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More oversight recommended for synthetic biology

Voicing concern over the lack of regulations for the field of synthetic biology, over 100 non-governmental organizations have co-authored a report providing detailed recommendations to address potential environmental and public health risks that may be associated with synthetic biology. 

The Principles for the Oversight of Synthetic Biology, released by Friends of the Earth, proposes applying a precautionary principle and calls for a "moratorium on the release and commercial use of synthetic organisms, cells, or genomes" until risk assessments, international oversight, and security mechanisms are in place.  Moreover, the report states that any attempts to alter the human genome, epigenome, and human microbiome should be prohibited because they are "too risky and fraught with ethical concerns."

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