|Biotechnology allows humans to manipulate and create biological organisms, including pathogens and human cells. As such there is a risk that the technologies involved could be misused in order to cause harm to human beings, the ecosystem, or the economy. Securing the technology, and ensuring that it cannot be misused, is therefore a key consideration for any laboratory, organisation or country.|
Synthetic biology technologies and relevant research can be classified as being "dual use" - IE they could be both beneficial and detrimental to human societies, the environment and other organisms - with a very small window of difference between what is good and bad. For instance, the same equipment and reagents that could be used to produce useful fuels or medicines in microbes, could also be used to create harmful microbes that produce toxic chemicals or even biological weapons (pathogenic micro-organisms).
"Dual use technologies can be used for good and bad"