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Could the move of a infectious disease research lab to King's Cross bring the risk of virus leakage to central London? Plus is British science finally acquiring commercial nous?

By Philip Ball   November 2007

Biohazards in central London

When the foot-and-mouth virus, apparently leaked from the Pirbright animal health research laboratory in Surrey, was detected at a nearby farm last summer, a 3km exclusion zone was set up around the site. Imagine a similar containment strategy being used for a lethal human virus leaked from a lab near King’s Cross station. As a recent letter to Nature pointed out, the zone “would reach 10 Downing Street and quarantine most of the UK government’s decision-makers.”

There is no such lab. But there could be soon. The Medical Research Council has decided to move its…

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