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Posted in Ecological resilience, Evolution, Influenza with tags , , , , , , , , on December 16, 2013 by Rob Wallace

BSL-4 WorldA new report shows an increasing global population exposed to the risk of accidents from biosafety laboratories studying some of the world’s most dangerous diseases.

Princeton University post-doc Thomas Van Boeckel and colleagues show the population living within the commuting field of BSL-4 labs increased by a factor of four from 1990 to 2012. The fields encapsulate nearly 2% of the world’s population, but by virtue of infectivity any one escape pathogen may turn epidemic.

The team mapped friction surfaces of the commuting time over which a potentially infected lab worker would carry an infection home. The resulting isochronal belts were used to determine the population within the direct vicinity of each lab.

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