News FocusVirology

The Boom in Biosafety Labs

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Science  26 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5470, pp. 1320-1322
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5470.1320

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PLUM ISLAND, NEW YORK, AND GALVESTON, TEXAS-- Concerned about new or reemerging pathogens and the threat of bioterrorism, many virologists are dreaming of their own high-containment labs, known as biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) facilities. Having a BSL-4 lab is also a way for universities to put themselves on the map in the hot field of emerging infectious diseases and can be a powerful bargaining chip in recruiting topflight faculty. But worried neighbors may derail their plans to add four new BSL-4 facilities to the existing five in the United States.