New U.S. biotterror lab opens

After a 10 year process of fundraising and construction, the University of California at Los Angeles recently unveiled a new biological laboratory to conduct research on the defense of bioterrorism.

The state-of-the art lab has been constructed to work quickly and with a high volume of samples to determine where agents of bioterror came from and how to develop the proper medical countermeasures, ABC 7 Los Angeles reports.

"People around the world can rest a little bit easier because of this lab," Cindy Horn, an advisory board member of the UCLA School of Public Health, said, according to ABC 7 Los Angeles. "This has the potential to save hundreds, thousands and maybe even millions of lives- God forbid we ever get to that place."

UCLA raised $32 million for the lab from state, private and federal funding. The lab is equipped to test high volumes of deadly agents rapidly.

"For example to find out where did that agent come from," Linda Rosenstock, the UCLA School of Public Health Dean, said, according to ABC 7 Los Angeles. "Did it start in Mexico? Did it start in Asia? How's it changing over time? How might we develop a vaccine to protect against it? Really the possibilities are endless."

"With this global bio-lab we will not only have surveillance to know what public health threat may be coming, but to respond to it," Henry A. Waxman, a California state representative, said, according to ABC 7 Los Angeles. "To give the important info to the appropriate law enforcement people. And even more importantly to train and have available the personnel in public health that will be able to respond in these types of emergencies."