The Digital Revolution changed the world.
The Biorevolution will transform it.
Biothreats Need to be Recognized as a Top National Security Concern.
Infectious disease outbreaks cause suffering and disruption, and will be a persistent problem for the foreseeable future. The deliberate use of bioweapons is another persistent strategic threat to US national security. The Nation’s response approaches have proven inadequate and require greater, consistent attention to be effective.
“The Nation is dangerously vulnerable to biological events… Simply put, the nation does not afford the biothreats the same level of attention it does other threats.”
[National Blueprint for Biodefense, Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense, October 2015]
The Biorevolution is Enabling New Opportunities.
Good news: our understanding of the “parts, circuits and operating systems” of living things, driven by the convergence of digital technology and our ability to manipulate biology is unprecedented. The speed, accuracy and decreasing cost of tools and machines that read the code of life are progressing much faster than Moore’s Law.
The tools and capabilities emerging from the convergence of biotechnology, data science, and information technology offer an unprecedented opportunity to substantially improve our ability to detect and quench lethal, large-scale epidemics.
Key Elements of Biodefense
The goals of a robust biodefense are to be so well-prepared that natural outbreaks no longer threaten to become epidemics, and the intentional use of biological weapons is no longer attractive to adversaries.
Although these goals will only be realized through cooperation and collaboration and the adoption of common purpose,
a core enabling force of a robust biodefense is technology.
Development of an Epidemic
Understanding the origin and development of an epidemic reveals the key points of intervention where technologies could significantly contribute to biodefense - before it becomes lethal and destabilizing.