Securing Bio-Research

Anthrax-laced letters mailed to members of Congress and others just after Sept. 11, 2001, clearly showed the potential for dangerous biological substances in labs finding their way into a terrorist's toolbox.

Last week, the National Academy of Sciences called for tighter controls on such research in universities. The NAS seeks to reactivate a review system that was put in place in the late 1970s following a call for a moratorium on some genetic-engineering experiments. That system would monitor research in seven areas of biology. Local committees could prevent experiments deemed risky, and a federal committee could even keep researchers from getting government grant dollars. Such an effort would need to strike a balance between academic freedom in science and vigilance in preventing a terrorist threat.

One important NAS recommendation is to create a committee in which security experts and biologists could share information and talk about ways to keep materials safe.

Congress and the Bush administration should seriously consider how best to implement these ideas.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK