United States takes one step closer to zombie apocalypse

The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus is seen in an undated transmission electron micrograph from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) [via Reuters]

The National Institutes of Health has lifted a moratorium on scientists mucking around with dangerous infectious disease. Government run review panels will protect us. What could go wrong?

The New York Times article shares a number of not exactly concern-reducing quotes from scientists interviewed about this "small step forward." Michael T. Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, reassures us with statements like: "If someone finds a way to make the Ebola virus more dangerous, I don’t believe that should be available to anybody off the street who could use it for nefarious purposes," and "Physicists long ago learned to distinguish between what can be publicly available and what’s classified." Great.

The value of this research to people who don't want to kill millions is made to seem negligible, in the article, as well.

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Information security needs its own National Institutes of Health

Superstar security researcher Dan Kaminsky (previously) wants to create a "National Institutes of Health for computer security" -- a publicly funded research institution that figures out how to prevent and cope with large-scale security issues in networked devices. Read the rest