A paper by: Jonathon M. Marioneaux, MS Candidate, Biodefense Technology and WMD, George Mason University, USA

There is widespread misinterpretation of synthetic biology and with misunderstanding comes fear and mistrust. The basic applications of synthetic biology are strictly peaceful and for academic, medical, and industrial use to better the world around us in diverse ways. Therefore, it is important to dispel the widespread belief that biologists, chemists, and others working with designer microbes are out to build something to destroy the world. As some authors note, the expanding field of synthetic biology has been used on numerous occasions to help better understand the inner workings of biology, such as leading to a deeper understanding of the workings of the human biome, the creation of designer organisms for insulin production, and environmental remediation. Does the possibility exist that this research could be subverted and used for malicious purposes? Of course, but the benefits are substantial and, fortunately, the level of technology that is required for that level of synthetic biology is well out of reach for all but the most determined groups or institutions.

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