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viernes, 25 de septiembre de 2015

Dual-Use Research of Concern (#DURC) Review at American Society for Microbiology Journals

Scheme of the review process used by
ASM journals for manuscripts containing DURC.
The potential use of biological knowledge for nefarious purposes has attracted significant concern. The field of microbiology has come under particular scrutiny because some microbes and toxins are potential agents for bioterrorism and biological warfare. In 2005, the U.S. government established the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) to address issues related to biosecurity and dual-use research. Over the past decade, the NSABB has considered several topics, including defining the boundary between research that requires no special oversight and research that could be misapplied, which is known as dual-use research of concern (DURC). One of the major accomplishments of the NSABB was to draft a definition for DURC as “life sciences research that, based on current understanding, can be reasonably anticipated to provide knowledge, information, products, or technologies that could be directly misapplied to pose a significant threat with broad potential consequences to public health and safety, agricultural crops and other plants, animals, the environment, materiel, or national security.” In addition to defining the type of research that should elicit heightened concern, the NSABB recommended that research be examined for DURC potential throughout its life span, from experimental conception to final dissemination of the results and developed tools for communicating findings that meet the definition. Furthermore, the NSABB sought to establish a culture of responsibility to mitigate risks associated with DURC that extended through the entire scientific enterprise and included journals and editors. In 2007, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) responded to the NSABB directives by introducing a questionnaire in the manuscript referee review form used by its journals that asked reviewers to provide an assessment about whether the work involved experiments of concern.

Casadevall, Arturo et al. “Dual-Use Research of Concern (DURC) Review at American Society for Microbiology Journals.” mBio 6.4 (2015): e01236–15. PMC. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.

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