Microbiology

The world has changed since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the New York World Trade Center and the October 2001 Bacillius anthracis mailings. The publicÍs attitude toward bioterrorism has changed radically. Interest and fascination has changed to individual and collective fear.

Within a week of the terrorist activities, Congress introduced a 300 plus page anti-terrorism bill. Shortly thereafter both houses enacted the USA Patriot Act addressing all forms of terrorism and the ability of the government to deal with the threats. An overview of the law and how it impacts on education can be found in a publication of the Congressional Research Service at:

http://www.fas.org/irp/crs/r;31354.pdf

In June 2002 a second anti-terrorism bill was signed into law by the president. The Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Response Act augmented the USA Patriot Act. A summary can be found on the American Council of Education website at:

http://www.acenet.edu/washington/letters/2002/06/biohazard.chart.cfm

The new laws enhance anti-terrorism protection, but simultaneously they impact biological research. According to Andrew BrownÍs article in the May/June 2003 issue of Chemical Health & Safety the primary effects are:

Reference Braun, A.G. (2003). Biological Safety in the 21st Century or What to do When the Subpoena Comes. Chemical Health & Safety, May/June 2003.10 (3) 12-18.