U.S. Government Temporarily Suspends New Funding For ‘Gain-Of-Function’ Research On Infectious Diseases

News outlets report on a White House decision to temporarily cease new funding for gain-of-function research on certain infectious diseases.

Nature News Blog: White House suspends enhanced pathogen research
“As the U.S. public frets about the recent transmission of Ebola to two Texas health care workers, the U.S. government has turned an eye on dangerous viruses that could become much more widespread if they were to escape from the lab. On 17 October, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced a mandatory moratorium on research aimed at making pathogens more deadly, known as gain-of-function research…” (Reardon, 10/17).

New York Times: White House to Cut Funding for Risky Biological Study
“Prompted by controversy over dangerous research and recent laboratory accidents, the White House announced Friday that it would temporarily halt all new funding for experiments that seek to study certain infectious agents by making them more dangerous…” (McNeil, 10/17).

NPR: U.S. To Temporarily Halt Funding For Controversial Virus Research
“…The unusual move comes after a long controversy over experiments with mutant forms of a bird flu virus. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy said that the government will launch a review of the potential risks and benefits of certain experiments with three viruses: SARS, MERS, and influenza…” (Greenfieldboyce, 10/17).