Thursday, September 8, 2016

Could Amateur 'Biohackers' Create Biological Weapons

The Independent: Security services concerned amateur 'biohackers' could create biological weapons, academic says

The tools to edit the genes of lifeforms are now cheap and freely available on the internet.

The security services are concerned that ‘biohackers’ — groups of ordinary people who use genome editing techniques to alter lifeforms — could develop biological weapons or other potentially dangerous substances, an Oxford University academic has said.

Amateur scientists around the world have started using gene editing techniques after the tools became cheap and readily available.

And while most of these groups are harmless, Professor John Parrington told the British Science Festival in Swansea there were fears among other scientists and the security services that the technology could be used to create a new form of deadly virus.

Read more ....

WNU Editor: My brother who works as a researcher in the bio-tech field tells me otherwise. You still need money to set up a lab (even a cheap and amateurish one), and you still need the knowledge and experience to know what you are doing.

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