Ellen Jorgensen is dragging genetic engineering away from the scare stories

The following is an edited excerpt.

Biohackers are rare — costs have kept genetic engineering in the realm of big pharma and university labs. But Ellen Jorgensen, a PhD molecular biologist, sees a tipping point: “You can sequence genes on a computer, email them to a lab and a week later, for $100, receive a vial of DNA,” she says. “That’s close to a revolution.”

This near-revolution led Jorgensen and half a dozen other alt biologists to foundGenspace, a public biohacking collective in Brooklyn, New York, to help fight ignorance about genetic technology. “People need to get their hands dirty,” she says. “Imagine policy debates about computers if only a few guys in white coats had ever actually touched one.”

“The technology is incredibly powerful,” says Jorgensen. “But it’s not inherently good or evil — it’s what you use it for.”

Read the original story in its entirety here: Ellen Jorgensen is dragging genetic engineering away from the scare stories

 

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