Bioterrorism workshop for greater safety measures


STAFF REPORT ISB: In a dynamic global environment and the overwhelming asymmetric threats from the non-state actors, it is of utmost importance to understand the bio-security issues and initiate a coordinated global effort to cope with bio-security and bio-safety breaches and develop an effective response mechanism.

Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata said said while addressing a workshop recently arranged by the Quaid-i-Azam UniversityThe Quaid-i-Azam University Department of Biotechnology and the School of Politics and International Relations that explored concerns in biotechnology.

The workshop, titled “Raising awareness on dual use concerns in biotechnology,” focused on the misuse of knowledge and emerging techniques, including the creation of unique and novel pathogens that can be used as weapons or harm life, material or the environment.

Inomata said that as genetic engineering and synthetic biology advance, concerns about misuse will increase.

Department of Biotechnology Chairman Zabta Khan Shanwari said development of genetic engineering and bioscience technology have increased the risk of bioterrorism, and if virus and pathogens used for research are released from laboratories, they would cause harm.

QAU VC Etzaz Ahmed said the wave of research and discoveries has created great social and economic benefits, and the scientific community must respond to concerns as part of its relationship with society.

The workshop was part of the European Union CBRN Centres of Excellence Risk Mitigation Initiative and Inter-Academy Panel through Pakistan Academy of Sciences.

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