More on the history of uninformed, risky microbiology of the built environment experiments  by US Military

A couple of stories with a scary connection to microbiology of the built environment are worth checking out:

The articles detail some new information on the history of the US Military conducting large scale city wide experiments on people, without persmission, involving spraying “fogs” of bacteria into urban environments.

From Kreston’s article

This would not be the last time that such “simulation” experiments would be carried out on American citizens. From 1950 to 1966, the military performed open-air testing of potential terrorist weapons at least 239 times in at least eight American cities, including New York City, Key West, and Panama City, FL, exposing still unknown numbers of Americans to Serratia and other microbial organisms (4). In the majority of those cases, exposure to the microbe was nothing more catastrophic than exposure to other microbes in a dust cloud. For a minority, including the elderly, young children, and immunocompromised, such exposure posed serious health risks.

Pretty scary actually.  Given the terrible track record of US Labs in keeping pathogenic microbes under wraps, I think I am just not going to trust people proposing large scale experiments with supposedly harmless microbes.

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.