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Laboratory Safety & Security

The Institute of Biophysics attaches great importance to laboratory safety and security. To ensure compliance with biosafety and biosecurity policies and regulations, and to build a strong biosafety culture, all new staff and graduate students at the Institute of Biophysics are required to receive mandatory laboratory safety training, pass an examination and obtain a Biosafety Certificate before commencement of any laboratory work. Specific safety procedures associated with an individual’s work will be covered when the new worker begins using those procedures.

The Committee of Biosafety & Experimental Animal Management is in charge of laboratory safety at the Institute. The Committee is composed of the following members:

Director:  Rongqiao He

Deputy Director:  Hongyu Deng, Zuxiang Liu, Yong Tian

Members: Hongyu Deng, Peishuang Du, Rongqiao He, Baidong Hou, Zuxiang Liu, Yong Tian, Bo Wang, Zengqiang Yan, Liguo Zhang, Ping Zhu, Mingzhao Zhu

Secretaries: Xiang Shi, Tianyu Wang

Here are some biosafety, biosecurity and bioethics resources:

◊  WHO | Responsible life sciences research for global health security

Advances in life sciences research are inextricably linked to improvements in human, plant and ani­mal health. Promotion of excellent, high-quality life sciences research that is conducted respon­sibly, safely and securely can foster global health security and contribute to economic development, evidence-informed policy making, public trust and confidence in science. Yet opportunities may also be accompanied by risks that need to be acknowl­edged and addressed. The risks under consid­eration in this guidance are those associated with accidents, with research that may pose unexpected risks and with the potential deliberate misuse of life sciences research. The opportunities offered by the life sciences are too important for governments and the scientific community (including individual researchers, laboratory managers, research institu­tions, professional associations, etc.) to leave the attendant risks unaddressed.

◊   Life Sciences and Related Fields: Trends Relevant to the Biological Weapons Convention

Over the past decade, national and international scientific organizations have become increasingly engaged in considering how to respond to the biosecurity implications of developments in the life sciences and in assessing trends in science and technology (S&T) relevant to biological and chemical weapons nonproliferation. The latest example is an international workshop, Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological Weapons Convention, held October 31-November 3, 2010, at the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing. The workshop and the subsequent final report are intended to be independent contributions from the international scientific community to the Seventh Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC), which was held in December 2011.

◊ AN INTRODUCTION TO BIORISK MANAGEMENT AND DUAL USE IN LIFE SCIENCES

The volume you have in hand is one of the most relevant results of a cooperative effort among Quaid-i-Azam University, Landau Network Centro Volta, and Sandia National Laboratories aimed to provide the Pakistani life-sciences academic community with better instruments for education on managing biorisk and dual-use issues. The joint project also assessed the current awareness of these emerging topics among young scientists in Pakistan.  Pakistan is a growing market for life sciences and biotechnologies, and a country where biotechnologies have great potential for beneficial social, economic, and health impacts. Recent estimates put biotech revenues in Pakistan in 2010 at 1.4% of the gross domestic product (GDP), and this percentage is expected to grow.6 Research in academia is also rapidly developing; publications by Pakistani research teams quadrupled in the last decade. Significantly, the majority of publications by major universities are from the life sciences. More than 200 university departments in Pakistan conduct life-science research, with growth expected in all areas, but particularly industry has been a government priority; with this government support, the country opened its first biotech plant in 2010.7

◊   BEIJING ON BIOHAZARDS:  Chinese Experts on Bioweapons Nonproliferation Issues

China’s attitudes towards arms control in general and biological weapons nonproliferation in particular have evolved over the last few decades. Beijing on Biohazards provides an informative and intriguing snapshot of current Chinese views on a variety of interlocking topics that fall under the umbrella of biological weapons nonproliferation. To introduce the collection of Chinese essays and the two commentaries on them by U.S. authors, the following paragraphs review China’s early outlook on biological and chemical arms control matters, including Chinese concerns about the use of export controls, and summarize the discussion of biological weapons nonproliferation in Chinese defense white papers. The signs of an internal debate about one facet of biological weapons nonproliferation policy are then raised, and some observations are made about the need for more insight into Chinese thinking on biological weapons nonproliferation topics. A synopsis of the essays themselves is then presented.

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