Tue, May 14, 2013 - Page 9 News List

Bioluminescent plants project could upset the applecart

Scientists have long made glowing creatures for research purposes. However, a US project being funded by crowd-sourcing is breaking new ground in the way genetic research is carried out, which has some people worried

By Andrew Pollack  /  NY Times News Service, NEW YORK

Todd Kuiken, senior research associate at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, who has been studying the governance of both synthetic biology and the do-it-yourself movement, said the glowing plant project was an ideal test case.

“It exposes the gaps and holes in the regulatory structure, while it is, I would argue, a safe product in the grand scheme of things,” Kuiken said. “A serious look needs to be taken at the regulatory system to see if it can handle the questions synthetic biology is going to raise.”

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