[ExI] biosafety issues in DIY-bio

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Tue Aug 5 20:30:50 UTC 2008

On Tuesday 05 August 2008, markus_1 wrote:
> I would like to share with you a paper about the biosafety
> implications of the ongoing diffusion of synbio techniques, including
> references to "biohackers".

Hey Markus, glad to hear from you again. How'd synbiosafe.eu turn out? 
Here's my general thoughts on this issue. Let's talk sometime.

Let's abstract this from the recent trends in di(rt)ybio. In *general* 
one would be generally clueless about biology and one's body to the 
extent of relying on healthcare systems and other people, a small 
percentage of them, knowing how to take care of the physiology and 
morphology and so on. That system generally does not scale adequately. 
In open source programming circles, the general mantra is to more eyes 
looking to expose the ever increasing number of bugs. How else are you 
going to find them and adequately deal with them? [unit tests] So we 
need to train our "eyes" and ears (amateur engineers making up 'hacks') 
to filter up biological information on the general microbial/viral 
health of their local ecosystems and pockets of society, which can 
generally be done with software, knowledge diffusion, knowhow on 
building the necessary physical setups, and so on. Bubbling up 
information isn't all of it though -- just as bug reports aren't all of 
it, as many bug reporters submit patches to prevent the zero-day 
exploits or add new features to the technological foundation. Same 

"Let a thousand flowers bloom! By all means, inspect the flowers for 
signs of infestation and weed as necessary. But don’t cut off the hands 
of those who spread the seeds of the future." -- Max More.

- Bryan
Engineers: http://heybryan.org/exp.html
irc.freenode.net #hplusroadmap

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