBOV) has been reported in fruit bats collected from woodland and forested areas near Ghana and Gabon, with reduced frequency of isolation from bats collected in mainland China and Bangladesh Footnote 37 Footnote 38 Footnote 39 Footnote 40.
INFECTIOUS DOSE: Viral hemorrhagic fevers have an infectious dose of 1 - 10 organisms by aerosol in non-human primates Footnote 41.
MODE OF TRANSMISSION: In an outbreak, it is hypothesized that the first patient becomes infected as a result of contact with an infected animal Footnote 22. Person-to-person transmission occurs via close personal contact with an infected individual or their body fluids during the late stages of infection or after death Footnote 1 Footnote 2 Footnote 22 Footnote 42. Nosocomial infections can occur through contact with infected body fluids for example due to the reuse of unsterilized syringes, needles, or other medical equipment contaminated with these fluids Footnote 1 Footnote 2. Humans may be infected by handling sick or dead non-human primates and are also at risk when handling the bodies of deceased humans in preparation for funerals Footnote 2 Footnote 10 Footnote 43.
In laboratory settings, non-human primates exposed to aerosolized ebolavirus from pigs have become infected, however, airborne transmission has not been demonstrated between non-human primates Footnote 1 Footnote 10 Footnote 15 Footnote 44 Footnote 45. Viral shedding has been observed in nasopharyngeal secretions and rectal swabs of pigs following experimental inoculation Footnote 29 Footnote 30.
INCUBATION PERIOD: Two to 21 days Footnote 1 Footnote 15 Footnote 17.
COMMUNICABILITY: Communicable as long as blood, body fluids or organs, contain the virus. Ebolavirus has been isolated from semen 61 to 82 days after the onset of illness, and transmission through semen has occurred 7 weeks after clinical recovery Footnote 1 Footnote 2 Footnote 59 Footnote 60.


RESERVOIR: The natural reservoir of Ebola is unknown Footnote 1 Footnote 2. Antibodies to the virus have been found in the serum of domestic guinea pigs and wild rodents, with no relation to human transmission Footnote 34 Footnote 47. Serum antibodies and viral RNA have been identified in some bat species, suggesting bats may be a natural reservoir Footnote 37 Footnote 38 Footnote 39 Footnote 40.
ZOONOSIS: Zoonosis between humans and animal is suspected Footnote 2 Footnote 22 Footnote 37.
VECTORS: Unknown.


All information available on stability and viability comes from peer-reviewed literature sources depicting experimental findings and is intended to support local risk assessments in a laboratory setting.
DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Unknown. Although clinical trials have been completed, no vaccine has been approved for treatment of ebolavirus. Similarly, no post-exposure measures have been reported as effective in treating ebolavirus infection in humans although several studies have been completed in animals to determine the efficacy of various treatments.
DRUG RESISTANCE: There are no known antiviral treatments available for human infections.
SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Ebolavirus is susceptible to 3% acetic acid, 1% glutaraldehyde, alcohol-based products, and dilutions (1:10-1:100 for ≥10 minutes) of 5.25% household bleach (sodium hypochlorite), and calcium hypochlorite (bleach powder) Footnote 48 Footnote 49 Footnote 50 Footnote 62 Footnote 63. The WHO recommendations for cleaning up spills of blood or body fluids suggest flooding the area with a 1:10 dilutions of 5.25% household bleach for 10 minutes for surfaces that can tolerate stronger bleach solutions (e.g., cement, metal) Footnote 62. For surfaces that may corrode or discolour, they recommend careful cleaning to remove visible stains followed by contact with a 1:100 dilution of 5.25% household bleach for more than 10 minutes.
PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Ebola are moderately thermolabile and can be inactivated by heating for 30 minutes to 60 minutes at 60°C, boiling for 5 minutes, or gamma irradiation (1.2 x106 rads to 1.27 x106 rads) combined with 1% glutaraldehyde Footnote 10 Footnote 48 Footnote 50. Ebolavirus has also been determined to be moderately sensitive to UVC radiation Footnote 51.
SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Filoviruses have been reported capable to survive for weeks in blood and can also survive on contaminated surfaces, particularly at low temperatures (4°C) Footnote 52 Footnote 61. One study could not recover any Ebolavirus from experimentally contaminated surfaces (plastic, metal or glass) at room temperature Footnote 61.  In another study, Ebolavirus dried onto glass, polymeric silicone rubber, or painted aluminum alloy is able to survive in the dark for several hours under ambient conditions (between 20 and 250C and 30–40% relative humidity) (amount of virus reduced to 37% after 15.4 hours), but is less stable than some other viral hemorrhagic fevers (Lassa) Footnote 53. When dried in tissue culture media onto glass and stored at 4 °C, Zaire ebolavirus survived for over 50 days Footnote 61. This information is based on experimental findings only and not based on observations in nature. This information is intended to be used to support local risk assessments in a laboratory setting.
A study on transmission of ebolavirus from fomites in an isolation ward concludes that the risk of transmission is low when recommended infection control guidelines for viral hemorrhagic fevers are followed Footnote 64. Infection control protocols included decontamination of floors with 0.5% bleach daily and decontamination of visibly contaminated surfaces with 0.05% bleach as necessary.


SURVEILLANCE: Definitive diagnosis can be reached rapidly in an appropriately equipped laboratory using a multitude of approaches, including RT-PCR to detect viral RNA, ELISA based techniques to detect anti-Ebola antibodies or viral antigens, immunoelectron microscopy to detect ebolavirus particles in tissues and cells, and indirect immunofluorescence to detect antiviral antibodies Footnote 1 Footnote 2 Footnote 14 Footnote 41. It is useful to note that the Marburg virus is morphologically indistinguishable from the ebolavirus, and laboratory surveillance of Ebola is extremely hazardous Footnote 1 Footnote 2 Footnote 14 Footnote 54. Please see the interim biosafety guidelines for laboratories handling specimens from patients under investigation for EVD for more information.
Note: All diagnostic methods are not necessarily available in all countries.
FIRST AID/TREATMENT: There is no effective antiviral treatment Footnote 27 Footnote 37. Instead, treatment is supportive, and is directed at maintaining organ function and electrolyte balance and combating haemorrhage and shock Footnote 22 Footnote 55.
IMMUNIZATION: None Footnote 27.
PROPHYLAXIS: None. Management of the Ebola virus is solely based on isolation and barrier-nursing with symptomatic and supportive treatments Footnote 8.


LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: One reported near-fatal case following a minute finger prick in an English laboratory (1976) Footnote 56. A Swiss zoologist contracted Ebola virus after performing an autopsy on a chimpanzee in 1994 Footnote 2 Footnote 57. An incident occurred in Germany in 2009 when a laboratory scientist pricked herself with a needle that had just been used on a mouse infected with Ebola; however, human infection was not confirmed. Additional incidents were recorded in the US in 2004, and a fatal case in Russia in 2004 Footnote 8.
SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Blood, serum, urine, respiratory and throat secretions, semen, and organs or their homogenates from human or animal hosts Footnote 1 Footnote 2 Footnote 53. Human or animal hosts, including non-human primates, may represent a further source of infection Footnote 54.
PRIMARY HAZARDS: Accidental parenteral inoculation, respiratory exposure to infectious aerosols/droplets, and/or direct contact with skin or mucous membranes Footnote 54.
SPECIAL HAZARDS: Work with, or exposure to, infected non-human primates, rodents, or their carcasses represents a risk of human infection Footnote 54.


RISK GROUP CLASSIFICATION: Risk Group 4 Footnote 58.
CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Containment Level 4 facilities, equipment, and operational practices for work involving infectious or potentially infectious materials, animals, and cultures. Please see the interim biosafety guidelines for laboratories handling specimens from patients under investigation for EVD for more information.
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Personnel entering the laboratory must remove street clothing, including undergarments, and jewellery, and change into dedicated laboratory clothing and shoes, or don full coverage protective clothing (i.e., completely covering all street clothing). Additional protection may be worn over laboratory clothing when infectious materials are directly handled, such as solid-front gowns with tight fitting wrists, gloves, and respiratory protection. Eye protection must be used where there is a known or potential risk of exposure to splashes.
OTHER PRECAUTIONS: All activities with infectious material should be conducted in a biological safety cabinet (BSC) in combination with a positive pressure suit, or within a class III BSC line. Centrifugation of infected materials must be carried out in closed containers placed in sealed safety cups, or in rotors that are unloaded in a biological safety cabinet. The integrity of positive pressure suits must be routinely checked for leaks. The use of needles, syringes, and other sharp objects should be strictly limited. Open wounds, cuts, scratches, and grazes should be covered with waterproof dressings. Additional precautions should be considered with work involving animal activities.


SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle and, wearing protective clothing, gently cover spill with paper towels and apply suitable disinfectant, starting at the perimeter and working towards the centre. Allow sufficient contact time before clean-up.
DISPOSAL: Decontaminate all materials for disposal from the containment laboratory by steam sterilisation, chemical disinfection, incineration or by gaseous methods. Contaminated materials include both liquid and solid wastes.
STORAGE: In sealed, leak-proof containers that are appropriately labelled and locked in a Containment Level 4 laboratory.


REGULATORY INFORMATION: The import, transport, and use of pathogens in Canada is regulated under many regulatory bodies, including the Public Health Agency of Canada, Health Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Environment Canada, and Transport Canada. Users are responsible for ensuring they are compliant with all relevant acts, regulations, guidelines, and standards.
UPDATED: August 2014.
PREPARED BY: Centre for Biosecurity, Public Health Agency of Canada.
Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Pathogen Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.
Copyright ©
Public Health Agency of Canada, 2014


Footnote 1
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Footnote 2
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Footnote 3
International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (2013 Release). Virus Taxonomy. Ebolavirus.
Footnote 4
Kuhn, J. H., Becker, S., Ebihara, H., Geisbert, T. W., Johnson, K. M., Kawaoka, Y., Lipkin IW, Negredo AI, Netesov SV, Nichol ST, Palacios G, Peters CJ, Tenorio A, Volchokov VE, & Jahrling, P. B. (2010). Proposal for a revised taxonomy of the family Filoviridae: classification, names of taxa and viruses, and virus abbreviations. Archives of virology, 155(12), 2083-2103.
Footnote 5
Sanchez, A. (2001). Filoviridae: Marburg and Ebola Viruses. In D. M. Knipe, & P. M. Howley (Eds.), Fields virology (4th ed., pp. 1279-1304). Philadelphia, PA.: Lippencott-Ravenpp.
Footnote 6
Takada, A., & Kawaoka, Y. (2001). The pathogenesis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever. Trends in Microbiology, 9(10), 506-511.
Footnote 7
Towner, J. S., Sealy, T. K., Khristova, M. L., Albarino, C. G., Conlan, S., Reeder, S. A., Quan, P. L., Lipkin, W. I., Downing, R., Tappero, J. W., Okware, S., Lutwama, J., Bakamutumaho, B., Kayiwa, J., Comer, J. A., Rollin, P. E., Ksiazek, T. G., & Nichol, S. T. (2008). Newly discovered ebola virus associated with hemorrhagic fever outbreak in Uganda. PLoS Pathogens, 4(11), e1000212.
Footnote 8
Feldmann, H. (2010). Are we any closer to combating Ebola infections? Lancet, 375(9729), 1850-1852. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(10)60597-1.
Footnote 9
Beran, G. W. (Ed.). (1994). Handbook of Zoonosis, Section B: Viral (2nd ed.). Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, LLC.
Footnote 10
Mwanatambwe, M., Yamada, N., Arai, S., Shimizu-Suganuma, M., Shichinohe, K., & Asano, G. (2001). Ebola hemorrhagic fever (EHF): mechanism of transmission and pathogenicity. Journal of Nippon Medical School.68(5), 370-375.
Footnote 11
Sanchez, A., Kiley, M. P., Klenk, H. D., & Feldmann, H. (1992). Sequence analysis of the Marburg virus nucleoprotein gene: comparison to Ebola virus and other non-segmented negative-strand RNA viruses. The Journal of General Virology, 73 (Pt 2)(Pt 2), 347-357.
Footnote 12
Harcourt, B. H., Sanchez, A., & Offermann, M. K. (1999). Ebola virus selectively inhibits responses to interferons, but not to interleukin-1beta, in endothelial cells. Journal of Virology, 73(4), 3491-3496.
Footnote 13
Bwaka, M. A., Bonnet, M. J., Calain, P., Colebunders, R., De Roo, A., Guimard, Y., Katwiki, K. R., Kibadi, K., Kipasa, M. A., Kuvula, K. J., Mapanda, B. B., Massamba, M., Mupapa, K. D., Muyembe-Tamfum, J. J., Ndaberey, E., Peters, C. J., Rollin, P. E., Van den Enden, E., & Van den Enden, E. (1999). Ebola hemorrhagic fever in Kikwit, Democratic Republic of the Congo: clinical observations in 103 patients. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 179 Suppl 1, S1-7.
Footnote 14
Zilinskas, R. A. (Ed.). (2000). Biololgical Warfare - Modern Offense and Defense. Boulder, Colorado, USA: Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
Footnote 15
Feigin, R. D. (Ed.). (2004). Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (5th ed.). Philadelphia, USA: Elsevier, Inc.
Footnote 16
Baize, S., Pannetier, D., Oestereich, L., Rieger, T., Koivogui, L., Magassouba, N., Soropogui, B., Sow, M. S., Keita, S., De Clerck, H., Tiffany, A., Dominguez, G., Loua, M., Traore, A., Kolie, M., Malano, E. R., Heleze, E., Bocquin, A., Mely, S., Raoul, H., Caro, V., Cadar, D., Gabriel, M., Pahlmann, M., Tappe, D., Schmidt-Chanasit, J., Impouma, B., Diallo, A.K., Formenty, P., Van Herp, M., & Gunther, S. (2014). Emergence of Zaire Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea - Preliminary Report. The New England Journal of Medicine. Epub ahead of print.
Footnote 17
Casillas, A. M., Nyamathi, A. M., Sosa, A., Wilder, C. L., & Sands, H. (2003). A current review of Ebola virus: pathogenesis, clinical presentation, and diagnostic assessment. Biological Research for Nursing, 4(4), 268-275.
Footnote 18
World Health Organization. Ebola Virus Disease - Fact Sheet N°103. Updated April 2014.
Footnote 19
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1990). Epidemiologic notes and reports updates: filovirus infection in animal handlers. MMWR, 39, 221.
Footnote 20
World Health Organization. Global Alert and Response (GAR) - Ebola virus disease update - West Africa. Disease outbreak news. August 6 2014
Footnote 21
Centres for Disease Control. 2014 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa (Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria. August 6 2014
Footnote 22
Bausch, D. G., Jeffs B.S.A.G, & Boumandouki, P. (2008). Treatment of Marburg and Ebola haemorrhagic fevers: a strategy for testing new drugs and vaccines under outbreak conditions. Antiviral Res., 78(1), 150-161.
Footnote 23
WHO Disease Outbreak News - Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (2007). 2008
Footnote 24
WHO Disease Outbreak News - Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever in Uganda - Update. (2007). 2008
Footnote 25
Formenty, P., Boesch, C., Wyers, M., Steiner, C., Donati, F., Dind, F., Walker, F., & Le Guenno, B. (1999). Ebola virus outbreak among wild chimpanzees living in a rain forest of Cote d'Ivoire. The Journal of Infectious Diseases, 179 Suppl 1, S120-6. doi:10.1086/514296.
Footnote 26
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Footnote 27
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