Bioagents to be moved from Albany, N.Y.

Some of the world's deadliest biological agents, including bacteria responsible for the plague and anthrax, may be moved from an Albany, N.Y. research lab next week.

Henry Heine, the scientist who runs the biodefense lab at the Ordway Research Institute in Albany, plans to have the bacteria moved to the University of Pittsburgh because Ordway is closing down after filing for bankruptcy in April, Times Union reports.

Ordway was created in 2002 with funding from the Liebich family, which founded Albany Frosted Foods, later Sysco. The scientists at the institute sought to develop treatments for infectious diseases and cancer.

Heine has received permission from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta to move the bioagents, which include Bacillus anthracis, which causes anthrax, and Yersinia pestis, which is suspected to have caused the plague. Both substances are federally regulated because they could possibly be used in biowarfare or terrorist attacks.

Heine's lab, known as the Center for Biodefense and Emerging Infections, looks for ways to treat civilians or soldiers exposed to such deadly bacteria, especially since it is expected that resistant strains could be engineered. The bankruptcy documents indicate that Heine has a deal with the University of Florida, which has an Emerging Pathogens Institute. School officials had no immediate comment on the possible move.