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FBI shares Health Ranger's concerns over genetically engineered biology and its potential to devastate human life


Synthetic biology

(NaturalNews) To what extent the emergence of synthetic biology might impact humanity was among the various points of discussion at a recent gathering that took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston. And in attendance at this event were representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), who expressed serious concerns about how the technology could eventually decimate human life.

The basic gist behind synthetic biology is that scientists have discovered how to tinker with the genetic code of living organisms in such a way that DNA can now be engineered to produce new lifeforms. Some have called it genetic engineering 2.0, as it takes current modification techniques to a whole new level, allowing for the creation of novel organisms that are completely synthetic.

As explained by SynBioWatch, natural organisms are already pre-programmed with genetic code that tells them how to grow and behave according to their type. But synthetic biology takes this preexisting code and replaces it with man-made code, which in turn redirects the outcome of the organism. One example of this is the yeast strain that scientists recreated to produce artificial vanilla, or "synbio" vanilla.

"[I]magine... if you could just 'reprogram' that 'code' so that the 'chassis' cell does something commercially profitable with these so-called 'biological machines,'" explains SynBioWatch. "The cell can be 're-programmed' to act as though it were a tiny biological 'factory' that would pump out whatever chemical you desire. And scaling that up, you could make millions of those 'programmed cell factories' (because they are self-replicating) and then hold them in a big industrial vat."

FBI admits synthetic biology is a form of GMO bioterrorism

The small "successes" already achieved in the area of synthetic biology have inspired some scientists to pursue the eventual re-creation of all living organisms. Lunatic Cambrian Genomics CEO Austen Heinz, for instance, says his company plans to eventually remake "everything that is alive on the planet," because none of it is "optimal," in his opinion.

Andrew Pollack from The New York Times also envisions a world in which synbio organisms achieve superior status over natural organisms. He wrote that one day, "accomplishments" in the field could lead to synbio organisms that are capable of "[making] medicines or industrial products that cells with only the natural genetic code cannot."

But not everyone is this enthusiastic about what's taking place. Speaking at the MIT roundtable, FBI agent Carmine Nigro warned those in attendance that the technology is unpredictable and potentially dangerous.

"These technologies do not just pose a risk to individual buildings or cities," he stated. "[B]ut if cleverly deployed, [they] can reduce our population by significant percentages. That is a responsibility that we owe as members of the intelligence community and hope you will share with us."

Neil Gershenfeld, a physicist and director of the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT, vocalized similar concerns about how synbio might be used in the reprogramming of human beings. Once it becomes possible to synthesize the needed biological data cheaply and efficiently, the sky's the limit -- and this might lead to the end of humanity as we currently know it.

"The most exciting and frightening thing I saw this morning was a slide talking about designing and synthesizing genomes next to a slide describing a human being," stated Gershenfeld about one of the presentations at the roundtable.

To learn more about the dangers of synbio, visit SynBioWatch.org.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.nytimes.com

http://venturebeat.com

http://www.synbiowatch.org

http://science.naturalnews.com

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