Science: Leakproof Lab

New facility for DNA work

Building 550 is an unprepossessing two-story, barracks-like structure in the U.S. Army's old chemical and germ warfare center at Fort Detrick. Md. Next week it will become the site of an important experiment. Converted at a cost of $250,000, the facility has been certified by the National Institutes of Health as the nation's first P-4 laboratory, where the riskiest genetic research now permitted by the NIH can be conducted. The lab's initial test will attempt to answer two vital questions: Can recombinant DNA research create dangerous organisms? If...

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