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Links 1 through 10 of 17 by Charlie Schick tagged security

"A United States federal panel of scientists and security experts has identified 11 microorganisms that it wants designated as Tier 1 select agents, a new category of biological agents that would be subject to higher security standards than other pathogens and toxins used in biomedical research. The category would include anthrax, Ebola, Variola major and Variola minor, the Marburg virus, the virus that causes foot and mouth disease, and bacterial strains that produce the botulinum neurotoxin. At the same time, the panel has recommended dropping 19 pathogens and six toxins from the broader list of 82 agents that are currently governed by the select agent program.'

Fine by me. I'd never want to work with any of these in any case. And the "practical" uses aren't necessarily the kinds of things I want to be practical with. Though, as with botox, what might we learn about medicine and biological mechanisms from these deadly bugs and viruses that might actually help us?

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Sigh. And a short-short I wrote in frustration: http://bit.ly/euhkRw
[via @mrgunn]

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"But synthetic DNA standards offer little protection, critics say."

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Nothing new, but all in one place, I suppose. "The emergence of synthetic biology, and off-shoots such as DIYbio, make the need for a rigorous, sustained and mature approach for assessing, and preparing for, the broad range of associated dangers and risks all the more pressing."

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Brilliant. I've felt this way since before 9/11. Read this article. And here's a great quote from it: "The best way to help people feel secure is by acting secure around them. Instead of reacting to terrorism with fear, we -- and our leaders -- need to react with indomitability, the kind of strength shown by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II."

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"These hobbyists represent a growing strain of geekdom known as biohacking, in which do-it-yourselfers tinker with the building blocks of life in the comfort of their own homes. Some of them buy DNA online, then fiddle with it in hopes of curing diseases or finding new biofuels. But are biohackers a threat to national security?"

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At the very same DLD Michael mentions, Julia Allison wondered if the Web was going to make us all more dull. She noted that as politicians became more widely known, the more dull they became, partly to be more palatable to a wider audience. On the flip side, she commented that Web personalities, as they became more famous, become targets for the random nut (usually mediated by the relative anonymity and distance the Web affords, too). She told us of a few nasty issues, as did others on her panel. And I heard of others (Kathy Sierra comes to mind) who, like Michael, have had horrible moments, just from being a public figure online. Julie referenced Clay Shirky regarding early tech and how folks need to learn new etiquette. We're just going through that (rough) learning period, I suppose. (security aside, I won't go into adverse health effects Michael has been mentioning for a while - he needs a break)

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