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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 13, 2020

DIY Science: A Cure for Cancer of the Next Plague

Ashley Vaughn

Abstract

A twenty-something college student with an interest in science sits in his garage. He is tinkering with genetic materials and gene editing. He has ordered materials over the internet, has all the items he could want, and even has his own test subject—himself. He could inject himself with whatever products his experimentation manufactures. Our hypothetical college student has all the materials in his hands to make the next greatest discovery in the fight against cancer, or to create—intentionally or by accident—a genetically modified disease that could be incredibly lethal to the entire globe. This twenty-something college student is one of many emerging do-it-yourself scientists (“DIYers”). The reality of do-it-yourself (“DIY”) science is here, and it might be severely under regulated. This type of research could pose significant risks to all of humanity if an appropriate regulatory scheme is not developed. Conversely, too much regulation could prevent innovation.


Corresponding author: Ashley Vaughn, Texas Tech University School of Law, 3311 18th St., Lubbock, 79409-0004, Texas, USA,

Published Online: 2020-08-13

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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