Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering - a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in laboratories.

In her San Francisco dining room, for example, 31-year-old Meredith Patterson is trying to develop genetically altered yogurt bacteria that will glow green to signal the presence of melamine, the chemical that turned Chinese-made baby formula and pet food deadly.

"People can really work on projects for the good of humanity while learning about something they want to learn about in the process," she said. So far, no major gene-splicing discoveries have come out anybody's kitchen or garage. But critics of the movement worry that these amateurs could one day unleash an environmental or medical disaster. Defenders say the future Bill Gates of biotech could be developing a cure for cancer in the garage.

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1,060 hits 2.5 (2 votes) Share Favorite | Flag 13 years ago by KikiPeepers

Should it be a felony for people to tinker with genetic engineering in their homes?
Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering - a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in laboratories.

In her San Francisco dining room, for example, 31-year-old Meredith Patterson is trying to develop genetically altered yogurt bacteria that will glow green to signal the presence of melamine, the chemical that turned Chinese-made baby formula and pet food deadly.

"People can really work on projects for the good of humanity while learning about something they want to learn about in the process," she said. So far, no major gene-splicing discoveries have come out anybody's kitchen or garage. But critics of the movement worry that these amateurs could one day unleash an environmental or medical disaster. Defenders say the future Bill Gates of biotech could be developing a cure for cancer in the garage.

http://www.cbn.com/CBNnews/508252.a...


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13 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Friday 12/26/08 - 3:54:09 AM EST (GMT-5)
To do so would be defying the word of God. Who cares about Chinese babies when you could send us all to hell?
13 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Friday 12/26/08 - 12:34:59 PM EST (GMT-5)
This is a difficult question to answer since it isn't very one-sided, but if it were an ultimatum I would say yes just because the consequences of a mistake could be a dire threat to humanity (e.g, a deadly new airborne bacteria.)
13 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Friday 12/26/08 - 2:13:51 PM EST (GMT-5)
most definitely.
13 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Friday 12/26/08 - 6:58:25 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Friday 12/26/08 - 3:54:09 AM Wubba D wrote:
To do so would be defying the word of God. Who cares about Chinese babies when you could send us all to hell?


God's not real, so no worrys.
13 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Friday 12/26/08 - 11:32:14 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Friday 12/26/08 - 3:54:09 AM Wubba D wrote:
To do so would be defying the word of God. Who cares about Chinese babies when you could send us all to hell?
On Friday 12/26/08 - 6:58:25 PM videohero wrote:
God's not real, so no worrys.


*Facepalm*
13 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Friday 12/26/08 - 11:48:14 PM EST (GMT-5)
Obviously it should be illegal to construct pathogens. But realistically the danger and the number of people who have the ability and resources to follow through with this sort of thing is pretty limited. Molecular biology isn't exactly cheap. Or easy. Still, one day I'd like to do some stove-top PCR just for the hell of it.
13 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Saturday 12/27/08 - 3:56:24 PM EST (GMT-5)
ypu mean like meth labs?
13 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Sunday 1/11/09 - 12:31:41 PM EST (GMT-5)
On Saturday 12/27/08 - 3:56:24 PM juliewillard wrote:
ypu mean like meth labs?


No. Not at all like meth labs. Not even close.
13 yrs ago, 4 mos ago - Monday 1/12/09 - 1:40:47 PM EST (GMT-5)
No, keep your 'god' out of my laws!
11 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/21/11 - 3:42:38 AM EST (GMT-5)
No.

If I had the money, time, and scientific know-how, I'd be in on this too.
11 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/21/11 - 3:53:08 AM EST (GMT-5)
For a moment I feared an irrelevant link about how Obama has done something wrong.

But it's just Clashy.

So much better!
11 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/21/11 - 4:17:21 AM EST (GMT-5)
uh... what?
it's not even illegal (afaik?) to make things like botulism or ricin. and if it is, i'm sure it's not a felony.
11 yrs ago, 2 mos ago - Monday 3/21/11 - 1:51:57 PM EST (GMT-5)
There's a good reason why there's a safety standard for genetic or microbiologic work and labs. These simply don't belong in uncontrolled environments.
8 yrs ago, 9 mos ago - Tuesday 8/27/13 - 6:50:16 AM EST (GMT-5)
I'm all in favour of amateur science. I love the idea of world where everyone has a home laboratory.
8 yrs ago, 9 mos ago - Tuesday 8/27/13 - 7:19:34 AM EST (GMT-5)
Should home chemistry be illegal in case you create a new super drug? Breed enough plants in the right way and you could unleash a race of man-eating lily pads on the world!
8 yrs ago, 9 mos ago - Tuesday 8/27/13 - 9:50:44 AM EST (GMT-5)
I'm not that concerned about someone growing triffids in their backyard, but practical genetics is very cheap & easy to do - you don't even have to understand what you're doing - and it's just a matter of time until some towel heads or militia group create a biological weapon that way.



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