Advancing biotechnologies are revolutionizing not only health and medicine, but many different sectors such as agriculture, energy, chemistry and textiles. As we begin to leverage biology as a programmable platform for the creation of high value biological entities and commodities, we are facing new territory in terms of ensuring the safety and security of both novel and engineered biological organisms, as well as the biological platforms in which they may be employed. Biosecurity practices have traditionally revolved around preventing the misuse of biological pathogens, primarily through controlling access to pathogens. The advent of gene editors and gene synthesis capabilities caused a re-evaluation of traditional biosecurity policies to include concerns about the engineering of, or entire recreation of, harmful biological entities. At that time we described “biosecurity by design” where in we advocated for the use of risks assessments and mitigation planning for dual use research of concern. Now we further advocate for “Biosecurity by Design” in the pursuit of biodesign and biomanufacturing and offer suggestions for what the next iteration of biosecurity policy tools could include.
Dr. Diane DiEuliis is a Senior Research fellow at National Defense University. Her research areas focus on emerging biological technologies, biodefense, and preparedness for biothreats. Specific topic areas under this broad research portfolio include dual use life sciences research, synthetic biology, the US bioeconomy, disaster recovery, and behavioral, cognitive, and social science as it relates to important aspects of deterrence and preparedness. Dr. DiEuliis currently has several research grants in progress, and guest lectures in a variety of foundational professional military education courses.
For details of her research and recent publication, please visit HERE