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

Innovation in Nanotechnology is Focus of Symposium: Annual event brings international experts to Northwestern Oct. 6 September 29th, 2016

Cambrios at CEATEC - Japan 2016 September 29th, 2016

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

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

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

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

PHENOMEN is a FET-Open Research Project aiming to lay the foundations a new information technology September 19th, 2016

NIST Patents Single-Photon Detector for Potential Encryption and Sensing Apps September 16th, 2016

Nanomedicine

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

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

BBI Solutions launches innovative conjugate blocking technology that enhances signal intensity for lateral flow immunoassays September 20th, 2016

Announcements

Innovation in Nanotechnology is Focus of Symposium: Annual event brings international experts to Northwestern Oct. 6 September 29th, 2016

Cambrios at CEATEC - Japan 2016 September 29th, 2016

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

Homeland Security

Notre Dame researchers find transition point in semiconductor nanomaterials September 6th, 2016

Down to the wire: ONR researchers and new bacteria August 18th, 2016

Hexagonal boron nitride semiconductors enable cost-effective detection of neutron signals: Texas Tech University researchers demonstrate hexagonal boron nitride semiconductors as a cost-effective alternative for inspecting overseas cargo containers entering US ports August 17th, 2016

'Sniffer plasmons' could detect explosives: Scientists have proposed a graphene-based spaser that can detect even small amounts of various substances, including explosives August 16th, 2016

Military

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

Nano-lipid particles from edible ginger could improve drug delivery for colon cancer, study finds September 8th, 2016

3-D graphene has promise for bio applications: Rice University-led team welds nanoscale sheets to form tough, porous material September 7th, 2016

Nanodiamonds in an instant: Rice University-led team morphs nanotubes into tougher carbon for spacecraft, satellites September 6th, 2016

Energy

Cambrios at CEATEC - Japan 2016 September 29th, 2016

Crystalline Fault Lines Provide Pathway for Solar Cell Current: New tomographic AFM imaging technique reveals that microstructural defects, generally thought to be detrimental, actually improve conductivity in cadmium telluride solar cells September 26th, 2016

Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology show that bending semiconductors generates electricity September 26th, 2016

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

Safety-Nanoparticles/Risk management

As You Sow’s Shareholder Inquiry on Nanomaterials Fought by Walgreens: Shareholder Proposal Addresses Recent Laboratory Tests Finding Harmful Nanomaterials in Walgreens’ Store Brand Infant Formula September 21st, 2016

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

Nano-Toxicity Testing at Regulatory Sciences Summit: In Vitro Tests Can Most Efficiently Assess Nanomaterial Toxicity September 6th, 2016

Mathematical nanotoxicoproteomics: Quantitative characterization of effects of multi-walled carbon nanotubes: This research article by Dr. Subhash Basak et al. will be published in Current Computer-Aided Drug Design, Volume 12, 2016 September 2nd, 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