In a highly unusual move, the federal Bureau of Industry and Security is asking U.S. industry to help identify emerging technologies that are essential to national security but currently escape the tangle of laws and regulations that govern — and in some cases restrict or prohibit — the sale or transfer of commodities, technology, and technical data to foreign businesses, research institutions, government and private organizations, and individuals who are neither U.S. citizens nor lawful permanent residents.

The bureau’s advance notice of proposed rulemaking specifically mentions categories of emerging technology that ought to deeply interest STAT readers: nanobiology, synthetic biology, genomic and genetic engineering, neurotechnology, molecular robotics, neural networks and deep learning, evolution and genetic computation, direct neural interfaces, brain-machine interfaces, and biomaterials.

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