RealNews

Researchers urged to guard biotechnology from terrorism

The prospect that rogue scientists could exploit genetic advances to unleash deadly germs led the National Research Council to call Wednesday for better oversight of biotech research. The report, ”Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism,” aims to balance the need for greater security with ”scientific openness” and the freedom to pursue cutting-edge medical research. Rather than urge legislation, the report’s authors call for a voluntary system of self-policing, coupled with supervision from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and education about the risks of so-called dual-use technology. Similar concerns prompted the nuclear industry to set up organizations such as the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations in the USA to review security issues independent of government regulators. Full Story

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