Two new revolutions in biology—gain-of-function research and synthetic biology—are forcing policymakers to rethink current national and international surveillance and regulatory systems, and any resolution will require international buy-in since the threat entails all living organisms.
Medicines are increasingly the product of complex supply chains, introducing vulnerabilities to their reliability and safety. CFR Senior Fellow Laurie Garrett lays out how G8 and G20 nations can help to remedy the drug safety crisis.
Laurie Garrett, CFR senior fellow for global health, says the world is in a better position to handle a potential avian flu pandemic than it was two years ago. But she warns that we still don't have "a toolkit that can stop this virus from circulating" if it evolves to allow easy human-to-human transmission.
Laurie Garrett talks with Tavis Smiley on the Tavis Smiley Radio Show about her Foreign Affairs essay of the same title, which says the practice of synthetic biology holds great promise for humankind—it could lead to anything from cleaner water to a cure for cancer. But unchecked, it could also lead to Armageddon.
In this discussion on Fareed Zakaria's Fareed Zakaria GPS with Stephen Flynn, founding director of the Center for Resilient Studies at Northeastern University, Laurie Garrett discusses why the impact of Typhoon Haiyan was so deadly.
In this panel discussion on NPR's Science Friday, Laurie Garrett discusses the foreign policy implications of recent advances in synthetic biology. With the conversation focused on the iGEM competition, she praises the organization's emphasis on bioethics, but adds that one cannot assume those ethics will be translated to adult-run labs around the world.
Map: Vaccine-Preventable Outbreaks
This interactive map visually plots diseases that are easily preventable by inexpensive and effective vaccines. The Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations has been tracking news reports on these outbreaks since the fall of 2008.
More About Laurie Garrett
"I Heard the Sirens Scream: How Americans Responded to the 9/11 and Anthrax Attacks" was awarded both Gold (Science) and Silver (Current Affairs) medals in the national eLIT Awards competition in May 2012.