Federation of American Scientists Case Studies in Dual Use Biological Research Module 3.0: Aerosol Delivery Case Study
Topic: Discussion Subtopic: Issues and Implications

As demonstrated by the Edwards case, the dual-use challenge is not confined to research with pathogens. The scope and breadth of modern biotechnology encompasses not only synthetic biology, genomics, and cell biology, but also new technologies. As such, dual-use issues go well beyond the obvious concerns over pathogen research.

Typical of most scientific research, the Edwards “porous particle” work did not attract attention from either the scientific or popular media despite its clear dual-use implications. In fact, in a 2002 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Journal article not long after the anthrax attacks, Edwards addressed the dual-use question as it related to his research and discussed his views on handling such issues. Similarly, it will be up to life scientists to be aware of the implications of their own research and take steps to address concerns.

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