A high-tech lab researching livestock diseases

Construction is wrapping up at a new biological research lab in Manhattan, Kansas, where researchers will study vaccines and treatments for highly contagious diseases that affect livestock and humans.

The National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility, or NBAF, will be the first biosafety level 4 lab — the highest biosafety level — in the United States capable of housing large livestock.

Research is slated to begin in another one to two years, once the facility completes select agent registration and obtains all other necessary permits and clearances. Select agents are highly regulated pathogens and toxins that have the potential to cause harm to people, animals and the environment.

At the NBAF, scientists will study potential vaccines, treatments and other prevention measures for pathogens including those causing foot-and-mouth diseases, classical swine fever, African swine fever, Rift Valley fever and other highly contagious livestock diseases, according to the project’s website .

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