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Committee to hold hearing on Kan. biosecurity lab

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) -- A panel of the National Research Council is beginning a review of the Department of Homeland Security's plans for a new biosecurity lab in Kansas.

Officials of federal agencies and Kansas State University are speaking Friday in Washington as part of the three-day review. The $650 million National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility is to be built near the Kansas State campus in Manhattan.

Among the issues are whether the threat of deadly animal diseases warrants construction of the lab, and whether the planned size and scope are still appropriate.

The National Research Council is part of the National Academy of Sciences. The academy has been asked to analyze the proposed lab, the risks associated with its construction and the potential for release of dangerous animal diseases.