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.
The technology and economics of large-scale DNA synthesis have driven the cost of gene synthesis down approximately 250-fold in just 10 years. The World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines relating to variola virus are also unknown to most biologists.
This report summarizes the work performed as part of a Laboratory Directed Research and Development project focused on evaluating and mitigating risk associated with biological dual use research of concern. The academic and scientific community has identified the funding stage as the appropriate place to intervene and mitigate risk, so the framework developed here uses a portfolio-level approach and balances biosafety and biosecurity risks, anticipated project benefits, and available mitigations to identify the best available investment strategies subject to cost constraints.
Making use of synthetic biology requires a society-wide conversation about benefits and risks.
The recreation of horsepox virus, an extinct orthopoxvirus with similarity to smallpox virus, has caused concerns in biosecurity communities.
Horsepox synthesis is more likely to occur when scientists act independently rather than as a group.
This report examines the US strategy for reducing biosecurity risks in life sciences research and considers mechanisms that would allow researchers to manage the dissemination of the results of research while mitigating the potential for harm to national security.
Researchers working in the life sciences have little awareness of biosecurity.
This course provides detailed training on the US Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern.
Knowledge of biological or cyber vulnerabilities can be used to develop a weapon instead of a vaccine or a patch.