A report recently released by Sandia National Labs shows that researchers in 16 Asian countries often use insufficient biosafety practices. Biosafety level (BSL) 2 practices are often employed for research involving BSL 3 agents.

The report was produced under contract by BioInformatics and is now publicly available on the Sandia Website.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents investigating Japanese encephalitis, avain influenza, and severe acute respiratory syndrome, all BSL 3 agents, perform their research under BSL 2 specifications, says Tamara Zemlo, Ph.D., director of syndicated research and analysis, BioInformatics and senior author of the study.

Dr. Zemlo says they surveyed 300 scientists to assess the current practices employed in studying infectious agents by laboratories located in 16 Asian countries, segmented by the level of biotechnological sophistication.

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