Synthetic biology is developing at a rapid pace, which means there is a risk that biosafety will come under pressure. This discussion was held last year during a Science for Peace and Security Program Advanced Research Workshop of NATO. The results are summarized in an article recently published in the journal Molecular Systems Biology.

The article proposes three strategies to improve biosecurity for synthetic biology. Biosecurity must be seen as an investment in the future applicability of the technology. Social scientists and policy makers need to be involved in technology development at an early stage, and coordination between stakeholders is necessary to ensure an acceptable risk.

Trump BD, Galaitsi SE, Appleton E, et al. Building biosecurity for synthetic biology. Mol Syst Biol. 2020;16(7):e9723. doi:10.15252/msb.20209723