Colorado State University is testing about 600 deer and elk samples each day for chronic wasting disease, a process that will be sped up by robotics. University officials said the new rapid-testing machines could double, and possibly triple, daily testing capacity of lymph and brain tissue. -- Rocky Mountain News
In early November, the state of Florida announced a $2.15 million agreement with OxyContin distributor Purdue Pharma under which a software program will be developed to prevent individuals from "doctor-shopping" for improper narcotics prescriptions. Once the prescription-monitoring program is developed, Florida will make the system available at no cost to any other state that requests it.
Northwestern University hopes to collect DNA samples from as many as 100,000 people for a new gene bank. Officials say the project will use DNA samples and personal health information from volunteers to search out genes that play a role in diseases. Northwestern is the second institution in the United States to announce plans for a large-scale gene bank. -- USA Today
Gov. Mike Foster acted in November to keep campaign-finance reports online, and is proposing a law to mandate that campaign-finance reports be kept online for public inspection. The Louisiana Board of Ethics, which maintains the records, was facing a budget reduction that could have cut the board's Web site and electronic filing of campaign finance reports and other reports. -- The Advocate
Maine formed a partnership with EDS to greatly expand the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, which provides advanced technology learning tools to middle school and high school students and teachers. EDS will supply product life-cycle management software tools to seventh and twelfth graders. The company also will provide software to the Maine Technical College System and the University of Maine System.
Governor-elect Craig Benson said in November that his transition team Web site received 5,000 visitors during its first three days, and more than 1,000 suggestions or offers to help in the transition effort. He said the Web site's popularity shows New Hampshire residents are ready for state government to make more use of the Internet. -- Foster's Daily Democrat
Four North Dakota school districts are sharing $500,000 worth of wireless technology they received in November as part of pilot projects funded by the Beaumont Foundation. The school districts were selected by the foundation to represent North Dakota in a nationwide project to bring technology to school districts with more than a 60 percent poverty rate or a 50 percent Native American student population. -- The Bismarck Tribune
The Oregon Regional Alliance for Information and Network Security is launching a secure, Internet-based network to link key public and private organizations in Oregon during a terrorist attack or natural disaster. The project, called the Oregon Trial of Emergency and Security Technology (O-TEST) will respond to anything from an earthquake to toxic gas to a computer virus unleashed on the state's Web site. -- The Statesman Journal
Brown University's medical school in Providence, R.I., is among 50 international universities taking part in "IVMed," a virtual medical school. Medical students at participating universities will complete their first two years of medical school online, in conjunction with real-life tutelage from real professors. -- The Day