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Biorisk Seminar Series

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Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

16 Mill Lane

Cambridge

CB2 1SB

United Kingdom

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This is a series of seminars on emerging biotechnologies and their implications for biosafety, biosecurity and existential risk. If you’re interested in presenting at the seminars, please get in touch with Reza at rr504@cam.ac.uk

The first seminar, on January 22nd:

DNA made to order, human gene-editing kits, do-it-yourself open laboratories, and a community of enthusiast biohackers — what could go wrong?

The field of synthetic biology is rapidly growing both in technology and in its user base. Recent years have seen the establishment of the iGEM competition for university and high-school students, businesses selling gene-editing technologies to consumers, and open laboratories popping around the globe. These developments place potentially extremely dangerous technologies in the hands of untrained amateurs and possibly malicious individuals and groups.

But what really are the dangers? Can somebody in a makeshift lab create the next pandemic virus? What about a group of organised, albeit non-professional, individuals? And what are the risks of accidents? Could an overly keen student build a gene-drive system that results in ecological collapse? Are these people crazy and should they be shut down?

Come for a presentation followed by what promises to be a fascinating discussion!

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No affiliation with the University of Cambridge is required.

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Centre for the Study of Existential Risk

16 Mill Lane

Cambridge

CB2 1SB

United Kingdom

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