Workshop "Science and Training for Biosafety", October 6- 9, Pushchino, Russia
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, new threats for the international community appeared, such as access to biological weapons (BW) for terrorist organizations. Many experts consider biological weapons as the most dangerous ones. The danger of BW stems from the very nature of biological agents and their application not only against humans, but also against animals and plants that form the basis of human nutrition. The intensive development of biotechnology and nanobiotechnology, gene engineering, methods of cloning, etc. have drastically increased the possibilities of obtaining new types of BW and thus create a peculiar danger to the world stability and even to mankind.
ISTC is involved in reducing the threats of such bio attacks through various programs and workshops. The workshop held in October aimed to increase the competence of the staff working in biomedical, microbiological, pharmaceutical industries; and to increase the civic and social responsibility of scientists.
The organizer of the evnet, the Center for Ecological Research and Bioresources Development (CERBRD) consists of four institutes, three of which were formerly involved in the defense programs (WMD institutes): State Research Center for Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (SRCAMB) Obolensk; – Research Center for Toxicology and Hygienic Regulation of Biopreparations (RCT&HRB), Serpukhov; All-Russian Research Institute for Plant Pathology, (ARRIP), Golitsyno. CERBRD has joint international projects also with one more WMD organization, the All-Russian Research Institute for Biological Plant Protection (ARRIBPP) in Krasnodar. CERBRD and its member WMD-institutes work with international bioscience laboratories.
Together with Pushchino State University (PSU) and a number of other WMD institutes, the CERBRD is implementing a big international project whose aim is to integrate research and training in biotechnology developments, environmental clean-up and public health and thus provide the WMD scientists and young scientists with new possibilities of innovative activities and commercialization of scientific developments for peaceful purposes. The specific purposes of this project is to address the needs in the area of conversion and re-education of the Russian military biotechnologists, and thus assist them in the transition from defense-based scientific and technological research to civilian-based research.