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Is CRISPR a Security Threat?

  • Sonia Ben Ouagrham-GormleyEmail author
  • Shannon R. Fye-Marnien
Chapter

Abstract

Since 2012, the new gene editing technique called CRISPR took the world by storm because theoretically it can be used to edit any organism quickly, precisely, and at low cost. Because of these features, many fear that CRISPR could become a technology of choice for terrorists or states who wish to produce novel threat agents or bioweapons. Others fear that it could be the source of a catastrophic event caused by unsafe laboratory practices by amateur or practicing scientists. In this chapter we review the ethical, safety, and security challenges that the technology raises. We conclude that while safety concerns are founded due to the vague regulatory framework worldwide, the risks of misuse by inexperienced terrorists are limited by the fact that the technology currently has a number of limitations and still presents a number of technical challenges.

Keywords

CRISPR Gene editing Bioweapon Biosecurity 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sonia Ben Ouagrham-Gormley
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shannon R. Fye-Marnien
    • 2
  1. 1.Schar School of Government and PolicyGeorge Mason UniversityArlingtonUSA
  2. 2.The Tauri GroupAlexandriaUSA

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