Common Mechanism highlighted in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
In the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Dr. Weiwen Zhang and Dr. Leifan Wang write that “Scientists are the best judge of research risks, but they need support“. They write that
scientists who work in this realm of [potential pandemic pathogen] research are in the best position to assess risks, prepare mitigation measures, and detect problems.

However, tools to help scientists conduct ethical and risk assessments are needed. Zhang and Wang highlight the following tools:

* World Health Organization (WHO) 2022 Global guidance framework for the responsible use of the life sciences
* Tianjin Biosecurity Guidelines for Codes of Conduct for Scientists
* WHO Mobile App for Biosafety Risk Assessment
* IBBIS’s Common Mechanism to screen synthetic nucleic acids

The commentary appears as part of a collection of articles on challenges and opportunities for high-risk pathogen research from experts who were involved in the Pathogens Project taskforce.