April 21, 2014

Who Said That?

Florida's quote of the day

| 2/7/2014

" If they don’t find a way to cure their plants, they’re sunk."

-- MaryLou Polek, vice president of science and technology for the Citrus Research Board, based in Visalia, Calif

In a secure Biosafety 3 containment facility at the University of California, Davis, researchers are required to de-robe, pull on scrubs and pass through negative pressure doors – something like an airlock – before they can begin their work. Leaving requires a shower and more airlocks.

“Everything is completely contained,” said MaryLou Polek, whose organization helps fund some of the research done at the facility. “They can’t even take a notebook out. They have to email their results out.”

Biological weapons? Well, in a way.

The building is called the UC Davis Research Containment Facility. And in this state-of-the-art operation, researchers work with exotic pests and pathogens that threaten U.S. agriculture and natural resources – things such as the glassy-winged sharpshooter and the brown marmorated stink bug.

They’re also studying what may be the biggest threat these days to the U.S. citrus industry: the Asian citrus psyllid.

Read more at the Miami Herald.

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