Race to keep a lid on labs creating 'artificial life' amid boom in DIY 'biohackers'?
A system for keeping an eye on potentially dangerous 'artificial life' laboratories around the world is essential, say leading experts.
The Woodrow Wilson Centre, in Washington, US, warns that there is no way of monitoring labs tinkering with 'synthetic biology' to ensure that anything created is safe.
The field 'synthetic biology' came into being in 2010 when a scientist added synthetic DNA to a bacteria cell to create a 'new' life form. An Oxford ethicist warned that it opened the door to 'the most powerful bioweapons imaginable'.
The Centre's Synthetic Biology project has recommended a 'score card' to ensure laboratories adhere to guidelines laid down by a Presidential Commisision in 2010.
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