from Center for Preventive Action

Mitigating the Risks of Synthetic Biology

February 09, 2015

Report

Overview

Synthetic biology is a relatively new field that aims to make biology easier to engineer and more amenable to rational design. As the field expands, synthetic biology may become a pervasive industrial technology, replacing chemistry in applications as diverse as mining, environmental remediation, and the manufacture and production of common household goods and foods. However, synthetic biology may also be misused, and the advent of this technology has national security implications.

Gigi Kwik Gronvall, senior associate at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Center for Health Security and associate professor of medicine and public health at the University of Pittsburgh, discusses the possibility of biological accidents and the development and use of biological weapons in this new CFR Discussion Paper. She offers recommendations that address both domestic and international security concerns, highlighting ways to improve existing policies and build oversight for the use of synthetic biology.

More on:

Biotechnology

Health

This publication is sponsored by the Center for Preventive Action (CPA) and is made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund. CPA seeks to help prevent, defuse, or resolve deadly conflicts around the world and to expand the body of knowledge on conflict prevention.

More on:

Biotechnology

Health

Explore More on CFR

El Salvador

Violence and rampant crime have driven asylum seekers from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to the United States, which is seeking to help address the root causes.

North Korea

Victor Cha, senior advisor and Korea chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, joins James M. Lindsay to discuss North Korea and the aftermath of the Trump-Kim summit.

China

Background reading for the trade war with China.