The Secretive ‘Second World’ of Human Synthetic Biology

May 19, 2016

(The Guardian) – By their nature, it is often the most controversial, risky and ethically dubious research programmes that are conducted in secret, curtained-off from society in order to protect knowledge and technology not only from public scrutiny but also espionage or corporate theft. Therefore it should be no surprise that a behind-closed-doors meeting, convened last week at Harvard, on the prospect of synthesising the human genome, has caused a stir. The meeting was convened to discuss the prospects of coordinating a large collaborative venture to follow-up on the Human Genome Project (HGP), that would, over the next decade, seek to construct an entire human genome in a cell line.