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The United States has dropped proposed security rules that would have prevented some foreign researchers from using 'controlled' equipment in US laboratories.

The US Department of Commerce said last week (31 May) that it was withdrawing the proposed rule change partly in response to complaints from universities, industry and some government labs.

The department said it did not want to create regulations that would "make the research enterprise less productive".

Under the proposal, scientists from "countries of concern" — including China, India and Pakistan — would have needed a licence to use certain pieces of equipment that could have military applications (see Protests greet US licence plans for overseas scientists).

The department is now forming a 12-person committee that could include academics and industry researchers to look further into issues of laboratory security.

Link to full article in Nature

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