What happens when scientific experimentation both furthers public health goals and potentially elevates public health risks? "Laboratories around the globe increasingly are experimenting with emerging viruses, sometimes giving them new capabilities, as they seek to identify dangerous ones and find ways to combat them. While the goal is to protect health, some of the projects carry the chance of a misstep that could unleash an epidemic, some scientists say. Experiments in the U.S. are reviewed in advance by researchers’ institutions or government funders, but risky projects can go forward without being subjected to the highest level of scrutiny, especially in some other countries. Some scientists and officials in the Biden administration are pushing for more oversight, globally, of risky bioresearch. ... Fewer than 5% of national governments provide oversight for research on dangerous pathogens, according to the Global Health Security Index, a project of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and the Nuclear Threat Initiative, an organization focused on reducing the spread of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons."
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