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Boston to regulate research

The City of Boston is likely to become the first major urban center in the U.S. to monitor research on dangerous organisms

John Dudley Miller
The City of Boston will likely soon approve plans to regulate research in all Biosafety Level 3 and 4 labs inside city limits, according to a senior Boston public health official. The comprehensive and controversial draft regulations are seen as a response to concerns about the safety of past and future biological research at Boston University. If they are adopted in the next two months as expected, Boston will become the first major city in the U.S. to monitor research in universities, hospitals and private labs, according to the city's public health chief, John Auerbach. The proposed regulations would require that all BSL-3 and BSL-4 labs, plus BSL-2 labs working with attenuated strains of high-risk viruses, apply for operating permits. The federal government defines BSL-4 labs as those that work with incurable diseases and BSL-3 labs as those working with agents that may cause serious illness and possible death. Under...

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