Category: Biological Issues

July 8, 2024

Bolstering Biosecurity Amid the Biotechnology Revolution

The rapid pace of novel technological change, referred to as “emerging technologies,” is challenging our ability to devise policy and governance apace. This is particularly true in the life sciences and biotechnology, where the current tools used for promoting biosecurity via policy and governance are becoming outdated.

Aug. 18, 2023

2023 Biodefense Posture Review

The Biodefense Posture Review was a whole of DOD effort to develop guidance to achieve National Defense Strategy priorities and address biological threats - especially those with strategic consequences for the U.S. military.

Feb. 16, 2023

Private-sector research could pose a pandemic risk. Here’s what to do about it

Despite the increasing amounts of privately funded life science research, there is very little government regulation over private sector activities that might generate enhanced potential pandemic pathogens – germs that might not only trigger a pandemic, but that have been engineered to make them more virulent or more transmissible. This article discusses mechanisms, both legally binding and voluntary, that can broaden the reach of these oversight policies to cover all relevant work, not just the government-funded part of it.

Aug. 18, 2021

Taking Stock of the National Stockpile: Modernizing for a Dynamic Response

Many have acknowledged that the COVID19 pandemic was not a failure of our imagination – we’ve been preparing for such an event for decades by building biotechnologies for biosurveillance and medicines, conducting exercises, and stockpiling of medical supplies – furthermore, response to a spreading illness in many ways is not rocket science: treat the sick, protect the vulnerable, and stop the spread – mainly accomplished via the tools and products of biotechnology. Many are now asking, what could we have done better in the pandemic response?

July 28, 2021

“Designer Biology” and the Need for Biosecurity-by-Design

CSWMD's Dr. Diane DiEuliis and Dr. James Giordano, Departments of Neurology and Biochemistry and Cyber-SMART Center, Georgetown University are featured in the latest issue of CBRNe Society's NCT Magazine.

June 7, 2021

The Origin of Covid-19 and Preventing The Next Pandemic

In a recent article in War on the Rocks, Ms. Amanda Moodie and Dr. Nicholas Evans explore how U.S. policy priorities should focus on both identifying and preventing the spread of zoonotic pathogens and bolstering safety and security in high-containment laboratories.

March 11, 2021

Want to Grow the Economy? Try Fermenting It Instead

U.S. industry’s distribution system and supply chains were vulnerable before COVID, but pandemic-related disruptions to supply chains fully exposed this already alarming problem. U.S. manufacturers have relied too heavily on foreign materials for production, and the steady off-shoring of critical industries over a course of decades has reduced direct control of vital defense-related manufacturing should it be needed.

Feb. 12, 2021

Biodefense and the return to great-power competition

Dr. Gerald Epstein's latest article in The Nonproliferation Review explores the increased likelihood of the development and potential use of biological weapons by Russia and China. This paper is part of a special issue on chemical and biological warfare that is being published in memory of Raymond A. Zilinskas.

Feb. 1, 2021

The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: An Update

In an update to their 2014 paper on the future of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus assess and offer policy considerations on the significant geopolitical and technological developments shaping the future of WMD since 2014.

Dec. 9, 2020

The biosecurity benefits of genetic engineering attribution

In a recent volume of Nature Communications, Dr. Gerald Epstein and colleagues examine the biosecurity benefits of genetic engineering attribution. This paper is a policy companion piece to a technical paper, published in the same issue, announcing new results in using machine learning to recognize the source of a genetically engineered DNA.