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News | Oct. 21, 2022

Addressing the Threats of Emerging Biotechnologies

By Diane DiEuliis and James Giordano National Defense

We have noted with interest the pivot in U.S. biodefense programs published in National Defense recently as the United States and other nations strive to keep pace with emerging biotechnology capabilities that complicate the threat landscape.

We support such activities and propose some additional approaches toward threat mitigation that we believe are critical to national and global biosecurity and defense.

Advancements in gene editing, the tools of synthetic biology, and the ever-increasing sophistication of assessment and interventional techniques and technologies of the brain sciences are made possible by the convergence of bioengineering and information technology — inclusive of big data approaches and the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.

This “bio-convergence” — as Deb Rosenblum, assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense, discussed in the article — now extends beyond traditional arenas of biomedicine to entail and affect agriculture, energy, materials, commodities and other sectors that influence local, regional, and global economics and public health. In these ways, bio-convergence leverages hegemonic power in and across several domains and dimensions of the current and near-future world stage.

Read the rest at National Defense here - 

Dr. Diane Dieuliis is a senior research fellow at the National Defense University. Dr. James Giordano is a professor of neurology and biochemistry and chief of the Neuroethics Studies Program at the Pellegrino Center for Clinical Bioethics, Georgetown University Medical Center, and a senior research fellow of biosecurity, technology and ethics at the Naval War College. The views expressed are the authors own and do not reflect those of the National Defense University, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.