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Boston U. Gets Preliminary Approval to Open Long-Delayed Bioresearch Lab, With Conditions

A preliminary approval by a Massachusetts environmental agency could allow Boston University to open a controversial “biocontainment” laboratory by the end of the month, but only for research on substances less hazardous than those that sparked community opposition to the project, The Boston Globe reported. The university won a federal grant in 2003 to build the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory, with facilities at the government’s highest security rating, Biosafety Level 4, for the study of dangerous germs and pathogens. The state agency’s decision would allow the university to begin research at Biosafety Level 2. The agency will gather additional public comment until December 21, and issue its final decision within seven days after that.

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