Feeds

Science MPs horrified by UK bio-lab management

Porton Downer

High performance access to file storage

MPs have painted a embarrassing picture of the UK’s bio research facilities, describing some labs as “shabby” and “deplorable” after years of underinvestment and neglect.

The Innovations, Universities, Science and Skills committee launched its investigation after the foot and mouth outbreak in Surrey last year, which was eventually traced to a leaky drain at the Institute of Animal Health at Pirbright.

If anyone thought the situation at Pirbright was a one-off, they’ll be disappointed. The report uncovered shortcomings in the way capacity for high containment research (i.e. boffins playing around with scary scary stuff) is provided.

While Porton Down’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory was described as “world class” and “state of the art”, others including the Health Protection Agency site at at Porton Down, and the IAH, were “in need of significant investment given their age”.

The committee identified a “striking lack of co-ordination between organisations who sponsor and run high containment laboratories,” with no one minister having a “strategic overview” of the systems.

Unsurprisingly there were also shortcomings in the funding for the system, particularly for ongoing maintenance. So it’s no surprise that the UK’s most recent foot and mouth outbreak was down to something as mundane as a leaky drain at Pirbright.

The committee made a number of recommendations, including the shocking idea that there should be “complete clarity” over who is in charge of biosecurity, “especially” on sites of “mixed ownership or sponsorship such as at Pirbright”.

Such a “controlling mind” must be “clearly identified and be expected to manage the risks that it creates”, the committee said.

And, into the bargain, the committee reckons “the Government should know the location, capacity and capability of all high containment laboratories in the UK”.

The full report can be found here. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
Singapore decides 'three strikes' laws are too intrusive
When even a prurient island nation thinks an idea is dodgy it has problems
Banks slap Olympus with £160 MEEELLION lawsuit
Scandal hit camera maker just can't shake off its past
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.