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Environment

Biodefense Lab Nears Completion

February 4, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 5

Entrance to Fort Detrick, where national biodefense analysis lab is being built.
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Credit: Army Photo
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Credit: Army Photo

The Department of Homeland Security's long-planned biodefense center at Fort Detrick, Md., is expected to open at the end of the year. The department's National Biodefense Analysis & Countermeasure Center (NBACC), one of several labs to be built as part of the National Interagency Biodefense Campus, is 60% complete. When it opens, NBACC will house 10,000 sq ft of biosafety level-4 labs and nearly 20,000 sq ft of BSL-3 labs. The BSL-4 labs will enable scientists to conduct research on the most dangerous organisms for which there are no known antidotes or treatments. There are few such high-contaminant labs in the U.S. Approximately 120 people will work at NBACC, which is operated by Battelle National Biodefense Institute. The Army and NIH also plan to expand facilities on the biodefense campus.

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