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Innovation, Dual Use, and Security

Managing the Risks of Emerging Biological and Chemical Technologies

Edited by Jonathan B. Tucker

Publication Year: 2012

A framework for assessing the security risks of emerging dual-use technologies and devising tailored governance strategies is proposed and applied to contemporary case studies.

Published by: The MIT Press

Title Page, Copyright

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In Memoriam

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pp. v-vi

This volume is the last major work of Jonathan B. Tucker, an internationally respected expert on chemical and biological weapons issues, biotechnology, infectious disease, arms control, and nonproliferation, who died at the end of July 2011. Jonathan Brin Tucker was born in Boston on August 2, 1954. After earning a biology degree ( cum laude ) from...


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-x

In his autobiography Disturbing the Universe (1979), the eminent physicist Freeman Dyson recalls a Victorian story he read as a child called “ The Magic City. ” The tale’s author, Edith Nesbit, posits a hero who has the ability to invent any technology he desires, but whatever he creates can never be discarded. He must live with its consequences for the...

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Chapter 1. Introduction

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pp. 1-16

Rapid technical innovation in fields such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, and neuropharmacology promises great benefits for human health and welfare but could potentially be exploited for the development and production of biological or chemical weapons. 1 These technologies are said to pose a dual-use dilemma because it is difficult to prevent their misuse...

Part I. Assessing and Managing Dual-Use Risks

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Chapter 2. Review of the Literature on Dual Use

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pp. 19-44

A prerequisite for effective governance is the ability to assess the safety and security risks of a technology. Efforts to assess dual-use risks have traditionally revolved around the materials, methods, and products involved in misuse, and governance strategies have also taken an “ artifact-centric ” approach by seeking to control the availability of dual-use...

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Chapter 3. Current Dual-Use Governance Measures

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pp. 45-66

The effective governance of dual-use technologies requires a multifaceted approach that includes three types of measures: hard law (treaties, statutes, and regulations), soft law (voluntary standards and guidelines), and informal measures (awareness raising, professional...

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Chapter 4. The Decision Framework

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pp. 67-84

This chapter presents a decision framework that policy makers can use to assess the risk that individual emerging technologies will be misused for hostile purposes, and to develop tailored governance strategies. The model was developed through an iterative process that combined deductive reasoning with feedback from the analysis of empirical case studies...

Part II. Contemporary Case Studies

A. Technologies for the Acquisition of Novel Biologicalor Molecular Diversity

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pp. 87

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Chapter 5. Combinatorial Chemistry and High-Throughput Screening

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pp. 100-111

The traditional process of drug discovery was extremely labor-intensive. Teams of medicinal chemists synthesized thousands of different compounds, which were then screened for biological activity to identify promising “ lead ” molecules for further development. During the 1980s, researchers developed a more efficient approach to drug discovery. Called...

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Chapter 6. DNA Shuffling and Directed Evolution

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pp. 112-116

DNA shuffling is one approach for accelerating the evolutionary process by using molecular-biology techniques to manipulate an organism ’ s genome, the genetic blueprint that determines its inherited characteristics. This manipulation would aim to achieve a practical goal, such as increasing the expression of a protein or improving enzymatic activity. In...

B. Technologies for Directed Design

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pp. 117

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Chapter 7. Protein Engineering

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pp. 119-118

Proteins play vital roles in the body as structural components and catalysts in biochemical reactions. A protein molecule consists of a linear chain of amino acid building blocks, of which twenty different varieties exist. Each type of amino acid has a distinct molecular structure and electrical charge, and the complex interactions among these units...

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Chapter 8. Synthesis of Viral Genomes

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pp. 119-146

The emerging field of synthetic biology seeks to create a rational framework for manipulating the DNA of living organisms through the application of engineering principles.1 This chapter focuses on a key enabling technology for synthetic biology: the ability to synthesize strands of DNA from off-the-shelf chemicals and assemble them into genes...

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Chapter 9. Synthetic Biology with Standard Parts

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pp. 147-160

Nuclear physics was the leading science of the twentieth century, but biology is poised to dominate the twenty-first, with synthetic biology perhaps its most ambitious manifestation. This emerging discipline involves “ the synthesis of complex, biologically based (or...

C. Technologies for the Manipulation of Biological Systems

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pp. 161

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Chapter 10. Development of Psychoactive Drugs

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pp. 163-172

Many neuroscientists believe that research over the next few decades will yield an integrated, mechanistic understanding of the human brain and behavior. Such an understanding could lead to effective treatments for people suffering from schizophrenia, depression, and...

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Chapter 11. Synthesis of Peptide Bioregulators

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pp. 173-186

Bioregulators are naturally occurring chemicals that help to ensure the proper functioning of vital physiological systems in living organisms, such as respiration, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, consciousness, mood, and the immune response.1 Recent advances in drug delivery have made bioregulators and the chemical analogs derived...

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Chapter 12. Immunological Modulation

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pp. 187-198

Antimicrobial drugs have produced dramatic victories against infectious diseases, but many pathogens have developed resistance mechanisms that render these drugs ineffective. In contrast, vaccination remains an efficient and cost-effective approach for preventing infectious diseases and controlling their spread. Although early vaccines were developed...

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Chapter 13. Personal Genomics

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pp. 199-208

Thanks to advances in DNA sequencing technology and the discovery of genes associated with common diseases, the era of personalized medicine is dawning. Genetic information can be used for disease prevention, early detection, and targeted treatment that tailors drug regimens to a patient’s genetic makeup. Given these prospective benefits, the...

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Chapter 14. RNA Interference

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pp. 209-222

RNA interference is a rapidly expanding field of biomedical research that holds great promise for curing and preventing disease. At the same time, the technology has some potential for misuse, including the creation of pathogens with enhanced virulence and the targeted...

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Chapter 15. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

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pp. 223-232

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), invented in 1985, uses electromagnetic induction to penetrate the skull and modulate the electrical activity of the cerebral cortex.1 Because TMS is a relatively inexpensive technology that can modify cognition and behavior, it is certain to attract attention in the coming years for a variety of applications. As...

D. Technologies for Production, Packaging, or Delivery

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pp. 233

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Chapter 16. Chemical Micro Process Devices

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pp. 235-248

Changes are afoot in the chemical and related industries. In addition to their drive for efficiency and flexibility, chemical companies have more recently sought to reduce their environmental footprint and achieve greater process safety. Chemical micro process technology, initially developed in the 1980s, is proving that it can respond to the industry...

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Chapter 17. Gene Therapy

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pp. 249-260

Gene therapy is the insertion of foreign genetic material into a person ’ s cells or tissues to alter gene function and potentially treat or cure hereditary diseases. Although it was heralded in 1990 as a groundbreaking technology that would radically change the medical community’s ability to fight disease, the ensuing two decades of research...

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Chapter 18. Aerosol Vaccines

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pp. 261-270

An aerosol vaccine is a preparation of living but attenuated (nonvirulent) bacteria or viruses that is delivered in the form of an airborne suspension of microscopic particles or droplets. Studies in animals and humans have shown that delivering a vaccine as an aerosol can be more effective in inducing an immune response than administering it orally...

Part III. Historical Case Studies

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Chapter 19. Development of the V-Series Nerve Agents

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pp. 273-288

During the twentieth century, many beneficial dual-use technologies were transferred from the military to the civilian sector, including atomic energy, microelectronic chips, FM radio frequencies, and systems analysis techniques. Less well known and understood are historical transfers of technology from the civilian to the military sector. Such...

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Chapter 20. The Use and Misuse of LSD by the U.S. Army andthe CIA

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pp. 289-302

The use of chemicals to modify brain function is an ancient practice. For millennia, humans have employed alcohol, marijuana, coca leaf, psychedelic fungi, and other plant extracts for ritual, therapeutic, and recreational purposes. There have also been sporadic reports of the use of psychoactive drugs for hostile ends. A wide variety of drugs have...

Part IV. Findings and Conclusions

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Chapter 21. Governance of Emerging Dual-Use Technologies

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pp. 305-340

Chapter 4 proposed a decision framework for assessing and managing the risks of emerging dual-use technologies in the biological and chemical fields. In an effort to test and refine the decision framework, part II applied it to fourteen case studies of emerging dual-use technologies, which were chosen to be illustrative while capturing the range of variability...

Select Bibliography

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pp. 341-344


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pp. 345-346


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pp. 347-356

E-ISBN-13: 9780262301640
Print-ISBN-13: 9780262516969

Page Count: 368
Publication Year: 2012