12 May 2009

Biohacking In Every High School Curriculum

Biohacking is growing in popularity among amateur bio-hobbyists, but government overseers of biological threats are concerned. The government is worried about dangerous organisms being created in basements, garages, and walk-in closets in ordinary neighborhoods -- perhaps your own. But should the same government efficiency that makes air travel such a pleasure, has totally eliminated drug and human smuggling across the border, and is currently destroying the private sector of the economy be applied to the close oversight of every closet, garage, and basement in America?
These hobbyists represent a growing strain of geekdom known as biohacking, in which do-it-yourselfers tinker with the building blocks of life in the comfort of their own homes. Some of them buy DNA online, then fiddle with it in hopes of curing diseases or finding new biofuels.

But are biohackers a threat to national security? ... biohackers argue that Mother Nature is more likely than any home hobbyist to create dangerous new pathogens. They cite the current A/H1N1 "swine flu" virus, which is a made-in-the-wild brew of human, bird and pig influenzas. Mackenzie Cowell, a founder of DIY Bio, says members aim to do good and are committed to working safely.

The movement has made big strides recently thanks to the commercial availability of synthetic DNA. This genetic material, normally found inside the nucleus of cells, can now easily be purchased online. That provides any amateur with the ingredients for constructing an organism....So far, most garage biologists playing around with synthetic DNA are simply adding a gene or two to an existing organism, a fairly standard scientific practice involving some test-tube mixing, and not something biosecurity experts are very worried about. But technology promises to allow the creation of entire organisms from scratch -- something academics are aiming to do in university labs -- and that has some experts worried. _WSJ
The government's instinct is to shut everything down that it conceives as the least threat. Far more rational, would be to train students from the earliest age in the science and safety of bio-research of all types.

The best answer to any kind of serious threat is an educated and informed public that has learned the competencies to respond effectively. Currently, government schools produce helpless incompetent sheep that must be protected and cared for at every turn. The pampering and coddling continues at every stage, so that instead of an informed and effective citizenry, the end result is a horde of confused, milling zombies capable of electing a government of smoothly deceptive clowns in hopes of being well taken care of.

Sorry, zombies, it doesn't work that way. Once the clowns are elected, they are obligated to do favours for their big money supporters. Trial lawyers, labour unions, billionaire bankers and speculators, eco-extremists.... And so it goes until it can't go any longer.

Al Fin is going on record in support of the training of children and youth to be truly competent across a wide range of skills -- some of them quite deadly. Make them smart, strong, and formidable. The ongoing experiment of turning children into lifelong pets isn't working out very well.

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Blogger Ronduck said...

This concern is an extension of flood level immigration from certain countries. We import Pakistanis, train them in engineering and biology and then marvel as they seek to acquire deadly materials to fabricate weapons to use against us, all on our own territory. The government sees this and concludes that the proper response is to institute a licensing regime for the deadly materials so that "Americans" won't misuse them.

Speaking of Pakistan, I can't see what long term benefit Britain gained from ruling over the Raj.

Tuesday, 12 May, 2009  
Blogger al fin said...

True. But Obama is in the process of destroying America's economy, which will discourage many third world immigrants.

As for indigenous Americans, their young need to be made as widely competent as possible.

Thursday, 14 May, 2009  

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