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May 26th, 2010
Synthetic life: Perhaps all we have to fear is fear itself?
We need to get to grips with the factors that bias our perception of risk, warns David Ropeik, because getting it wrong can lead to health scares like MMR - or a failure to exploit breakthroughs like 'synthetic life.'
If we are to make wise decisions about how to reap the unimaginable benefits of synthetic biology while responsibly limiting the risks, it behoves us to understand this fear ... as it does with our worries about genetically modified food, or vaccines, or nanotechnology, or many of the other modern technologies that can help us live longer and healthier lives. Our fears limit their potential to do so.
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