ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

U.S. calls pathogen research timeout

October 21, 2014 2:38 AM UTC

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and HHS announced the U.S. government has halted funding for "gain of function" (GOF) research that could increase the pathogenicity or respiratory transmission of influenza, SARS and MERS viruses. The hiatus will remain in effect while the government carries out a risk-benefit assessment and adopts a new federal policy regarding GOF research. This process is expected to end in 2015.

The assessment will include drafting of recommendations by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), in conjunction with public consultations organized by the National Research Council. NSABB will meet on Oct. 22 to begin drafting recommendations. ...