in Science, Technology

Synthetic biology

Synthetic biology is riff on nano/bio tech – according to Rudy Rucker, “it’s about building slippery wetware entities that might live in the real world.” Rucker has a rich post about the field, and its promises (“we ought to be able to design some kind of microorganism that eats
inexpensive crud and generates energy in some usable form or another”) and problems (“what’s to stop a particularly virulent synthetic organism from eating everything on earth?”) Ending with a cool science friction premise:

Suppose it were possible to encode a person’s memory
and personality into a single, very large, DNA-like molecule. Now
suppose that someone turns himself into a viral disease that other
people can catch. If I were you—sneeze—oh, wait, I guess I am.

Gesundheit.

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