A sign on the door of a Biosafety Level 4 laboratory at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Fort Detrick, Md., Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011. (Associated Press/Patrick Semansky)

The Army's premier biological laboratory on Fort Detrick reported two breaches of containment earlier this year, leading to the Centers for Disease and Control halting its high-level research.

The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases announced Friday that it would restart its operations on a limited scale.

As it works to regain full operational status, more details about the events leading to the shutdown are emerging.

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(New Jersey National Guard photo by Mark C. Olsen)

A lawmaker who wants the Pentagon to investigate whether military biological weapons experiments with ticks cause Lyme disease insists he is not spreading conspiracy theories.

"Why wouldn't we want to know?" Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) told Task & Purpose. "Let the IG [inspector general's office] decide that — and put this to bed forever — if indeed it's a fable, if it's untrue."

Smith authored an amendment to the House version of the Fiscal 2020 National Defense Authorization Act that would require the Pentagon to investigate if the military released infected ticks onto an unsuspecting American public "by accident or experiment design."

But experts say they are skeptical of any link between U.S. military bioweapons research and the outbreak of Lyme disease.

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U.S. Army Africa photo.

Army researchers from Fort Detrick are developing relationships with Ebola survivors in Uganda, who may hold the key to a vaccine or treatment for the deadly disease.

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Maj. Gen. Barbara Holcomb took the reins as Fort Detrick’s first female installation commander in a ceremony Thursday morning.

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