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iGEM: the Future is Bright for Science

The article was first published on BioByDesign, a student blog for synthetic biology.

In the corner of a cavernous convention hall, the FBI hands out business cards. Nearby, someone is tested for Zika virus and a six-foot praying mantis weaves between the tables. High-school students are explaining genome editing to college graduates and Australians are teaching Austrians about a tiny robot powered by E. coli.

It could only be iGEM.

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Debate photo 1

“Should we synthesise human genomes?” – a few photos

In June, I chaired an event co-organised by the Synthetic Biology CDT and Oxfordshire Science Festival. Four distinguished panellists discussed the ethical and scientific dilemma, “Should we synthesise human genomes?”

It was the hottest day of the year but everyone stayed awake and, aided by an excellent discussion with the audience, the panellists each crafted a fascinating argument. The motion was passed – but not without caveats!

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