In an Oct 17 New York Times op-ed, Ray Kurzweil and Bill Joy combine forces to question the recent publication of the genome for the dangerous 1918 flu virus: “We urgently need international agreements by scientific organizations to limit such publications and an international dialogue on the best approach to preventing recipes for weapons of mass destruction from falling into the wrong hands. Part of that discussion should concern the appropriate role of governments, scientists and their scientific societies, and industry.
“We also need a new Manhattan Project to develop specific defenses against new biological viral threats, natural or human made. There are promising new technologies, like RNA interference, that could be harnessed. We need to put more stones on the defensive side of the scale.”
The virus in question is a natural molecular machine system. Their comments will apply equally well to such systems which are built artificially someday. (Credit Tyler Emerson)