Researcher @ MIT, SecureBio, Nucleic Acid Observatory
473 karmaJoined Mar 2020Pursuing a doctoral degree (e.g. PhD)Basel, Switzerland


Research associate at SecureBio, Research Affiliate at Kevin Esvelt's MIT research group Sculpting Evolution, physician. Thinking about ways to safeguard the world from bio. 


Without saying much about the merits of various commenters' arguments, I wanted to check if this is a rhetorical question:

Is anyone on this forum in a better position than the Secretary-General of the UN to analyze, for example, the impact of Israel's actions on future, unrelated conflicts?

If so, this is an appeal to authority that isn't very helpful in advancing this discussion. If it's an actual question, never mind. 

What’s the lore behind that update? This was before I followed EA community stuff

Thanks for writing this up, I was skeptical about Scott‘s strong take but didn’t take the time to check the links he provided as proof.

That's a good pointer, thanks! I'll drop the reference to Diggans and Leproust for now.


Thanks for the write-up. Just adding a note on how this distinction has practical implications for how to design databases containing hazardous sequences that are required for gene synthesis screening systems.

With gene synthesis screening, companies want to stop bad actors from getting access to the physical DNA or RNA of potential pandemic pathogens. Now, let's say researchers find the sequence of a novel pathogen that would likely spark a pandemic if released. Most would want this sequence to be added to synthesis screening databases. But some also want this database to be public. The information hazards involved in making such information publicly available could be large, especially if there is attached discussion of how exactly these sequences are dangerous.

I skimmed it, and it looks good to me. Thanks for the work! A separate post on this would be cool.

I set a reminder! Also, let me know if you do end up updating it.

Is there an updated version of this? E.g., GDP numbers have changed.

Flagging that I approve this post; I do believe that the relevant biosecurity actors within EA are thinking about this (though I'd love a more public write-up of this topic). Get in touch if you are thinking about this!

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