We will see medicines for debilitating diseases, new biofuels, and grains that can be grown in intense climates, with the arrival of synthetic biology and gene editing tools, there are amazing inventions being made in medicine, energy, and food, within a few years.
We think sometimes after watching those super scientific movies about the dangerous virus and mutant thing. Bioterrorism and hazardous risky experiments those get out of hand. Assume a superbug that can cure or kill millions of people or a virus that targets a person and scary to know this is not science fiction; it is happening, words by U.S. president.
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In 2011, a scientist, Craig Venter, formed a new life form by transplanting a computer-designed genome into the cell of a bacterium that had its DNA eliminated. Today, a gene-editing technique called CRISPR is being practiced by engineers to extra-muscular beagles, micro-pigs, super-goats and ever-white mushrooms.
Researchers have edited human embryos. The cost of doing basic synthetic biological experiments is only a few thousand dollars, for lab gear and chemicals, and it is feasible to design and order up DNA sequences on the Internet.
We are not ready for the outcomes of these technologies. We need to urgently strengthen new bio-defences, bring together researchers from all over the world to solve the problems as soon as they happen.
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We can start by forming a global alliance to attack the Zika virus. Zika is disseminated by mosquitoes and causes birth deficiencies in infected mothers. It is likely to cover worldwide within the next year. The answer may lie in open sourcing information.
In February, a high-powered group of health organizations, including academic journals, research institutes, NGOs and funding bodies, issued a public commitment to sharing data and results related to the current Zika crisis and future public health emergencies as quickly and openly as possible included journals Nature and Science, the U.S. National Institute of Health, and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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Open science has been a topic of discussion for over a decade. A growing number of vocal researchers have advocated that all analysis financed with public funds is open sourced, and not just the reports but the actual research data sets.
The logic follows related logic to open source software. When more eyes can look at data, it is less likely the data will contain errors — and answers can be developed collectively.
Scientists expect that by open sourcing more medical data, they will enable more findings by increasing the body of pre-vetted knowledge and diminishing the repetition in research efforts.
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This kind of information sharing did not happen adequately with the last major disease that fired global concern, the Ebola virus. In 2014, West Africa’s summer, When Ebola was storming through, 99 Ebola genomes were taken from Sierra Leone’s Kenema government hospital from few patients. It was an open repository sequence data published by a group at the Broad Institute in Cambridge.
This open sourcing of important scientific data was the second instance in the crash. A team of international researchers had originally issued three genomes from patients in Guinea in April.
For the next 3 months, no more genomic data was cleared to the public data repositories that had become the go-to source for scientists examining Ebola. The silence puzzled many leading scientists. A formidable pattern of genomic sequencing technology was intended squarely at the virus. Yet the data was not shared.
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This slowed progress and disconcert three of the most prominent Ebola researchers, Pardis Sabeti, Nathan Yozwiak, and Stephen Schaffner.
Sharing data among researchers has long been a formidable topic. In the cutthroat competition to place articles in top scientific journals — the key coin in academic circles — researchers have traditionally held data close to the vest so as not to venture the exclusivity of their conclusions and, article acceptance, by extension,
The excellent news is that there are far more people in the world who want to do well than wicked. We need to bring together the hundreds of thousands of scientists who want to use technology to improve the world and resolve critical problems. The best way is to design communities and start crowdsourcing critical research.