Skip to main content
Support
Article

Should We Fear DIY Biologists' Use of Cutting-Edge Gene-Editing Technology?

Todd Kuiken

With the ready availability of tools such as CRISPR–Cas9 and crowdfunding, a more-decentralized governance is needed for everyone, not just DIY biologists. Codes of conduct will be needed to establish appropriate norms for government funding and regulatory agencies, for people working both within and outside conventional research settings, for the directors of community labs and for the developers of crowdfunding platforms.

Should We Fear DIY Biologists' Use of Cutting-Edge Gene-Editing Technology?

With the ready availability of tools such as CRISPR–Cas9 and crowdfunding, a more-decentralized governance is needed for everyone, not just DIY biologists. Codes of conduct will be needed to establish appropriate norms for government funding and regulatory agencies, for people working both within and outside conventional research settings, for the directors of community labs and for the developers of crowdfunding platforms.

The DIY-biology community, as a stakeholder that has already addressed many of the underlying issues, should take part in a robust public dialogue about the use of CRISPR–Cas9 and how governance models can ensure safe, responsible research.

Read Dr. Todd Kuiken's full article on the DIYbio communities access to CRISPR and how the broader scientific community can learn from their proactive governance initiatives here: http://www.nature.com/news/governance-learn-from-diy-biologists-1.19507

This article also appears in Scientific American: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/should-we-fear-diy-biologists-use-of-cutting-edge-gene-editing-technology/

About the Author

Todd Kuiken

Todd Kuiken

Senior Research Scholar, Genetic Engineering & Society Center, North Carolina State University
Read More

Science and Technology Innovation Program

The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) brings foresight to the frontier. Our experts explore emerging technologies through vital conversations, making science policy accessible to everyone.  Read more