The Nuclear Threat Initiative and the World Economic Forum's Working Group on Preventing Illicit Gene Synthesis was tasked with developing "the basis for a durable, global norm to prevent the misuse of synthetic DNA and for a possible mechanism that could facilitate the implementation of such norms." This report provides a summary of the Group's findings along with recommendations for further action.
Gene editing accelerates a détente between the laboratory and social sciences over questions that direct future research.
One of the concerning questions raised by new technologies is whether advances in biotechnology could tempt states to revive their old biological weapons programs or start new ones.
Gene-editing techniques continue to evolve and improve, but wider commercial use will be contingent upon greater legislative approval.
In the absence of regulations on deploying gene drives or even studying them, scientists and others have been seeking to demonstrate that they are careful stewards of the technology.
Technology has decreased the resources needed for entry, and increased capabilities that could be misused by a determined bioterrorist.
Emerging biotechnology is making possible a new generation of biological weapons.
Dual use is a growing threat as the genetics of pathogenicity traits and toxins are becoming elucidated to a detail that was not anticipated 20 years ago.
This report is the product of the US Department of Defense and other agencies involved in biodefense in response to the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine request that they develop a framework to guide an assessment of the security concerns related to advances in synthetic biology that would assess the level of concern warranted for various advances and identify areas of vulnerability.
The pace of technological change may make regulation impossible.