Friday, September 19, 2008

What is the Status of UTMB's BSL-4 Facility

A rather sobering thought has struck me. When Ike struck the Gulf Coast, The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX suffered a total loss of power. It doesn't help that their backup generators were located in a basement, which flooded during the storm. Now, UTMB hosts a BSL-4 lab containing some of the deadliest bacteria and viruses known to man. Let that thought percolate through your head for a moment.

I'm currently providing shelter to some friends from Galveston who are worried about what nastiness they'll find in their refridgerator once they are able to return home after who-knows-how-long. Just think along the same lines for UTMB's research labs.

Taking a look at UTMB's web site, I only found this little blurb of relevance to my concerns:

Power coming soon for research samples Here’s more information on dry ice and liquid nitrogen

The prospect of getting back on the power grid is getting better and better. In the meantime, we have had very good success in maintaining the integrity of our research samples. To that end, this message is a reminder to continue this tremendous effort until we are fully back on the grid. Click here for more information.

This is somewhat reassuring, but more details concerning the status of the BSL-4 facility itself would be nice. Googling about, I find that I'm not the only one concerned. Ever read Stephen King's The Stand?

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