The statement that Coding Computer Virus in Human DNA is now a possibility, sounds more like a flick straight out of Science Fiction. But no, it is no science fiction we are talking here. At the rate at which bioengineering is advancing, new threats of varied nature are looming right in the horizon. There are several gene-editing techniques already out there in the market. CRISPR/Cas9 is one such technique for instance. Techniques like these are increasingly hinting towards a possible future (more sooner than we ever dreamed of) where geneticists can simply alter the genetic coding of animals and humans alike at their whims.
Sounds cool, right? Some may argue that such techniques will have more benefits that will outweigh the risks. However, when scientists start warning that coding computer virus in human DNA is a possibility in near future, things look gloomy for humans. Once we get the ability of playing God and know how to tamper with the life’s building blocks, we can unlock the key to a far more dreadful future where cyber warfare will be no longer affixed to computers only. That’s when mankind will unleash a terror – the likes of which humans have never witnessed since antiquity or since the evolution of human life on this planet called Earth.
Coding Computer Virus in Human DNA – What Can Happen?
The positive side:
Though we have the tendency of taking a pessimistic look at futuristic technologies (for good because, that way we can stay prepared), there are many who do say that there will be groundbreaking benefits once we learn how to code computer virus with human DNA. True, very true! The most prominent of all benefits will be the ability to alter and rectify genetic defects that are known to mankind today but with no solution at hand. Many genetic disorders can be cured and such disorders will be a thing of the past – talking with dinosaurs about the good olden days!
However, for that to happen, it becomes necessary to sequence DNA in laboratories. Once the sequencing is done, doctors can come up with bespoke solutions for every individual. Now, that’s really amazing but… what about bioterrorism?
The dark side:
Yes, that is precisely the threat that University of Washington is pondering upon – BIOTERRORISM! Has it ever occurred to you that DNA sequencing is accomplished using computers that we know are highly vulnerable? The security systems of modern day computers can be breached by some smartass hacker punks as if it were as simple as running a hot knife through butter.
Medical institutions will have their own computer networks that will always remain open to threats. Now imagine a hacker just uploading a genetic malware into those networks where DNA sequencing is taking place. It will become a threat – the likes of which has never been encountered by humankind. Such malware can be coded directly into Human DNA. End result? Though we don’t want to think of it, we will still say this – ‘Such genetic malware can cripple a person or at the worst, give a command to simply put an end to that person.’
While this may not sound so extreme as some people may argue that a few people ending up dead will not make much difference, how about something worse? How about, encoding deadly secrets inside human hosts – secrets that can brink the humanity to its knees and push it to the very brink of extinction? How about encoding a plague in a human host that can go undetected and spread like wildfire once the host is dead? Bioterrorism can reach epic levels that will seriously threaten our very existence. We will end up becoming puppets at the hands of rich and wealthy who will want to control this world by eliminating competition.
Threat of Coding Computer Virus in Human DNA Presented at Security Conference
The threat is pretty much real and hence, this research was actually presented [start at page 780 of the PDF] at Vancouver, B.C.’s USENIX Security Symposium held in 2017. The host of this conference was Advanced Computing Systems Associations. The participants of conference talked about the current trends many of possible future developments that can take place in computer security and computer technologies.
Luis Ceze – the coauthor of this study says that the time isn’t far when computers and biology will overlap, unlocking new security concerns. It is very true that when molecules eventually start interacting with electronics, we will see something that we have never ever seen before. It will be hard for us to contemplate the results.
Don’t forget that bioengineering and technological advances are evolving so fast that today scientists are actually saying that human aging can be reverse by gene therapy. What does that mean? It means, we are making ‘death’ extinct. So, if that is a possibility, coding computer virus in human DNA is also a possibility and of course, it will etch a whole new chapter of bioterrorism.
Beware folks! The way we are trying to achieve the impossible, the way we are trying to play God and they way we are trying overpower Nature, it looks like humanity’s future is pretty grim and sooner or later, we will have to nosedive into oblivion. Mother Nature doesn’t like it when we fool around and rearrange her furniture.