Special Issue on Dual Use
“Dual use” can be defined as potential use of science and technology for destructive purpose as well as for constructive purposes. While the history of the dual use is long (such as, debate on atomic energy), after the anthrax incident in the wake of the terrorist attack of World Trade Center in New York on September 2001, “dual use” issue surfaced as the matter of “biosecurity.” The debate on biosecurity was further ignited by the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity’s recommendation on the publication of experiments dealing with the host range expansion of the avian influenza virus H5N1.
The present special issue deals with the “dual use” mainly from the “biosecurity” view point, including the bioweapon and its history, biosecurity negotiation in the Biological Weapon Convention, regulatory framework of use of pathogens and its implementation, ethical issues, education of the “dual use” issues for life scientists, the feasibility of direct application of the published data to the dual use and the recent progress of synthetic biology and its biosecurity implication.
The present guest editor wishes that these articles will stimulate debate on “dual use” issues in various branches of science and technology, as he realizes that “dual use” issue is becoming prominent not only in microbiological researches but also in other activities, such as, IT, robotics, neuroscience, psychology, economics, etc. He extends his sincere thanks to all of the contributors and reviewers involved with these articles.