One study, two paths: the challenge of dual-use research.
Rapid advances in biotechnology and genetics over the past 50 years have transformed medicine, agriculture, and industry. But these same developments have occurred at such a pace that the scientific community is only just beginning to address some of the new practical and ethical issues that have arisen. For instance, some research conducted in the service of humanity also carries inherent risks related to national security. This so-called dual-use research, with its potential to be used for both beneficial and detrimental purposes, raises thorny questions for investigators, funding agencies, and science journals worldwide.