Hey, there! Log in / Register

Feds give OK for BU to import world's deadliest pathogens to the South End

WCVB reports BU's goal to ramp up its Albany Street biolab to "Level 4" status still requires final sign off from the Boston Public Health Commission.

Neighborhoods: 
Free tagging: 

Ad:

Do you like how UHub is doing? Consider a contribution. Thanks!

Comments

What could possibly go wrong?

up
Voting closed 0

Save the best stuff for a Friday of Christmas weekend.

up
Voting closed 0

If...
Human error never happens.
Workers and management never violate safety regulations.
Criminals never try and succeed in overcoming security systems.
Safety and security systems always work the way they are designed to work.
Safety and security personel always do their job perfectly.
Transport of dangerous materials is always safe and problem free
Terrorists never attack anything in Boston.

up
Voting closed 0

Maybe it's actually a brilliant trick by BU, to depress real estate prices in an area that BU wants to buy up. ;)

How soon until real estate agents try to spin it as a hip area again, with a cute name like SoEnBola.

What happens when an lab accident is in the news, and many wealthy foreigners stop sending their kids to BU? Or will BU be highly motivated keep any accidents very quiet?

up
Voting closed 0

Cmon Adam, the proper description is world class pathogens....

up
Voting closed 0

The closed Long Island homeless shelter would have been a better space for a bio-lab and the Albany street location would make a great location for a homeless shelter! How about they trade spaces?

up
Voting closed 0

You kinda sorta have to do a couple of non-trivial construction and engineering things to build a building that can meet the requirements for Biosafety-Level-4 operations -- you know, the most dangerous of the airborne human pathogens like Ebola? BSL-4 facilities are no joke - the interior lab spaces function like a space station and the whole building runs at negative pressure to keep air from leaking out.

up
Voting closed 0

BSL-4 facilities are no joke - the interior lab spaces function like a space station and the whole building runs at negative pressure to keep air from leaking out.

Then I think of the state drug lab scandal and other things.

up
Voting closed 0

I've only ever seen the BL-4 stuff at the CDC campus in Atlanta and even with a background check, federal biometric PIV card and a valid reason for entry I could barely access the lobby let alone the upper floors where the labs were.

I think there are like ~50 support and operations people on the outside for every 1 person working in a space suit when all is said and done. Hopefully from multiple agencies and organizations as well. This basically means that a state-drug-lab style scandal would be too big/complex to carry off successfully -- too many people in the mix to easily hide something.

As scary as BL4 is I favor the civilian operations mainly because there is a much larger chance that mistakes will be addressed and lots of eyeballs will be on things. The military has a history of covering up incidents at their biodefense BL-4s and the NIH/CDC got some black eyes over the past few years for lost/missing pathogens and failing to sterilize anthrax before shipping.

up
Voting closed 0

It isn't until something happens that we discover how poor the rigorous safeguards actually were.
http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/23/22401812-doj-accuses-...

up
Voting closed 0

Construction and engineering are the easiest part of it. Maintaining the protocol day-to-day is the bigger deal.

up
Voting closed 0

I guess at first we need to assume that the already completed Biolab building, completed before the closure of the bridge to Long Island, dorsn't exist.

So, somehow BU is going to construct a building on an island inaccessible except by boat, from scratch rather than using land it already owns. All construction equipment, supplies, and labor will have to be brought in by boat, driving the costs up. Then, BU will somehow be able to staff said building again without land access. The staff will be miles from similar research being done at BU and their medical center. Moreover, they (or the city) will have to maintain around the clock a complete hazmat response team pretty much dedicated to the site because, once more, the island is cut off from everywhere else. And they will do this with the City of Quincy signing off on this.

In return, the city gets to build a large social services building, including detox and homeless facilities, in the gentrifying South End.

Sure, sounds like a great plan.

up
Voting closed 0

BU can fund the new bridge!

That used to be an old TB hospital

up
Voting closed 0

N/t

up
Voting closed 0

Right in the middle of a major city. Good plan.

up
Voting closed 0

Best response of the year right here!

up
Voting closed 0

It's all part of being world class. There are many similar facilities in urban areas around the world.

up
Voting closed 0

Mayor Walsh campaigned on keeping the level 4 biolab out of our neighborhoods. Why isn't he forcefully reinforcing this position? Many people voted for him because of this. Where are the State reps and district and at-large city council on this? How many of them are taking contributions from Boston University?

up
Voting closed 0

I've always wondered how the old/new owners of the adjacent Flower Exchange factored the lab into their deliberations.

They're already doing BSL-2 and 3 type work in that lab. Maybe now they'll finally be able to justify taking out all of that street parking in front of the building, although the ambulances still use it as a place to wait right now.

up
Voting closed 0

I'm more concerned about an LNG tanker exploding in the harbor.

up
Voting closed 0