Why we should embrace GMOs
Cole Montalvo Biohacker and Biosafety Evangelist
While biohacking may sound ominous, biohackers are actually cautious and tame scientists. Geneticists at universities and corporate labs investigate the code of life by reading, writing, and manipulating DNA. Biohacking enables us to “boot up” artificially engineered life. Due to the pervasive trend of Moore’s Law, the number of schools, makerspaces, and garages where citizen scientists can tinker with the same genetic technologies is growing. Biohackers in these labs are free to pursue compelling projects without being beholden to a profit motive. In order to to fuel creativity and infuse biology with art, we must encourage and embrace the biohacker.
Cole Montalvo, a self-proclaimed biosafety evangelist, is passionate about public outreach in synthetic biology. An information security expert by trade, he applies similar safety frameworks to biological systems. Montalvo has contribued to the OpenTrons project, which is automating lab work using open source hardware. He is also a participant in the personal genome project to sequence and publicize the complete genomes of 100,000 volunteers. After learning basic biochemistry lab techniques at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Cole he has participated in research at various labs including Counter Culture Labs in Oakland and BioCurious in Silicon Valley.