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NYT: NIH Lifts Ban on Funding Risky Virus Studies

NYT: NIH Lifts Ban on Funding Risky Virus Studies
(Jeff Chiu/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 19 December 2017 09:03 PM

The National Institutes of Health lifted limits Tuesday on making deadly new viruses in the lab, saying the research is needed to prepare the world for killer pandemics, The New York Times reports.

"We have a responsibility to ensure that research with infectious agents is conducted responsibly, and that we consider the potential biosafety and biosecurity risks associated with such research," NIH director Dr. Francis Collins said.

"Now we have a policy that is much more transparent and clear."

The NIH announced a new plan for reviewing such research, saying the work can proceed only if a scientific panel decides the benefits justify the risks and if researchers show their studies will be done in a high-security lab.

Any proposal will have to first be evaluated by an independent expert review process and determined to be scientifically sound. The pathogen must be "reasonable judged to be a credible source of a potential future human pandemic," and then reviewed by an HHS group that will weigh the benefits and risks before rejecting, allowing, or permitting the research with modifications.

A moratorium was imposed on such research in 2014, and effectively halted 21 projects.

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Limits on making deadly new viruses in the lab were lifted Tuesday by the National Institutes of Health, which stated research is needed to prepare the world for killer pandemics, according to The New York Times.
nih, viruses, science, hhs
192
2017-03-19
Tuesday, 19 December 2017 09:03 PM
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