Constructed in 2009 in the highly populated South End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories (NEIDL) facility contains labs that operate at biosafety levels 2, 3 and 4. Due to its location the NEIDL has faced a raft of legal and regulatory hurdles that have prevented BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs from becoming functional.
“Threading the NEIDL,” is a 1-hour documentary produced by MicrobeWorld (the public outreach website by the American Society for Microbiology) and narrated by Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D., Higgins Professor of Microbiology & Immunology at Columbia University, which explores how the NEIDL is secured from unauthorized entry, what's like to wear a BSL-4 level safety suit, how the facility is constructed to make it safe, and how workers carry out experiments with highly dangerous viruses such as Ebola virus and Lassa virus without jeopardizing their health or that of the surrounding community.
This is a never before seen look at how one of America's state of the art biodefense research facilities operates and the security measures put in place to keep it safe, even in the heart of a major urban center.
This documentary was filmed in conjunction with Boston University School of Medicine and the popular science podcast This Week in Virology, which is also hosted by Vincent Racaniello.