• BIOWEAPONSThe Pandemic: Implications for Terrorist Interest in Biological Weapons

    What if the IS or al-Qaeda obtained and spread a highly contagious virus in a community or country that they sought to punish? With the pandemic highlighting weaknesses in response efforts, will these groups now seek to obtain infectious viruses to achieve these same deadly results?

  • ARGUMENT: DHS & BIODEFENSEReforming DHS’s Biodefense Operations and Governance

    Today’s biological threats show no signs of desisting any time soon. Naturally occurring outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics, and laboratory accidents pose a growing challenge – while the number of high-containment laboratories and amount of dangerous research continues to increase unabated. “DHS, as chief among those federal departments and agencies responsible for securing the homeland, must overcome its current state of fractionation and demonstrate to the rest of the government, country, and world that it is capable of coordinating and leading efforts in biodefense and other arenas,” Carrie Cordero and Asha M. George write.

  • WAR IN UKRAINERussia's Claims of Ukrainian Biological Weapons: A Propaganda Ploy?

    By Roman Goncharenko

    Since its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has claimed Kyiv is developing biological weapons with support from the US and Germany. Experts familiar with laboratories in Ukraine say the accusations are groundless.

  • ARGUMENT: AI & WMDsArtificial Intelligence and Chemical and Biological Weapons

    A recent article in Nature offers a disturbing look at the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of chemical and biological weapons. “Anyone unfamiliar with recent innovations in the use of AI to model new drugs will be unpleasantly surprised,” Paul Rosenzweig writes. “The benefits of these innovations are clear. Unfortunately, the possibilities for malicious uses are also becoming clear.”

  • BIODEFENSECurrent and Future Challenges to National Biodefense

    The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense met to discuss the expanding landscape of current and future biological threats, the roles and responsibilities of the federal government in assessing and preparing for various biological threats, and biological weapons, bioterrorism, and biological arms races with the public.

  • UKRAINE WARRussia’s Remaining Weapons Are Horrific and Confounding

    By Christina Pazzanese

    Along with concerns over the possible deployment of tactical nuclear weapons, the Biden administration is now warning that the Russian military may launch a chemical weapons attack in Ukraine. Harvard Kennedy School’s Matthew Bunn assesses threat, possible fallout of chemical attack in Ukraine, including the excruciating choices Biden and NATO would face.

  • PATHOGENSTracing the Path of Pathogens after Large-Scale Contamination with Biological Agents

    To respond quickly to contamination with a biological agent near a major coastal city, DHS ST and partners have examined the movement of pathogen’ spores, which may be carried downstream by runoff after rainstorms, thereby complicating mitigation and decontamination measures.

  • DISINFORMATIONUN, U.S. Dismiss Russian Claim of Biological Weapons Program in Ukraine

    By Margaret Besheer

    Western nations criticized Russia on Friday for trying to use the U.N. Security Council to spread disinformation and lies about alleged biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine, which the U.N. said are untrue.

  • BiosecurityExamining the Practically Nonfunctional Federal Biowatch Program

    The Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense’s new report addresses inadequacies of BioWatch, the DHS environmental biodetection program. The report, released on the 20th anniversary of the anthrax attacks, shows that BioWatch system remains ineffective after nearly two decades of operation.

  • ARGUMENT: Improving BiosecurityTwenty Years After the Patriot Act, What Is the Future of Biosecurity?

    The USA Patriot Act was signed into law twenty20 years ago, on 26 October 2001. Yong-Bee Lim, David Gillum, and Kathleen Vogel write Many changes have taken place since 2001, and  “The Patriot Act’s top-down approach cannot fully address this emerging reality, the authors write. Despite twenty years of effort, some old biosecurity issues continue to plague the country, while a whole new biosecurity frontier is opening up.”

  • Emerging VirusesNew, $125 Million Project Aims to Detect Emerging Viruses

    A new project, funded with $125 million from USAID, aims to detect and characterize unknown viruses which have the potential to spill over from wildlife and domestic animals to human populations. The 5-year project is expected to yield 8,000 to 12,000 novel viruses, which researchers will then screen and sequence the genomes of the ones that pose the most risk to animal and human health.

  • Anthrax AttacksAnthrax Attacks: 20 Years On

    Twenty years ago this month the United States experienced the scary anthrax letter attacks, which targeted major media outlets and members of Congress.

  • Pandemic preparednessApollo Program-Style Pandemic Preparedness Plan

    Last week, the Biden administration announced a new biosecurity plan which it likened to the Apollo program of the late 1960s. This $65 billion proposal would be one of the largest investments in public health in American history and would “remake the nation’s pandemic preparedness infrastructure in the wake of Covid-19.”

  • Chem-bio weaponsParasites Fight Chemical and Biological Weapons

    Harnessing parasites to help soldiers and first responders counter chemical and biological weapon attacks in war zones.

  • Epidemic early warningPath Towards a Global Pathogen Early Warning System

    The world’s ability to detect, track, and analyze disease threats has improved considerably over the past several decades, the COVID-19 pandemic drove home a terrible reality: the systems we had in place are still deeply insufficient for halting the rapid spread of a novel pathogen fast enough to prevent a staggering level of damage.