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The Future of BioethicsInternational Dialogues$
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Akira Akabayashi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.001.0001

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Primary Topic ArticleThe Ethical Issues of Synthetic Biology

Primary Topic ArticleThe Ethical Issues of Synthetic Biology

(p.335) 9.1 Primary Topic ArticleThe Ethical Issues of Synthetic Biology
The Future of Bioethics

Gregory Kaebnick

Oxford University Press

Synthetic biology refers to a set of technological advances that seek to bring the principles of engineering to bear on the field of biology and make possible the construction of organisms that serve various human ends. It has potentially very significant benefits, but it also poses a variety of questions that will be a challenge to evaluate fully and to address in public policies. Is the synthesis of organisms intrinsically troubling, and should any concerns about the synthesis of organisms affect public policy? How should we strike the right balance between risks and benefits? How do we—indeed, how can we—ensure that the changes wrought by the field are just and environmentally beneficial? How do we manage risks in light of the complexity of microorganisms and ecosystems? This paper outlines the growth of the field of synthetic biology and develop some of the questions that arise in it.

Keywords:   Synthetic biology, genomics, genetic engineering

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