Researchers who work with 15 potentially dangerous agents and toxins would be subject to extra review if a proposed federal policy were adopted. Universities and research institutions that receive federal funding would be required to review their current life sciences research involving certain pathogens or toxins and to develop risk mitigation plans.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy claims that the new policy aims at “maximizing the benefits of life sciences research while minimizing the odds that the results of such research will be misused.” Specifically, the policy focuses on so-called dual use research, which can pose a significant threat to public health and safety, crops, livestock, or the environment.

The draft policy is open for public comment until 23 April 2013. More information is available at


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