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Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas

 
Anonymous Coward
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09/12/2008 10:52 PM
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Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
I apoloze if this has been brought up already and wanted to know if anyone can tell us more about this and if this is something to worry about. The University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases appears to be located in Galveston. Evidently this is called a Tier 4 facility which is high security I guess from their website and it appears they do some pretty serious stuff there.

Being that this is a Tier 4 facility then most likely they have planned for the possibility of a Hurricane but I wanted to see if anyone could shed light on this topic. God Bless those down there tonight.

[link to www.utmb.edu]

Below is an excert taken directly from the link above:
Location: Galveston, Texas
Owner: The University of Texas Medical Branch
Type of Project: Three-story, high-containment research addition to an existing building
Architect: B2HK
General contractor: Vaughn Construction
Size: 12,000 gross square feet
Cost: $15.5 million
Construction time: Physical construction began in April 2002 and was completed in 2003
Dedication: November 17, 2003

Over the past decade, The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) has developed a strong program in infectious disease research. Many UTMB faculty have research interests in emerging infectious diseases and biodefense. Consequently, UTMB is in the position of having an internationally recognized group of emerging infectious disease investigators at a time when this subject is of critical public health importance and interest. For UTMB to continue making important discoveries on how to combat some of the most deadly diseases known to man and to serve as a key component in the nation’s fight against bioterrorism, the university in 1997 decided to construct a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL4) laboratory facility to safely handle and maintain infectious agents.

BSL4 is the highest biosafety rating for laboratories dealing with highly contagious organisms. BSL4 laboratories are designed to prevent microbes from being released into the environment and to provide maximum safety for the researchers inside. BSL4 labs require some of the most sophisticated architectural, engineering and construction techniques to ensure the safety of both the scientists inside and the surrounding community. As the first full-sized facility of its kind in the nation to be located on a university campus, UTMB’s BSL4 facility project entailed a three-story addition to an existing university building, as well as some renovation work within the existing building infrastructure to accommodate the addition. The combination of new work and renovation work resulted in an additional 12,000 gross square feet of space.

Often likened to a submarine encased inside a giant bank vault, UTMB’s BSL4 lab features 2,000 square feet of dedicated research space. The remaining 10,000 square feet of the facility contains support equipment designed to capture and destroy any microbes before they can exit the structure.

While a BSL4 may look like an ordinary building from the outside, the building itself is anything but ordinary. BSL4 design features demand that:

All seams, joints and doors are sealed to make the building airtight. Windows cannot be opened, and air does not flow in or out under the doors.
Air is pumped in and out of the building through a sophisticated filtration system to catch even the tiniest microscopic particles, including bacteria and viruses.
All air ducts are welded stainless steel and rigorously tested to ensure they are airtight.
The laboratories are surrounded by “buffer” corridors to help protect them in the event of an accident or attack.
Airlocks, fumigation chambers, disinfectant “dunk tanks” and waste water treatment systems ensure that absolutely everything that leaves the lab is decontaminated.
Interior safety features include:
Entries and exits with double-door airlocks.
Regularly decontaminated work surfaces.
Solid and liquid waste decontamination by heat sterilization, gaseous sterilization, or liquid disinfection. Before it leaves the facility, all waste meets or surpasses the environmental standards of the local community.
Airtight, pressurized suits with dedicated life-support systems that include redundant breathing air compressors, alarms and emergency backup air tanks, as well as a HEPA air filtration system.
Work stations (called biosafety cabinets) that serve as additional barriers. With their own inward-directed and HEPA-filtered air systems, these cabinets are designed to prevent potentially dangerous microbes from escaping.
Construction of UTMB’s BSL4 laboratory was largely funded by a grant from The Sealy & Smith Foundation of Galveston, a philanthropy solely dedicated to benefiting UTMB, with additional support for the facility from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), among other sources. Dr. John Stobo, president of UTMB, said that the financial support the university has received from The Sealy & Smith Foundation and the federal government to build a maximum containment facility at UTMB is much appreciated and “a great tribute to the remarkable work being done here by scientists in the World Health Organization Collaborating Center for Tropical Diseases and to the scientific promise of collaborations with scientists from other disciplines.” He added: “A top virologist was quoted several years ago in Science magazine as saying that UTMB ‘may well become the center for tropical medicine in the world.’ Having the United States’ first BSL4 laboratory on a university campus tends to support that prophecy.”

The BSL4 laboratory was formally dedicated on November 17, 2003, and was named the Robert E. Shope, MD, Laboratory in honor of Dr. Shope, a world-renown virologist who was a member of the UTMB faculty until his death in early 2004.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/12/2008 11:21 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Wow, did anyone else read this???????


BSL4 is the highest biosafety rating for laboratories dealing with highly contagious organisms. BSL4 laboratories are designed to prevent microbes from being released into the environment and to provide maximum safety for the researchers inside. BSL4 labs require some of the most sophisticated architectural, engineering and construction techniques to ensure the safety of both the scientists inside and the surrounding community. As the first full-sized facility of its kind in the nation to be located on a university campus, UTMB’s BSL4 facility project entailed a three-story addition to an existing university building, as well as some renovation work within the existing building infrastructure to accommodate the addition. The combination of new work and renovation work resulted in an additional 12,000 gross square feet of space.

bump
Anonymous Coward
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09/12/2008 11:25 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Jesus H Christ!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 272605
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09/12/2008 11:37 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
f*king speechless!
good sleuthing op.
of course they are located at most
univ, in one form or nother i'd think..but a level 4
Brassia Rex
User ID: 500694
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09/12/2008 11:44 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Good post. A post-hurricane city would be a good breeding ground for tropical/infectious diseases. They build those labs to survive earthquakes, fire & floods. I guess people in that neighborhood will find out how good a job they did.


Best of luck to everyone affected.
Anonymous Coward
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09/12/2008 11:46 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
>Before it leaves the facility, all waste meets or surpasses the environmental standards of the local community.

riiiight
mercury2

User ID: 502344
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09/12/2008 11:52 PM

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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
There was a biomedical research facility in one of the universities in New Orleans that did this kind of infectious diseases work. For a long time after Katrina I thought one reason why the rescue after the flooding was so slow could have been because they were waiting to see if something had escaped the lab that would need quarantine.
Anonymous Coward
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United Kingdom
09/13/2008 12:00 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Well, what happens is- a sink gets blocked so they use one outside of the safe-room to clean the petri dishes. (of course these sinks don't go through the decontamination system.)

Happened in the UK.
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 12:33 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
pin this please
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 12:48 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Announcement on the news from authorities about the destruction of anthrax and other bio-weapons from the Galveston facility prior the arrival of the storm.

Maybe I can dig up a link.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/13/2008 12:53 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Kinda makes me think of that I am Legend movie. With the screen shots of the high gas prices and the empty town from sickness....

I know probably lame but still late.

That article you are talking about that describes them destroying the stuff today was not for this facility if I remember correctly. Let me know. Biodefence, in the title of this place makes me wonder what kinda shiznit they have there. Maybe people will get their zombie on.
Brassia Rex
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09/13/2008 01:10 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Announcement on the news from authorities about the destruction of anthrax and other bio-weapons from the Galveston facility prior the arrival of the storm.

Maybe I can dig up a link.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 502368

That would be good news if true.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 498216
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09/13/2008 01:15 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
This could be bad...


Their site won't load up now...!!

[link to www.utmb.edu]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 502368
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09/13/2008 01:18 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Announcement on the news from authorities about the destruction of anthrax and other bio-weapons from the Galveston facility prior the arrival of the storm.

Maybe I can dig up a link.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 502368


Still looking.

So far, only comments on news sites reporting on local TV news announcements.

I missed whether Chertoff mentioned it in the FEMA briefing earlier today.
Anonymous Coward (OP)
User ID: 492320
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09/13/2008 01:32 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
This could be bad...


Their site won't load up now...!!

[link to www.utmb.edu]
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 498216

Uh oh you are right. Shucks. Maybe that is because of the storm although I doubt it. UT probably has this site setup somewhere secure as do most Universitites etc....
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 01:39 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
(Just some added info:

[link to www.upmc-biosecurity.org]
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 01:40 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Let me try that again:

[link to www.upmc-biosecurity.org]
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 05:54 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
when the east coast was hit yrs ago-Plum Island lost many of it's containment -refridgeration units were out and many contained areas were exposed and I would not be surprised if stuff gets out...seems more and more it is planned-why would anyone put it in a danger zone???
DANE

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Denmark
09/13/2008 05:57 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
when the east coast was hit yrs ago-Plum Island lost many of it's containment -refridgeration units were out and many contained areas were exposed and I would not be surprised if stuff gets out...seems more and more it is planned-why would anyone put it in a danger zone???
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 287857



so bad things could happen, and the could blame nature?



DANE
Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could only do a little.
Edmund Burke
Thoughts Faux Fodder

User ID: 494203
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09/13/2008 05:58 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
sounds like a plot from a bad movie , doesn't it?

scary
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune--without the words,
And never stops at all....
Emily Dickinson
Bean There
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09/13/2008 06:50 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Again with the bio research catastrophe.
anonymous
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09/13/2008 07:00 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
are the germs floating around or are they contained..please just a simply yes or no..
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 09:10 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
bump
Anonymous Coward (OP)
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09/13/2008 09:49 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
are the germs floating around or are they contained..please just a simply yes or no..
 Quoting: anonymous 502473


Now how and the hell can we tell from here? Did you think the "CEnter for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases" actually posted the original post in this thread? Why don't you tell me whether they are contained or not.

Yes I'm pissed as hell today, stayed up too late. Even if the shiznit there is not contained do you think they'll tell us?????
Anonymous Coward
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Netherlands
09/13/2008 10:00 AM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
West Nile, Dengue, Cholera, Typhoid, Botulism, Meningitis, Yellow fever, Malaria.
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 01:59 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
bump
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 02:16 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
I am happy when people die.......
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 02:29 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
UTMB Alert Information
(posted Friday, Sept. 13, 2008, 1:23 p.m., jak)

SPECIAL BULLETIN: Galveston National Lab, Keiller Building, & Shope Lab

Despite rumors to the contrary, the Galveston National Lab (GNL) has suffered no damage as far as we can see. The building was at the end phase of construction. There was no research taking place and no one is occupying the building.

The Keiller Building did experience some flooding in the basement but the rest of the facility is fine. There has been no loss of biocontainment or biosecurity. All labs were decontaminated and secured prior to the arrival of the storm. All agents have been stored in proper containers. The Shope Lab within the Keiller Building also remains secure.

UTMB Emergency Operations Center Leadership
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 02:40 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
Word is only the first floor flooded.
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 02:41 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
are the germs floating around or are they contained..please just a simply yes or no..
 Quoting: anonymous 502473

LOL, this is not a Yes or No answer.
Anonymous Coward
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09/13/2008 02:56 PM
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Re: Something called the University of Texas Medical Branch, Center for Biodefence and Emerging Infectious Diseases is located in Galveston Texas
West Nile, Dengue, Cholera, Typhoid, Botulism, Meningitis, Yellow fever, Malaria.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 290442

you also forgot anthrax, the black plague, the spanish flu





GLP