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> Does anyone have any good ideas on how we might mitigate the negative consequences of this technology? (...) The genie is definitely already out of the bottle so I guess the only solution is better defences.

Agreed. Rob Carlson [1] argues in "Biology is Technology" [2] that regulation can't form an effective means to mitigate threats by limiting access to skills or materials, and that we should instead invest in the ability to develop rapid responses.

Further, he argues that the costs imposed by regulation on skill and material acquisition would weight most heavily on small firms, where most of the industry's innovation originates, thus slowing the very progress we need.

I highly recommend the book, as a review of recent (as of 2010ish) SB developments, comparison to other engineering disciplines, and for a treatment of how the regulatory/IP landscape could best support innovation in biotech.

[1] http://www.synthesis.cc/ [2] http://www.amazon.com/Biology-Is-Technology-Business-Enginee...




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