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Committee on Trends in Science and Technology Relevant to the Biological Weapons Convention: An International Workshop Board on Life Sciences Division on Earth and Life Studies In cooperation with Chinese Academy of Sciences IAP—the Global Network of Science Academies International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology International Union of Microbiological Societies
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THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Gov- erning Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engi - neering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This project was supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation under Award 2009-12-14, Chinese Academy of Sciences, IAP—the Global Network of Science Academies, U.K. Global Partnership Programme under Award 2010072600092647, U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency through TASC under Award 7500080708, U.S. Department of State under Award SAQMMA10M2776, U.S. National Insti- tutes of Health under Award N01-OD-4-2139 (Task Order 236), and U.S. National Academies. The views expressed herein are those of the authors, and the content of this publication does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the orga - nizations or agencies that provided support for the project, nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government. International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-21071-3 International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-21071-2 Additional copies of this report are available from the National Academies Press, 500 Fifth Street, N.W., Lockbox 285, Washington, DC 20055, (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313 (in the Washington metropolitan area); Internet, http://www.nap.edu. Copyright 2011 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America
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The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organiza - tion of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Charles M. Vest is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Acad- emy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropri - ate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Acad- emy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Ralph J. Cicerone and Dr. Charles M. Vest are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council. www.national-academies.org
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COMMITTEE ON TRENDS IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY RELEVANT TO THE BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS CONVENTION: AN INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP RODERICK J. FLOWER (Chair), Professor of Biochemical Pharmacology, William Harvey Research Institute, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom HERNAN CHAIMOVICH, Superintendent General, Butantan Foundation; Professor of Biochemistry, Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil NANCY D. CONNELL, Professor of Infectious Disease, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, NJ, USA ANDRZEJ GORSKI, Professor of Medicine and Immunology, The Medical University of Warsaw; Vice President, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland Li HUANG, Director-General, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China MAXWELL OTIM ONAPA, Deputy Executive Secretary, Uganda National Council for Science and Technology, Kampala, Uganda MOHAMED IQBAL PARKER, Professor in Medical Biochemistry, University of Cape Town; Director, International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, Cape Town, South Africa ANDREW PITT, Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Chemical Biology, School of Health and Life Sciences, Ashton University, Birmingham, United Kingdom RALF TRAPP, Consultant, CBW Arms Control and Disarmament, France LLOYD WHITMAN, Deputy Director, Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology, U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, USA Staff KATHERINE BOWMAN, Study Director and Senior Program Officer, Board on Life Sciences KATHRYN HUGHES, Program Officer, Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology JO L. HUSBANDS, Scholar/Senior Project Director, Board on Life Sciences SAYYEDA AYESHA AHMED, Senior Program Assistant, Board on Life Sciences v
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BOARD ON LIFE SCIENCES KEITH R. YAMAMOTO (Chair), University of California, San Francisco, California BONNIE L. BASSLER, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey VICKI L. CHANDLER, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Palo Alto, California SEAN EDDY, HHMI Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, Virginia MARK D. FITZSIMMONS, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago, Illinois DAVID R. FRANZ, Midwest Research Institute, Frederick, Maryland LOUIS J. GROSS, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee RICHARD A. JOHNSON, Arnold and Porter, Washington, DC CATO T. LAURENCIN, University of Connecticut Health Center, Farmington, Connecticut BERNARD LO, University of California, San Francisco, California ROBERT M. NEREM, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia CAMILLE PARMESAN, University of Texas, Austin, Texas MURIEL E. POSTON, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York ALISON G. POWER, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York MARGARET RILEY, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Massachusetts BRUCE W. STILLMAN, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, New York CYNTHIA WOLBERGER, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland MARY WOOLLEY, Research!America, Alexandria, Virginia Staff FRANCES E. SHARPLES, Director JO L. HUSBANDS, Scholar/Senior Project Director JAY B. LABOV, Senior Scientist/Program Director for Biology Education KATHERINE BOWMAN, Senior Program Officer MARILEE K. SHELTON-DAVENPORT, Senior Program Officer INDIA HOOK-BARNARD, Program Officer KEEGAN SAWYER, Associate Program Officer ANNA FARRAR, Financial Associate CARL-GUSTAV ANDERSON, Program Associate SAYYEDA AYESHA AHMED, Senior Program Assistant ORIN LUKE, Senior Program Assistant vi
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Preface I n 2006 the Royal Society, in cooperation with the International Coun- cil for Science, the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (now IAP—the Global Network of Science Academies), and the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, organized a workshop that surveyed trends in sci- ence and technology (S&T). The objective was to provide an indepen - dent contribution from the international scientific community to the Sixth Review Conference of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BWC) that was held in December of that year. At the time I was serving as chair of the Royal Society standing Com- mittee on Scientific Aspects of International Security and so became chair of the S&T trends workshop. Among the lessons we learned from that workshop were that: • Inviting researchers to describe the “state of the science” in their fields was a useful and productive strategy. Subsequent discus- sions drew out the potential implications of these advances and remaining challenges for the BWC. • Input by technical experts from government and the policy com- munity who engaged with the research scientists at the workshop was extremely valuable. • The provision of adequate time for small-group discussion was important to enable participants to explore topics in greater depth and detail than was possible in plenary sessions. vii
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viii PREFACE • International scientific organizations can make a genuine contribu- tion by assisting the BWC States Parties to gain a greater appreciation of the advances taking place in the life sciences and related fields, including the increasingly global nature of the research enterprise. We applied the experience we garnered from this meeting when we embarked on organizing the second international workshop held in Bei- jing in November 2010. Again, this took the form of a partnership between several international scientific organizations and national academies. The three main themes that emerged from this meeting resonate strongly with my own experience as an active researcher. Take the con- vergence of disciplines, for example; the major therapeutic advances in my own area (the pharmacology of inflammation) have come from the application of biotechnology, and in particular protein engineering, to the design of anti-inflammatory drugs. The “biologics,” as these agents are known, have provided relief to countless sufferers from arthritis and other debilitating diseases. In fact, the very title of my own department— Biochemical Pharmacology—was originally chosen to indicate the growing conjunction of two life sciences. Scientific research has always had a strongly international nature. My own group collaborates with laboratories around the world to take advan- tage of complementary skills and training facilities that other laboratories can offer. While such endeavors were once dependent upon personal visits or postal exchanges, the advances in communications technologies now enable us to share data and discuss our work in virtual as much as in actual laboratory settings. The many similar international efforts described in the Beijing workshop therefore rang true to me as capturing the reality of a genuinely global scientific enterprise. I am very pleased to have had the opportunity to serve as the chair of the international committee that organized the second workshop and produced the subsequent report presented here. Planning and mounting such a conference as this is a daunting undertaking, and there are many people I would like to thank. My colleagues on the committee made numerous suggestions for top- ics and speakers, helping ensure the broad representation of fields and countries at the workshop. They then played essential roles as session chairs and in some cases as speakers themselves. We also benefited greatly from the assistance of the staff of three national academies, in particular: • Neil Davison from the Royal Society; • Katherine Bowman, Kathryn Hughes, Jo Husbands, and Ben Rusek from the National Research Council of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS); and
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ix PREFACE • Our hosts, Tao Xu, Institute Director, and members of his staff Lei Zhang, Xiaoke Xia, and Wei Yang from the Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In addition to the practical work of the meeting, they served as rap - porteurs for the plenary and breakout sessions, and contributed ideas for the final report. They were joined by James Revill of the University of Sus- sex, who served as an unpaid consultant and provided valuable support both during the workshop and to the NAS and Royal Society staff in the preparation of a subsequent factual summary of the workshop presenta - tions, which was released in time for the Preparatory Committee of the BWC Review Conference in April 2011. Everyone on the staff made significant contributions, but I do want to offer special thanks to Katherine Bowman. I first met Katie when she was a Christine Mirzayan Fellow at the National Research Council in 2006 and worked with us in organizing the first trends workshop. In addition to her work on the preparations for Beijing, Katie, along with Jo Husbands and Kate Hughes, made invaluable contributions to the drafting of this report. Their initial work made the committee’s task much easier, and I want to express my deep appreciation for their efforts. Roderick Flower Chair
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Acknowledgments T his report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Academies’ Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report: Robert Butera, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA R. James Cook, Washington State University, USA Gerald Epstein, American Association for the Advancement of Science, USA Lewis R. Goldfrank, New York University, USA Robert J. Mathews, Defence Science and Technology Organisation, Australia Piers Millet, United Nations, Switzerland Kathryn Nixdorff, Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany Kaiming Ye, University of Arkansas, USA Although the reviewers listed above have provided many construc- tive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the xi
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xii ACKNOWLEDGMENTS conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by Edwin P. Przybylowicz, Eastman Kodak Company (retired). Appointed by the National Academies, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with institutional procedures and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content of this report rests entirely with the authoring committee and the institution. The Institute of Biophysics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences served as the host for the workshop in November 2010 and the Director-General, Dr. Tao Xu, welcomed participants to the event. In addition to the able leadership of Dr. Lei Zhang, Director of the International Liaison Office, Mr. Xiaoke Xia and Ms. Wei Yang helped to ensure the smooth and suc- cessful operation of the workshop.
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Contents SUMMARY 1 1 Introduction 11 1.1 Background, 11 1.2 The Biological Weapons Convention and S&T, 14 1.3 Advising About S&T: The Growing Role of International Scientific Organizations, 17 1.4 Potential Positive and Negative Applications of Advances in the Life Sciences, 20 1.5 Organization of the Report, 23 2 The Pace of Developments in the Life Sciences 25 2.1 Advances in Science and Technology, 25 2.2 Enabling Technologies, 50 2.3 Summary Remarks on Challenges and Opportunities Related to the Pace of S&T Developments, 58 3 Diffusion of Life Sciences Research Capacity and Applications 59 3.1 Global R&D Capacity and International Collaborations in Scientific Research, 59 3.2 Disease Surveillance and Response Systems: A Research Area That Exemplifies Global Life Sciences Capacity and International Collaboration Relevant to the BWC, 69 xiii
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xiv CONTENTS 3.3 Microbial Forensics: An Opportunity to Take Advantage of Growing International S&T Capacity to Support the BWC, 76 3.4 Doing Life Sciences Research Outside Traditional Institutions, 78 4 Integration of Multiple Disciplines in Life Sciences Research 81 4.1 The Breadth of Relevant Fields in the Life Sciences and the Convergence of the Life Sciences with Other Disciplines, 81 4.2 Examples of Areas in the Life Sciences That Reflect the Convergence of Multiple Disciplines, 83 4.3 The Convergence of Chemistry and Biology, 85 4.4 Challenges and Opportunities Related to the Integration of Disciplines in the Life Sciences, 91 5 Monitoring and Assessing Trends in Science and Technology 93 5.1 Drivers and Roadblocks for S&T Development, 94 5.2 The Relevance of S&T to the BWC: Looking Beyond Article I, 104 5.3 Role of the Scientific Community, 106 5.4 Summing Up: The Committee’s Findings and Conclusions, 114 REFERENCES 119 APPENDIXES A Committee Member Biographies 133 B National and International Scientific Organizations Relevant to the BWC 139 C Workshop Agenda and Participants 143