Fears of abuse mount as more biohackers do gene editing

Dr Josiah Zayner, a Nasa scientist turned biohacker, preparing genetic engineering kits for his biotech company in California. In the past few years, so-called biohackers across the United States have taken gene editing into their own hands, and Dr Z
Dr Josiah Zayner, a Nasa scientist turned biohacker, preparing genetic engineering kits for his biotech company in California. In the past few years, so-called biohackers across the United States have taken gene editing into their own hands, and Dr Zayner has "no doubt that someone is going to get hurt".PHOTO: NYTIMES

Experts worry that the technology may be used to design biological weapons

WASHINGTON • As a teenager, Mr Keoni Gandall was already operating a cutting-edge research laboratory in his bedroom in Huntington Beach, California.

While his friends were buying video games, he acquired more than a dozen pieces of equipment for a hobby that once was the province of PhDs in institutional labs.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2018, with the headline 'Fears of abuse mount as more biohackers do gene editing'. Print Edition | Subscribe