AAAS/NAS Survey on Security Risks in Life Science Research

Yet another bureaucratic effort to pursue an initiative that will be impossible to implement effectively and could result in frighteningly burdensome regulation if common sense is not injected. Not surprisingly, the General Counsel’s office is the most concerned office at my current institution. Researchers interested in weighing in on this initiative should take the AAAS-NAS Survey to register their opinions as to shape future regulations and policies should take.

The National Science Advisory Board on Biosecurity (NSABB) was created to consider the impacts of advancing biological research on national security. For this initiative, NSABB is concerned with research that could:

  • Enhance the harmful consequences of a biological agent of toxin
  • Disrupt immunity or the effectiveness of an immunization without clinical and/or agricultural justification
  • Confer to a biological agent or toxin, resistance to clinically and/or agriculturally useful prophylactic or therapeutic interventions against that agent or toxin, or facilitate their ability to evade detection methodologies
  • Increase the stability, transmissibility, or the ability to disseminate a biological agent or toxin
  • Alter the host range or tropism of a biological agent or toxin
  • Enhance the susceptibility of a host population
  • Generate a novel pathogenic agent or toxin, or reconstitute an eradicated or extinct biological agent

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