RealNews

Living Terror Part 1: Deadly laboratories

President George W. Bush’s $2.5 billion plan to build laboratories across America to study deadly biological weapons has run into trouble with citizens in many parts of the country, evoking fears of spreading disease, attracting terrorist attacks and turning residential neighborhoods into government security zones. In a two-month investigation, United Press International found roughly 20 existing high-level biodefense labs and proposals or plans to double that number through new construction and upgrades. These new facilities — many of them to be located in densely populated cities, on college campuses and residential neighborhoods — would study some of the world’s most dangerous pathogens. “We have a need for a tremendous amount of capacity,” said Dr. Maureen McCarthy, acting director for the Office of Research and Development for the Science and Technology Directorate within the Department of Homeland Security. She said the recently adopted model for testing vaccines requires results in two types of animals. As a result of this, and the greater push to find countermeasures for bioweapons, the nation needs more and larger laboratories. Full Story

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