SBPWG

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===Upcoming Meetings===
===Upcoming Meetings===
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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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====July 27th 6:30-8:30pm at Stanford====
 
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Please join us next Wednesday July 27th from 6:30-8:30pm at Stanford for the next Synthetic Biology Practices Working Group meeting. We will be joined by Drew Endy, who will share personal and pragmatic perspectives on shaping the practice of synthetic biology. We will then discuss how we might apply past lessons to addressing current challenges.
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'''March 14th 6:30-8:30pm @ Stanford'''
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*Time: Wednesday July 27th 6:30-8:30pm
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'''''Speaker: Jaime Yassif, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley Biophysics Group'''''
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*Location: Stanford Y2E2 Building, 473 Via Ortega, Stanford,  CA - Room 299 (Red Atrium, 2nd Floor) [http://campus-map.stanford.edu/index.cfm?ID=04-070) map]
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*Dinner: kindly provided by SynBERC
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*RSVP to Megan Palmer at mjpalmer@stanford.edu by Monday July 23rd at 2pm
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Please pass this invitation along to others!
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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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Guest Speaker
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RSVP to Megan Palmer (mjpalmer@stanford.edu) by March 12th at noon to receive location details.
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Title: Practical Perspectives on Programming the Practice of Synthetic Biology
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Speaker: Drew Endy
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Dinner provided by SynBERC
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Overview:
 
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Work and dreaming under the broad label "synthetic biology" stimulates and sustains many conversations regarding known or imagined outcomes.  Rarely these conversations coalesce into an implicit or explicit (re)shaping of tools that prescribe or bias what is expected of individual or group actions.  I'll use examples (e.g., DNA synthesis screening guidelines, RAC guidelines update, and property rights puzzles) to examine (i) what actors, relationships, and conditions shape the shaping of synthetic biology practice, (ii) how long it can take to make incremental progress in such work, and (iii) imagine what next steps might happen.
 
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'''About the Synthetic Biology Practices Working Group (SBPWG)'''
 
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The SBPWG is a small but diverse group of synthetic biology community members interested in exploring how to positively and productively engage in issues surrounding the societal ramifications of synthetic biology. This group formed following discussions with students and postdocs at the 2011 Spring SynBERC (www.synberc.org) retreat, but is open to anyone in the broader community interested in synthetic biology practices. More information can be found on our wiki: (http://openwetware.org/wiki/SBPWG)
 
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===Mailing and Members Lists===
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'''Abstract'''
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New Google Group created [[http://groups.google.com/group/SBPWG here]]. Please request an invitation.
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'''''Microbial Forensics for Bioterrorism Prevention: Strengths and Limitations'''''
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Please add yourself to the [[SBPWG:Members | Members]] page.
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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

Home        About        Members        Meetings        Gaps        Discussion        Resources       



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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