No ‘Silver Bullet’ For Securing Bio Labs | October 5, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 40 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 40 | p. 31 | Concentrates
Issue Date: October 5, 2009

No ‘Silver Bullet’ For Securing Bio Labs

Department: Government & Policy | Collection: Homeland Security
Keywords: biological pathogens, security

The most effective way to prevent the deliberate misuse of deadly biological pathogens is to instill a culture of trust and responsibility among scientists in the laboratory, the National Research Council said last week. “Focusing on the laboratory environment will be critical for identifying and reducing concerns about facilities or personnel,” says the 161-page report prepared by a committee of university and private-sector scientists. The report says there is no “silver bullet … that can offer the prospect of screening out every potential terrorist.” But it adds that measures such as active monitoring and management can enhance security and prevent the diversion of dangerous materials for illicit purposes. The report also endorsed the existing screening process for determining whether an individual should be cleared to work in a biological research facility. The current security risk assessment process relies on screening more than 20 criminal, immigration, and terrorist databases to identify disqualifying behavior and activities.

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