Fort Detrick in 1960s: Hoppin’ w bacteria

Fort Detrick, in Frederick, Maryland, was a happening place in the 1960s. Two recent news reports celebrate different aspects. Today the New York Times reports:

William C. Patrick III, Expert on Germ Warfare, Dies at 84

… A scientist, Mr. Patrick made germ weapons for the American military from 1951 to 1969. He produced tons of deadly agents, like the microbe anthrax, which, when inhaled, causes fever, cough, vomiting, chills, shock and coma, usually ending in death. He received five patents, all of them granted secretly….

Five days ago the Frederick-News Post reported:

Military Intelligence — ‘Ig Nobel’ prize bestowed on Detrick team

Fort Detrick was honored for a 1967 experiment by Manuel Barbeito, Charles Mathews and Larry Taylor. Their findings: “a bearded man subjects his family and friends to risk of infection if his beard is contaminated by infectious micro-organisms while he is working in a microbiological laboratory,” according to their paper in Applied Microbiology. They note that soap and water doesn’t kill all the microbes that cling to facial hair, so men need to either think twice before growing a beard or make sure to clean it extra carefully….

Improbable Research