Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology – New Report and Public Briefing June 19

Synthetic biology – a field of research that enables the modification or creation of biological organisms – is being pursued overwhelmingly for beneficial purposes, but concerns have been raised about its potential for malicious uses that could threaten human health or military readiness and performance.

A new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine addresses the nature of the biodefense threat in the age of synthetic biology and outlines a framework to guide an assessment of the potential security vulnerabilities related to advances in biology and biotechnology. 

The report will be released at a public briefing on Tuesday, June 19. Participating from the committee that wrote the report:

Those who cannot attend in person may listen to the live webinar of the briefing here.

Advance copies of Biodefense in the Age of Synthetic Biology will be available to reporters only beginning at noon EDT on Monday, June 18.  The report is embargoed and not for public release before 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 19.  Reporters who wish to attend the briefing or obtain a copy of the report should contact the Office of News and Public Information at tel. 202-334-2138 or e-mail