A&M Among 29 Sites Vying for DHS Lab

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SAN ANTONIO -- Three San Antonio-area sites are among the field of candidates for a proposed federal lab for study of the nation's most dangerous disease threats.

The US Department of Homeland Security has plans for a $450 million National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility.

Brooks City-Base, the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research and the Texas Research Park are among 29 locations under consideration for the lab. All are in San Antonio.

Texas A&M University is the only other Texas site under consideration for the lab.

Also being considered is the existing Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York.

Initial plans are for a 500,000-square-foot lab with up to 300 scientists and support staff on at least 30 acres. The lab would develop countermeasures against human and animal diseases that could be used as terrorist weapons.

About five finalists will be announced around September, with a final selection expected in 2008. The facility could be on line by 2012.