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Addressing Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity

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Presentation on theme: "Addressing Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity"— Presentation transcript:

1 Addressing Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity
FBI Perspective: Addressing Synthetic Biology and Biosecurity July 9, 2010 Edward H. You Supervisory Special Agent Bioterrorism Program Countermeasures Unit I FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

2 National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB)

3 Reinforce norms of safe and responsible conduct
Obtain timely and accurate insight on current and emerging risks Take reasonable steps to reduce the potential for exploitation Transform the international dialogue on biological threats

4 Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate
July 2006 FBI consolidated all WMD operations into the new WMD Directorate Countermeasures and Preparedness Investigative and Operations Intelligence Analysis

5 Bioterrorism Prevention Program Goals
Build national and international bioterrorism threat detection, identification, and reporting capabilities Improve bioterrorism assessment and investigative capabilities Enhance bioterrorism scientific, industry, and academic outreach

6 Challenges How to engage communities regarding biosecurity?
Bridging the gaps and addressing misperceptions and misconceptions between law enforcement/USG and industry/research community Distinctly different cultures Rapid development of technologies Requires education and awareness training Balance between maintaining homeland security while maintaining openness in Life Sciences FBI understands this need to support this balance FBI Outreach meant to foster openness while keeping labs and scientific research secure

7 FBI Synthetic Biology Tripwire Initiative
Partnership with the U.S. synthetic biology industry to report suspicious requests for genetic sequences Reporting mechanism in place between participating industry leaders and FBI field office WMD Coordinators Shared best practices with Germany and Canada during bilateral meetings (2009) Industry very happy that problem of “who to call” was resolved

8 Screening Framework Guidance for Synthetic Double-Stranded DNA Providers
Federal Register /Vol. 74, No. 227 / Friday, November 27, 2009 1. Customer Screening Recommendations 2. Sequence Screening Recommendations 3. Government Notification Recommendations

9 August 4 - 5, 2009 San Francisco, California
FBI Synthetic Biology Conference “Building Bridges Around Building Genomes” August , San Francisco, California

10 International Industry Workshop on Synthetic Biology
November 03, 2009 in Cambridge, MA  (USA) Focused on tangible results for the improved biosecurity of DNA synthesis services Finalized the Code of Conduct with the approval of all participating industry players FBI, UN BWC, and U.S. Dept. of State attended workshop Presented FBI Synthetic Biology Tripwire Initiative

11 1,200 Attendees 26 Countries 100 Universities FBI Biosecurity Workshop (U.S. Dept. of State, UN BWC) FBI Outreach Booth

12 Amateur Biology Outreach
A symposium to learn about do-it-yourself biology (DIYbio), open source science, at home medical genetics, bio-art and DNA chemistry, citizen science and novel ethical engagements with science at the cutting edge “Learn about FBI Outreach: Promoting Responsible Research & Career Opportunities”

13 Risk and Response Assessment
UN Crime & Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) Synthetic Biology and Nanobiotechnology Risk and Response Assessment Engaged experts from government agencies, international organizations, academia/research, the security community, and the private sector Focused on present and future biosecurity implications of advances in synthetic biology and nanobiotechnology Propose possible response and mitigation measures

14 FBI-MSMR Biosecurity Conference
The 3 I's: Learning through Collaboration, Connection and Community … Advancing Bioscience and Security May 3-4, 2010 First biosecurity conference organized by FBI WMD Directorate in partnership with the Massachusetts Society for Medical Research (MSMR) attended by: Institutional Biosafety Committee Members Institutional Review Board Members Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee Members Focused on how the research and security communities can work together in addressing biosafety and biosecurity

Proper Handling of Materials? Dual Use? CULTURE OF RESPONSIBILITY Physical Security? Exploitation?

16 Mitigating the Potential Risks:
The Role of the FBI Scientific Community THREAT FBI Mitigating the Potential Risks: Outreach Partnership Effective Policy Making

17 THANK YOU Edward H. You Supervisory Special Agent Bioterrorism Program
Countermeasures Unit I FBI Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate

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