Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Focus Gir~!

A while ago I read something how the amazingly curve for creating bio-weapons would soon lead to massive government controls. Well Dean Esmay found another story but on the same theme. The Internet's vast information gathering abilities at the ready for doom

Making DNA turns out to be easy if you have the right hardware. The critical piece of gear is a DNA synthesizer. Brent already has one, a yellowing plastic machine the size of an office printer, called an ABI 394. “So, what kind of authorization do I need to buy this equipment?” I ask.

“I suggest you start by typing ‘used DNA synthesizer’ into Google,” Brent says.

I hit eBay first, where ABI 394s go for about $5,000. Anything I can’t score at an auction is available for a small markup at sites like Two days later I have a total: $29,700—taxes and shipping not included. Nucleosides (the A, C, T, G genetic building blocks) and other chemicals for the synthesizer cost more than the hardware—in the end, a single base pair of DNA runs about a buck to make. Enough raw material to build, say, the smallpox genome would take just over $200,000.

Thats right over EBAY and online purchasing sites you can build elements of the smallpox genome.

Are we having fun yet?

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