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At the Click of a Mouse

With advances in synthetic biology, it will soon be possible for people to use a so-called DNA printer "to print our own treatments" cheaply, writes Vivek Wadhwa in a column at The Washington Post. A colleague of Wadhwa's at Singularity University, Andrew Hessel, tells him that people will be able to search for and print out genetic designs. "He predicts that cold and flu vaccine designs will be spread quickly over social media and that the process will be as easy as downloading an app on a smartphone," Wadhwa writes. However, Wadhwa notes that such capabilities would also raise concerns regarding bioterrorism and bio-crime. "We will need anti-virus software and defenses just as we have for computer software," he says. "But although we can reformat our hard disks to remove a computer virus, we can't reformat our genomes ... yet."