- Putin calls Internet ‘CIA project’ that must be controlled
- Muslims offended that 9/11 museum movie speaks of jihad
- Obama marks Armenian massacre, avoids using the word ‘genocide’
- Gov. Rick Perry: ‘It’s not a dare, it’s a promise’; Texas will fight BLM
- Howard Dean cheers Obama’s approach to Russian aggression
- Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s childhood nickname? ‘The Surprise’
- Democrat Grimes backs Keystone XL pipeline in Kentucky Senate race
- China spends for 17 new warships as U.S. cuts back military
- In Japan, Obama plays soccer with a robot and warns students of climate change
- FDA proposes ban on e-cigarette sales to minors
Germ research gets urgent
Second of two parts
Continuing bioterrorism scares are breathing new life into obscure scientific projects as the nation gropes for a way to defend itself from deadly microbes.
The sudden interest in microbiology is fueled by revelations such as the discovery of a mobile bioterrorism laboratory that traveled Iraqi highways.
A few thousand miles away, a South African court is revealing details of an apartheid-era contingency plan to use anthrax on black communities.
The U.S. government is waging an uphill battle against the tiny and nearly untraceable microbes of bioterrorism.
“If you can brew beer, you can make a bug,” FBI spokesman Bill Carter said, recalling a warning from an FBI scientist on manufactured viruses.
The elusiveness of the bacteria spores and microscopic viruses is turning bioterrorism research into big business. Companies that focused on cures for cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are finding bigger profits in vaccines, antidotes and other bug-fighting tools.
But the bioterrorism scare also is creating new fears for researchers, both in terms of safety and criminal liability.
Good for business
Concerns about bioterrorism are resulting in the kind of device Army scientists demonstrated at a recent biodefense conference in Baltimore.
The handheld “microarray” system tests white blood cells to detect viruses within 36 hours of exposure, sometimes even before victims know they are sick.
The device is supposed to be an early warning system against biological bombs. It was developed by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research for the malaria soldiers might encounter in other countries.
“In many cases the products of that research apply to public health,” said Chuck Dasey, spokesman for the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Obama's veil of secrecy is pierced
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- Obama avoids 'red line' for China, prepared to impose tougher sanctions on Russia
- 'Top Gun' for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy's approval
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- 'Conservatives' should feel exposed by Bundy's racist comments: Scarborough
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Sold out: Ukraine's leadership swapped best military weapons for cash
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- In its hunt for Senate, Republican candidates campaign against Harry Reid
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Celebrity deaths in 2014