The rights and wrongs of the Human Genome Project—Write

It’s hard to imagine how this venture can be achieved ethically

The highly prestigious journal Science carried an unusual article on June 2. Most scientific papers are about new discoveries—we figured out this theory or we measured thus-and-so in that experiment.

Well, this paper was neither of those things. In “The Human Genome Project—Write,” the 25 co-authors announced their intention to synthesize a human genome from scratch. In layman’s terms, they are saying that they are going to design a human being.

The way they plan to do this is through an organization calling itself the Center of Excellence for Engineering Biology.