Software Engineers vs Genetic Engineers

Software Engineers vs Genetic Engineers

I have been encountering a lot of articles about the new Covid vaccines that use words like hacking, genetic code and reprogram. The Moderna website even refers to their ‘mRNA Medicines’ as hacking the ‘Software of Life’.

"Recognizing the broad potential of mRNA science, we set out to create an mRNA technology platform that functions very much like an operating system on a computer. It is designed so that it can plug and play interchangeably with different programs. In our case, the “program” or “app” is our mRNA drug — the unique mRNA sequence that codes for a protein." (

The message seems to be that genetic engineering is not that different from software engineering.

But genetic engineers appear to be far more capable than computer programmers. Computer programmers make statements like ‘It works to the best of my ability’ but genetics programmers have no such need. They can say, in no uncertain terms, that their products are ‘Perfectly safe’.

NO — they do not alter your DNA!

YES — those lipid nano particles always go to the right place!

YES — they always disintegrate inside the cell!

And of course, a bad reaction just means 'It's Working!!'

Biology is far more cooperative than software. No problems, no worries. No explanations needed. Models work out perfectly in real life. All the time, every time. Get it?! The Science is always right!

I wonder how it is that biohackers are so much smarter than computer programmers. Maybe it’s because they are dealing something much more complicated system than a computer operating system. How wonderful that these brilliant people understand the human body well enough to make updates to the code. And be completely confident that they have made no errors.


When we foolish programmers change some code, we are cautious. We have to keep in mind two laws of programming: 1) If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and 2) Beware of unintended consequences. We go to a great deal of trouble to make sure our code works before we release it for use. Many, many iterations of testing are required and many, many bugs are found along the way. Even after release, fixes continue to be made as new and unexpected consequences show up. In fact, most software is never completely bug-free.

No so with biohacking. No testing needed - everything works perfectly the first time!

If I was smarter, maybe I could have been a genetics engineer instead of a computer programmer. Then, I wouldn’t need to do all that silly testing and debugging because I would understand the code base completely. How great it would be to just say, ‘It works!’ How fun it would be to create goofy little diagrams and videos to 'explain' things to the general public. That would be much too complicated and confusing if the subject was the code used to build a website, but human biology can easily be presented as colorful cartoon blobs and squiggles. Explanations can be short and easy to understand, and we can rest assured that Scientists have this completely figured out and under control.

We are so lucky that these brilliant people are finally getting around to fixing our sorry, flawed immune system. How did we ever survive with such a useless mess? Thank goodness it’s now possible to ‘hijack’ that old jalopy and make it sooo much better! And there’s more to come — more genetic therapies are being introduced every day. No more disease! No more problems! And best of all, it all works perfectly the first time, with no unintended consequences. Pretty soon we will all be perfectly healthy, happy, brilliant and beautiful!!

Maybe we can even hack the part of our brains that writes computer software!