Needed: Stricter Screening of Gene Synthesis Orders, Customers

October 5, 2022

(STAT News) – Ever since the inception of gene synthesis, there have been concerns about possible misuse of synthetic genes. Pathogens — particularly small viruses — could be assembled from scratch in a lab, evading the regulatory regimes the U.S. and many other nations have in place to control unauthorized access to dangerous pathogens. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine listed the synthesis of known pathogens, particularly small viruses, as one of the most pressing biodefense risks in a 2018 report. To be sure, progress has been made to reduce these risks. (Read More)