THE GERM DETECTOR: Sniffing Out Bioterrorism


Lots of little boys ask Santa for a bike or a baseball bat. But when Richard Langlois was growing up in El Cerrito, Calif., all he wanted for Christmas were the test tubes and beakers pictured in his laboratory-supply catalogs.

These days, Langlois' equipment is supplied by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, where the biologist has been working for two years on a piece of equipment that is suddenly commanding great interest: a continuous air-monitoring system that can detect within an hour the presence of any bacteria or virus in a basketball stadium, shopping mall or other indoor place. "It's like a...

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