The Newsroom    Published Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2006, 1:45 PM
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Global Effort Sought to Prevent Misuse of Biomedical Advances

Voice of America (Internet / Radio) 01/31/06 A U.S. scientific panel warns that the world needs to protect itself better from bioterrorism and other misuses of biomedical advances. It calls on the global scientific community to be vigilant against such practices and recommends creation of a special advisory board to work with intelligence and security agencies to detect and prevent them. Panelist Joshua Epstein thinks misuse could be tracked and reported over the Internet. At the same time, Epstein and his colleagues say biomedical advances are essential to thwarting bioterrorism.  For example, only continuing research can develop antidotes to toxins terrorists might use. Committee chairman Stanley Lemon of the University of Texas Medical Branch says this means biomedical research must remain unfettered, despite the potential for misuse. "We find that results of fundamental research should and must remain unrestricted, except in cases where national security requires classification," said Mr. Lemon.

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