In this policy innovation memorandum (PIM) from CFR, Laurie Garrett outlines how two new revolutions in biology – gain of function research (GOF) and synthetic biology – are forcing policymakers to rethink current national and international surveillance and regulatory systems, and any resolution will require international buy-in since the threat entails all living organisms. Laurie offers six concrete policy actions that could allow GOF research and synthetic biology to go forward, safely.

 The full text of the paper is available for download from

For more information on synthetic biology and dual-use research of concern, you can also watch "Staying Safe in a Biology Revolution," or read her Foreign Affairs  (Nov/Dec 2013) cover story "Biology's Brave New World" on the same topic.