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Information Hazards in Biotechnology

Gregory Lewis, Piers Millett, Anders Sandberg, Andrew Snyder?Beattie, Gigi Gronvall
Date posted:
November 12, 2018
Publication type:

Risk Analysis

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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With the advance of biotechnology, biological information, rather than biological materials, is increasingly the object of principal security concern. The authors argue that both in theory and in practice, existing security approaches in biology are poorly suited to manage hazardous biological information, and use the cases of Mousepox, H5N1 gain of function, and Botulinum toxin H to highlight these ongoing challenges. The authors suggest that mitigation of these hazards can be improved if one can: (1) anticipate hazard potential before scientific work is performed; (2) consider how much the new information would likely help both good and bad actors; and (3) aim to disclose information in the manner that maximally disadvantages bad actors versus good ones.



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