New Lab Will Fight Bioterrorism

A new biomedical research laboratory at George Mason University in Prince William County, Virginia aims to protect Americans from bioterrorism and outbreaks of infectious disease.

In an article on the Washington Post website, Jennifer Buske says the new facility will be used for research on the “diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases and on pathogens the government thinks could be used in a bioterrorism attack.”

Among the diseases to be studied are influenza, anthrax, plague, and a mosquito-transmitted viral disease called Rift Valley fever, which is found in parts of Africa.

The biomedical research laboratory will complement the university’s National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases on the same campus, officials said. The university expects to attract top scientists to the lab and biotechnology companies to the community.

The possibility of the release from the lab into the community is extremely low, say university officials. Security measures include blastproof windows and outside walls, cameras, security staff, and a ventilation system that will “suck all air into the center of the facility, so it can go up through two filters before exiting into the city,” says the article.

To read the Washington Post article, click here:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/18/AR2010061805312_pf.html