Questions for Stanley Falkow, professor of microbiology and immunology and of medicine at Stanford University, who studies the genetic and molecular mechanisms by which bacteria become pathogenic.

The Scientist: The Bush Administration's program calls for spending $1.75 billion annually over the next three years to fund bioterrorism research through the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) alone. That part of the plan directs the Institute to discover and produce all necessary vaccines, medicines, and diagnostic tests to defeat bioterrorism, and NIAID Director Anthony Fauci has set a goal of 10 years to complete this work. What's your opinion of this strategy?

Stanley Falkow: I have been really very upset by the focus on bioterrorism…What I really fear is that the focus on bioterrorism takes away from efforts that could be really done with other, more pressing agents that kill a lot more people, and not on a theoretical...

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