Thursday, November 5, 2009

Stay Away from that DNA, You Terrorist!

Companies that sell biotechnology reagents are to adopt a new screening tool that attempts to avoid DNA getting into the hands of terrorists.

I work with synthetic DNA every single day and I can't comprehend how on earth synthetic DNA purchased by terrorists can be a significant threat.

Using synthetic DNA one can amplify genes, let's say the gene for certain toxin from a pathogen. But from the amplified gene to the final product (the toxin, for example) there is a long, technically complex and painful path. In addition machines that can synthesize DNA are not that expensive.


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