Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Sloan Foundation Supports Center's Work on Ethical Issues in Synthetic Biology

Abstract:
Synthetic biology takes genetic engineering techniques developed in the 1970s many steps forward. Those methods were largely confined to moving genes from one organism to another. Now, using techniques from molecular biology, computer science, and engineering, synthetic biology aims to create wholly new genetic recipes (and ingredients) that the older engineering simply could not cook up. More effective medicines, intelligent tumor-seeking bacteria, and cheap biofuels are just a few of the hoped-for applications—while new weapons of terror are one of the fears.

Sloan Foundation Supports Center's Work on Ethical Issues in Synthetic Biology

Garrison, NY | Posted on December 17th, 2008

This rapidly advancing technology raises ethical questions about benefits and harms that have not been thoroughly addressed. Some of these are concrete physical worries, akin to the safety and security concerns first identified with the invention of recombinant DNA technology. Other concerns tap into our inner instincts about what is natural, and what is our relationship to the natural world, as well as scientific freedom, justice and access to the benefits of technology, and intellectual property rights. The Hastings Center, long at the forefront of interdisciplinary research into ethical issues in emerging technology, has received a $500,000 grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation for a two-year project to examine these issues.

The project is being led by Thomas H. Murray, PhD, president of the center; Gregory E. Kaebnick, PhD, research scholar and editorial director; Erik Parens, PhD, senior research scholar; and Mary Crowley, director of public affairs and communication. Roger Brent, PhD, president and research director of The Molecular Sciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, will serve as science advisor. It builds on earlier work at the Center that was funded by a planning grant from the Sloan Foundation, which highlighted two areas requiring deeper investigation: the nonphysical moral concerns synthetic biology raises, and what role those concerns should play in public policy. "We have come up against similar problems in other domains—most notably, in work on nanotechnology and gene transfer technology—but synthetic biology poses them especially sharply and pressingly," said Dr. Murray.

The new project includes three meetings with presentations by an interdisciplinary working group including scientists, philosophers, social scientists, public policy experts, and theologians. It is designed to make serious contributions to the scholarly and scientific literature on synthetic biology, as well as engage science journalists on the issue.

The Center's work will contribute to an initiative by the Sloan Foundation that supports a comprehensive look at synthetic biology. The other participants in the initiative are the J. Craig Venter Institute, which will explore a range of societal concerns surrounding synthetic biology; and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, which will work with the scientific community and stakeholders in government, nongovernmental organizations, and the larger public to ensure that the public and policymakers are informed, and that risks are minimized.

####

About The Hastings Center
The Hastings Center is a nonpartisan bioethics research institution dedicated to bioethics and the public interest since 1969. The Center is a pioneer in collaborative interdisciplinary research and dialogue on the ethical and social impact of advances in health care and the life sciences. The Center draws on a worldwide network of experts to frame and examine issues that inform professional practice, public conversation, and social policy.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mary Crowley
845-424-4040, x 222

Copyright © The Hastings Center

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Picosun patents ALD nanolaminate to prevent electronics from overheating September 28th, 2016

Leti and Taiwanese Tech Organizations Sponsoring Workshop in Taipei on MEMS, IoT, Smart Lighting Applications, System Reliability & Security September 28th, 2016

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

Synthetic Biology

Measuring forces in the DNA molecule: First direct measurements of base-pair bonding strength September 13th, 2016

Analog DNA circuit does math in a test tube: DNA computers could one day be programmed to diagnose and treat disease August 25th, 2016

'Green' electronic materials produced with synthetic biology July 16th, 2016

Researchers harness DNA as the engine of super-efficient nanomachine: New platform detects traces of everything from bacteria to viruses, cocaine and metals July 10th, 2016

Ethics

Iran to hold intl. school on application of nanomaterials in medicine September 20th, 2016

Synthetic biology needs robust safety mechanisms before real world application: Ethics and technology hold the key to the success of synthetic biology September 17th, 2015

March 2016; 6th Int'l Conference on Nanostructures in Iran July 29th, 2015

PETA science consortium to present at Society for Risk Analysis meeting December 10th, 2014

Announcements

Picosun patents ALD nanolaminate to prevent electronics from overheating September 28th, 2016

Leti and Taiwanese Tech Organizations Sponsoring Workshop in Taipei on MEMS, IoT, Smart Lighting Applications, System Reliability & Security September 28th, 2016

Fighting cancer with sticky nanoparticles September 27th, 2016

Gold nanoparticles conjugated quercetin inhibits epithelial-mesenchymal transition, angiogenesis and invasiveness via EGFR/VEGFR-2 mediated pathway in breast cancer September 27th, 2016

Grants/Awards/Scholarships/Gifts/Contests/Honors/Records

Tattoo therapy could ease chronic disease: Rice-made nanoparticles tested at Baylor College of Medicine may help control autoimmune diseases September 23rd, 2016

Semiconducting inorganic double helix: New flexible semiconductor for electronics, solar technology and photo catalysis September 15th, 2016

Bringing graphene speakers to the mobile market (video) September 12th, 2016

Novel nanoscale detection of real-time DNA amplification holds promise for diagnostics: Research team led by Nagoya University develop a label-free method for detecting DNA amplification in real time based on refractive index changes in diffracted light September 12th, 2016

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE




  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic