What Is Biohacking and Should We Be Afraid of It? | Tech-x-planations | Singularity Hub

(upbeat techno music) – Biohacking is modifying or experimenting with living things outside the normal way of doing things, like research paid for by universities, hospitals, companies, and governments Despite the negative connotation of the work hacking, which to me means doing something illicit or wrong, today biohacking tends to mean do-it-yourself biology experiments

Whenever I talk about biohacking, someone always asks me, "Aren't you afraid of someone making bioweapons "in their basement?" I'm terrified of bioweapons, but I fear the ones made by governments with brilliant scientists and cutting-edge equipment, not lone wolves hacking away in a basement Why? It's really, really hard to weaponize a virus or a bacteria to make it a good bioweapon There are far easier ways to kill people It used to be that you had to have a science education and access to funding and high-tech equipment to carry out genetic engineering That's simply not the case anymore

DNA and cells can be ordered online, and several companies have produced easy-to-use equipment and kits for molecular biology Biohacking has the potential to have a huge impact on the environment and medicine, agriculture and other things Being able to manipulate the source code of life is not something to be taken lightly, but that doesn't mean that only some people have the right to do it I worry more about unintended consequences than malicious ones I think biohacking has the most potential in a culture of openness, responsibility, honesty, and curiosity

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