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Menino to Reassure South End Germaphobes Over B.U. Biolab

Though, to be fair, this isn't your don't-want-to-grab-the-same-train-poll-that-someone-with-a-cold-just-grabbed germaphobia. A little background: Ever since it was first proposed in 2003, Boston University's National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory on Albany Street in the South End has been enmeshed in (infected with?) controversy, mainly due to concerns that the germs studied within its walls could be deadly. The state last month O.K.'d research in the biolab on less hazardous materials, and the feds are expected to decide soon whether research on the more lethal germs can go forward as well.

Enter the South End residents, who worry about some sort of Outbreak-like scenario. Per Kay Lazar in The Globe: "Some neighbors and environmental groups have argued that the densely populated area of the city near Boston Medical Center is not an appropriate or safe place for scientists to be working with lethal germs."

And also enter Hizzoner, a big supporter of the biolab. Mayor Menino, presumably in one of those souped-up hazmat suits, is expected to lead a tour today that will include these residents from the Hub's Neighborhood of the Year. A further hearing by the National Institutes of Health is scheduled for as early as February.

· Mayor Menino to Lead Biolab Tour [Globe]
· The Curbed Boston Cup's Neighborhood of the Year: South End! [Curbed Boston]