Camp Detrick and Joshua Lederberg

Bio Safety Level 4 (BL-4) isolation suite at Camp Detrick
Subject of Biological Warfare is isolated in an enclosed negative-pressure gurney
Gurney ready to be moved through transport-port to isolation suite

Bio Safety Level 4 (BL-4) isolation suite Detrick (negative pressure), at transport port to suite

Such an enclosed negative-pressure gurney and isolation suite was also used by "Jeremy Stone" in the Michael Crichton novel and film, "The Andromeda Strain", whose purpose was to popularize "exobiology".

Joshua Lederberg studied bacteria and viruses from the viewpoint of transduction. Thus genes that convey virulence could be made more virulent or transferred to bacteria that did not normally act as disease vectors.

A subcommittee of the American Society of Microbiology was established at the beginning of World War II, but extended well beyond World War II. The purpose of this subcommittee was to review issues related to biological warfare. Of course, this is very legitimate. However, perhaps an unstated function was also the examination of research that might pertain to biological warfare: thus, censorship.

The following documents establish connections between Joshua Lederberg and Camp Detrick Biological Warfare research.

  1. Lederberg, Joshua to Wolfe, Hugo C.: June 10, 1949
    Regarding the report of the FAS committee on Biological Warfare
    The focus of this letter is the use of agricultural pathogens which would not incur retroaction (retaliation or the use of biological weapons that could only be specifically targeted against a particular geographic or climatic area). Insofar as biological warfare might be targeted against humans, Joshua Lederberg states that the possibility of retaliation, as well as subsequent exclusion of military invasion, must be taken into account. Note that at no point does Joshua Lederberg raise any moral objections; in fact, he suggests that the public should be 'educated' to allay its fears of, and moral objections to, biological warfare.
  2. .
  3. Page, Leslie A., Goodlow, Robert J. and Braun, Werner, "The Effects of
    Threonine on Population Changes and Virulence of Salmonella Typhimurium",
    Camp Detrick, Frederick, MD, received for publication July 2, 1951
  4. .
  5. Braun, Werner to Lederberg, Joshua: August 13, 1951
    Joshua Lederberg's contract with Camp Detrick; work regarding mutagenic
    agents that affect Amino acid levels
  6. .
  7. Housewright, Riley D. to Lederberg, Joshua: October 25, 1955
    Recommend researchers to work at Camp Detrick
  8. .
  9. Lederberg, Joshua to Jastrow, Robert: circa February 21, 1959
    "Fort Detrick can help you a great deal on this (but don't
    let the papers learn you have BW in on the rockets!)"
  10. .
  11. Horowitz, Norman to Lederberg, Joshua: February 6, 1960
    "Back-contamination and the goals of exobiological research."
  12. .
  13. Berland, Theodore, "Unknown Menace: Germs from Outer Space"
    Popular Mechanics, November 1962, p. 124
    Educating the public on applications used in biological warfare research,
    leveraged to prevent 'back-contamination' of the Earth as the result of
    space exploration
  14. .
  15. Memorial to one-time Director of Camp Detrick, Riley D Housewright
    The memorial notes that Dr. Housewright proposed uses of Biological Warfare in Cuba

Some Other Known U.S. Biological Warfare Facilities
  1. Horn Island, Mississippi (test site)
  2. Dugway Proving Ground (DPG), Utah
  3. Pine Bluff Arsenal (PBA), Arkansas (manufacturing)
  4. Terre Haute, Indiana (manufacturing)
  5. Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland
  6. Plum Island, New York
  7. Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Colorado