The security of synthetic biology can be difficult to assess.

Last month we organized a week-long training on the security of synthetic biology for personnel of a government agency. This very hands-on training included wet lab activities to build a basic genetic circuit using a combination of de novo gene synthesis performed in house and various cloning techniques. The program also included in hands-on computer exercises to introduce various bioinformatics software used in synthetic biology. Finally, we had lectures on topics such as biosecurity and cyber-security in the context of synthetic biology.

This one of a kind training was very favorably received by the sponsor. We are offering this Practical Introduction to Synthetic Biology Security training to other government agencies interested in better understanding the security implications of synthetic biology. The program would be relevant to government employees and contractors working as intelligence analysts, program managers, forensic scientists, and law enforcement personnel. The program is customized to meet the needs of the sponsors and the scientific background of the students.