News

  • 11 Jul 2016 2:13 PM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    In May, the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) approved  recommendations for the evaluation and oversight of proposed Gain of Function Research of Concern (GOFROC), following a process involving a risk/benefit and ethical analysis and several public meetings. The recommendations focus on a small subset of Gain of Function (GOF) research proposals, or research generating a pathogen with pandemic potential that entails risks that warrant additional oversight beyond the current oversight. Decisions about whether to fund GOFROC would be based on a set of principles, including merit, a risk/benefit analysis, consideration of alternative methods, history of the investigator and the institution, ability to respond to lab accidents, and whether an organism contains a virulence gene from another organism with which it could not recombine in nature. Oversight of GOFROC would apply to all microorganisms meeting these criteria, not just GOF research with influenza, MERS and SARS virus, which are currently subject to a pause of research funding. The new evaluations would occur pre-funding to determine whether or not a GOFROC study should be undertaken. 

    The NSABB report is available here. The next step is approval by the NIH director, HHS Secretary and other department heads. The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) will then develop new guidance for funding and oversight of GOF research. OSTP hopes to complete an overarching structure for GOF research and then to lift the year and a half funding pause on certain projects involving influenza, SARS and MERS, which is viewed as discouraging to the field of infectious diseases. The NSABB expressed satisfaction with the recommendations, as an affirmation that GOF research has public benefit and that the new guidance will provide assurance to the public that this research will receive greater scrutiny and oversight, although a regulatory approach and new statutes are not desirable.

  • 18 Apr 2016 11:38 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    Due to immense interest in our first "Train the Trainer Course for Biosafety Professionals", we decided to offer another opportunity for interested parties to join our course. Please see the events page for more details. Once again, to offer the best possible interaction between attendees and trainers, registration is limited to 10 people.

  • 01 Mar 2016 7:20 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    Here is a link to a review on face shields and their efficacy in infection control:

    Article

    Abstract

    Face shields are personal protective equipment devices that are used by many workers (e.g., medical, dental, veterinary) for protection of the facial area and associated mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth) from splashes, sprays, and spatter of body fluids. Face shields are generally not used alone, but in conjunction with other protective equipment and are therefore classified as adjunctive personal protective equipment. Although there are millions of potential users of face shields, guidelines for their use vary between governmental agencies and professional societies and little research is available regarding their efficacy.

  • 17 Feb 2016 11:13 AM | Daniel Kümin (Administrator)

    This year's EBSA conference will take place in Lille, France between April 19th and 22nd. For further information please see the following link.

  • 25 Dec 2015 11:37 AM | Anonymous

    We are proud to announce the first two SBNet Workshops outside our normal framework of the annual SBNet Meeting. The first course will cover all aspects of shipping dangerous biological substances and participants will have the opportunity to obtain an official certificate allowing them to ship biological materials according to IATA / DGR.

    See Announcement Workshop Transport

    The second course draws from your feedback over the last few years and the desire to learn more about training and how to conduct biosafety trainings at your institutions. This course will give you the theoretical background as well as a load of practical examples that you can take back home and apply yourselves.
    More details can be found in the attached documents. Hurry, as places are limited and are taken up very quickly.

    See Announcement Workshop Train the Trainer

  • 25 Dec 2015 11:36 AM | Anonymous

    For basic principles and information concerning:

    • Content of a Spill Kit
    • How to clean-up a spill
    • How to keep your hands clean

    See PDF

  • 25 Dec 2015 11:34 AM | Anonymous

    Cleaning, Maintenance and Disinfection of Centrifuges, Rotors and Adapters

    Samira Schroeder, Eppendorf AG, Hamburg, Germany

    In general, handling centrifuges is a safe process, as long as high quality equipment is used, such as anodized or PTFE coated aluminum rotors for instance, and the following conditions are met: the centrifuges and their equipment are used properly, are in an undamaged condition and maintained as recommended here.

    See PDF

  • 25 Dec 2015 11:33 AM | Anonymous

    This article critically reviews the literature on the history of biological warfare, bioterrorism, and biocrimes. The first serious effort to review this entire history, made in 1969, had numerous limitations. In recent decades, several authors have filled many of the gaps in our understanding of the past use of biological agents (including both pathogens and toxins), making it possible to reconstruct that history with greater fidelity than previously possible.

    See PDF or Link

  • 25 Dec 2015 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    This report describes an incident involving the potential exposure of a laboratory technician at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to live (non-inactivated) Ebola virus. The incident occurred on December 22, 2014, on CDC’s Roybal Campus in Atlanta during procedures for a study being conducted as part of the public health response to the ongoing West Africa Ebola outbreak. The potential exposure of the laboratory technician resulted from the inadvertent transfer…..

    See PDF or Link

© Swiss Biosafety Network 2015

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