Those interested in truly understanding the potential bioterror dangers of the emerging field of synthetic biology should make sure they read and keep updated on the discussion surrounding the Declaration of the Second International Meeting on Synthetic Biology. In this statement, which resulted from a conference attended by some 300 researchers, lawyers, and government policy types, experts in synthetic biology spelled out realistic concerns and suggested ways to go forward.
Also worth tracking is the controversy in the synthetic biology community over a newspaper article in The Guardian that led off with the teaser: “DNA sequences from some of the most deadly pathogens known to man can be bought over the Internet, the Guardian has discovered.” A well-argued critique by Rob Carlson can be found at his website.
On Wednesday, Technologyreview.com will run a Q&A with Drew Endy, a biological engineer at MIT and leading proponent of synthetic biology, asking him about these debates and how to safely proceed with synthetic biology research.
Our best illustrations of 2022
Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.
How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier
These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.
The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains
10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.