Federal Officials Weigh Curbs On ‘Made To Order’ DNA Experiments
Making genes from scratch used to be laborious and time consuming, but not anymore, NPR reports. So federal officials are considering measures to prevent these methods from being used to create dangerous viruses or bioweapons.
As Made-To-Order DNA Gets Cheaper, Keeping It Out Of The Wrong Hands Gets Harder
Patrick Boyle recalls that by the time he got his Ph.D. in biology in 2012, he had worked with just a few other people and managed to manufacture six genes, the basic units of heredity. "Today, we are synthesizing more than 10,000 genes every month," he says, showing off a lab at a Boston biotech company called Ginkgo Bioworks. Making genes from scratch used to be laborious and time consuming, but not anymore. That's why federal officials are now considering new measures to prevent this rapidly advancing technology from being misused to create dangerous viruses or bioweapons. (Greenfieldboyce, 9/24)
Health Tech Companies Try Self-Regulation While Awaiting Federal Privacy Law
Instead of waiting for lawmakers to hash out a federal privacy bill that might not even address health data, some tech companies are taking rulemaking into their own hands. Several industry groups, with input from companies such as IBM, 23andMe, Apple and Microsoft, have drawn up voluntary codes of conduct and guidelines for keeping patients' data safe. (Ravindranath, 9/24)