Structure and Important Recommendations of the Fink Report: An African Perspective - 2011
The threat of biological weapons and biosecurity has been addressed by policy makers for several years. The major challenge has been balancing the potential gains from life sciences research and the security risk generated by such research. Consequently, the subject, now popularly referred to as dual-use research, is prominent especially in the life sciences and the international community.
In the recent past, the life sciences community has played an important role in mitigating the bioterrorism threat by making recommendations, including development of oversight schemes, self-regulation of research activities and development of ethical codes (Shea, 2007).
One outstanding effort, in the United States, was by the National Academies which convened the Committee on Research Standards and Practices to Prevent the Destructive Application of Biotechnology. The committee’s task was to consider ways of minimizing biosecurity risks without hindering the progress of life sciences research (Shea, 2007). The Committee, chaired by Dr. Gerald Fink of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, met between April 2002 and January 2003 and gave a report popularly referred to as the Fink Report. The official title this report is “Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism.”
Herein dual-use research is defined as “biological research with legitimate scientific purpose that may be misused to pose a biological threat to public health and/or national security (Department of Health and Human Services (2004). The broader definition of biosecurity is also adopted, which is the range of policies, mechanisms, regulations and initiatives that also included export controls, laboratory biosafety and biosecurity, biodiversity, GLP, GMP and national implementation of Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention (BTWC) including the obligation to create national legislation relating to biosecurity and diplomacy that together minimize the possibility of misuse of biological agents but maximize the benefits of their benign applications. Also adopted herein is D’Agustino’s, (2009:27) definition of the life sciences community as that which encompasses universities, medical and veterinary schools, nongovernmental and governmental biomedical research institutes, trade associations, and biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.’
In this treatise of the Fink Report, the structure and important recommendations in order of importance from an African perspective are discussed.
Smart Electrochemical Biosensors: From advanced materials to ultrasensitive devices - 2010
Omowunmi A. Sadik, Samuel K. Kallavi and Austin Aluoch The specificity, simplicity, and inherent miniaturization afforded by advances in modern electronics have allowed electrochemical sensors to rival the most advanced optical protocols. One major obstacle in implementing electrochemistry for studying biomolecular reaction is its inadequate sensitivity. Recent reports however showed unprecedented sensitivities for biomolecular recognition using enhanced electronic amplification provided by new classes of electrode materials (e.g. carbon nanotubes, metal nanoparticles, and quantum dots). Biosensor technology is one area where recent advances in nanomaterials are pushing the technological limits of electrochemical sensitivities, thus allowing for the development of new sensor chemistries and devices. This work focuses on our recent work, based on metal-enhanced electrochemical detection, and those of others in combining advanced nanomaterials with electrochemistry for the development of smart sensors for proteins, nucleic acids, drugs and cancer cells
Electrochimica Acta, Accepted for publication (2009)
Identification and Quantitation of Bacillus globigii using Metal Enhanced Electrochemical Detection and Capillary Biosensor - 2009
Samuel K. Mwilu, Austin O. Aluoch, Seth Miller, Paula Wong & Omowunmi A. Sadik*
Status of biomolecular recognition using electrochemical techniques - 2009
Omowunmi A. Sadik, Austin O. Aluoch, Ailing Zhou The use of nanoscale materials (e.g. nanoparticles, nanowires, & nanorods) for electrochemical biosensing has seen explosive growth in recent years following the discovery of carbon nanotubes by Suomo Ijima in 1991. Although the resulting label-free sensors could potentially simplify the molecular recognition process; there are several important hurdles to be overcome. These include issues of validating the biosensor on statistically large population of real samples rather than the commonly reported relatively short synthetic oligonucleotides, pristine laboratory standards or bioreagents; multiplexing the sensors to accommodate high-throughput, multianalyte detection as well as application in complex clinical and environmental samples. This article reviews the status of biomolecular recognition using electrochemical detection by analyzing the trends, limitations, challenges and commercial devices in the field of electrochemical biosensors. It provides a survey of recent advances in electrochemical biosensors including integrated microelectrode arrays with microfluidic technologies, commercial multiplex electrochemical biosensors, aptamer-based sensors, and metal-enhanced electrochemical detection (MED), with limits of detection in the attomole range. Novel applications are also reviewed for cancer monitoring, detection of food pathogens, as well as recent advances in electrochemical glucose biosensors
Biosensors and Bioelectronics, Volume 24, Issue 9, 15 May 2009, Pages 2749-2765