Tuesday, July 15, 2014

SciAm: Branswell On Lab Biosafety




# 8836


I’ve been away from my desk for most of the day, but I wanted to recommend (very highly) the following Scientific American piece by Helen Branswell on the fallout from the recent laboratory incidents involving select agents at the CDC and FDA.



Bio-Unsafety Level 3: Could the Next Lab Accident Result in a Pandemic?

So-called gain-of-function pathogen research will likely receive closer scrutiny after three U.S. biolab incidents

Jul 14, 2014 |By Helen Branswell

scientist inoculates chicken egg with H5N1 avian flu
A CDC scientist inoculates a chicken egg with H5N1 in a biosafety level 3 lab. 
Credit: CDC/Greg Knobloch

There had to be a sinking feeling in the chest of every researcher who works in a high-containment research laboratory last Friday when the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released its report on three worrisome incidents that raised safety questions at two well-respected government facilities. But it is likely the sensation was most acute for the influenza scientists who work in a controversial field known as gain-of-function research.

(Continue . . . )


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