Beware--Money Hungry Scientists Playing God with
Synthetic biology is a field that is now raising
worries that won't be deflected simply by semantics.
The expanding toolbox of ways to re-engineer microbes
< and even construct new ones < has opened up
extraordinary possibilities for biomedical discovery
and environmental engineering. But it also carries
potential dangers that could eclipse the concerns
already raised about genetic engineering and
nanotechnology. If biologists are indeed on the
threshold of synthesizing new life forms, the scope
for abuse or inadvertent disaster could be huge.
In a dramatic demonstration of the potential risks,
virologist Eckard Wimmer at the State University of
New York at Stony Brook announced in 2002 that his
team had built live poliovirus from scratch using
mail-order segments of DNA and a viral genome map that
is freely available on the Internet1. The feat put a
spotlight on the possibility that bioterrorists could
create even more dangerous organisms < including
Ebola, smallpox and anthrax < perhaps endowing them
with resistance to antibiotics
Director, Proyecto de Bioseguridad http://bioseguridad.blogspot.com/
Research Associate, Institute for Social Ecology http://www.social-ecology.org/
Fellow, Environmental Leadership Program http://www.elpnet.org/
Senior Fellow, Society of Environmental Journalists http://www.sej.org/
Do you Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Mail Address AutoComplete - You start. We finish.