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December 28, 2008

DIY Genetic Engineering

What could possibly go wrong?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that thousands of Americans now spend their free time consulting the internet, jerry-rigging laboratory equipment, and tinkering with the very foundations of life on Earth as we know it.

“People can really work on projects for the good of humanity while learning about something they want to learn about in the process,“ says Meredith Patterson, 31, a computer programmer by day turned biohacker by night.

In her San Francisco dining room Ms Patterson is currently attempting to rewire the DNA of yoghurt bacteria so that they will glow green to signal the presence of melamine, the chemical that infamously turned Chinese-made baby milk formula into poison.

Ms Patterson says that she picked up the basics of genetic engineering from scientific papers and Google.

Noble cause, but there ain't enough Purell in the world to compel me to shake that woman's hand.

A friend in the medical profession assures me that as hobbies go, genetic engineering is easy, cheap, fun, and illegal.

Bleg: I can't find a cite on the law, though I've been googling rigorously for thirty exhausting seconds. Maybe some of you esquires out there can pin down the legal ins-n-outs for us?

UPDATE: Gabe says it's not illegal, with caveats.

Alarmist nonsense. We're harmless, loving pets, just looking for a warm host. Home. Home. HA HA, did we say host? Oh that's rich. We meant home.


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posted by LauraW. at 11:35 AM

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