NIH to re-review Boston biolab

NIH has established a new panel to review safety considerations in the linkurl:biocontainment lab;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/27378/ currently under construction in a densely populated Boston neighborhood, the agency announced today in a linkurl:press release.;http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2008/od-06.htm Boston University has had plans to build the Biosafety Level 4 facility since 2003, when it received a $120 million grant from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious

Alla Katsnelson
Mar 5, 2008
NIH has established a new panel to review safety considerations in the linkurl:biocontainment lab;http://www.the-scientist.com/news/home/27378/ currently under construction in a densely populated Boston neighborhood, the agency announced today in a linkurl:press release.;http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2008/od-06.htm Boston University has had plans to build the Biosafety Level 4 facility since 2003, when it received a $120 million grant from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the project. But community opposition has dogged the plan since then. Last year, a linkurl:National Research Council;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53944/ report concluded that NIH had flubbed its assessment of potential safety risks posed by the facility, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that further linkurl:safety studies;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54271/ were required before the lab could open. The Blue Ribbon Panel will hold its first public meeting on March 13. "Our number one concern is the safety of the people working in the laboratory and those living in the surrounding communities," NIH director Elias Zerhouni...
tly under construction in a densely populated Boston neighborhood, the agency announced today in a linkurl:press release.;http://www.nih.gov/news/health/mar2008/od-06.htm Boston University has had plans to build the Biosafety Level 4 facility since 2003, when it received a $120 million grant from the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the project. But community opposition has dogged the plan since then. Last year, a linkurl:National Research Council;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53944/ report concluded that NIH had flubbed its assessment of potential safety risks posed by the facility, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that further linkurl:safety studies;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54271/ were required before the lab could open. The Blue Ribbon Panel will hold its first public meeting on March 13. "Our number one concern is the safety of the people working in the laboratory and those living in the surrounding communities," NIH director Elias Zerhouni said in the statement. "All of the analyses conducted to date indicate that the risks posed by this lab are extremely low. We recognize that the community has remaining concerns, however, and we will address those concerns rigorously, objectively, and comprehensively." Chaired by Adel Mahmoud, a Princeton University expert on microbial threats and bioterrorism, the panel also consists of 15 other members from institutions around the US.

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