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MinION: Learning Curve, Challenges, and Critiques

By |2019-04-03T23:38:33+00:00January 23rd, 2018|

Adventures with the MinION II: Challenges and Drawbacks to the Novel Technology Oxford Nanopore Technology’s (ONT) MinION has garnered considerable excitement, for good reason.  It's suitable for labs on a limited budget, who work with DNA samples in the field, and who need long reads. These are all benefits that you cannot find when using [...]

New publication defining “cyberbiosecurity”

By |2019-02-06T19:36:53+00:00January 11th, 2018|

We've just published a new paper describing the security risks that come along with the increasing digitization of biotechnology workflows. We call this emerging field cyberbiosecurity. Our paper about cyberbiosecurity was published in the Cell Press journal Trends in Biotechnology on December 7th. Concurrent with the publication, we also issued a press release and wrote [...]

Is there a Genome Editing Right?

By |2019-02-06T19:37:38+00:00November 8th, 2017|

Biohackers are using CRISPR technology to edit their own genomes. Is there a genome editing right or should CRISPR tools be controlled substances? The Facts Josiah Zayner, recently reported, that he attempted to edit his own genome using the CRISPR. This story was reported in a number of outlets including Outside Magazine and Buzzfeed. This [...]

New synthetic biology journal

By |2019-02-06T19:37:38+00:00August 8th, 2017|

Why a new synthetic biology journal? Most synthetic biology papers are not published in a synthetic biology journal. They are still published in non-specialized journals that span a broad spectrum of scientific specialties from bioinformatics to molecular biology and biotechnology. It can be difficult for readers to notice synthetic biology papers among all the other papers [...]

FBI Synthetic Biology Training

By |2019-02-06T19:37:41+00:00July 24th, 2017|

FBI Training Objectives For one week in May, we hosted 11 agents and analysts from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation for an intensive synthetic biology training program. The goal of this event was to give the law enforcement personnel foundational knowledge and insight into the rapidly evolving field of synthetic biology. At first glance, a [...]

Synthetic Biology Summer Schools

By |2019-02-06T19:37:43+00:00February 13th, 2017|

For graduate students interested in getting intensive training in synthetic biology, there are several summer schools worth considering: CSHL Summer School in Synthetic Biology: This program spans 2 weeks and combines lectures and intensive lab experience. Application deadline is April 15th. SSBSS 2017:The Synthetic and Systems Biology Summer School (SSBSS) is a full-immersion five-day residential [...]

Security of biomanufacturing infrastructures

By |2019-02-06T19:38:06+00:00December 12th, 2016|

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. [...]