The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the move this morning as part of a larger initiative to improve border security and biosecurity at hog farms.
The federal government has a short list of regulated organisms. But the government’s ban focuses on the organisms themselves, rather than the genetic instructions for making them. Because the government has not published those sequences, the companies must decide for themselves whether a mail order request is potentially dangerous.
Alex Kelly, BioFoundry’s 26-year-old lab manager, compares biotech to the birth of the computer, once cloistered in big corporations, now at everyone’s fingertips. Upskill the people in biotech, Kelly believes, and you’ll get disruption writ large, with a potentially massive payoff for the most disadvantaged.
Variations of the genome editor CRISPR have wowed biology labs around the world over the past few years because they can precisely change single DNA bases. But such “base editors” can have a serious weakness. A pair of studies published this week shows that one kind of base editor causes many unwanted—and potentially dangerous— “off-target” genetic changes.
China may divide its hog industry into five zones to stop the spread of African swine fever (ASF) and guarantee pork supplies in the world’s top pork-producing country.
Living with Panama disease tropical race 4 has come at a huge cost to growers, government and the community. But far from being a death knell to the $600 million industry, growers have emerged stronger and better equipped to contain the spread of this deadly soil-borne disease.
This paper offers an analytical framework is used to assess the risks and benefits of such dual use research, and relevant components of biosecurity policy and the biodefense enterprise (including the acquisition of medical countermeasures) in the United States are discussed.
China is tightening rules on gene-editing, after a Chinese scientist prompted a global outcry by claiming that he had edited the genes of a pair of newborn twins. In a draft regulation released this week, China’s National Health Commission proposed a stringent approval process for biomedical research and heavy penalties for scientists who evade oversight.
Biosecurity covers anything or anyone—people, vehicles, rodents—entering the area where livestock grows. Protocols and training for delivery drivers, workers and family reduce risk.
Advances in the field of biotechnology and synthetic biology are becoming increasingly accessible to actors wishing to do harm, while scientists and policymakers have become increasingly aware that the current regulatory framework may not be adequate.