Updated 19.02.2019

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Welcome to Biosecurity Insight

Are you interested in news on responsible science, the latest developments and best practices on biosecurity and biopreparedness?

We want to give you solid knowledge and inspiring news on the status and development of global biosecurity and biopreparedness. The aim of the newsletter is to strengthen the global network of biosecurity and biopreparedness professionals.


Current and previous newsletters



Vol. 1/2019



Vol. 4/2018

Vol. 3/2018

Vol. 2/2018

Vol. 1/2018




Featured news in vol. 1/2019




Scarce biosecurity resources call for tough choices


How prepared are we for the next pandemic?

The next pandemic – natural or deliberately occurring – will catch us off guard. Public health systems in developing countries lack financing, and cooperation between health and security sectors is limited

“Do It Yourself” challenges biosecurity regulation

“Do It Yourself” organisations are multiplying and performing still more advanced biotechnology research. Their work poses interesting new dilemmas for biosecurity regulators and may challenge the way we regulate biosecurity and biosafety. 

The fascinating history of low-tech biological weapons

The bioweapons debate usually evolves around high-tech, high-impact weapons. However, the history of low-tech biological weapons is also worth exploring.

Next generation testing

The extent of testing during bioweapon production is largely unknown. What we do know is that scientific testing in general is about to become a whole lot easier. What are the implications?

The challenges of BTWC implementation

Most states have ratified the Biological Weapons and Toxin Convention. While this is important, implementation in national structures is the real challenge.

Phages - an alternative to antibiotics?

Bacterial resistance to antibiotics is a serious threat to human health. Globally, researchers are working to address this issue, but no magic bullet has yet been found. Nevertheless, phages may offer a surprising solution.


Featured news in vol. 4/2018




This edition of Biosecurity Insight covers the apparent paradox that when diseases are globally contained, the biological threat may increase. It also offers a glimpse of CBB’s international cooperation, the threat from toxins and much more.



Toxins as a biosecurity threat

Earlier this month, Denmark experienced its first recorded incident with the biological toxin ricin. The incident is part of a globally rising interest in the criminal use of biological toxins.

How CBB assesses the threat from toxins

Faced with an increasing interest in ricin, CBB continuously evaluates the threat from biological toxins. In this assessment, CBB considers availability, qualifications, and resources required for the production and dispersal of toxins as biological weapons.

Global poliovirus containment on its way

As the eradication of polio is within reach, the importance of preventing accidental and deliberate release of the virus increases. Twenty-nine countries are coming together to ensure safe containment for the remaining poliovirus facilities.

New drug approved for smallpox treatment

Forty years after the last case, the approval of a new drug lowers the biological security threat posed by smallpox.

Climate change and biosecurity

Climate change is expected to have many deleterious effects. Will it also increase the risk of bioterrorism?

Implementing biosecurity is challenging, but possible

Implementing biosecurity at country level is challenging. To succeed requires a local take on biological risks, strong partnerships, and top level commitment. These were some of the conclusions from a panel debate on biosecurity implementation conducted by CBB and the Government of Kenya at the Biological Weapons Convention meeting.


Featured news in vol. 3/2018



Editorial: Moral countermeasures

Ever since Hippocrates (460-370 BC), physicians have had a set of ethical principles to guide their behaviour. Among these principles is a promise not to use their skills to harm anybody.




Influenza still surprises

It has been around forever. It is highly dangerous. And we know a lot less about it than you think. Fortunately, we are starting to understand its transmission mechanisms and weaponisation risk.

How much security in biosecurity?

Over the last couple of decades, it has been possible to observe various trends within the broader field of what is termed biosecurity. One of these trends has been to what degree security has actually been part of biosecurity.

Drones and robots as first responders

When facing a suspected scene of a biological attack, safety of the first responders is key. Drones and robots may support diagnosis of biological weapon use in the future.

Superbugs as weapons

Multi-resistant bacteria have been acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being a major threat to human health. Furthermore, their possible weapon potential may magnify this threat.

Why are biological weapons a taboo?

Multi-resistant bacteria have been acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO) as being a major threat to human health. Furthermore, their possible weapon potential may magnify this threat.

Worldwide biosecurity resources

Reach out to the relevant institution, using the contact information in the catalogue: Action Package Prevent 3 Biosafety and Biosecurity Resource Catalogue.



Featured news in vol. 2/2018



Editorial: Are genetic weapons for real?

Genetic differences between ethnic groups or populations are increasingly being characterised.



Biosecurity concepts and misconceptions

The term biosecurity has many meanings and is valued differently. In biosecurity administration and scientific communities alike, a common understanding is key to successful implementation.

The threat of vaccine shortages

The current trend of global recurring vaccine shortages has serious public health implications. Also, it can affect global preparedness against bioterrorism.

When legitimate materials are misused

Countries can unwillingly become suppliers of material to build biological weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.

Epigenetics and weapon exposure

Countries can unwillingly become suppliers of material to build biological weapons or other weapons of mass destruction.

Gene editing – enhancing science and ourselves

Can your personal epigenetic signature reveal exposure to chemical, biological, radiological and explosive agents?

In need of biosecurity publications?

The Danish Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness offers inspirational and informative biosecurity publications, designed to fit a wide range of needs.


Featured news in vol. 1/2018


Editorial: Biosecurity enables development

Biosecurity is a global necessity. Securing bacteria and viruses isolated from patients or sick animals, wherever they may be obtainable, is not only an international obligation, but also in the common interest of us all.

Plague in Madagascar contained

After four months of battling a large plague outbreak, the Government of Madagascar has now declared the outbreak contained.

Photo: Colourbox

Kenyan universities are at the forefront of biosecurity

Workshops can be an excellent way of learning and so far 300 Kenyan participants have engaged in biosecurity workshops across Kenya.

Biosecurity screening of DNA primers

Gene synthesis has never been easier and more accessible. Gene function and metabolic engineering can now be investigated at a much faster pace.


Photo: Colourbox

Polish bio-warriors in WWII

Under which circumstances could weapons of mass destruction be used? This is one of the more troubling questions today, considering the use of chemical weapons in Syria in recent years and the fact that North Korea is racing ahead developing nuclear weapons.

Shortcomings of global biosecurity

The Nuclear Threat Initiative has developed an analysis of the WHO Joint External Evaluation reports for 39 countries regarding biosecurity and biosafety.

Want to become a biosecurity expert?

If you’re interested in improving your knowledge and skills in the field of biosecurity and biopreparedness, CBB offers courses for both Danish and international participants – at CBB or at your organisation.

Contact us

Centre for Biosecurity and Biopreparedness 
Statens Serum Institut

5 Artillerivej
DK-2300 Copenhagen S

Telefon: +45 32688127
Email: cbb@ssi.dk