ECBC uses advanced technology to target ricin

The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) is using advanced technology to quickly analyze potential biothreat samples to detect targets like ricin.

The age of the internet has enabled people to share and exchange content quickly, resulting in many societal benefits. The system has also increased the mishandling of knowledge for ill-intended purposes, including the distribution of biological and chemical threats. The ECBC said there have been more cases in the past few years in which people have made the biothreat ricin in their own homes.

The ECBC's Environmental BioMonitoring Laboratory (EBML) uses high-speed analytical instrumentation and robotics to analyze up to 96 samples in an eight-hour time frame. EBML can detect up to seven different targets across the polymerase chain reaction platform and the elctrochemiluminescence platform.

"The bio threat has become more widely known in the internet age because the instructions are out there," Andrew Bailey, a biologist for ECBC's Chemical Biological Application and Risk Reduction (CBARR) business unit, said. "One of the things we do at ECBC is lead the way in defending against what's next."

The U.S. intelligence community has identified many biological threats through careful research, helping the ECBC to branch out and defend against evolving biothreats.