Julian Savulescu, of Oxford’s Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, has issued a dramatic warning about the dangers of synthetic biology. He believe that it easily could be used to synthesise lethal new organisms which could kill vast numbers or to create radically new life forms which could wreak havoc on ecosystems and human health. Writing in Times Higher Education, he painted a bleak picture of reckless, unregulated progress:
“Given the potential impact of a catastrophe, there is an absolute moral imperative to review our regulatory structures, international oversight, rules for publication, access to reagents and technology, and so on. Responsible scientists should lead this.