Publications

  • Actions to Enable an Equitable and Innovative U.S. Bioeconomy

    Publication Date: May 2022

    The fourth industrial revolution will likely be fueled by operationalizing biomanufacturing and engineering biology. Critical to realizing the benefits of these opportunities will be a diverse workforce and ensuring that the benefits of biotechnology will be equitably dispersed across the United States. In this policy paper, Albert Hinman discusses workforce development, resource cultivation, and open science opportunities for a more inclusive and equitable bioeconomy.

  • Security Screening in Synthetic DNA Synthesis: Recommendations for Updated Federal Guidance

    Publication Date: April 2022

    EBRC recommendations for increasing security in the synthetic DNA synthesis industry.

  • Translational Research for Breakthrough Technologies: Advancing Engineering Biology to Address Societal Needs at NSF

    Publication Date: April 2022

    As NSF establishes its new Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships to translate research into practical applications, the agency has abundant opportunity to boldly support engineering biology research towards transformational, use-inspired technologies to grow and expand the U.S. bioeconomy. EBRC provides recommendations for the new Directorate to support the translation of fundamental engineering biology research results, establish infrastructure to transform tools into technologies, and to enable cross-disciplinary and entrepreneurial research, education, and training.

  • Agricultural Crop Security: Exploring US Federal Readiness and Response Capabilities

    Publication Date: September 2021  |  Originally published in Health Security.

    The consequences of a large-scale attack on US agricultural crops could have severe implications for food and economic security. Recognition, response, and recovery efforts from such an event would involve local, state, and federal plant health officials in addition to law enforcement. This paper, published in Health Security, describes federal preparedness and response capabilities within USDA and between federal agencies and recommends actions to strengthen federal readiness.

  • Making Security Viral: Shifting Engineering Biology Culture and Publishing

    Publication Date: February 2022 | Originally published in ACS Synthetic Biology.

    Consistent reflection on the implications of engineering biology tools and products can help direct and ensure their responsible development. In this paper, members of EBRC’s Security Working Group suggest that the publication stage of the research cycle is an important opportunity to consider the security implications of given work. They describe how such a process might be implemented.

  • Climate and Sustainability Roadmap Interim Report

    Publication Date: November 2021

    This roadmap identifies research opportunities for adaptation and mitigation that respond to the urgency of the climate crisis, explores ambitious research goals for precipitating a greener future, and discusses the ethical and social considerations for engineering biology for a robust and resilient climate and long-term sustainability.

  • Convention on Biological Diversity 2021 RFI

    Publication Date: June 2021

    EBRC’s response to the request from the Executive Secretariat to comment on the Convention on Biological Diversity Technical Series on Synthetic Biology to reflect advances in the rapidly growing field. As the regulatory landscape around synthetic biology emerges, it is crucial that these discussions are guided by science and expertise. In our submission, we provide detailed comments solicited and synthesized from our members— an international community of experts in synthetic biology from academia and industry.

  • Guiding Ethical Principles in Engineering Biology Research

    Publication Date: May 2021 | Originally published in ACS Synthetic Biology.

    This publication introduces and contextualizes the EBRC Statement of Ethics in Engineering Biology Research. In brief, the six core principles are i) to use engineering biology to benefit the world; ii) to weigh benefits of research against potential harms; iii) to incorporate justice into all aspects of engineering biology; iv) to share research; v) to protect the freedoms of individuals and researchers; and vi) to support open communication between researchers and other stakeholders.

  • TECHNICAL ROADMAPPING

    Engineering Biology & Materials Science

    Publication Date: January 2021

    This technical roadmap assesses the challenges and potential for innovation at the intersection of engineering biology and materials science. The roadmap provides a high-level path for research and development to enable a future of advanced materials and envisions creative and ambitious material solutions to persistent societal challenges that leverage the opportunities and advantages of harnessing and integrating engineered biology.

  • NSF RFI on 2022-2026 Strategic Plan

    Publication Date: January 2021

    EBRC responds to the National Science Foundation’s Request for Information on its 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. EBRC addresses i) interests, values, and emerging science and policy issues; ii) US leadership in research and education; and iii) how the Strategic Plan can demonstrate the importance of fundamental research to the Nation.

  • TECHNICAL ROADMAPPING

    Engineering Microbiomes – Looking Ahead

    Publication Date: December 2021 | Originally published in ACS Synthetic Biology.

    A companion piece to Microbiome Engineering, this publication highlights the technologies and applications imagined by the roadmap. This publication features a focus on the Distributed Metabolism technical theme and provides compelling examples of how engineered microbiomes might contribute to foods, human health, and transforming the environment.

     

  • National Defense Education Program 2021 RFI

    Publication Date: August 2020

    EBRC’s response to a Request for Information on behalf of the National Defense Education Program (NDEP) from the U.S. Department of Defense for the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Research & Engineering). This response: i) details the current status and limitations of the U.S. biotechnochnology education and workforce; ii) describes skillsets and capabilities needed for the future biotechnology workforce; iii) describes existing programs and models that can be leveraged or applied to support biotechnology education and workforce development, and the education levels where this would most impact; iv) recommends how to encourage the participation of minority and under-represented groups in biotechnology; and, v) describes metrics to measure progress and the level of investment necessary to ensure advancement.

  • TECHNICAL ROADMAPPING

    Microbiome Engineering

    Publication Date: October 2020

    This technical roadmap is a critical assessment of the current state of microbiome engineering and areas of anticipated research and development in the next twenty years. It also details how those scientific advancements can be applied across different industry sectors. Microbiome Engineering aims to provide a forward-looking examination of both the short- and long-term needs for microbiome engineering, to help scientists and policymakers fully utilize microbiome engineering.

  • TECHNICAL ROADMAPPING

    Enabling Defense Applications through Engineering Biology

    Publication Date: June 2020

    This technical roadmap describes opportunities and advantages in engineering biology to build new materials for diverse systems, enable new methods for sensing, monitoring, and communicating, protect humans from harsh environments and combat mission states, and build resilience to evolving threats.

  • TECHNICAL ROADMAPPING

    Engineering Biology

    Publication Date: June 2019

    EBRC’s inaugural roadmap, Engineering Biology: A Research Roadmap for the Next-Generation Bioeconomy, is a critical assessment of the status and potential of engineering biology. It is intended to provide researchers and other stakeholders (including government funders) with a compelling set of technical challenges and opportunities in the near and long term. The roadmap does so through four technical themes encompassing fundamental research and five application sectors tackling significant societal challenges.

  • HHS RFI on Review and Revision of the Screening Framework Guidance

    Publication Date: October 2020

    Many synthetic DNA synthesis companies screen their customers and the sequences they order in accordance with Guidance from the US Department of Health and Human Services. However, current guidance was issued in 2010 and thus is out of date. EBRC’s response to this RFI describes important considerations for updating the Guidance.

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