As we prepare for a presidential election in November, the current administration is tackling an imperative undertaking: To set a way to govern potentially unsafe biological research trials that create infectious and lethal new germs.
According to an article published today on The Hill, researchers in 2011 reported tests that made deadly strains of influenza and the news raised worries that such novel infections could be purposely abused. Not to mention that there’ve been reports of lost smallpox vials at the National Institutes of Health, potential Bacillus anthracis exposures at the Centers for Disease Control, and different episodes at government labs highlighted wellbeing slips in even the nation’s top offices.
The White House will likely reveal a long haul strategy to solve this problem before January.
Writes The Hill’s Marc Lipsitch”
“The National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity, charged to lead the deliberation, concluded that certain experiments – those with a high likelihood of producing novel, contagious and highly virulent infectious agents – are particularly worrisome and deserve special vetting for scientific necessity and safety before they are undertaken. The question is who should scrutinize them, and how.”
The US firmly limits perilous trials with germs and poisons that may entice weapons for bioterrorists. While this rule provides a structure with which to control experiments that make new fatal, transmissible infections, it’s still not fail-proof. “The Rule should be amended to prohibit the riskiest research that might produce highly virulent, contagious new strains of a pathogen, while permitting exceptions if an interagency expert panel judges the risk is warranted,” writes Lipsitch.