Miss Mabrouk of Egypt

Check the archives too - a lot of good stuff to enjoy. Me myself? Off to new adventures in the blogosphere, if time permits.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Psst! Al-Qaeda, Look Here

The bacteria lie dormant, freeze-dried in sealed ampules, in a refrigerator on a teeming university campus beside the Nile. They're among Earth's most common germs -- clostridia perfringens, a cause of food poisoning, a specimen for research. But this pathogen can also be a weapon: Iraqi scientists worked for years to mobilize this "Agent G" for Saddam Hussein's wars.

In an America nervous over bioterrorism … demanding registrations, reporting, background checks on scientists. Egypt, in a region roiled by terrorism, has no such laws.

…the bacteria at Ain Shams University are kept in a locked refrigerator, accessible by one authorized technician, in a laboratory protected by foolproof electronic keys, said Nabil Magdoub, microbe collection director.

"We have to be alert," he said, but not "unreasonable."

Can billions of dollars build biodefenses?

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