Federation of American Scientists Case Studies in Dual Use Biological Research Module 4.0: Mousepox Case Study
Topic: Discussion Subtopic: References and Further Reading

National Research Council of the National Academies, “Biotechnology Research in an Age of Terrorism,” 2004
A committee of the National Research Council, chaired by Dr. Gerald R. Fink, aimed to “consider ways to minimize threats from biological warfare and bioterrorism without hindering the progress of biotechnology, which is essential for the health of the nation.” The resulting report notes that “the tension between the spread of technologies that protect us and the spread of technologies that threaten us is the crux of the dilemma.” Among its seven recommendations are ones to develop awareness programs to educate scientists about dual use issues in biotechnology, establishing seven categories of scientific research that should be subject to special review, and creation of NSABB as a means for institutional review and guidance regarding biosecurity issues from NIH. These key provisions have all been enacted or will be pursued in the context of NSABB’s activities. The significance of these actions, this committee and this report are that they represent the first fundamental steps by the life sciences community to provide self-governance to a major post-9/11 issue affecting future biotechnology research.
Weiss, Martin M., et. al., Rethinking Smallpox, Confronting Biological Weapons, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2004.
The authors contend that the potential consequences of a “competently executed smallpox attack have not been adequately considered for policy makers.” A key issue raised is the possibility of a bioengineered virus and what means may be available to defend against it if it proves resistant to existing vaccine.

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