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viernes, 19 de enero de 2018

The ghosts of HeLa: How cell line misidentification contaminates the scientific literature

While problems with cell line misidentification have been known for decades, an unknown number of published papers remains in circulation reporting on the wrong cells without warning or correction. Here we attempt to make a conservative estimate of this ‘contaminated’ literature. We found 32,755 articles reporting on research with misidentified cells, in turn cited by an estimated half a million other papers. The contamination of the literature is not decreasing over time and is anything but restricted to countries in the periphery of global science. The decades-old and often contentious attempts to stop misidentification of cell lines have proven to be insufficient. The contamination of the literature calls for a fair and reasonable notification system, warning users and readers to interpret these papers with appropriate care.

REFERENCE:
Horbach SPJM, Halffman W (2017) The ghosts of HeLa: How cell line misidentification contaminates the scientific literature. PLoS ONE 12(10): e0186281. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0186281

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miércoles, 17 de enero de 2018

Assessing the Biological Safety Profession's Evaluation and Control of Risks... #FieldSampling

FRAGMENT: This study developed a web-based survey distributed to practicing biological safety professionals to determine the prevalence of and extent to which biological safety programs consider and evaluate field collection activities. In cases where such issues were considered, the data collected characterize the types of controls and methods of oversight at the institutional level that are employed. Sixty-one percent (61%) of the survey respondents indicated that research involving the field collection of biological specimens is conducted at their institutions. A majority (79%) of these field collection activities occur at academic institutions. Twenty-seven percent (27%) of respondents indicated that their safety committees do not consider issues related to biological specimens collected in the field, and only 25% with an oversight committee charged to review field collection protocols have generated a field research-specific risk assessment form to facilitate the assembly of pertinent information for a project risk assessment review. The results also indicated that most biosafety professionals (73% overall; 71% from institutions conducting field collection activities) have not been formally trained on the topic, but many (64% overall; 87% from institutions conducting field collection activities) indicated that training on field research safety issues would be helpful, and even more (71% overall; 93% from institutions conducting field collection activities) would consider participation in such a training course. Results obtained from this study can be used to develop a field research safety toolkit and associated training curricula specifically targeted to biological safety professionals.
REFERENCE:
Patlovich ST, et al. Assessing the Biological Safety Profession's Evaluation and Control of Risks Associated with the Field Collection of Potentially Infectious Specimens. Appl Biosaf. 2015 Mar; 20(1): 27–40. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2018 Jan 9.

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lunes, 15 de enero de 2018

Safe-by-Design: from Safety to Responsibility

Safe-by-design (SbD) aims at addressing safety issues already during the R&D and design phases of new technologies. SbD has increasingly become popular in the last few years for addressing the risks of emerging technologies like nanotechnology and synthetic biology. We ask to what extent SbD approaches can deal with uncertainty, in particular with indeterminacy, i.e., the fact that the actual safety of a technology depends on the behavior of actors in the value chain like users and operators. We argue that while indeterminacy may be approached by designing out users as much as possible in attaining safety, this is often not a good strategy. It will not only make it more difficult to deal with unexpected risks; it also misses out on the resources that users (and others) can bring for achieving safety, and it is undemocratic. We argue that rather than directly designing for safety, it is better to design for the responsibility for safety, i.e., designers should think where the responsibility for safety is best situated and design technologies accordingly. We propose some heuristics that can be used in deciding how to share and distribute responsibility for safety through design.
REFERENCE:
Van de Poel, Ibo, and Zoë Robaey. “Safe-by-Design: From Safety to Responsibility.” Nanoethics 11.3 (2017): 297–306. PMC. Web. 8 Jan. 2018.

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viernes, 12 de enero de 2018

National Framework for Personal Protective Equipment Conformity Assessment - Infrastructure

The goal of our efforts at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is to provide national and world leadership to prevent workplace illnesses and injuries. We accomplish this by conducting and supporting activities to protect workers from work-related exposures to hazards. One core objective of this approach involves the development and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Workers are more likely to appropriately use PPE when they are confident that the equipment will provide the intended protections based on its conformance with appropriate standards. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (the Academies) indicates that “for the consumer or worker, conformity assessment provides confidence in the claims made about the product by the manufacturer and may assist the consumer with purchasing decisions in determining the fitness of a product for it its intended use.” [IOM, 2011, page 3] A comprehensive and tailor-made conformity assessment (CA) program is the most effective way to manage risks of a non-conforming PPE and instill this confidence in PPE users.
REFERENCE:
NIOSH [2017]. National framework for personal protective equipment conformity assessment – infrastructure. By D’Alessandro M. Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication 2018–102.

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miércoles, 10 de enero de 2018

CDC Safety Training Course for Ebola Virus Disease Healthcare Workers

Response to sudden epidemic infectious disease emergencies can demand intensive and specialized training, as demonstrated in 2014 when Ebola virus disease (EVD) rapidly spread throughout West Africa. The medical community quickly became overwhelmed because of limited staff, supplies, and Ebola treatment units (ETUs). Because a mechanism to rapidly increase trained healthcare workers was needed, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention developed and implemented an introductory EVD safety training course to prepare US healthcare workers to work in West Africa ETUs. The goal was to teach principles and practices of safely providing patient care and was delivered through lectures, small-group breakout sessions, and practical exercises. During September 2014–March 2015, a total of 570 participants were trained during 16 course sessions. This course quickly increased the number of clinicians who could provide care in West Africa ETUs, showing the feasibility of rapidly developing and implementing training in response to a public health emergency.
REFERENCE:
Narra, Rupa et al. “CDC Safety Training Course for Ebola Virus Disease Healthcare Workers.” Emerging Infectious Diseases 23.Suppl 1 (2017): S217–S224.

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lunes, 8 de enero de 2018

Network Experiences from a Cross-Sector Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory Collaboration

The Swedish Forum for Biopreparedness Diagnostics (FBD) is a network that fosters collaboration among the 4 agencies with responsibility for the laboratory diagnostics of high-consequence pathogens, covering animal health and feed safety, food safety, public health and biodefense, and security. The aim of the network is to strengthen capabilities and capacities for diagnostics at the national biosafety level-3 (BSL-3) laboratories to improve Sweden's biopreparedness, in line with recommendations from the EU and WHO. Since forming in 2007, the FBD network has contributed to the harmonization of diagnostic methods, equipment, quality assurance protocols, and biosafety practices among the national BSL-3 laboratories. Lessons learned from the network include: (1) conducting joint projects with activities such as method development and validation, ring trials, exercises, and audits has helped to build trust and improve communication among participating agencies; (2) rotating the presidency of the network steering committee has fostered trust and commitment from all agencies involved; and (3) planning for the implementation of project outcomes is important to maintain gained competencies in the agencies over time. Contacts have now been established with national agencies of the other Nordic countries, with an aim to expanding the collaboration, broadening the network, finding synergies in new areas, strengthening the ability to share resources, and consolidating long-term financing in the context of harmonized European biopreparedness.

REFERENCE:
Thelaus, Johanna et al. “Network Experiences from a Cross-Sector Biosafety Level-3 Laboratory Collaboration: A Swedish Forum for Biopreparedness Diagnostics.” Health Security 15.4 (2017): 384–391.

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viernes, 5 de enero de 2018

A biosafety level 2 virology lab for biotechnology undergraduates

Medical, industrial, and basic research relies heavily on the use of viruses and vectors. Therefore, it is important that bioscience undergraduates learn the practicalities of handling viruses. Teaching practical virology in a student laboratory setup presents safety challenges, however. The aim of this article is to describe the design and implementation of a virology laboratory, with emphasis on student safety, for biotechnology undergraduates. Cell culture techniques, animal virus infection, quantification, and identification are taught at a biosafety level 2 for a diverse group of undergraduates ranging from 20 to 50 students per group.

REFERENCES:
Matza‐Porges, Sigal, and Dafna Nathan. “A Biosafety Level 2 Virology Lab for Biotechnology Undergraduates.” Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 45.6 (2017): 537–543. PMC.

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miércoles, 3 de enero de 2018

lunes, 1 de enero de 2018

NOM-005-SCT/2008, Información de emergencia para el transporte de substancias, materiales y residuos peligrosos

La presente Norma Oficial Mexicana establece en forma uniforme para su aplicación en los diversos modos de transporte, los datos y especificaciones que debe contener la Información de Emergencia para el Transporte de Substancias, Materiales y Residuos Peligrosos, que indique las acciones a seguir para casos de incidentes o accidentes (fugas, derrames, explosiones, incendios, exposiciones, etc.), que debe llevar toda unidad durante el transporte de substancias, materiales y residuos peligrosos, en un lugar accesible de la unidad y retirada de la carga.

REFERENCIA:
NOM-005-SCT/2008, Información de emergencia para el transporte de substancias, materiales y residuos peligrosos.

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lunes, 25 de diciembre de 2017

NOM-003-SEGOB-2011, Señales y avisos para protección civil.- Colores, formas y símbolos a utilizar.

La experiencia indica que la correcta aplicación de esta Norma Oficial Mexicana, contribuye a mejorar las condiciones de seguridad en instalaciones y sitios en los que, conforme a leyes, reglamentos y normatividad aplicable en materia de prevención de riesgos, debe implementarse un sistema de señalización sobre protección civil, en beneficio de la población que concurre o labora en ellos.

REFERENCIA:
NORMA Oficial Mexicana NOM-003-SEGOB-2011, Señales y avisos para protección civil.- Colores, formas y símbolos a utilizar.


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