reports about lab workers at a biodefense
A&M) who became infected with "select agents" ( href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brucellosis">Brucella
burnetii)? An editorial in Nature
expands upon this report. The findings are not reassuring.
Indeed, they are frightening. The problems are not
limited to a single lab:
US research on bioweapons has expanded rapidly, without
sufficiently transparent regulation.
Nature 448, 105-106 (12 July
2007) | doi:10.1038/448105b
the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, the US federal
government wasted no time in allocating large amounts of resources to
build facilities for research into dangerous pathogens that might be
used by terrorists as bioweapons. But it is now emerging that there are
problems with the way some of these facilities operate, which suggests
that the overall process has been poorly managed...
Back in April 2006, an audit from the Office of Inspector General at
the US Department of Health and Human Services reported that 11 of the
15 biodefence labs it funds at universities had identifiable
deficiencies in training, security and, most disturbingly,
accountability. In fact, eight of the labs had accountability issues,
including lax inventories for pathogens and inadequate controls on who
can enter the laboratory...
a sci-fi flick where Rummy, Wolfowitz, and Jeb, oversee a secret lab
cooking up genetically engineered super-germs ... What could possibly
Now we know. Revere, writing at Effect Measure, has
documented some href="http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2007/07/biodefense_labs_more_of_a_bad_1.php">specific
instances of problems at such labs.
To date, the only href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2001_anthrax_attacks">lethal
bioterrorism attack in the USA was perpetrated using href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacillus_anthracis" rel="tag">anthrax
from a US laboratory.