Jaime Yassif on “The Need for Better Safeguarding of Bioscience”

Jaime Yassif on “The Need for Better Safeguarding of Bioscience”

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In a new op-ed for The Economist, NTI Vice President for Biological Policy and Programs Jaime Yassif explains how advances in bioscience and biotechnology are creating new biosecurity risks and warns that safeguards haven’t kept up.

“One major challenge is that the barriers to entry for engineering biology are falling, making it possible for a broader range of actors, including those with nefarious intent, to use these technologies,” writes Yassif. “Though new tools for engineering biology offer tremendous potential benefits, stronger guardrails are needed to prevent misuse as they become more broadly accessible.”

Yassif offers recommendations to guard against risks at multiple stages in the research and development lifecycle and calls for coordination between all stakeholders on the front lines of biosecurity. She shares NTI’s plans to stand up the International Biosecurity and Biosafety Initiative for Science (IBBIS) to offer practical solutions and tools that can create a stronger system of safeguards.

“The 21st-century bioscience revolution is creating incredible opportunities to help us all live healthier, longer lives on a thriving planet,” writes Yassif. “The international community—with governments, industry, and the research community working in tandem—must take bold steps now to safeguard bioscience so the world can benefit from its promise and prevent its perils.”

Read the op-ed.

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