Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > What is synthetic biology? How should it be regulated?

Abstract:
Hastings Center Scholars Featured in Nature Biotechnology Issue on Synthetic Biology

What is synthetic biology? How should it be regulated?

Garrison, NY | Posted on December 18th, 2009

What is the market for biofuels and other products created by synthetic biology? What is the state of "do-it-yourself" bioengineers assembling DNA in their own garages? What are the ethical and safety issues? These are some of the questions explored in the December issue of Nature Biotechnology, which focuses on synthetic biology, an emerging field that aims to engineer organisms to develop new medicines, cheap fuels, and a range of other applications.

Gregory Kaebnick, a research scholar at The Hastings Center, wrote a commentary on whether moral objections to synthetic biology should affect public policy. There is a growing view, writes Kaebnick, that synthetic biology "threatens - perhaps more than any other technology - to change the human relationship to the ‘natural' world in morally undesirable ways."

Kaebnick is an investigator on a Hastings Center project on synthetic biology funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. He writes that the notion that synthetic biology constitutes "playing God" is "at best debatable," because it starts with existing materials rather than creating life from nothing.

Kaebnick recognizes the potential safety hazards, such as the risk that synthesized organisms might leak out of a laboratory or factory or fall into the hands of bioterrorists. But he concludes that managing such risks would require "no special defense beyond that already offered for policies to protect rare species and undeveloped lands."

In another article, Thomas H. Murray, president of The Hastings Center and principal investigator on the synthetic biology project, was one of several experts asked to say what the term "synthetic biology" means to them. "Synthetic biology embodies: a faith that biological systems can be brought to heel, and made predictable and controllable," he writes. "Will what we might call the ‘Legoization' of biology fully justify the faith, stance, confidence and hope invested in it? The answer to this question will help to shape the future of humankind and the world we inhabit."

####

About 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:
Michael Turton
845-424-4040 ext. 242

Copyright © 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

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases: Test results are denoted by a color change and could be further analyzed by a smartphone app, making it attractive as a point-of-care diagnostic device September 19th, 2018

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

Synthetic Biology

Nanoscience and the future of healthcare kick off first day of ACS national meeting in Boston: Presidential events highlight safety, diversity and groundbreaking research August 2nd, 2018

Synthetic protein packages its own genetic material and evolves computationally designed protein assemblies are advancing research in synthetic life and in targeted drug delivery December 15th, 2017

Report highlights opportunities and risks associated with synthetic biology and bioengineering November 22nd, 2017

Living computers: RNA circuits transform cells into nanodevices July 27th, 2017

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

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Researchers managed to prevent the disappearing of quantum information September 14th, 2018

New photonic chip promises more robust quantum computers September 14th, 2018

Could a demon help to create a quantum computer? Physicists implement a version of Maxwell's famous thought experiment for reducing entropy September 5th, 2018

Nanomedicine

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases: Test results are denoted by a color change and could be further analyzed by a smartphone app, making it attractive as a point-of-care diagnostic device September 19th, 2018

Researchers develop microbubble scrubber to destroy dangerous biofilms September 19th, 2018

Halas wins American Chemical Society Award in Colloid Chemistry: Rice University nanophotonics pioneer honored for colloid research September 18th, 2018

Announcements

Nanobiotix: Update on Head and Neck Phase I/II Trial with NBTXR3 and Other program data presented at ImmunoRad 2018 September 20th, 2018

NUS researchers invent new test kit for quick, accurate and low-cost screening of diseases: Test results are denoted by a color change and could be further analyzed by a smartphone app, making it attractive as a point-of-care diagnostic device September 19th, 2018

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

Homeland Security

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Powering the 21st Century with Integrated Photonics: UCSB-Led Team Selected for Demonstration of a Novel Waveguide Platform Which is Transparent Throughout the MWIR and LWIR Spectral Bands June 19th, 2018

Squeezing light at the nanoscale: Ultra-confined light could detect harmful molecules June 17th, 2018

The dispute about the origins of terahertz photoresponse in graphene results in a draw April 26th, 2018

Military

Ultracold atoms used to verify 1963 prediction about 1D electrons: Rice University, University of Geneva study focuses on theory that's increasingly relevant to chipmakers September 5th, 2018

Neutrophil nanosponges soak up proteins that promote rheumatoid arthritis September 3rd, 2018

Virginia Tech researchers develop novel process to 3D print one of the strongest materials on Earth August 23rd, 2018

Biomimetic micro/nanoscale fiber reinforced composites August 10th, 2018

Energy

Leti Announces EU Project to Develop Powerful, Inexpensive Sensors with Photonic Integrated Circuits: REDFINCH Members Initially Targeting Applications for Gas Detection and Analysis For Refineries & Petrochemical Industry and Protein Analysis for Dairy Industry September 19th, 2018

S, N co-doped carbon nanotube-encapsulated CoS2@Co: Efficient and stable catalysts for water splitting September 10th, 2018

September 5th, 2018

Rice U. lab probes molecular limit of plasmonics: Optical effect detailed in organic molecules with fewer than 50 atoms September 5th, 2018

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

Silver nanoparticles are toxic for aquatic organisms: A research team at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has analysed how zebrafish are affected in the long term by exposure to silver particles September 19th, 2018

Carbon nanodots do an ultrafine job with in vitro lung tissue: New experiments highlight the role of charge and size when it comes to carbon nanodots that mimic the effect of nanoscale pollution particles on the human lung. September 12th, 2018

A human enzyme can biodegrade graphene August 28th, 2018

Nanoscience and the future of healthcare kick off first day of ACS national meeting in Boston: Presidential events highlight safety, diversity and groundbreaking research August 2nd, 2018

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



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project