Take a look inside the world’s most biosecure laboratory


[Music plays] CSIRO’s Australian
Animal Health Laboratory known as AAHL is a
frontline defence helping to protect
Australia from the threat of exotic and emerging
animal diseases. This national facility has developed a
significant international reputation as one of the world’s finest animal
bioscience research laboratories, and it’s the most sophisticated
laboratory in the world for the safe handling and containment
of infectious microorganisms. Opened in Geelong,
Victoria in 1985, the laboratory was the
technically complex of its time. AAHL’s reputation for engineering
excellence continues today with the recent implementation
of award winning contemporary automation and
control system technologies. Research is undertaken here to
develop new diagnostic tests and other decision support tools for limiting disease spread and for the creation of new
vaccines and treatments to protect animals and
humans from disease. The threat that infectious
diseases pose to human, animal and environmental health is a global concern. In the last 20 years some 30 new
and highly infectious diseases have been identified
including Hendra virus, SARS, Ebola and HIV Aids. Many of these diseases
don’t have a cure. (Prof Martyn Jeggo) Four years
ago the Australian government recognised the need to invest in research infrastructure
across Australia and set aside half a
billion dollars for this. One key area for the
government is biosecurity, and the Australian
Animal Health Laboratory is the largest national
facility in this area and so it was agreed there would be
investment to improve this facility. CSIRO used the funding to build
a state of the art facility that would permit research
scientists from across Australia to work in a biosecure and
a biosafe environment with the nastiest bugs
that affect our wildlife, our domestic animals and humans. (Narrator) Located with AAHLs advanced high
biocontainment facility is the AAHL Collaborative
Biosecurity Research Facility known as the ACBRF. It’s the most advanced facility
of its kind in the world and provides Australia
with a unique opportunity to lead biosecurity
research globally. As well as undertaking
the identification and characterisation of viruses, this new facility will be used
to investigate the origin, development and treatment of
animal and zoonotic diseases or diseases that are harmful
to both people and animals. [Music plays] [Clicking sound] (Narrator) Before
entering the laboratory scientists pressurise the fully
encapsulating positive pressure suit, the latest model
available to scientists and check both air supplies
to ensure their equipment and lifelines are
operating efficiently. Once inside, they can
then move around freely. The ACBRF provides
scientific staff with an opportunity to work
with small laboratory animals including insects inside
three spacious animal rooms. There’s also an
anteroom for equipment including freezers
and centrifuges and a large general laboratory. This general
laboratory is unique as it allows up to 12 scientists
to work at any one time within the specialised space on
research of national importance at the highest level
of biosecurity. It has five independent
workstations and features state
of the art equipment including Class 2 biological
safety cabinets and incubators. The ACBRF also incorporates the AAHL
Biosecurity Microscopy Facility a specialist microscopy service
that enables fundamental research with infectious disease
agents that require the highest levels
of containment. The control room overlooks
the imaging facility where scientists can
communicate with staff and remotely control
the microscope. (Dr Alex Hyatt) One
area that excites me about this new PC4 lab is that for the first
time in the world we’ll be able to use
live infectious viruses to infect living cells. We will be able to
use microscopes to record the virus
attaching to the cell, entering the cell, replicating
and leaving the cell. In addition, we’ll be able to look at
the impact of the virus on the cell and transmit those
images in real time to researchers here at AAHL
within Australia and overseas. (Narrator) Although the
laboratory is in the heart of AAHL’s secure area
staff aren’t isolated from other parts of the facility or the outside world. They can communicate
with each other, make contact with the
central monitoring officers as well with scientists outside
the laboratory at any time. All activities within
the facility are under 24 hour closed circuit
TV surveillance. This footage can be viewed
over a secure web connection and interfaced into a new
communication system called the Biosecurity
Collaboration Platform. AAHL’s original suit
room will be used as a secondary work area when the large PC4
laboratory is decontaminated and shut down for maintenance. This is a mandatory requirement and
will occur on an annual basis. In building this laboratory the CSIRO has worked and
continues to work closely with regulators to
ensure the new facility meets all the current
requirements set by the Australian
Government’s Office of the Gene
Technology Regulator and the Australian Quarantine
and Inspection Service, all done as part of the
CSIRO’s commitment to operating a safe and
secure laboratory. The ACBRF complements
existing facilities within AAHL’s
biocontainment area, for example the large
animal facility is the most sophisticated microbiologically
secure research facility of its kind in the world. It provides the CSIRO with
the ability and flexibility to work with any animal
species and pathogens and the highest level
of biosecurity. The ACBRF also offers a
specialised training facility to help scientists gain
experience and confidence working in conditions that
mimic a PC4 environment. This facility is designed
to avoid the distractions, delays and most importantly, the risks associated with
training in an active workspace. Everything within the ACBRF is
treated before it leaves. The air is filtered, all sewerage is heat treated and solid waste is incinerated. As part of this
biocontainment procedure, all staff leaving the laboratory must complete a seven
minute chemical wash before removing and leaving behind
their suit and laboratory clothes. They must then shower
out through an airlock. The shower process is then repeated
in order to exit the secure area. Once outside the laboratory staff must not have contact with
livestock animals for seven days. In the past two decades the CSIRO has been at the forefront
of the discovery and control of several significant
emerging infectious diseases including Equine Influenza, Hendra virus and SARS. The laboratory continues
to be a partner in numerous research
collaborations both nationally and
internationally. The CSIRO welcomes
and encourages the international research
community to work within the ACBRF on a marginal cost
recovery basis to undertake projects
of global importance. (Prof Martyn Jeggo) This facility
can make a real difference to Australian biosecurity and to the health of our people, our livestock and
indeed our environment. [Music plays]

47 thoughts on “Take a look inside the world’s most biosecure laboratory

  1. 2:20  The world's most secure bio facility and one of the door passwords is 320. Hmm. That may be only one of the doors, but that isn't very good protocol.

  2. THE MOST ADVANCED LOL HARDLY THEY HAVE SUPER SECRET SHIT NO ONE WILL HEAR ABOUT WORKING ON ALIEN DISEASES AND ALIENS…  YOU AUSSIES SURE LOVE TO PUMP UP YOUR EGOS DONT YOU

  3. The incredible mind behind all of CSIRO's research is brilliant scientist Albert Wesker.

    Albert Wesker has been petitioning to allow human trials for his new project. We are still awaiting the outcome of this petition. In other news 2 lab staff have been reported missing whilst working alone in the lab at night, police are investigating this issue.

  4. How much money does the CSIRO pay for a microbiologist working in a BSL3? Also, what education and benefits come with the job?

  5. If this is a Biosafety Level 4 (BSL-4) Laboratory, why would you not work in a Class III Biosafety Cabinet along with your Hazmat gear???

  6. That's a dirtiest cleanest room I've ever seen. These people remind me of EOD specialist gotta be freaking nuts. but at the same time I thank you for your service. Just don't go off making new world order bugs. Makes me think of all these super dangerous job that's out there. btw don't let those elites pressure on the cure to Hiv etc. Sickness +Drugs = Big money. People Matter right ?

  7. Been there. They had signs over the toilet telling people not to drink the toilet water…… long story…..

  8. The most secured BSL-4 lab should be VECTOR Institute in Russia and CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. They are the only 2 facilities approved by the World Health Organisation to synthesize and store the now eradicate Small Pox Virus. VECTOR Institute are heavily guarded by military personnel, and the whole city has been closed down by the Russian government to avoid any intruders.

  9. People going mental and shit 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️like we are safe ffs trust the cdc and all that they know what they are doing

  10. Recently transferred my experiments to a new SPF animal facility, the old animal facility wasn't that 'clean'. Kinda sucks when your mice get Helicobacter hepaticus and you're doing experimental liver research… At first I thought: Man, getting clothes off, washing hands a gazillion times, putting on surgical mask and hairnet, decontaminate this, sterilize that, go through the air shower, bring things in through the autoclave or nebulizer…Imagine forgetting something crucial, do it all over again to get the thing you forgot you need in the lab…

    Then I saw this…

    I'm never complaining again !!!

  11. What if you're struck with a diarrhea attack while wearing your pressure suit? Oh well, you're going to be taking two showers anyways

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