Analysis & Opinions - CNN

What Digital Nerds and Bio Geeks Have to Worry About

| Sep. 13, 2019

Genes and genomes are based on code — just like the digital language of computers. But instead of zeros and ones, four DNA letters — A, C, T, G — encode all of life. (Life is messy, and there are actually all sorts of edge cases, but ignore that for now.) If you have the sequence that encodes an organism, in theory, you could recreate it. If you can write new working code, you can alter an existing organism or create a novel one.

If this sounds to you a lot like software coding, you're right. As synthetic biology looks more like computer technology, the risks of the latter become the risks of the former. Code is code, but because we're dealing with molecules — and sometimes actual forms of life — the risks can be much greater....

For more information on this publication: Belfer Communications Office
For Academic Citation: Schneier, Bruce and Larisa Rudenko.“What Digital Nerds and Bio Geeks Have to Worry About.” CNN, September 13, 2019.

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