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Category: Biological Issues

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. 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.

Nov. 10, 2020

Security Implications of Emerging Biotechnologies

On April 26th, 2016, the Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CSWMD) at National Defense University held a workshop to explore “Security Implications of Emerging Biotechnologies.” Participants from government, NGOs and academia discussed opportunities and challenges of a new era of biotechnology.

June 24, 2020

The Health-Security Nexus: Reassessing Priorities after COVID-19

While Covid-19 has spurred debate about the need to elevate public health as a security concern, the securitisation of health presents both opportunities and trade-offs that need to be considered if we are to reallocate military spending to prepare for the next pandemic. Mr. Nima Gerami and Ms. Amanda Moodie address these issues in their latest for The Oxford University Politics Blog.

May 7, 2020

Embrace Experimentation in Biosecurity Governance

Dr. Gerald Epstein and colleagues examine the need to rethink biosecurity governance to address changing technical, social, and political environments.