Biolabs Metastasize

Been sleeping well lately? This Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists article by Defense Tech pal Nick Schwellenbach should take care of that.bsl4wkr.jpgIt's on a subject we worry about a whole lot here at Defense Tech HQ -- the ginormous growth in biodefense research, and how the hell to maintain safety amidst that growth. For example, 97 percent of the folks receivng National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) grants for biodefense research hadn't touched the bugs before 9/11, Nick notes.No wonder three Boston University lab workers were infected with tularemia, or rabbit fever, back in January. "Things like that happen when people are not trained well," explained NIAID Director Anthony Fauci.And those infections went down at a relatively low-risk, "BSL-2" lab. What happens when the school's BSL-4 facility -- designed to handle killers like Ebola -- gets up and running?Take an ambien, for starters.(PopSci has more nightmare fodder here)

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