Biohacking In Every High School Curriculum
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.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.
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 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.