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En Californie, une loi contre le biohacking

En Californie, une loi visant directement des pratiques d’auto-utilisation de la technologie d’édition du génome CRISPR, les DIY gene-editing kits,  sera applicable dès janvier prochain. Il s’agit de prévenir les conséquences de ces pratiques émergentes, en santé publique : “CRISPR is becoming widely available, but many in the scientific community have sounded the alarm that it could have negative consequences outside professional labs. This first ever legislation addressing emerging CRISPR technology will help prevent safety mishaps by amateur users of CRISPR kits ” a expliquée la sénatrice Ling Ling Chang, rapporte Vox.

Selon le magazine, la démarche viserait un biohacker, Josiah Zayner, et personne d’autre, car en réalité les DIY gene-editing kits seraient aujourd’hui absents du marché : “Josiah Zayner, lives in California, where he’s currently under investigation after being accused of practicing medicine without a license. He runs a company called the Odin out of his garage in Oakland, selling biohacking supplies ranging from $20 DNA to a $1,849 DIY genetic engineering kit. In 2017, he injected himself with CRISPR DNA at a biotech conference, live-streaming the stunt. That same year, he started selling a CRISPR kit to target a human gene, the removal of which could theoretically make muscles bigger”.

Qu’est ce que le biohacking, ou DIY (Do it Yourself) technology ?  Le magazine Vox en donne une interprétation très extensive, soulignant que les technologies qui,  dans ce domaine de l’auto-expérimentation, ont la vent en poupe, sont les technologies qui visent (laissent espérer) une amélioration cognitive : “The term “biohacking” can cover a huge range of activities, from performing science experiments on yeast, to actually changing your biology by implanting computer chips into your limbs, taking nootropics or “smart drugs,” giving yourself a fecal transplant, pumping a younger person’s blood into your veins in the hope that it’ll fight aging, and more. The type of biohackers currently gaining the most notoriety are the ones who experiment on their bodies with the hope of “upgrading” or “optimizing” their physical and cognitive performance”.

Cette régulation constitue un nouvel élément juridique dans le débat politique autour de la question de la liberté morphologique, la libre disposition de son corps dans le but d’une amélioration, d’une augmentation des capacités humaines. Une idée clé justement chez les libertaires californiens… Le débat sur l’opportunité de la régulation du biohacking est donc ouvert. 




Signal Samuel. Is it time to regulate biohacking? California thinks so. A new law warns biohackers not to edit their genes at home. Vox, 13 aout 2019.

Signal Samuel. How biohackers are trying to upgrade their brains, their bodies — and human nature. 9 questions about biohacking you were too embarrassed to ask. Vox, 25 juin 2019.



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