Abaixo, trecho da reportagem sobre amadores que estão trabalhando com engenharia genética em casa. Agora não é mais necessário um laboratório para experimentos!
Amateurs are trying genetic engineering at home
by Marcus Wohlsen, Associated PressDecember 26th, 2008
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The Apple computer was invented in a garage. Same with the Google search engine. Now, tinkerers are working at home with the basic building blocks of life itself.
Using homemade lab equipment and the wealth of scientific knowledge available online, these hobbyists are trying to create new life forms through genetic engineering - a field long dominated by Ph.D.s toiling in university and corporate laboratories.
In her San Francisco dining room lab, for example, 31-year-old computer programmer Meredith L. Patterson is trying to develop genetically altered yogurt bacteria that will glow green to signal the presence of melamine, the chemical that turned Chinese-made baby formula and pet food deadly.
"People can really work on projects for the good of humanity while learning about something they want to learn about in the process," she said.
Many of these amateurs may have studied biology in college but have no advanced degrees and are not earning a living in the biotechnology field. Some proudly call themselves "biohackers" - innovators who push technological boundaries and put the spread of knowledge before profits.
Jim Thomas of ETC Group, a biotechnology watchdog organization, warned that synthetic organisms in the hands of amateurs could escape and cause outbreaks of incurable diseases or unpredictable environmental damage.
"Once you move to people working in their garage or other informal location, there's no safety process in place," he said.
Some also fear that terrorists might attempt do-it-yourself genetic engineering. But Patterson said: "A terrorist doesn't need to go to the DIYbio community. They can just enroll in their local community college."
Fonte: Genetic and Society