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(Slate)   So, here's a look at how many viruses have escaped from labs over the years--and how it could happen again. Sleep tight   ( divider line
    More: Scary, history of viruses, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, military camp, flu pandemics, Fort Dix, smallpox  
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7733 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Apr 2014 at 4:10 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2014-04-14 07:22:19 AM  
2 votes:

Weatherkiss: adragontattoo: sand_in_my_vagoo: After reading TFA, I'm trying to wrap my head around how the government thinks putting a lab full of agricultural threats in the middle of farm country makes any damn sense.

Ebola Reston.

Ebola virus within walking distance of Dulles Airport.

This isn't the movies or video games where the government has super top secret lab complexes in the far northern parts of Alaska in barren wasteland fenced off by barbed wire and elevators that will take you 50 feet below ground with an eye scanner.

This is real life where dumb politicians with dumb fiscal and budgetary policies run how the feds work, and it's cheaper and more efficient to just set up shop next to other farms -- particularly if it's from a state you represent and you're expected to bring home the bacon to your own constituents.

The government is either extremely shady and conspiratorial, or it's dumb and incompetent. It can't be both.

Said someone who never worked for the government. You can attempt to be shady and conspiratorial and royally fark that up. Or you can have some branches that are (NSA) and some that are just dumb and incompetent (ATF). It's not hard to do both.
2014-04-13 11:18:36 PM  
2 votes:
Yeah, cuz if I want cutting edge scientific news, it's Slate all the way
2014-04-14 03:17:49 PM  
1 vote:

Ironically, the virulence of Ebola is what makes it tough to spread very far. Incubation time is short and kills extremely fast.

It burns out it's potential hosts and dies within the population it infects.

That's not as much a barrier as one might hope. I went trekking in Nepal a few years back and had a think on it... "Ok, I just spent weeks stomping around in areas where people regularly share house with poultry, bovines and primates, the perfect breeding ground for cross-species infections. I then sat around an airport in Kathmandu, a place not known for it's sanitation. I then got in a pressurized tube and flew to Dehli breathing recirculated air along with 100 other people. Then I sat around most of a day at one of the busiest airports in the world in order to spend another 15 hours rebreathing hundreds of people's breath to get to another airport, JFK in New York. Then I drove south, stopped at a rest stop on the NJ Turnpike to pee and order a Cinnabon. Then I drove to York, PA and stopped in a grocery store so someone from my party could stock up. Then I finally ended up in Washington, DC."

All of this within the incubation time for Ebola, much less something viral. Travel is what's going to screw us when something truly nasty comes along, it was the massive migration at the end of WWI that spread the Spanish Flu so far.
2014-04-14 10:14:03 AM  
1 vote:

FatherChaos: [ image 320x240]

Do you know what this place is? We protected the public from some very nasty stuff! Weaponized small pox! Ebola strains that could wipe out half the country! Stuff you don't want getting out, EVER!

That quote was hilarious to me.  "So its the regular pathogenic ebola then, gotcha."

That and working with acid which can melt your gloves, sure, bright idea sunshine

The "oops I spilled a little.  Instead of easily disinfecting this stuff with a cheap and readily obtainable cleaner (which real labs have in the hundreds of gallons), I am going to INCINERATE EVERYTHING," was also massively funny.
2014-04-14 07:33:51 AM  
1 vote:
There is a lot of fear mongering in this article.  They are talking about two different things: laboratory escapes and then at the end use a statistic about "releases"  Problem: they don't ever define what it means to have a release of a select agent.  Here's a hint: a release has nothing to do with whether or not an agent escapes the lab.

A "release" is when a select agent is spilled outside of primary containment.  This means everything from your laboratory escape they were talking about, to when you spill something outside of the container.  If it is a tube, that means you drop liquid out of a tube.  If its a flask, it could mean it dripped out of the lid.  These are all things that MUST be reported and are called "releases."

As you can see, there is a HUGE difference between a release and a laboratory escape.

/for the record, myself and those I know are also not exactly enamored with the idea of Plum Islands replacement being in the middle of Kansas.  Not just because you have highly contagious, potentially high impact agricultural diseases in the middle of the breadbasket, but also:
1)  You have to fly a lot of this junk TO kansas to study it...over the rest of the country.
2)  Tornados. (though they built a BSL-4 in freaking Galveston on a barrier island.  Hello hurricanes?)
2014-04-14 05:25:30 AM  
1 vote:
upload.wikimedia.orgView Full Size

You want a scary medical 'what if' scenario? This one. Because it's the closest thing to fact Hollywood has churned out semi-recently.
2014-04-14 01:47:08 AM  
1 vote:
Eh, we need to thin the herd somehow.
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