Imperial College Fined Over Hybrid Virus Risk

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Science  03 Aug 2001:
Vol. 293, Issue 5531, pp. 779-781
DOI: 10.1126/science.293.5531.779b

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HERTFORDSHIRE, U.K.-- One of the United Kingdom's top research institutes has been ordered to pay almost $65,000 in fines and legal fees for risking the release of a potentially deadly hybrid virus. Government inspectors had charged Imperial College, London, with failure to follow health and safety rules in a study that involved the creation of a chimera of the hepatitis C and dengue fever viruses, both of which cause severe illness. On 23 July, a crown court judge upheld the charges and found the college guilty of failing to adequately protect laboratory workers and the public.