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Security breaches threaten U.S. biodefense labs


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WASHINGTON, D.C. — A spate of laboratory scares and controversies could downsize America’s biodefense network — tightening security and, perhaps, saving money.


The U.S. spent $19 billion expanding biodefense research during the past decade. The number of top-security labs jumped from 415 to 1,495, according to the Government Accountability Office.


But with no national assessment of how many labs are actually needed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now says fewer may be better..

“One of the things that we want to do is reduce the number of laboratories that work with dangerous agents to the absolute minimum necessary,” CDC Director Thomas Frieden said.


“Reduce the number of people who have access to those laboratories to the absolute minimum necessary. Reduce the number of dangerous pathogens we work with,” he said in a statement.Scissors-32x32.png

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