May 01, 2024

New CNAS Biotech Matters Commentary: “Problems with Life Science Databases in the United States”

Washington, May 1, 2024 — Today, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) released a new Biotech Matters commentary, “Problems with Life Science Databases in the United States,” by CNAS Biotech Task Force Member Dr. Carol Kuntz.

Kuntz’s new commentary emphasizes the transformative potential of artificial intelligence (AI) for biotechnology and underscores the importance of comprehensive U.S. life science databases to fully realize its potential.

Life science databases—including deidentified genomes, health records, and research findings—serve as an invaluable resource in this era of artificial intelligence. Using AI algorithms, databases can help unravel the mysteries of human traits, diseases, and environmental factors that affect human health. However, the United States lags in the creation of such databases because of outdated laws and regulations.

Of particular concern is the growing data disparity between the United States and China, which has built large genomic databases to bolster its own biotechnological advancements.

The new commentary not only diagnoses the shortcomings of current U.S. biodata policy, but prescribes a number of reforms to get the United States back on track. These include updating laws governing personal medical data, clarifying ownership of deidentified patient data, and establishing new authorities to facilitate the safe and secure acquisition and management of life science data for U.S. research and development.

The piece concludes the Center’s Biotech Matters commentary series, composed of six expert commentaries on emerging issues in biotechnology and national security, published by the CNAS Technology and National Security Program. Prior commentaries published as part of Biotech Matters can be read here.

For more information or to schedule an interview with Dr. Kuntz, please contact Alexa Whaley at

Technology & National Security

Biotech Matters: Problems with Life Science Databases in the United States

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