Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Biosecurity Super-Lab

A lab in Geelong, Australia that opens in March holds some of the highest tech available, in order to allow scientists to study live SARS, Hendra, Nipah, and Ebola viruses. It boasts an array of powerful live-cell imaging microscopes to allow researchers to watch virus-host interactions in real time, space-suit like sterile suits, and Dr. Linfa Wang's collection of emerging bat viruses (the largest in the world).

I found the security measures fascinating. Everything that goes in is incinerated, even the jewelry you didn't take off. Nothing comes back out unless it's been thoroughly sterilized, and anyone who visits is subjected to a 3-minute shower and wash. Afterwards, you're instructed to avoid common viral reservoirs, like birds, pigs, and cows.

I'd love to visit and experience the ultra high-techness of the place. (I bet I'd just prance around in the silly suits for a while.) Working there with these awe-inspiring live viruses on a daily basis would be a dream! And also the start to many a zombie movie...



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