Month: August 2010

Israel ponders a nuclear Iran

Israel ponders a nuclear Iran

Of all the international nuclear-related challenges facing Israel, the most urgent and important is the possibility of a nuclear Iran.1 Israel’s intense response to Iran tells us much about Israel’s own existential predicament. The consensus in Israel is that the advent of a nuclear Iran, albeit depending on what this would mean exactly, would pose an unprecedented threat to Israel. For the first time, Israel would confront a hostile state in the region that possesses nuclear weapons.

Synthetic biology: Harbinger of an uncertain future?

Synthetic biology: Harbinger of an uncertain future?

It is hard to imagine that only three years ago, back in 2007, there was such a lack of awareness of dual-use and related biosecurity issues among practicing life scientists. Even the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) was almost unknown. For me, this brand of unawareness was confirmed when, that year, Alexander Kelle attended “Synthethic Biology 3.0”, an international convention on synthetic biology that was held in Zurich, and interviewed some of the leaders in the field on dual-use and biosecurity issues.