Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents: A Meeting Summary
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In 2012, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) approached the National Research Council and asked that a committee be formed to develop a list of workshop topics to explore the impact of emerging science and technology. One topic that came out of that list was directed evolution for development and production of bioactive agents. This workshop was held on February 21-22, 2013.

Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents explains the objectives of the workshop, which were to explore the potential use of directed evolution1 for military science and technology. Understanding the current research in this area, and the potential opportunities for U.S. adversaries to use this research, might allow the DIA to advise U.S. policy makers in an appropriate and timely manner. The workshop featured invited presentations and discussions that aimed to:

-Inform the U.S. intelligence community of the current status of directed evolution technology and related research, and

-Discuss possible approaches involving directed evolution that might be used by an adversary to develop toxic biological agents that could pose a threat to the United States or its allies, and how they could be identified.

Members of the Committee on Science and Technology for Defense Warning planned the agenda for the workshop, selected the presenters, and helped moderate discussions in which meeting participants probed issues of national security related to directed evolution in an effort to gain an understanding of potential vulnerabilities. Experts were invited from the areas of directed evolution, biosynthesis, detection, and biological agents.


  • Conflict and Security Issues — Prevention, Security and Response
  • Conflict and Security Issues — Policy, Reviews and Evaluations

Publication Info

27 pages | 8 1/2 x 11

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-viii
1 Meeting Summary 1-14
Appendix A--Workshop Presentations and Participants 15-16
Appendix B--Biographies 17-19
Research Tools

Suggested Citation

National Research Council. Directed Evolution for Development and Production of Bioactive Agents: A Meeting Summary. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2013.

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