Monday, April 2, 2012

More Oversight of Deadly Germ Research Promised

Scientists to feel US government breathing down their necks
The Independent
April 2, 2012

Chill winds of Washington's scrutiny set to blow through laboratories after deadly flu scare

Scientists studying potentially dangerous infectious agents will be subjected to far greater scrutiny from the start of their research following the controversy over virologists who surprised bioterrorism experts by creating a highly infectious strain of birdflu virus....

Because of the recent H5N1 fiasco, the US government has promised to tighten up its oversight of research that has potential deadly public heath implications. Oversight of this sort of research has generally been poor and very slip-shod, relying on self-reporting by those with clear vested interests in not reporting problems. It's unlikely to get much better no matter what rules are committed to print.

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