House bill calls for White House biodefense advisor

May 10, 2012
by Robert Roos


A bill headed for the floor of the US House calls for appointing a special White House advisor to lead and coordinate biodefense activities, including developing a national biodefense plan and a biosurveillance strategy.

Among other things, the bill (HR 2356) calls for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assess the risks of dual-use research and other threats associated with synthetic biology. It comes in the wake of the controversy over publication of studies describing lab-modified H5N1 avian influenza viruses with transmissibility in mammals.


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