Podcast interview with George Church

O’Reilly Radar podcast interview with George Church.

George discusses the potential of synthetic biology. He offer his thoughts on the coming transformation of medicine, whether genes should be patentable, and whether the public is prepared to deal with genetic data.
George discusses what the CRISPR genetic engineering technology can do.
It is RNA based for targeting instead of protein based. It is 1000 times easier to program and ten times more accurate and effective.

Recording information in DNA. He produced 70 billions DNA copies of his book.
He is trying to develop DNA archiving commercially.
DNA recording is very low energy and long duration (hundreds of thousands of years).

Before you would put a copy of a gene randomly.
Now we can put copies precisely. We can take cells out and change them and put them back.
We can also change within the body.

The alternative to patents is trade secrets. Trade secrets with synthetic biology and genetics would be bad. You would force people to obsfuscate what is being done so people cannot look at things and reverse engineer easily. This would create incompatibilities and dangers.

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