Foreign Policy's David Hoffman is keeping tabs on synthetic biology. He has previously noted that "the knowledge of biology is dual use: that which can make our lives better can also be used for ill." And that led to the Obama administration's request for the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues to take a look at the field of synthetic biology and DIY labs in particular. The commission's new report calls for self-regulation of the field, saying, as Hoffman points out, "that presently there appears to be no serious risk of completely novel organisms being constructed in non-institutional setting." Hoffman also adds the reminder that Craig Venter's group relied on a host organism and did not "create life" from scratch.
The Dual-Use of Biology
Dec 29, 2010