A new government body should be formed to oversee the increasing number of high-containment laboratories that work with dangerous pathogens, according to a linkurl:Government Accountability Office (GAO) report;http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09574.pdf released yesterday (September 21).
Bacillus anthracis
Image:P Paul Keim, linkurl:CDC EID,;http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/EID/vol10no1/03-0238.htm via Wikipedia
In the report, the GAO pointed out that such laboratories have proliferated since 2001; in 2008, there were 1,362 Biosafety Level 3 labs registered with the CDC, the report notes. But no single federal organization is in charge of overseeing this expansion and high-risk research. "While some federal agencies do have a mission to track a subset of BSL-3 and -4 laboratories that work with select agents and know the number of those laboratories, no single regulatory agency has specific responsibility for biosafety in all high-containment laboratories in the United States," the report states. There are also, the report notes, no laws that would help the government track such...
The Scientist

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?