SBPWG

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===Upcoming Meetings===
===Upcoming Meetings===
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====June 30th 6-8pm near UCSF Mission Bay (Exact Location TBA)====
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Please join us at our upcoming monthly Bay Area Synthetic Biology Practices Working Group Meetings. These meetings are informal discussions over dinner and are open to anyone in the community interested in exploring and advancing best practices in synthetic biology.
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Please RSVP on the [[http://doodle.com/gznw4m8kkh3v2maq doodle poll]]
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Full Agenda TBA
 
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A primary goal of this meeting will be building a first draft of our [[http://openwetware.org/wiki/SBPWG:Gaps doodle top 10 gap list]].
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'''March 14th 6:30-8:30pm @ Stanford'''
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Everyone should plan to bring what they think are ~3 most pressing practices-related issues so we can seed and prioritize a list of gaps for this group, and others, to discuss.
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Additional agenda items include:
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'''''Speaker: Jaime Yassif, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley Biophysics Group'''''
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*Bay Area Science Festival Event
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*West Coast / East Coast Working Group Partnership
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*Practices Workshop and Slam prior to the Fall SynBERC retreat
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Please let me know by Saturday if you have any additional agenda items. Please also invite others to join.  
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Jaime Yassif will join us to share and discuss her work in microbial forensics that applies and extends her technical training and expertise to the examination of policy-relevant issues in biosecurity strategy.  
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RSVP to Megan Palmer (mjpalmer@stanford.edu) by March 12th at noon to receive location details.
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====July 18th 6-8pm====
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Dinner provided by SynBERC
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Drew Endy will be speaking on past lessons and current challenges in Practices engagement
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===Mailing and Members Lists===
 
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New Google Group created [[http://groups.google.com/group/SBPWG here]]. Please request an invitation.
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'''Abstract'''
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Please add yourself to the [[SBPWG:Members | Members]] page.
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'''''Microbial Forensics for Bioterrorism Prevention: Strengths and Limitations'''''
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Since the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, members of the biosecurity community have expressed growing alarm at the threat of a biological attack. To counter this threat, increasing emphasis has been placed on microbial forensics, which uses genome sequence comparisons, along with other biological and chemical assays, in an effort to identify the source of a pathogen dispersed in a biological attack. This talk will examine the efficacy of this approach by evaluating the strengths and limitations of current US microbial forensics technical capabilities and the utility of these capabilities for bioterrorism prevention. Microbial forensics has the potential to be a useful tool in some scenarios, and the reliability of this tool can be enhanced with improved research procedures, technological developments, and the establishment of national infrastructure to coordinate investigations. Nevertheless, some fundamental technical limitations will remain. Microbial forensics can contribute to bioterrorism prevention, but the current emphasis on “deterring bioterrorism” does not accurately represent the role it would play. I will propose new language to describe how microbial forensics capabilities can change the cost-benefit analysis of states, groups or individuals who might deliberately or unwittingly aid a terrorist group in obtaining material.
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'''About Jaime'''
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Jaime Yassif is a doctoral candidate in the Biophysics Group at UC Berkeley, where she is conducting her thesis research on the biophysics of transport processes in cells. Prior to her graduate
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work, Ms. Yassif worked for several years in science and security policy at the Federation of American Scientists and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Ms. Yassif holds an MA in Science and Security from the War Studies Department at King's College London, and she received her BA in Biology from Swarthmore College. Ms. Yassif is former president of the student-run Science, Technology and Engineering Policy group at UC Berkeley.
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===Other Events of Interest===
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===Membership and Mailing Lists===
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We're always looking for new members! Anyone is welcome to join. To sign up:
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1. Request an invitation to our [[http://groups.google.com/group/SBPWG Google Group]] to receive updates and announcements.
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2. Add yourself to the [[SBPWG:Members | Members]] page.

Current revision

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Upcoming Meetings

Please join us at our upcoming monthly Bay Area Synthetic Biology Practices Working Group Meetings. These meetings are informal discussions over dinner and are open to anyone in the community interested in exploring and advancing best practices in synthetic biology.


March 14th 6:30-8:30pm @ Stanford

Speaker: Jaime Yassif, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley Biophysics Group

Jaime Yassif will join us to share and discuss her work in microbial forensics that applies and extends her technical training and expertise to the examination of policy-relevant issues in biosecurity strategy.

RSVP to Megan Palmer (mjpalmer@stanford.edu) by March 12th at noon to receive location details.

Dinner provided by SynBERC


Abstract

Microbial Forensics for Bioterrorism Prevention: Strengths and Limitations

Since the 2001 anthrax attacks in the United States, members of the biosecurity community have expressed growing alarm at the threat of a biological attack. To counter this threat, increasing emphasis has been placed on microbial forensics, which uses genome sequence comparisons, along with other biological and chemical assays, in an effort to identify the source of a pathogen dispersed in a biological attack. This talk will examine the efficacy of this approach by evaluating the strengths and limitations of current US microbial forensics technical capabilities and the utility of these capabilities for bioterrorism prevention. Microbial forensics has the potential to be a useful tool in some scenarios, and the reliability of this tool can be enhanced with improved research procedures, technological developments, and the establishment of national infrastructure to coordinate investigations. Nevertheless, some fundamental technical limitations will remain. Microbial forensics can contribute to bioterrorism prevention, but the current emphasis on “deterring bioterrorism” does not accurately represent the role it would play. I will propose new language to describe how microbial forensics capabilities can change the cost-benefit analysis of states, groups or individuals who might deliberately or unwittingly aid a terrorist group in obtaining material.


About Jaime

Jaime Yassif is a doctoral candidate in the Biophysics Group at UC Berkeley, where she is conducting her thesis research on the biophysics of transport processes in cells. Prior to her graduate work, Ms. Yassif worked for several years in science and security policy at the Federation of American Scientists and the Nuclear Threat Initiative. Ms. Yassif holds an MA in Science and Security from the War Studies Department at King's College London, and she received her BA in Biology from Swarthmore College. Ms. Yassif is former president of the student-run Science, Technology and Engineering Policy group at UC Berkeley.


Other Events of Interest

Membership and Mailing Lists

We're always looking for new members! Anyone is welcome to join. To sign up:

1. Request an invitation to our [Google Group] to receive updates and announcements.

2. Add yourself to the Members page.

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