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Bill O'leary / Washington Post
The massive biodefense laboratory opens it's new facilities to the press at Fort Detrick, Md. Pictured, Sgt. Michelle Bergantino, right, outifitted in a bio-containment suit, outside of the BSL-4 patient care suite, used 20 times since 1972 for isolation of patients following accidental lab exposure to toxins
By By Joby Warrick
WASHINGTON - On the grounds of a military base an hour's drive from the capital, the Bush administration is building a massive biodefense laboratory unlike any seen since biological weapons were banned 34 years ago.
The heart of the lab is a cluster of sealed chambers built to contain the world's deadliest bacteria and viruses. Scientists will spend their days simulating the unthinkable: bioterrorism attacks in the form of lethal anthrax spores rendered as wispy powders that can drift for miles on a summer breeze, or common viruses turned into deadly superbugs that ordinary drugs and vaccines cannot stop.