biosecurity

Security of biomanufacturing infrastructures

security of biomanufacturing

I am glad to be part of a multi-institutional team newly commissioned to analyze the security of biomanufacturing infrastructures.  Facilities that manufacture biologic drugs like vaccines are a critical part of the nation’s biodefense infrastructure. Possible breaches of data systems controlling these biomanufacturing supply chains call for an assessment of their vulnerability to cyberattacks. The U.S. […]

Synthetic Biology Security Course

synthetic biology security

Overview: Practical Introduction to Synthetic Biology Security Synthetic biology security can be difficult to assess. The emergence of synthetic biology is catalyzing a change of paradigms in life sciences. It supports the development of a new generation of biotechnology products, it enables radically new kinds of experiments in basic research, and it provides new training opportunities […]

Opiate synthesis in yeast

This article got a lot of attention because of its potential biosecurity implications. Even though the paper only describes the synthesis of an intermediate, media quickly extrapolated to envision this as an avenue to home-brewed morphine and other addictive drugs. Of course, there is a long way to go before substantial amounts of illicit substances […]

Biosecurity of Synthetic Biology

biosecurity team at the fbi

Biosecurity Screens to Keep Synthetic Biology Safe We have developed software that implements the screening algorithm recommended by the Department of Health and Human Services in a document entitled “Screening Frameworks Guidance for Synthetic Double-Stranded DNA Providers.” We characterized the relationship between the computational cost of the sequence screening algorithm, the rate of false positives […]

PLoS publishes blog entry on biosecurity

synthetic biology security

The PLoS Synthetic Biology Community republished an edited version of a blog entry entitled Developing a culture of security in synthetic biology posted on this web site a few months ago. Check it out on the PLoS web site. Drop us a line to tell us if you think there is more to biosecurity in relation to synthetic […]

Synthetic gene drives to alter animals in the wild

George Church’s group published in eLife an article entitled “Concerning RNA-guided gene drives for the alteration of wild populations“in which they describe how CRISPR could be used to alter the genome of animals in the wild. A possible application of this approach could be to edit the genome of mosquitoes to prevent them from propagating […]

Interview with Andrew Snyder-Beattie about security in synthetic biology.

I was recently interviewed by Andrew Snyder-Beattie from the Future of Humanity Institute. I am putting edited excerpts from this interview below with the hope of engaging a discussion.  During this discussion, I am advocating that we work toward the development of a culture of security in biology that goes beyond the traditional notion of biosecurity […]

Developing a culture of security for synthetic biology

synthetic biology security

I was recently interviewed by Andrew Snyder-Beattie from the Future of Humanity Institute. I am putting edited excerpts from this interview below with the hope of engaging a discussion.   Andrew: What  should be done to address the risks of synthetic biology?  What are the roadblocks preventing these things from being done? Jean: I think that […]