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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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Government Panel Proposes New Rules for Handling Dangerous Pathogens
8 January 2010 5:23 pm
The White House has released a much-awaited report on ways to strengthen biosecurity in the United States. Produced by an intragovernmental working group that was set up by President George W. Bush days before his departure from office, the report calls for changes to the rules that govern the handling, storage, and management of the 82 dangerous pathogens and toxins that make up the government's select agent list.
Instead of applying the same security standards to all of the agents, which researchers have complained about for years, the report recommends a stratified system that would toughen security for the most hazardous agents and ease rules for more benign ones. The idea is spelled out in a bill that was introduced in the U.S. Senate last fall; the new report could bolster the bill's chances of being passed by Congress.
The working group also wants the government to tighten the screening and monitoring of researchers who work with dangerous pathogens. And it calls for a set of minimum standards for physical security at labs where these pathogens are stored and handled.