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U.S. To Ask University Officials How Best To Implement New DURC Policy

“The U.S. government will soon be asking university officials to comment on how best to implement recently released dual use research rules at the university level,” according to Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), who spoke Monday at a workshop sponsored by the National Academies in Washington, ScienceInsider reports. “The reviews are designed to reduce the risks associated with dual use research of concern (DURC) that could be used for good or harm,” the news service notes, adding, “The announcement marks the latest U.S. response to the controversy over a pair of studies that show how to make the H5N1 avian influenza virus transmissible in mammals.”

“Fauci did not discuss the details of the new policy, which he said should be released for public comment ‘soon,'” but “he said officials will be seeking input on what university-level review practices would be ‘practical and impractical. … We don’t want to have a government policy that can’t be implemented,'” ScienceInsider reports (Malakoff, 5/1). Fauci “said the NIH expects to put the guidance out for public comment over the next few weeks and is eager to learn what parts of the new DURC policy will be hard to implement at the local level,” CIDRAP News writes (Schnirring, 5/1).