AP Medical Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) - The Obama administration is tightening oversight of high-stakes scientific research involving dangerous germs that could raise biosecurity concerns, imposing new safety rules on universities and other institutions where such work is done.
Wednesday's move follows controversy over creation of a more easily transmitted form of bird flu, research aimed at learning how the virus could mutate to threaten people but that sparked fierce debate over whether it also might aid would-be bioterrorists.
The new rules require many scientists and their employers do more to alert the government about research that may raise those concerns .But it doesn't settle the bigger question of whether certain kinds of studies should be done at all.
"This is an active area of consideration right now within the U.S. government. We ask that you stay tuned," said Amy Patterson, associate director of biosecurity policy at the National Institutes of Health.