UK lab to get new digs

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    Government backs plan to rebuild 'shabby' research centre.

    Credit: S. WIRZBA/CORBIS

    The laboratory at the centre of the UK foot-and-mouth disease outbreak in 2007 is getting a £100-million (US$165-million) renovation aimed at attracting scientists back to the Institute for Animal Health (IAH).

    The new facilities at the Pirbright Laboratory, where the IAH studies how to control and treat infectious diseases in animals, are due for completion in 2013.

    The lab, shared by the IAH and vaccine manufacturer Merial, was linked to two foot-and-mouth outbreaks (see Nature 449, 259–260; 2007). Reports both before and afterwards called the lab “shabby”, “substandard” and “dilapidated”.

    Revamping it and improving biosecurity will make it easier to recruit and retain quality scientists, says science minister Paul Drayson. The renovation is being funded by the new Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

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    UK lab to get new digs. Nature 460, 1047 (2009) doi:10.1038/nj7258-1047c

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