As researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute push on toward creating synthetic life — Venter tells the UK's Times Online that they are months away — the field is being compared to the heady 1980s days of computer science, as this piece in the Edge says. Both Deepak Singh and Ricardo Vidal say computers are not the best analogy. "The level of expertise, technical understanding and complexity required to manipulate genomes is orders of magnitude beyond that and for good reason," Singh writes.
Vidal adds, "No doubt that synthetic biology makes engineering biology easier but it's not something you'll be doing in your garage/kitchen/bedroom closet. At least not legally, or with much success."