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Public Policy 

The Importance of Policy Decisions In SynBio

    When discussing policy regarding gene editing, we need to look to its possible effects on our society. Without proper regulations, synthetic biology technology could easily be abused. Once gene technology becomes accessible to the average person, the consequences would be life-altering. Like lines of code, once invented, harmful DNA sequences can be synthesized by anyone. What could have been engineered specifically for biological warfare, for example, could then be employed by an individual for their own self-benefit. There are data leaks in even the most secure of companies. A data leak at a synbio company could have an effect on the entire human population. 

      

    Furthermore, there is the moral question. At what point are we taking on the role nature? Do we have a right drastically alter these natural process. It is safe to say that the field has emerged at such a fast rate, that it is impossible for us to truly understand the long term effects. How can we be certain that genetically modified organisms would not have a detrimental impact on ecosystems once released into the wild?

    But is it fair to turn away from biotechnology altogether? Absolutely not. The field of synthetic biology promises for such a variety of issues on our planet- everything from cultivating disease-resistant crops to engineering fuels - that it would seem foolish not to reap its rewards. However, in order to maintain moral and safety standards when dealing with this technology, we need to have policies and regulations in place to maintain that safe environment. Government transparency regarding genetic engineering and public engagement regarding policy decisions is crucial to ensure safe integration of biotechnology and synthetic biology into our society.

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