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August 1, 2017

'There are things worse than death': can a cancer cure lead to brutal bioweapons?

  • Science
  • Other
  • Genetics/Genomics

The Guardian – Splitting the atom brought humanity nuclear power and nuclear weapons. A cure for cancer could have the same potential for pushing humanity to new highs – or terrifying lows. According to John Sotos, the chief medical officer of Intel, the same technology that might someday allow us to defeat illness for good also poses the prospect of tailored diseases attacking individuals, families or even whole races and rewriting their genomes on the fly.

Sotos made his remarks at the DEF CON hacking conference in Las Vegas, a place where hackers gather to share tips and tricks for how to break into almost anything with a circuit board. But during a weekend when attacks were demonstrated against wind farms, voting machines and almost every major smartphone in one fell swoop, Sotos’ nightmare scenario still stood out as plausible and terrifying.

The Intel executive, best known for his work over six years as a consultant on the TV show House, argued that the eventual success of Joe Biden’s “cancer moonshot”, a US government-funded programme that’s aimed at finding vaccine-based treatments for cancer, would necessarily open up the potential for bioweapons of unimaginable destructive potential.

Read more at The Guardian.

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