The Unthinkable Becomes Real for a Horrified World

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Science  21 Sep 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5538, pp. 2182-2185
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5538.2182a

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BOSTON-- Researchers and antiterrorism experts held a hastily organized symposium here less than 36 hours after the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to discuss U.S. R&D efforts to defend against weapons of mass destruction. Last week's attacks have already set off a quiet scramble at federal labs across the country to beef up efforts ranging from new biological and chemical detection techniques to profiling the behavioral patterns of terrorist cliques. But some scientists are worried that a rattled public will expect too much from them.