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Cold Case, CDC Style

They're the Navy SEALs of emerging disease. An article in today's New York Times profiles a group that's part of the US Centers for Disease Control. This group, the Unexplained Deaths Project, is responsible for using interdisciplinary approaches to try to identify pathogens and other causes of previously inexplicable deaths.

According to the article, the group has had trouble hanging on to its funding:

The problem, Dr. Zaki said, is that the program’s interdisciplinary nature clashes with the trend, at C.D.C. and in science generally, toward specialization. In fact, each researcher involved with UNEX has another position within one of C.D.C.’s specialized departments. Dr. Zaki, for instance, is chief of infectious disease pathology activity.

Sound familiar? All you readers responsible for setting up research collaborations, this group looks like an interesting potential partner - and maybe one that could use some support.


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