Advances in life sciences and technologies can bring enormous benefits to our health, our societies and our environment. They pave the way for the creation of innovative tools and treatments that can address existing challenges in these fields. However, to realize the full benefits of these advances, it is essential that any potential risks deriving from their use are also recognized and mitigated.

On September 13, the World Health Organization (WHO) published the Global guidance framework for the responsible use of the life sciences, a document which aims to raise awareness of the value of biorisk management and provide a set of values and tools to support Member States and other relevant stakeholders in preventing and mitigating biorisks. The document is the first global, technical and normative framework for dual-use research – i.e. research that is intended to provide a clear benefit, but which could be misapplied to do harm.