. "6 Reshaping U.S.-Russian Cooperation in the Biological Sciences and Biotechnology." Biological Science and Biotechnology in Russia: Controlling Diseases and Enhancing Security. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2005.
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Biological Science and Biotechnology in Russia: Controlling Diseases and Enhancing Security
ments. In particular, the WHO has for many years encouraged programs related to the control of infectious diseases and has established a number of infectious disease “collaborating centers” in Russia. The WHO will presumably continue to expand these efforts in the future.
EXPANSION OF BILATERAL COOPERATION
In the early 1990s, the U.S. and other Western governments began to support basic research in Russia, including research in the biological sciences. Several U.S. agencies such as the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Office of Naval Research were increasingly concerned that much of the world-class basic research capability of Russia would be lost because of the sharp decline in funding for science in the country.
Of special concern was the significant loss of talent accompanying the decline in Russian government support for research. As discussed in Chapter 5, this loss of talent has been primarily an internal movement of well-trained specialists away from science careers to the commercial sector in Russia. There has been a less dramatic, but nevertheless important, migration from Russian research laboratories to research centers in other countries.
Starting in 1994, the U.S. government initiated several nonproliferation programs that involved cooperative biological research activities. The programs were intended to help ensure that Russian expertise in biology and related fields relevant to weapons would not be transferred deliberately or inadvertently to countries or groups with intentions hostile to U.S. interests. More recently, related nonproliferation programs initiated by the U.S. government have improved safety and security procedures at Russian facilities where strains of dangerous pathogens are stored. These programs also have upgraded facilities for breeding research-quality rodents and for toxicological experiments with rodents and other small animals. Now refurbishing research and manufacturing facilities is underway so that they meet requirements for Good Laboratory Practices and Good Manufacturing Practices as called for by recently promulgated Russian regulations. In addition, biotechnology and the life sciences are clearly a priority area of interest to the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow (ISTC), an international program, which is sponsored by the U.S. and several other governments (see Figure 6.1).
The rapid spread of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS in Russia has attracted considerable attention from the U.S. government, resulting in funding provided primarily by the U.S. Agency for International Development, which has a health, and not a nonproliferation, mandate (see Box 6.1). To address a number of other diseases as well, six U.S. departments have sizable programs to redirect former weapons expertise to public health, agriculture, and environmental problems within the framework of nonproliferation. The severe acute respiratory syndrome