Bioscience to bioweapons; Synthetic diamonds; Stem cell transplants


science / science 681 Views comments

Scientists investigate viruses in order to save lives. But could that same knowledge also help other people create dangerous viruses to use as weapons of terror?

This Thursday evening, a public debate is being held by the Society of Biology around these issues of "Dual Use" research. In an age of synthetic biology, mail order genes, and open access publication, what are the pros and cons of sharing virology research?

Also this week, a new centre for research into synthetic diamonds was opened by UK Science Minister David Willetts. Inside Science reporter Marnie Chesterton took a tour of the new facility to find out how diamonds might be a quantum computer's best friend.

Plus, the first formal trial of a stem cell based organ transplant is happening in the UK. Martin Birchall from University College London is working on replacing the larynx. But if a patient receives a new voicebox from a donor, whose voice will they have?