Synthetic biology: Ethical ramifications 2009

Paul Rabinow, Gaymon Bennett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

During 2007 and 2008 synthetic biology moved from the manifesto stage to research programs. As of 2009, synthetic biology is ramifying; to ramify means to produce differentiated trajectories from previous determinations. From its inception, most of the players in synthetic biology agreed on the need for (a) rationalized design and construction of new biological parts, devices, and systems as well as (b) the re-design of natural biological systems for specified purposes, and that (c) the versatility of designed biological systems makes them suitable to address such challenges as renewable energy, the production of inexpensive drugs, and environmental remediation, as well as providing a catalyst for further growth of biotechnology. What is understood by these goals, however, is diverse. Those assorted understandings are currently contributing to different ramifications of synthetic biology. The Berkeley Human Practices Lab, led by Paul Rabinow, is currently devoting its efforts to documenting and analyzing these ramifications as they emerge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalSystems and Synthetic Biology
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • ELSI
  • Human practices
  • Social consequences
  • SynBERC
  • Synthetic biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Molecular Biology

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