A couple of stories with a scary connection to microbiology of the built environment are worth checking out:
- Story in the SF Chronicle (originally by Kevin Lotia in Business Insider) is a must read for many reasons. ‘One of the largest human experiments in history’ was conducted on unsuspecting residents of San Francisco.
- This appears to be based largely on an article in Discover “Blood & Fog: The Military’s Germ Warfare Tests in San Francisco” by Rebecca Kreston.
The articles detail some new information on the history of the US Military conducting large scale city wide experiments on people, without persmission, involving spraying “fogs” of bacteria into urban environments.
From Kreston’s article
This would not be the last time that such “simulation” experiments would be carried out on American citizens. From 1950 to 1966, the military performed open-air testing of potential terrorist weapons at least 239 times in at least eight American cities, including New York City, Key West, and Panama City, FL, exposing still unknown numbers of Americans to Serratia and other microbial organisms (4). In the majority of those cases, exposure to the microbe was nothing more catastrophic than exposure to other microbes in a dust cloud. For a minority, including the elderly, young children, and immunocompromised, such exposure posed serious health risks.
Pretty scary actually. Given the terrible track record of US Labs in keeping pathogenic microbes under wraps, I think I am just not going to trust people proposing large scale experiments with supposedly harmless microbes.