This is a 12-month distance learning based course run by the Biosafety International Network and Advisory Service (BINAS) of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and gives researchers, policy makers, lawyers, ethics experts and biotechnology regulators the skills to deal with the complex issues surrounding the assessment and management of biological risks. The course has been piloted at UDEC for past two years and is now being expanded into a network of other centres across the globe.
With the number of commercially available biotechnology products rising exponentially each year, it is vital that safety standards are set to safeguard public health and the environment without hindering technological advancement. The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety came into force in 2003 to protect biological diversity from the potential risks posed by modified organisms and many developing countries are setting up national biosafety frameworks to implement this protocol. However, this involves the interaction of several diverse disciplines and there is an urgent need for people with the expertise required to put these frameworks into action. The Biosafety Diploma will help solve this problem by training students in the latest developments in biotechnology, showing them how to conduct risk assessments and informing them of the national and international regulations currently used in the biotechnology industry.
“This is the first academically accredited postgraduate biosafety course in the world” says Roger who studied plant viruses at the John Innes Centre before retiring in 1997 and being awarded an Emeritus Fellowship. “This course is really important because it trains professionals in all aspects of biosafety and enables them to implement the biosafety regulatory structures in an informed manner. The programme lasts a full year so covers a more comprehensive range of subjects than previous training courses that only last one or two weeks. The combination of distance-learning and on-campus training sessions allows trainees to study flexibly whilst working full-time”.
The diploma is currently running from a network of regional international centres based at the Universities of Concepción (Chile), Malaya (Malaysia), Dar es Salam (Tanzania) and the Biosciences Eastern & Central Africa (Kenya); further centres are being planned for the future. It comprises one or more weeks spent on campus where trainees can meet tutors and other participants and a series of online lectures and group discussions. Trainees are assessed throughout the course with coursework, a dissertation and final exams. The teaching faculty draws on a broad base of international expertise, with the tutors coming from Switzerland, Argentina, Israel, the Netherlands, Austria, Chile and the UK. Roger will be travelling to Kuala Lumpur in September and then Chile in October to teach the campus-based parts of the diploma in these two international course centres. For more information about the Biosafety Diploma please visit http://binas.unido.org/wiki.
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21.08.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
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Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.
As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...
Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.
Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...
An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.
The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...
A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...
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