Rob Carlson

Thanks to Joseph for organizing this great event. I need to remind myself that this session is about security and open source biodefense. I just want to reiterate how impotant all of that is, and how important contributions of each of those guys and the communities are towards the future. Reminding myself that I shouldn't dwell too long on the garage stuff. I think I am going to segway from people tinkering in their garages directly to impacts of tinkering in your garage, and that could be good or bad. In the case of biology, there are all kinds of stories about what happens if teenagers hack viruses in garages and their bedrooms, and what happens? I am not interested in that discussion. Building something that is actually dangerous? Professionasl have troubel doing it, and when you have $10M at your disposal, you fail most of the time trying to do something like that, and it's not an actual concern at this point and time, and it will be in the future. It will be easier to print DNA and make something bad, but that's a long way off. In the mean time, we have a tremendous number of problems that we have already.. that require the innovation that we just heard about to make the progress. Biofuels, vaccines, how we're going to have a vaccine in a week or two, and it's still 6mo to 1year at best. The tech exists to do it in a week, but we need more innovation, we need the ability to pritn DNA faster. In order to make something like a vaccines for SARS 2.0, we're still helpless. That's a ..

So, I am going to show a little bit of learning. Two weeks ago I spoke to the Presidential Commission on Bioethics, and they asked what I recommended. I should have siad "read my book". read my book. A lot of what I just said in my book. There are some copise out int he front, and if yuo want to chat about it, there's one slide that I wish I wuol have put up, which had the impact, it's on page 133, it's also in slides on my blog,, and it's a list of the .. of the technologies that have gone through garages through at one point in their dev cycle. And those technologies are everywhere around you- the airplane, the zipper, everything. Without the garage we do not have the U.S. economy today. Innovation as we follow it in this country, requires garages, requires garage biology, if we're going to have a real bioeconomy, and at the moment at least 2% of our GDP is from genetically modified stuff. There are countries that claim a larger fraction of their GDP from GMOs. Whether from physical security, economic security, you have to be thinking: how do we go faster? Garages is how we go faster.

I am about to start tredding on Andrew's toes. I am not going to say a lot more about safety and security. I have covered everything on my list. One thing that I wuold say is that I was not here earlier in the day, about IP, but I think that doing something to facilitate being in the market for biological stuff, without having to do patents, would increase our economic security. There were many concerns that I had, and one of which was that.. biohazard people would show up with a 9mm in their hand. The likelihood of that sort of misunderstanding has decreased in the recent years,t hanks to Ed and so on. Another risk that I faced and that I faced is that the cost fo just , getting al ab, and getting it started, if you look at the patent costs, they are 10x the capital costs of the molecular biology project. That is absolutely a barrier to innovating. If only I put all of the money from the lawyers to the molecules, I could be on the market already, a tool for diagnosing cancer or infectious disease. I don't want to say any more about that other than that it is crucially important, standing in the way of innovation, and I don't have a good solution to it. I'll stop there.