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Takshashila Discussion Document – A National Epidemic Intelligence Service for India

Executive Summary The COVID-19 outbreak has demonstrated the need for India to develop its own capacity to assess emerging biological threats. Reliance on foreign inputs led to delayed actions such as airport closures or screening/quarantine of incoming travelers. We propose the formation of an Indian National Epidemic Intelligence Service to...

Takshashila Discussion Document — Assessing Measures for India to Tackle Biowarfare Threats

By Shambhavi Naik Download the Discussion Document in PDF Gene editing, synthetic biology, and improved delivery systems have reinvigorated the attention to biological weapons. Furthermore, the Biological Weapons Convention has repeatedly failed to agree to a verification mechanism, giving rise to suspicions that state actors may still be experimenting with...

Wuhan and the Need for Improved Global Biosecurity

The Wuhan coronavirus, or nCoV-2019, is likely to become a pandemic in the coming weeks, having already infected at least 17,000 and killed some 400. The World Health Organisation has belatedly declared a public health emergency, while at least 45 million Chinese citizens remain under lockdown. Despite botching up the initial response in Wuhan, authorities in...

Biological Weapons: The Impact of New Technologies

In June 2018, German police arrested a Tunisian man in Cologne for trying to build a biological weapon using the deadly toxin, ricin.1   In October 2018, researchers flagged a US agricultural program funded by DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) as a potential mask for a bioweapons project.2 At the same...

Advanced gene editing may mutate into WMDs

Last June, German police arrested a man planning a terror attack by releasing large quantities of the biological toxin ricin, said to be 6,000 times more poisonous than cyanide. The raids on a block of flats in Cologne blew the lid off our worst fears: non-state actors laying their hands...