This week saw the publication of a fairly controversial article which entailed the rescue of Horsepox virus. The authors of the paper wanted to 1) push the bounds of reverse genetics and synthetic biology by rescuing the 212kbp virus but also to push for the development of a new (or old) pox vaccine away from VACV which has known virulence and disease issues. While the senior author of the paper sparked serious debate on the biosecurity, biosafety, and overall bioethic issues surrounding this research mid 2017 (few found here, here, and here) it can not be disputed that the authors have proven it is possible to rescue an infectious virus for under $100k. While they have proven it is possible they have not proven that this is something which can be accomplished by an everyday high schooler. A deep understanding of the  virus, the cells, and especially the tools were necessary and these steps were briefly identified in the paper. While the author is likely correct that these techniques can be extrapolated to other pox family viruses, most concerning being variola virus, there are already protective measures in place to target groups trying to synthesize specific gene sequences as well as other technical hurdles it is unlikely an untrained individual could successfully perform even with this paper to follow. The questions most researchers, policy makers, and public health individuals should make now is how can academic and industry environments maximize the useful of these tools while minimizing or eliminating risk?