Before the Dawn of Ethics in Synthetic Biology
In this commentary, the author argues that artificially and intentionally provoked disasters are hardly justified. As such, the design and realization of synthetic organisms must naturally incorporate deliberate consideration and regulation. This is especially true because the organism as a whole moves and grows in an uncontrollable manner when released in a given environment. At the same time, we must consider the manner in which human beings actively and constructively attempt to improve their lives when presented with insufficient conditions of nature, by ameliorating other organisms through processes such as the domestication of wild animals. In this larger context, proper characteristics of synthetic biology become less clear, and we must revisit our tendency towards modification of organisms in general. Regardless, given its rather inchoative nature, it is certainly premature to talk of “an ethics of synthetic biology.”
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