Biosphere Or Biostunt?

Scientists give the world's biggest terrarium a vote of no confidence

TWO THINGS KEPT THE 3.15-ACRE GLASS-AND-STEEL structure called Biosphere 2 from being just another greenhouse: a hermetic seal separating 3,800 species of plants and animals, including four men and four women, from the rest of the planet, and a veneer of scientific legitimacy. The seal has been broken several times in the past year and a half -- most recently to pump in 10 tons of badly needed oxygen. Now the veneer of credibility, already bruised by allegations of tamper-prone data, secret food caches and smuggled supplies, has cracked.

On Monday a panel of outside experts called upon to shore up...

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