Does anyone else find this disturbing?
Find a Conversation
|Fri, 03-28-2003 - 9:26pm|
SAN FRANCISCO -- A Bush administration program to add at least three bioweapons labs is troubling many scientists and arms control experts, who say it can't be good to train more microbiologists in the black art of bioterror.
The field is suddenly awash with billions of dollars to combat bioterrorism and much more is promised under President Bush's Project BioShield plan. The money will fund a building boom of at least three new airtight laboratories where scientists in space suits handle the world's deadliest diseases.
At least six universities and the New York State Department of Health are competing for contracts to build one or two labs, where scientists can infect research monkeys and other animals with such lethal agents as the Ebola, Marburg and Lassa viruses. Those African hemorrhagic diseases are often fatal and always painful, marked by severe bleeding.
They'll also likely create new classes of toxins -- including genetically engineered ones -- as part of the process of constructing weapons they want to defeat. Developing antidotes or vaccines for those toxins might take years.