The Mars Sample Return Mission – A Road Map for Future High-Risk Research?

Because this deserves more attention….

Synthetic Genetic Shakespeares

Should full environmental assessments be required before some laboratory research projects involving biological agents are approved? Proactive measures are mandated keep microbial pathogens contained and ensure the safety of laboratory personnel as well as the public. Although effective, is the customary focus on the immediate laboratory environment sufficient for all situations today?

Development projects that involve federal lands, federal funding or will be subject to federal oversight may be required to produce Environmental Impact Statements or Environmental Assessments during the planning process to describe their anticipated effects on the physical, cultural and human environments (1). These planning tools are intended to disclose to the public and policy makers the full range of issues involved with projects that could impact environmental quality, but do not necessarily prohibit environmental harm.

NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are planning a mission to transport samples collected by the Perseverance rover on the Martian…

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