Lessons not learned: Insider threats in pathogen research

1) Even though America’s most notorious biosecurity breach — the 2001 anthrax mailings — was the work of an insider, expert panels have concluded that there is no need for intrusive monitoring of microbiologists engaged in unclassified research. 2) The debate over publication of studies on the H5N1 virus focused on terrorists and ignored the potential risks posed by insiders. 3) Microbiologists should not be exempt from the kind of scrutiny that scientists who work with nuclear weapons and fissile materials must endure.