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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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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.