The economist has published a opinion piece by NTI's Jaime Yassif, Vice President of NTI Global Biological Policy and Programs. She's previously been interviewed on 80k.
If you can't scale the paywall you can find an archived version here.
- Advances in duel-use biotechnology are increasing the risk of a accidental / intentional lethal pathogens causing harm
- These include falling prices of DNA synthesis, increases in DNA / RNA suppliers, easier access to lab technologies, easy access to pathogenic genomes through academic journals and an increase BSL 4 research labs doing BSL 4 research (at least 69 BSL research labs operational, planned or under construction globally)
- Though these advances allow for positive research, they also lower the barrier to entry for bad actors
- Safeguards have not kept up with these advances; "According to the Global Health Security Index, which measures biosecurity and pandemic preparedness capacity across 195 countries, as of 2021, 94% of countries had no national-level oversight measures for dual-use research."
Yassif proposes the following;
- Funders of potentially dangerous biotech research should employ more robust review process to minimize downside risks
- Science journals should avoid publishing information hazards
- Better safety / screening practices among DNA synthesis actors
- Creation of the International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS). This is an independent organization NTI et al are currently working on, with the goal of strenthing biosecurity norms.