Feb. 16, 2023
Private-sector research could pose a pandemic risk. Here’s what to do about it
There is very little government regulation over private sector activities that might generate enhanced potential pandemic pathogens – germs that might not only trigger a pandemic, but that have been engineered to make them more virulent or more transmissible. Current oversight of these activities applies only to government-funded work. With the growth of the bioeconomy and increasing amounts of privately funded life science research, this forms an ever-growing gap. This article discusses mechanisms, both legally binding and voluntary, that can broaden the reach of these oversight policies to cover all relevant work, not just the government-funded part of it.