New Genomes Could Be Dangerous

There is a lot of excitement about synthetic biology. That is the creation of designer organisms. Many people are concerned, however, fearing the making of monsters that cannot be destroyed, but new developments improve health care and reduce the reliance on non-renewable resources.

New body parts are being made from a patient's own stem cells. GM food crops have been accepted after some early resistance. There are clear benefits for society from these scientific achievements. What is not so clear are the possible dangers from creation of completely new genomes to produce fuel, food, polymers and drugs.

Making new life forms that could reproduce is the area which frightens most people. There isn't much doubt that science will progress. At the moment purpose built creations are limited to 10 genes. This barrier will soon be surpassed.

There is always danger that new things will be misused. We will just have to hope that rules and regulations will prevent this. It seems that science will continue to move forward and not much will be done to stop technical advances.
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