National Academies Press: OpenBook

Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology (2018)

Chapter: Front Matter

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24890.
×
Page R1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24890.
×
Page R2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24890.
×
Page R3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24890.
×
Page R4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24890.
×
Page R5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24890.
×
Page R6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24890.
×
Page R7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/24890.
×
Page R8

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

BIODEFENSE IN THE AGE OF SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY Committee on Strategies for Identifying and Addressing Potential Biodefense Vulnerabilities Posed by Synthetic Biology Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology Board on Life Sciences Division on Earth and Life Studies This Prepublication Version of Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology has been provided to the public to facilitate timely access to the Consensus Study Report. Although the substance of the report is final, editorial changes may be made throughout the text and citations will be checked prior to publication. The final report will be available through the National Academies Press in summer 2018. A Consensus Study Report of PREPUBLICATION COPY: UNCORRECTED PROOFS

THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 This project was supported by Contract No. HQ0034-16-C-0062 between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Defense. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the view of any organization or agency that provided support for the project. Digital Object Identifier: https://doi.org/10.17226/24890 Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/24890. PREPUBLICATION COPY: UNCORRECTED PROOFS

The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, nongovernmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr., is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. PREPUBLICATION COPY: UNCORRECTED PROOFS

Consensus Study Reports published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine document the evidence-based consensus on the study’s statement of task by an authoring committee of experts. Reports typically include findings, conclusions, and recommendations based on information gathered by the committee and the committee’s deliberations. Each report has been subjected to a rigorous and independent peer-review process and it represents the position of the National Academies on the statement of task. Proceedings published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine chronicle the presentations and discussions at a workshop, symposium, or other event convened by the National Academies. The statements and opinions contained in proceedings are those of the participants and are not endorsed by other participants, the planning committee, or the National Academies. For information about other products and activities of the National Academies, please visit www.nationalacademies.org/about/whatwedo. PREPUBLICATION COPY: UNCORRECTED PROOFS

COMMITTEE ON STRATEGIES FOR IDENTIFYING AND ADDRESSING POTENTIAL BIODEFENSE VULNERABILITIES POSED BY SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY Members MICHAEL IMPERIALE (Chair), University of Michigan Medical School PATRICK BOYLE, Ginkgo Bioworks PETER A. CARR, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory DOUGLAS DENSMORE, Boston University DIANE DIEULIIS, National Defense University ANDREW ELLINGTON, The University of Texas at Austin GIGI KWIK GRONVALL, Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security CHARLES HAAS, Drexel University JOSEPH KANABROCKI, The University of Chicago KARA MORGAN, Quant Policy Strategies, LLC KRISTALA JONES PRATHER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology THOMAS SLEZAK, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory JILL TAYLOR, New York State Department of Health Staff MARILEE SHELTON-DAVENPORT, Study Director KATHERINE BOWMAN, Senior Program Officer JENNA OGILVIE, Research Associate (through Nov. 24, 2017) JARRETT NGUYEN, Senior Program Assistant Sponsor U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE NOTE: See Appendix E, Disclosure of Conflict of Interest. v PREPUBLICATION COPY: UNCORRECTED PROOFS

Acknowledgment of Reviewers This Consensus Study Report was reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in making each published report as sound as possible and to ensure that it meets the institutional standards for quality, objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We thank the following individuals for their review of this report: JAMES BURNS, Casebia Therapeutics MICHAEL DIAMOND, Washington University School of Medicine JAMES DIGGANS, Twist Bioscience DREW ENDY, Stanford University CAROLINE GENCO, Tufts University School of Medicine JACQUELINE GIBSON, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill KAREN E. JENNI, United States Geological Survey MICHAEL JEWETT, Northwestern University GREGORY KAEBNICK, The Hastings Center MARGARET E. KOSAL, Georgia Institute of Technology KAREN E. NELSON, J. Craig Venter Institute MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, University of Minnesota TARA O’TOOLE, In-Q-Tel PAMELA A. SILVER, Harvard Medical School DAVID WALT, Harvard Medical School and Harvard University Although the reviewers listed above provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations of this report nor did they see the final draft before its release. The review of this report was overseen by MICHAEL LADISCH, Purdue University, and RANDAL MURCH, Virginia Polytechnic and State University. They were responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in accordance with the standards of the National Academies and that all review comments were carefully considered. Responsibility for the final content rests entirely with the authoring committee and the National Academies. PREPUBLICATION COPY: UNCORRECTED PROOFS

Contents SUMMARY ....................................................................................................................................1 Overarching Recommendation ................................................................................................2 A Framework for Assessing Concern Contributes to Planning ...............................................2 Synthetic Biology Expands What is Possible ..........................................................................4 A Range of Strategies Is Needed to Prepare and Respond ......................................................9 1 INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................................11 Biotechnology in the Age of Synthetic Biology ....................................................................14 Assessing Potential Biodefense Concerns .............................................................................14 Mitigating Potential Biodefense Concerns ............................................................................15 Study Approach .....................................................................................................................16 2 BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE AGE OF SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY ................................19 What is Synthetic Biology .....................................................................................................19 Implications of the Age of Synthetic Biology .......................................................................22 Specific Synthetic Biology Technologies and Applications .................................................26 3 FRAMEWORK FOR ASSESSING CONCERN ABOUT SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY CAPABILITIES................................................................................................29 Approach to Developing the Framework ..............................................................................29 Factors for Assessing Concern ..............................................................................................30 Applying the Framework in the Assessment of Concern ......................................................40 4 ASSESSMENT OF CONCERNS RELATED TO PATHOGENS ..................................47 Re-Creating Known Pathogens ..............................................................................................48 Making Existing Pathogens More Dangerous .......................................................................56 Creating New Pathogens ........................................................................................................69 Summary ................................................................................................................................72 5 ASSESSMENT OF CONCERNS RELATED TO THE PRODUCTION OF CHEMICALS OR BIOCHEMICALS .........................................................................76 Manufacturing Chemicals or Biochemicals by Exploiting Natural Metabolic Pathways .....78 Manufacturing Chemicals or Biochemicals by Exploiting Novel Metabolic Pathways ........82 Making Biochemicals via In Situ Synthesis ..........................................................................84 Summary ................................................................................................................................88 6 ASSESSMENT OF CONCERNS RELATED TO BIOWEAPONS THAT ALTER THE HUMAN HOST ............................................................................................91 Modifying the Human Microbiome .......................................................................................91 Modifying the Human Immune System ................................................................................95 Modifying the Human Genome .............................................................................................99 Summary ..............................................................................................................................104 vii PREPUBLICATION COPY: UNCORRECTED PROOFS

7 RELATED DEVELOPMENTS THAT MAY IMPACT THE ABILITY TO EFFECT AN ATTACK USING A SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY–ENABLED WEAPON ............................................................................................................................107 Barriers to the Use of Bioweapons ......................................................................................107 Relevant Convergent Technologies .....................................................................................109 Summary ..............................................................................................................................117 8 OPTIONS FOR MITIGATING CONCERNS ................................................................118 Current Mitigation Approaches and Infrastructure ..............................................................118 Mitigation Challenges Posed by Synthetic Biology ............................................................125 Potential Opportunities to Advance Mitigation Capabilities ...............................................130 Summary ..............................................................................................................................139 9 MOVING FORWARD: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS .................142 Concerns Posed by Synthetic Biology–Enabled Capabilities .............................................144 Future Use of the Framework ..............................................................................................156 Biodefense Implications of the Age of Synthetic Biology ..................................................157 REFERENCES ...........................................................................................................................160 Appendix A Specific Synthetic Biology Concepts, Approaches, and Tools ..............................186 Appendix B Selected Prior Analyses Used to Inform the Framework .......................................200 Appendix C Questions to Stimulate Consideration of Framework Factors................................207 Appendix D Committee Biographies ..........................................................................................212 Appendix E Disclosure of Conflict of Interest ...........................................................................217 Appendix F Study Methods ........................................................................................................218 PREPUBLICATION COPY: UNCORRECTED PROOFS

Next: Summary »
Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology Get This Book
×
Buy Prepub | $79.00 Buy Paperback | $70.00
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Scientific advances over the past several decades have accelerated the ability to engineer existing organisms and to potentially create novel ones not found in nature. Synthetic biology, which collectively refers to concepts, approaches, and tools that enable the modification or creation of biological organisms, is being pursued overwhelmingly for beneficial purposes ranging from reducing the burden of disease to improving agricultural yields to remediating pollution. Although the contributions synthetic biology can make in these and other areas hold great promise, it is also possible to imagine malicious uses that could threaten U.S. citizens and military personnel. Making informed decisions about how to address such concerns requires a realistic assessment of the capabilities that could be misused.

Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology explores and envisions potential misuses of synthetic biology. This report develops a framework to guide an assessment of the security concerns related to advances in synthetic biology, assesses the levels of concern warranted for such advances, and identifies options that could help mitigate those concerns.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!