Boston Biolab Defeats Bids to Ban Deadliest Microbes

Global Security Newswire Staff
Global Security Newswire Staff
May 15, 2014, 8:46 a.m.

Bo­ston Uni­versity over­came two bids to pre­vent a down­town site from study­ing some of the world’s dead­li­est bio­lo­gic­al agents, the Bo­ston Her­ald re­ports.

The Bo­ston City Coun­cil on Wed­nes­day voted down a pro­pos­al to pro­hib­it loc­a­tions in the city from car­ry­ing out “Biosafety Level 4” stud­ies, which can in­volve dis­eases for which there are no known cures. The meas­ure tar­geted the Na­tion­al Emer­ging In­fec­tious Dis­eases Labor­at­or­ies, a 6-year-old site where Bo­ston Uni­versity wants to con­duct such re­search.

The chief pro­ponent of the re­search ban de­scribed the coun­cil’s 8-5 de­cision as a let­down.

“Many oth­er sur­round­ing com­munit­ies have banned [Biosafety] Level 4 re­search to pro­tect their res­id­ents from a po­ten­tial risk,” said Coun­cilor Charles Yan­cey, who sub­mit­ted an or­din­ance to pro­hib­it the sens­it­ive sci­entif­ic ef­forts.

“I don’t be­lieve that the city of Bo­ston is pre­pared to deal with an emer­gency res­ult­ing from the re­lease of a patho­gen,” he said.

Mean­while, a uni­versity ad­min­is­trat­or praised the coun­cil’s de­cision.

“At the end of the day it was the safety meas­ures and the se­cur­ity of the build­ing that car­ried the vote,” Michelle Con­salvo, as­sist­ant vice pres­id­ent for gov­ern­ment and com­munity af­fairs, said in the school pub­lic­a­tion BU Today.

Also on Wed­nes­day, a state court re­jec­ted a loc­al chal­lenge to a Na­tion­al In­sti­tutes of Health find­ing that the labor­at­ory con­sti­tutes a re­l­at­ively in­sig­ni­fic­ant haz­ard to the sur­round­ing area.

“When as­sess­ing the risk … the re­port as­sumed that in each scen­ario, everything that could go wrong would go wrong,” Suf­folk County Su­per­i­or Court Judge Janet Sanders wrote in her rul­ing. “It then cal­cu­lated the risk that this could hap­pen us­ing a spe­cif­ic meth­od­o­logy.”

The labor­at­ory must still ob­tain au­thor­iz­a­tion from the Bo­ston Pub­lic Health Com­mis­sion to con­duct Biosafety Level 4 re­search.

What We're Following See More »
WILL APPEAR TOGETHER TOMORROW
As Expected, Clinton Goes with Kaine
1 days ago
THE LATEST
SO MUCH FOR THE RATINGS BUMP
Convention Ratings Same as 2012
1 days ago
THE LATEST
8,000 DOCUMENTS
Wikileaks Releases Trove of DNC Docs
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"Wikileaks published more than 8,000 documents purportedly taken from the Democratic National Committee Friday, just days before the start of the party's convention in Philadelphia. The documents included briefings on off-the-record fundraisers and candid photographs."

Source:
YES, WE KAINE?
Clinton Announcing VP Pick Today
1 days ago
THE LATEST

Hillary Clinton "is widely expected to announce her choice" of vice president "in an email to supporters while on a campaign swing in Florida on Friday afternoon." The consensus: it'll be Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, although Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack are also said to be in the running.

Source:
EARLY BUMP FOR TRUMP?
New Round of Polls Show a Tight Race
1 days ago
THE LATEST
  • A Rasmussen Reports poll shows Donald Trump ahead of Hillary Clinton, 43%-42%, the fourth week in a row he's led the poll (one of the few poll in which he's led consistently of late).
  • A Reuters/Ipsos survey shows Clinton leading 40%-36%. In a four-way race, she maintains her four-point lead, 39%-35%, with Gary Johnson and Jill Stein pulling 7% and 3%, respectively.
  • And the LA Times/USC daily tracking poll shows a dead heat, with Trump ahead by about half a percentage point.
×