SBPWG

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===Upcoming Meetings===
===Upcoming Meetings===
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====Thursday Sept 15th 6:30-8:30pm at UCSF Byers Hall Rom 313====
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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 to mjpalmer@stanford.edy by Wednesday at 4pm to make sure we have sufficient food.
 
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'''Agenda'''
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'''March 14th 6:30-8:30pm @ Stanford'''
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'''1. Film Viewing and Discussion (During Dinner): "Hypothetical Risk: The Cambridge City Council Hearings on Recombinant DNA Research"'''
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'''''Speaker: Jaime Yassif, PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley Biophysics Group'''''
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This fascinating video, recorded in 1976, occurs three years after the scientific community raised concern about the safety of recombinant DNA experiments and one month after the NIH issued guidelines to regulate recombinant DNA work. The cambridge city council is meeting with scientists (including Maxine Singer, Mark Ptashne and Jon King) to discuss consequences of the guidelines for the community and surrounding laboratories and to consider additional resolutions and actions the city might take to ensure the safety of its citizens. We are planning to use this footage for a new film project on biological safety/risk, so your comments will be very helpful!
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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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(http://ttv.mit.edu/videos/11570-hypothetical-risk-cambridge-city-councils-hearings-on-recombinant-dna-research-1976_
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RSVP to Megan Palmer (mjpalmer@stanford.edu) by March 12th at noon to receive location details.
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'''2. Syn Bio Practices Leadership Bootcamp/Workshop Discussion & Planning'''
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Dinner provided by SynBERC
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The BioBricks Foundation (BBF) is interested in co-sponsoring a spring/summer intensive 'bootcamp' course designed to teach and engage practitioners in the broader societal context of developments in synthetic biology and foster leadership in advancing responsible practices. 'Graduates' from the bootcamp would be invited to participate in subsequent workshops organized by the BBF focused more narrowly on topics such as IP, Standards, Ethics and Communications.
 
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This evening, we will brainstorm and discuss (1)  curriculum components (topics/case studies), (2) formats, and (3) deliverables (white papers etc) for the bootcamp . Our goal is to frame the proposal and divide it into sections we can pursue individually or in small groups. This is a great opportunity for us to work together on a concrete project that will help both us and others start to address the gaps we have explored during our previous meetings.
 
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From your email responses,  gaps lists, and previous discussions, I am collecting a growing seed list of ideas for the workshop on the wiki: http://openwetware.org/wiki/SBPWG:Discussion/Practices_Bootcamp
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'''Abstract'''
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'''In preparation for Thursday, please:'''
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'''''Microbial Forensics for Bioterrorism Prevention: Strengths and Limitations'''''
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- review the wiki site (and edit at will!): http://openwetware.org/wiki/SBPWG:Discussion/Practices_Bootcamp
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- bring your ideas for preferred topics, case studies, invited guests and deliverables (as many as possible, the more non-obvious the better!)
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===Other Meetings===
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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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Members of the group will be meeting during the [[http://synberc.org/fall-2011-retreat SynBERC Fall Retreat]]
 
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'''Future Invited Guests (Dates TBA):'''
 
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* Nita Farahany, Member of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues and Visiting Professor at Stanford Law
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'''About Jaime'''
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* Chris Anderson, UB Berkeley Professor and SynBERC PI
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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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===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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===Other Events of Interest===
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Please add yourself to the [[SBPWG:Members | Members]] page.
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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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