The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will assess the changing nature of the biodefense threat in the age of synthetic biology under a new contract with the U.S. DoD’s Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Chemical and Biological Defense (NCB/CBD).
NAS will appoint an ad hoc committee to study the manipulation of biological functions, systems, or microorganisms resulting in the production of a disease-causing agents or toxins.
The study will start with development of a strategic framework to guide an assessment of the potential security vulnerabilities related to advances in biology and biotechnology, with a particular emphasis on synthetic biology.
The anticipated period of performance will 21 months. The estimated maximum cost of the contract is $1,200,000.
Recent biodefense-related reports conducted by the NAS include: