Navigation Links
Synthetic Biology: funders move to address social and ethical challenges
Date:6/8/2008

The report of an independent review of social and ethical challenges associated with research into, and the application of, synthetic biology, is published today (9 June). The report, commissioned by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council's (BBSRC) Bioscience for Society Strategy Panel, is part of its programme to ensure that BBSRC adequately addresses issues raised by this rapidly emerging area of science and technology. Embargoed copies of the report are available upon request (see contact details below).

Synthetic biology seeks to apply the principles of engineering to biological systems and processes. Scientists believe that it may lead to new applications, such as new energy production systems, medical therapies, biological computers and innovative ways to clean up hazardous waste. In common with other modern technologies, it is potentially controversial because it raises issues of ownership, misuse, unintended consequences, and accidental release.

The report, 'Synthetic Biology: social and ethical challenges', has been written by Andrew Balmer and Paul Martin of the Institute for Science and Society, University of Nottingham, a leading research centre working on the impact of new technology. It reviews what synthetic biology is, where it has come from, and where it is going, as well as making recommendations to research funders and the scientific community about how social and ethical issues should be addressed. These include:

  • The need for scientists to engage with the public early in the development of synthetic biology to ensure that research does not get ahead of public attitudes.
  • Synthetic biology must not be over-hyped by its supporters and critics should not exaggerate the risks it poses.
  • Reviewing current regulations and guidelines to ensure that an appropriate governance framework is in place before most synthetic biology applications are introduced.

BBSRC, with advice from its Bioscience for Society Strategy Panel, is considering the recommendations of the report and will use its conclusions to inform its future policy in this area.

"Synthetic biology is in the early stages of development in the UK, and it is an appropriate time to address issues of public interest and concern," said Professor Nigel Brown, BBSRC Director of Science and Technology, "BBSRC already requires its grantholders to address ethical and other social issues, but this report will help us to focus on those concerns associated with synthetic biology."

BBSRC is already working with its sister Research Councils on ethical and regulatory issues that might arise from synthetic biology research. BBSRC is working closely with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Royal Society on how to take forward public dialogue and engagement on the science of synthetic biology, and with the Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council on wider societal issues.


'/>"/>
Contact: Nancy Mendoza
press.office@bbsrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-355
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Chloroplast f and m Thioredoxins Discovered in Nonphotosynthetic Tissues
2. Synthetic compound promotes death of lung-cancer cells, tumors
3. Experts from Stevens, Merck, publish joint paper, Biosynthetic Studies of Platensimycin
4. Researchers decode genetics of rare photosynthetic bacteria
5. Researchers decode genetics of rare photosynthetic bacterium
6. Synthetic molecules may be less expensive alternative to therapeutic antibodies, researchers find
7. Berkeley researchers identify photosynthetic dimmer switch
8. Oregano oil works as well as synthetic insecticides to tackle common beetle pest
9. New projects to raise UK profile in synthetic biology
10. Clemson physicist addresses international forum on thermoelectric energy
11. UC-Riverside partners with Chinese university to address Chinas environmental problems
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/20/2016)... , Dec. 20, 2016 The rising ... rental and leasing is stoking significant interest in ... frequency technology, Bluetooth low energy (BLE), biometrics and ... the next wave of wireless technologies in the ... system to advanced access systems opens the market ...
(Date:12/16/2016)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... report to their offering. ... The biometric vehicle access system market, in terms of ... 2016 to 2021. The market is estimated to be USD 442.7 ... 2021. The growth of the biometric vehicle access system market is ...
(Date:12/15/2016)... ... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "Global ... The report forecasts the global military biometrics market to grow at a ... has been prepared based on an in-depth market analysis with inputs from ... over the coming years. The report also includes a discussion of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/19/2017)... Basel, Switzerland (PRWEB) , ... ... ... leading provider of advanced software solutions for pharmaceutical research and development (R&D), ... project-based expertise in omic data analysis and interpretation for the rapidly evolving ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... Md. and GAITHERSBURG, Md. ... (NYSE MKT: PIP) and Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held ... signing of a definitive agreement for the merger ... Altimmune,s current investors include Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, ... will be a fully-integrated and diversified immunotherapeutics company ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... -- AquaBounty Technologies, Inc. (AIM: ABTU; NASDAQ: AQB), a ... a majority-owned subsidiary of Intrexon Corporation (NYSE: ... of its common shares on the NASDAQ Stock Market ... "AquaBounty,s listing on NASDAQ represents an important milestone for ... U.S. markets as we advance plans for commercial production ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... January 18, 2017 , ... LabRoots , ... from around the world, was today awarded the "Best Science & Technology Social ... on merit and decided upon by a dedicated team of researchers and analysts. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: