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DARPA: Biohackers should ‘think deeply’ about using themselves as research guinea pigs

| | February 9, 2018
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[DARPA biotechnology director Justin] Sanchez was not only [at Body Hacking Con] to promote the agency’s expansive research portfolio. He also had a message of urgent caution for so-called biohackers, people who have decided the formal drug research and approval process is too cumbersome and who are using themselves as guinea pigs for increasingly more ambitious biology experiments.

In an interview after his stage talk, Sanchez was more circumspect. “More and more people have access to biotechnology. It is very democratized right,” he told me. “People need to think deeply. If you do have access to it, that doesn’t mean you should use it.”

His message would not be heeded the very next day at the conference, when one biohacker injected himself on stage with an extremely experimental treatment for herpes. The therapy had gone through no regulatory approval process and had never before tested in humans.

“There’s many levels of safety and security for the internet that we as a society are struggling with,” he said. “We’re in the early days of biological technologies. Let’s think about how to do this in a responsible way now so that, as that technology does mature, we’re better prepared to use it in a way that will benefit society,” [Justin said].

Read full, original post: DARPA Exec Warns Biohackers to ‘Think Deeply’ About Injecting Untested Treatments

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