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E. A Groundbreaking, Environmental Monitoring System

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories have developed a unique environmental monitoring system. Called Biological Aerosol Sentry and Information System - or BASIS - it gives early warning of potential biological attacks. Dennis Imbro, the Livermore Lab's BASIS project manager says it's a system that sniffs the air and then does detection analysis of the material that's been collected.

Imbro: BASIS breaks new ground. People have not done this type of a thing before. The concern was that if there is a biological release and people are infected, the first thing the health department would know is when these people start showing up at emergency rooms throughout the city.

Narrator: But by that time, it would be too late and survival would be very low. So BASIS provides warning within a few hours of a release. It was successfully used at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

Imbro: We are now looking at what it would take to distribute this system to other cities, other locations throughout the country.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.