The Newsroom    Published Friday, Oct. 26, 2012, 11:13 AM
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Viral research faces clampdown

Nature, October 5, 2012

Federal health agencies in the United States have acted to tighten security surrounding research on two deadly pathogens. The move is intended to enhance public safety, but some fear that it may hamper research in the United States and abroad. Earlier this month, U.S. health agencies added the SARS virus to its list of select agents, which means that dozens of U.S. labs holding the virus have until April 3 to either upgrade the bio-security of their labs or destroy or transfer their stocks. Shinji Makino, a SARS researcher at UTMB, whose biosafety-level 3 lab is one of the 38 affected, is “disappointed” by the move. His university owns the BSL-4 Galveston National Laboratory, which has the highest biosafety containment rating and so is select-agent compliant, and Makino is now seeking lab space there to continue his research.


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