The army's top infectious disease institute suspended its biodefense research on Friday (February 6) after finding problems with its system for keeping track of the dangerous pathogen stocks found in its labs. The blog linkurl:ScienceInsider;http://blogs.sciencemag.org/scienceinsider/2009/02/us-army-lab-fre-1.html obtained an internal memo from the institute, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRID), informing employees it had begun an extensive inventory that will make sure all substances available in labs are noted in a database. "I believe that the probability that there are additional vials of BSAT [biological select agents and toxins] not captured in our database is high," wrote institute commander Col. John Skvorak in the memo. USAMRID is the facility at which Bruce Ivins studied anthrax. The US government alleges Ivins coordinated the anthrax mailings of 2001. He committed suicide last summer, after which the Army began a review of its protocols for working with bioterror pathogens....
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