Posts Tagged ‘biotechnology’

Lab Resources from ATE

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

Did you know that some Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Projects and Programs offer a lot of resources for teaching Biotechnology and Lab skills? From free instructional materials and curriculum to career profiles and advice for connecting with employers, ATE programs like Bio-Link are invaluable to students, instructors and employers alike and a good place to start your research on launching a career in this field.

Here is just a sampling of what we found from the clearing house and Bio-Link as it relates to molecular biology and DNA research in particular:

Step-by- Step Tutorials for Selected Lab Activities
This is a collection of html and PowerPoint slides that break down selected lab activities and DNA research for instruction at Iowa State University.

Teaching Unit 6: Basics of Molecular Cloning (Blue/White Selection)

This is a free unit that “describes the methods and development of molecular cloning and blue/white selection. The laboratory is a math-intensive protocol that takes students from excising a gene fragment through subcloning, transformation, and gene expression.”

Career videos from the National Human Genome Research Institute
This site offers many videos profiling many different careers available to students studying DNA research. Interested in a career in forensics for example? Want to know what that looks like first-hand? Well, this site is the place to go! Here, students can meet Dr. Lois Tully, a forensic scientist with the U.S. Department of Justice and associate of the Human Identity Project with the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Teach.Genetics from the University of Utah

On this site you will find “a wealth of resources and information aimed at helping educators bring genetics, bioscience and health alive in the classroom.” In addition Teach.Genetics offers “tools and resources to support your curriculum, all free of charge.” An example of one lesson that you can access is a color-by-number comparison of PET scan images showing activity in a drug-free brain and the brain of a former cocaine addict.

There are many resources to answer all questions and address each need. They cover a variety of demographics and age ranges. There is for example, a high school lesson from the Biotechnology Education and Training Sequence Investment (BETSI) at Southwestern College on the amplification of Mitochondria DNA.

Sometimes the most difficult thing about walking down a career path is being confident with each step when you do not know what lies ahead. For those making this journey and the people supporting them, what makes a difference and helps to better navigate the twists and turns is the information that is available to them. The professionals in charge of each ATE program and project know this and have worked to compile all the high-quality, available resources that exist within their fields and industries. Perhaps Biotechnology is not your area of interest, but Agriculture or Information Technology is instead? Well, check out atecenters.org for information on other advanced technologies.

Discovering What is Possible in the Lab

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

Over the course of this week and next, ATETV will be looking more closely at the field of Biotechnology and its work in the lab by answering questions like, “What does a college class look like in this field?” and “What are the jobs like?” According to the Biotechnology Institute, Biotechnology is “the use of living organisms by humans” Biotechnologists look at organisms, their biochemistry, and their genes in order to create commercial products. The demand for this work is large and according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics “… projected to grow 21 percent over the 2008—18 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations, as biotechnological research and development continues to drive job growth.”

One alluring aspect of a career as a Biotechnologist and more specifically, life in the lab, is the potential to be a part of an exciting discovery! In the future, Biotechnology could produce organisms that would generate enough energy to reduce the need for electricity, medicines to cure diseases like cancer and genetically engineered food to sustain us. Here are some of the great discoveries we found reported:

1) DNA- DNA is perhaps one of the most fundamental discoveries to further the science of Biology. It is the blueprint of biological life from its inception to its growth and till death. It is what supplies the necessary information to cells to get them to reproduce. There are many different ideas about who should get credit for finding this and regarding the circumstances of its discovery. But one thing is for sure, its discovery has not only revolutionized science and medicine but it has affected all walks of life; whether they are medical, social, legal, criminal or related to genetics and inheritance.

2) According to Discovery.com, scientists at Harvard recently discovered a way to genetically engineer an organism to sense magnetic fields. This could be invaluable for the fields of medicine and research. One example of what could be made possible from this includes targeted therapies for diseases like cancer. By delivering magnetism to certain cell types, like cancer cells, researchers could track the cells in the body using MRI, thus making treatments more effective.

3) Imagine the possibilities if bacteria could be used to boost fuel cell power? Also according to Discovery.com, researchers at Newcastle University in the U.K discovered a species of a bacteria that lives in an environment similar to that which exists about 18 miles above the earth’s surface. According to this article, this “bacteria generate current as they eat, by releasing electrons during chemical reactions.” This led scientists to test them for power generation and the results proved positive. While this method doesn’t generate a lot of power, it does produce enough to light a light bulb and presents interesting possibilities for the future of renewable energy!

4) Cloning. According to Wikipedia, “Cloning in Biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in Biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments (molecular cloning), cells (cell cloning), or organisms.” In 1997 researchers in Scotland achieved the first successful clone of a mammal from an adult cell; a sheep named Dolly. Since that time, other reported successful attempts at cloning include another sheep named Polly, a cat in 2001 at Texas A&M University, cattle, a deer and two goats- just to name a few.

5) What if you could train your immune system to fight cancer? This is a question that researchers have been exploring and doctors have recently begun to apply to treatments. In this article in the New York Times, William Ludwig was successfully treated for Leukemia using a protocol developed from the results of these studies. Doctors “removed a billion of his T-cells — a type of white blood cell that fights viruses and tumors— and gave them new genes that would program the cells to attack his cancer. Then the altered cells were dripped back into Mr. Ludwig’s veins.” Genetically altering T-cells is a concept that was first developed in the 1980s by Dr. Zelig Eshhar at the Weizmann Institute for Science in Rehovot, Israel.

Published Biotechnology timelines like this one, further reveal that there have been many more discoveries made that are of critical importance to solving the problems we face today. It is an exciting field to be a part of not only because the possibilities are endless but also because the work is loaded with the potential to make significant impacts on our future and as a result in demand. When you break down any living organism to its smallest elements of a cell, or a DNA composition and begin to experiment with that, anything is truly possible.

A Wealth of Educational Opportunities in Biotech

Friday, September 16th, 2011

Biotechnology

Nearly 25 years ago, the Biotechnology Project at Madison Area Technical College was one of the first Biotech programs to be created at a community college. “We’ve been around since 1987, so we actually have a fairly long history,” notes program instructor Lisa Seidman. “This program was started when Biotechnology was a very, very small industry, really at the beginning of the Biotechnology revolution. So we’ve been a part of it since the very beginning.”

Since then, the field of Biotechnology has exploded, as groundbreaking scientific discoveries and technological developments have emerged with unprecedented speed. And, Biotech training and education programs have kept pace. Today, more than 50 community colleges and technical schools around the United States offer degrees and certificates in various aspects of the Biotech industry according to Bio-Link, a national consortium and clearinghouse for technician education.

This week’s ATETV Episode sat in on a number of Biotech classes; we decided to continue the exploration and take a look at some of the degree and certificate programs available in the field of Biotech.

Biotechnology Associate Degrees prepare students to work in such areas as Biotechnology research and development. Emphasizing “hands-on” learning, these two-year programs help familiarize students with cutting-edge scientific techniques, technologies and equipment. Among other subjects, students typically gain a working knowledge of molecular biology, recombinant DNA, immunology, protein purification and tissue cultures, through both classroom lectures and laboratory learning experiences. Foundational courses in English, as well as a variety of math and science disciplines (i.e. algebra, statistics, chemistry, biology, microbiology and computer science) are also often part of the program.

There are two types of Associate Degrees. The first is the Associate of Applied Science degree (A.A.A.S. or A.A.S.) a professional technical degree designed to prepare students to directly enter the workforce. The second are Associate of Arts (A.A.) and Associate of Science (A.S.) degrees. These also prepare students for jobs, but focus more on course work that can be transferred to four-year institutions.

Check out Bio-Link, for a full list of the more than 50 schools around the country that offer Associate’s Degrees in Biotechnology.

Today, many community colleges have also developed Certificate Programs focusing on specialized aspects of Biotech. Certificate programs generally require fewer credits than Associate Degrees. At Madison Area Technical College, for example, a Bioinformatics Certificate delves into the specifics of Bioinformatics, the application of Information Technology to the management and analysis of biological data. This program helps students develop the expertise needed for employment as Bioinformatics programmers and Genomics technicians — both growing fields — and is designed for students who have already had some college experience in the life sciences. The program includes introductory courses in Bioinformatics and Genomics as well as programming; website development; relational database coding; and networking operations, among others.

Another specialized area of certification is Biomanufacturing/Bioprocessing. These programs prepare students for entry-level positions in Biomanufacturing facilities, where living cells or their components – bacteria or enzymes, for example – are used to manufacture products, such as biofuels and therapeutics. One example is the Bioprocess Technology Program at MiraCosta College, which according to a recent profile in Science Careers, offers courses that focus on laboratory skills, Bioprocess technology and the production and analysis of biofuels.

Another specialized Certificate Program related to the Biotech field is Clinical Research Professional (CRP) certification. CRPs perform human research studies on the effects of new drugs and medical devices to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new therapies for the treatment of human disease. CRPs work in both biotech and pharmaceutical companies, as well as medical research labs, government labs and contract research organizations.

Students in CRP Certificate Programs like the one at Oklahoma City Community College learn clinical research site procedures, governmental and local regulatory affairs methods, experimental design and statistics, and technical reading and writing skills focusing on clinical research applications, as well as Bioethics.

Heading in a different direction, specialized Biotech Certificates are also available for Environmental Laboratory Technologists. At Georgia’s Gwinnett Technical College, for example, the program, which is two quarters long, prepares students to work in laboratories associated with environmental management, notably drinking water purification, waste water management and pollution remediation facilities. Specific courses include Regulatory Compliance, Environmental Testing Methodology, Environmental Pollution and Remediation and Water and Wastewater Laboratory Methods.

You may not have considered that medical devices are also a key component of the Biotech Industry. Products that are used to diagnose medical conditions, aid in surgical procedures or used as part of a therapy, medical devices include everything from artificial hearts to genetic tests, to X-ray machines, blood-sugar meters and tongue depressors.

A Medical Devices Certificate, such as one offered by Ivy Tech Community College Bloomington (Indiana) familiarizes students with the regulatory principles that are used in medical-device manufacturing, and in addition to a Biotechnology curriculum, includes courses in Medical Terminology, Quality Systems in Manufacturing and Medical Device Design and CAD Fundamentals.

Bio-Link can provide you with still more information about Biotech certificate programs, such as those focusing on Quality Control at Bergen Community College, and Associate’s Degree programs like the Regulatory Affairs Associate’s Degree offered at Ivy Tech.

Stay Tuned: Classroom Visits

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011

For anyone who is wondering what to expect from college courses – whether you’re a student in high school, a parent of a high-schooler, or an adult contemplating a career change and a return to studies– next season, ATETV will take you inside several college classrooms. During the upcoming series “Classroom Visits” you’ll hear from both instructors and students about specific course content and overall educational expectations.

If you automatically think “classroom” means only textbooks and lectures, think again. For example, an ATETV visit to a Biotechnology course finds math content specifically tailored to the laboratory, while core subjects such as cell culturing and molecular biology are taught, in part, through hands-on lab training. You’ll also learn that course work doesn’t end with science and math, as you’ll hear how biotech students are working on projects to help equip them for real-world employment, learning about venture capital, manufacturing quality checks and product marketing, among other things.

During ATETV classroom visits, instructors will describe the qualities it takes for students to succeed in college and will offer advice to help students make the most of their classes, while students share their own firsthand experiences with viewers.

Stay tuned, the new school year is just around the corner!

DNA Advances Mean Biotech Advances

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

DNA

It’s hard to believe but it was only 10 years ago last month that leading scientific journals published the results of the Human Genome Sequence, the encyclopedia of our genetic content.

(Backing up for a minute, genes — which number 30,000-plus — are made up of DNA, and DNA is the hereditary material that determines an organism’s distinct characteristics. Meanwhile, a genome sequence is the order of DNA bases in a genome — it’s something like a very long string of letters in a mysterious language.)

As this vast amount of new genetic information has become available, the field of medical Biotechnology — which we looked at in this week’s ATETV Episode — has kept pace. Here are some of the many ways that Biotech is using this new information:

Personalized medicine. Currently, the practice of medicine is based on standards of care that are determined by gathering information across large groups of people. Personalized medicine is a new concept that proposes to manage a patient’s disease based on the individual’s specific characteristics, including age, gender, height, weight, environment and genetics. Genetic advances is beginning to allow the development of genomic personalized medicine — medical care based on a patient’s genotype or gene profile.

Meanwhile, a specialty known as Pharmacogenomics takes advantage of the fact that individuals have unique genomes and works to identify specific drugs and doses to work optimally for each person. By understanding a person’s genetic makeup, a physician can better prescribe drugs and doses. Both Pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine rely on advances in DNA technology

Genetic testing. The Biotech industry continues to develop improved genetic tests, and the discovery of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) was key. When a SNP occurs in a gene sequence that encodes for a specific protein, it might change that protein and cause disease or increase a person’s susceptablity to disease, making genetic tests more accurate.

Check out Bio-Link for more background on the Biotech field, and the medical career opportunities offered in this rapidly growing area!

The State of the Union: Science and Technology

Friday, January 28th, 2011

The State of the Union: Science and Technology

Science and technology played major roles in President Obama’s 2011 State of the Union address last Tuesday night, January 25th, as he emphasized the need for America to maintain its leadership in “a rapidly changing world,” in order to keep our economy on course.

As the President described, “In a single generation, revolutions in technology have [already] transformed the way we live, work and do business.” To continue to maintain this momentum, he explained, the country will invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology, “an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.”

Not surprisingly, training students for careers in clean technologies, green building, biotech, and cutting-edge information technology are also central to the missions of Advanced Technological Education and community colleges across the country. We thought we’d take this opportunity to recap some of the resources available to students and job-seekers in the fields of biotech, IT, and clean energy — the technologies that will help provide our economy’s momentum in the years to come.

Clean energy:

The President has proposed an ambitious plan of generating 80 percent of U.S. electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. ATEEC, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center promotes and supports environmental and energy technology education, partnering with industry to provide a foundation for the nation’s sustainable future. Sustainable energy draws on resources that will never run out — be it wind power or solar energy — and also focuses on refurbishing existing buildings with renewable materials, and performing energy audits to help businesses and other institutions to reduce waste and pollution. Last year, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) launched the Sustainability Education and Economy Development (SEED) Center an online resource to help prepare workers for the future green economy.

Biotech:

The President’s speech also addressed the need for investment in biomedical research, one of the keys to the future development of new drugs and vaccines.

Since its emergence in the 1970s, the biotech field has already created more than 200 new therapies, diagnostics, and vaccines, including products to treat cancer and diabetes, as well as methods to keep our blood supply safe. Therapies for Alzheimer’s disease and heart disease are among the hundreds more biotech products currently being tested. As ATE’s Bio-Link describes, Associates’ degrees from Bio-Link programs provide students with lessons in the cutting-edge techniques, technologies and equipment related to molecular biology, recombinant DNA, immunology, protein purification and tissue culture — the integral components of the biotech industry. To learn more about job opportunities in the biosciences and genetics, check out Bio-Link’s Career Page.

Information Technology:

Finally, the President also called for new efforts to ensure that the U.S. has the fastest, most reliable ways to move and share data through the high-speed Internet. His National Wireless Initiative will enable business to grow faster, helps students learn more and provide public safety officials with access to state-of-the-art, secure, mobile communications, according to a report on Scicasts. To learn more about the many educational opportunities and career options available in the widespread IT industry, check out the related Advanced Technological Education Centers.

Building A Biotech Career, One DNA Strand At a Time

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
DNA Strand from the U.S. Library of Medicine

DNA Strand from the U.S. Library of Medicine

DNA is the basic building block of life, and these days, it’s also the building block for many a job in the Biotechnology industry. Ever since the launch of the Human Genome project (the massive effort to identify all human genes) in 2003, the fields of Biotechnology and life sciences have been booming, with a broad spectrum of career opportunities waiting to be filled by skilled technicians, as we heard in this week’s episode.

Today, the foundation for these important jobs is laid in high school, with the National Science Education Standards emphasizing a curriculum that includes a working knowledge of the life sciences — including the structure and function of DNA.

But, what exactly, is DNA? It stands for deoxyribonucleic acid and in the simplest of terms, it is the hereditary material in most all living creatures, including humans and is found in every cell in the body. Because DNA is a “double helix,” it has the unique ability to replicate, or make copies of itself; consequently when our cells divide, each new cell is able to have an exact copy of the DNA present in the old cell. For that reason, TV crime shows often refer to DNA as a “genetic fingerprint.”

Check out the Genetics Science Learning Center at the University of Utah for activities and information that teach the nuts and bolts of DNA and genetics, including a primer on heredity and an overview of cells.

How does this translate to jobs? According to the U.S. Human Genome Management Information System, DNA and genomics offer almost limitless career opportunities. For example, genetic data is leading to new applications in medicine including everything from genetic counseling to vaccine development and pharmaceutical careers. To learn how to prepare for a career in the biosciences and Biotechnology field, along with a guide to specific career areas, visit here.

You can also find job descriptions of a wide variety of Biotech careers including laboratory technicians, metrology specialists and software development analysts (to name just a few) at BioLink- The National Advanced Technology Education Center focused on Biotechnology.

And if you need just more inspiration, consider this excerpt from a speech made by President Barack Obama last November as he described the future of the U.S. economy: “I’m committed to moving our country from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math education over the next decade…This is probably going to make more of a difference in determining how well we do as a country than just about anything else that we do.” From classroom to career, don’t overlook that Biology homework!

ATETV Episode 37: Careers in Telecom and Biotech are Booming

Monday, June 7th, 2010

This week, we hear from employers and educators in two of today’s fastest growing industries — Biotechnology and Telecommunications — and learn how they are working together to prepare students to emerge as tomorrow’s technicians.

In our first segment, we head to San Diego, a hub of the country’s Biotech industry, where Southwestern Community College is working hand-in-hand with area Biotechnology companies to design the curriculum and develop the classroom skills that will enable students to launch Biotech careers as soon as they graduate.

“We have over 500 Biotechnology companies here in San Diego, and all are in need of entry level technicians,” explains Southwestern’s Nouna Bakhiet, PhD. She adds that when the school’s Biotechnology program was first created in 1999, Southwestern reached out to industry to learn about its specific needs, which enabled them to carefully design the program’s course content. Over the years,industry has come in to co-teach some of the program’s Biotech courses, providing students with firsthand instruction in specific applications. The end result: Students emerge from the program armed with experience and ready to go — many of them actually become managers within only two years of their hire.

In our second segment, we hear about another program that is also preparing students to hit the ground running — this time in the rapidly growing and changing field of Telecommunications. “[Today's Telecom industry] encompasses many things,” explains Andrew Maynard of Springfield Technical Community College. “It encompasses networking, it encompasses computer programming, [it encompasses] web programming.” In fact, the Telecom world today is actually a convergence of Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunications, as the use of voice and data are becoming one.

And, as Springfield student Steven Worthing tells us, the school’s relationship with the Telecom industry has provided him with the hands-on experience that is critical for success in such a rapidly changing industry. “I studied a broad course in Computer System Engineering Technology,” explains Steven. But he says that his experience working as a part-time computer telephone technician repairing telephone lines for CRA has really given him the edge when it comes to mastering the skills needed for the field.

“CRA is a nine-year old company, serving the small- and mid-sized business, helping them to successfully navigate working with the telephone companies,” explains CRA’s Laura Bernstein. “We find that [this type of Telecom training] is rare, so we reached out to Springfield Technical Community College to find students that seem to have the predisposition to be good [at this field] and the students seem to be very excited about the opportunity.”

It’s a good match all the way around notes Springfield’s Andrew Maynard. “It’s really nice [for our students] as they’re out there competing for jobs. Not only do they have a degree, but they can demonstrate that they went the extra distance and gained experience, which really shows a certain level of commitment…and understanding of the subject matter. It’s helped many of our students gain employment.”

ATETV Episode 34: Internships, Information and Innovations

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

This week, the “I’s” have it as we look at the importance of internships, the growing fields of Information and Communication Technologies and innovations in Biotechnology.

In our first segment, we talk with employers from a variety of industries who agree that student interns have provided their companies with vitally important support. “We [currently] have a number of full-time employees who started out as interns,” explains William Bither of Atalasoft, Inc. “It’s been a good way for us, as an employer, to really evaluate how [an individual] will fit in with our company.”

Adds Keith Parent of the Court Square Group, “It’s great if [a job candidate] has already had an internship [and been exposed to the same field as ours]. We like to find employees that come in with an internship background.” And, he adds, for the student interns at the Court Square Group, “If the student fits and likes what we do, I’d love to be able to offer them a job and keep them on.”

And, as we learn from Jill Heiden of ESAB Welding and Cutting Products, many internships are paid positions, enabling older students with families the opportunity to explore new ventures without sacrificing income. “This allows students to not only go to school, but to be productive and provide for their families,” she explains.

Finally, notes David Marlin of Metacomet Systems, graduating with a job reference already in hand can provide the leg up a student needs in today’s competitive job market. “The experience you get on the job is so valuable,” he emphasizes.

In our second segment, we examine a different kind of networking as we explore the Computer Information Technology (CIT) program at Springfield Technical Community College.

“CIT encompasses many things in the [computer] industry,” explains Springfield’s Andrew Maynard. “We’re preparing programmmers for programming jobs. We’re also preparing web programmers for web programming jobs. There’s also a technical side [of the industry] which is very close to the hardware and then there’s the business side.”

Adds student Sean Coughlin, “We’re dealing [directly] with the physical equipment, the cables, everything. This hands-on, real-world stuff is wonderful.”

Juan Valenzuela couldn’t agree more, as we learn in our third segment. “I’m enrolled in the Biotech program at Southwestern College,” he explains. “I actually received my bachelor’s degree in biology and I’m [returning to school] because I’ve been applying to a number of places and learning that a lot of employers require experience. So with this program at Southwestern, I’m hoping to get an internship.” And with his hands-on applications conducting DNA purification and other sophisticated Biotech experiments, Juan can pursue a Biotech career with a newfound confidence. “It’s one of the best things that I could recommend,” he adds.

Vaccines Are Safeguarding America’s Health

Friday, April 2nd, 2010
Image provided by CDC/ Judy Schmidt

Image provided by CDC/ Judy Schmidt

The chances are very good that you’ve never had diphtheria. And that you’ve never known anyone who had diphtheria. You may not even be familiar with the word “diphtheria.”

But in the 19th and early 20th centuries, this bacterial disease was responsible for more deaths in the U.S. than cancer, striking hundreds of thousands of people. Contrast that with today’s statistics: In the 1990s, an average of only three diphtheria cases were reported each year.

The almost complete eradication of diphtheria is just one of the major success stories of preventive vaccines. And, today, like whooping cough (pertussis), measles, mumps and German measles (rubella), the diphtheria vaccine is part of children’s routine immunizations.

It’s always better and more cost effective to prevent a disease than to treat it once it’s already developed, which is one reason why vaccines continue to be a key ingredient in our overall health care plan — just think about last year’s urgency to develop a vaccine against the H1N1 virus. And as the Washington Post reported late last year, the U.S. government continues to focus on identifying new ways to get vaccines developed and into the marketplace — quickly.

So, how are vaccines created?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), once scientists have identified the microorganism (such as bacteria or virus) or toxin that is causing an illness, they embark on a number of different strategies to develop a vaccine. But no matter which specific strategy they wind up using, all approaches to vaccine development focus on the immune system, the body’s natural defense mechanism against foreign invaders.

Vaccines provoke the body’s immune system into responding to an invader, thereby creating an “immune system memory.” That way, the next time the body encounters the bacteria or toxin, it “remembers” it and is prepared to do battle with the intruder. Here’s how it works: A weakened form of the disease germ is injected into the body. The body makes antibodies to fight the “invading germs.” Then, if and when the actual disease ever attacks, the antibodies are still in place to launch their battle and keep the individual from getting sick.

Today, scientists are working to develop vaccines for a wide range of diseases — besides tackling new strains of influenza, laboratories are working hard to develop vaccines that would guard against the HIV virus, tuberculosis and even cancer. Advances in genetics and a host of new technologies are providing researchers with new and improved strategies, and steps are being taken to develop vaccines to help guard against the threat of bioterrorist attacks.

And perhaps one day, vaccines will make all of these diseases as unfamilar as “diphtheria.”