US government to announce new policies for dual use research

The U.S. government today released two new documents to guide researchers in carrying out dual use research of concern.

First, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy today published a draft policy for public comment that proposes to formalize the roles and responsibilities of institutions and researchers when they are conducting certain types of research on specific pathogens and toxins. Researchers are often best poised to understand the potential misuse of the information, technologies and products emanating from their research and to propose and implement strategies to mitigate risks.

Second, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services today published a framework to guide funding decisions on proposals for research anticipated to generate HPAI (avian influenza) viruses that are transmissible among mammals by respiratory droplets. The new framework outlines a robust review process that takes into account the scientific and public health benefits, the biosafety and risks, and the appropriate risk mitigation measures pertinent to the proposed research.

The HHS is outlined in a Forum that published today in the journal Science.

More information: The Framework document will be available at www.phe.gov/s3/dualuse/Pages/default.aspx
NIH and HHS officials have authored an article in Science that describes the Framework and explains its purpose; that article will be available at www.sciencexpress.org
Information about the general issue of dual use research can be found at: oba.od.nih.gov/biosecurity/biosecurity.html . U.S. Government Policies on dual use research of concern can be found at: www.phe.gov/s3/dualuse/Pages/default.aspx

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