Navigation Links
Synthetic biology: Is ethics a showstopper?

WASHINGTON Synthetic biology promises to enable cheap, lifesaving new drugs to treat the 350-500 million people who suffer from malaria, and to create innovative biofuels that can help solve the world's energy problems. But the science and its applications are raising questions: Are synthetic biologists playing God? Are these scientists purposely changing the definition of what is life? Are synthetic biology researchers unintentionally equipping terrorists with frightening new biological weapons? And will synthetic biology's expected products and profits be stymied by policymakers and the public who object to researchers' soon-to-be-realized attempts to build life from scratch in a lab?

Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, will explore unresolved synthetic biology ethical questions at a January 8 program with Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies Chief Science Advisor Andrew Maynard. Dr. Caplan is at the forefront of ethicists, theologians, scientists, engineers, government leaders and civil society groups working to weigh synthetic biology's potential risks and benefits.

Caplan is the author or editor of 25 books and over 500 articles in professional medical, science and bioethics journals. He has served on a number of national and international committees including as chair of the National Cancer Institute Biobanking Ethics Group, and chair of the Advisory Committee to the United Nations on Human Cloning. His most recent book is Smart Mice, Not So Smart People (Rowman Littlefield, 2006).

The Rathenau Instituut, a unit of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), describes synthetic biology as the convergence of molecular biology, information technology and nanotechnology, leading to the systematic design of biological systems. The U.S. is considered the world leader in this emerging field of science. Some estimate that by 2015, a fifth of the chemical industry (worth $1.8 trillion) could be dependent on synthetic biology.

To attend this event, RSVP to No RSVP is required to view the Web cast.

*** Web cast LIVE at ***

What: Synthetic Biology: Is Ethics a Showstopper?

When: Thursday, January 8, 2009, 12:30 1:30 PM (Light lunch available at 12 noon.)

Who: Arthur Caplan, Ph.D., Chair, Department of Medical Ethics and Director, Center for Bioethics, University of Pennsylvania
Andrew Maynard, Ph.D., Chief Science Advisor, Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, Moderator

Where: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, 5th Floor Conference Room in the Ronald Reagan Building at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. For directions see:


Contact: Colin Finan
Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies

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. Synthetic Biology: funders move to address social and ethical challenges
11. Synthetic cocoa chemical slows growth of tumors in human cell lines
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/17/2017)... NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or the "Company"), ... Report on Form 10-K on Thursday April 13, 2017 with the ... The ... section of the Company,s website at  under "SEC Filings," ... 2016 Year Highlights: Acquisition of ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 No two people are believed ... New York University Tandon School of Engineering and ... that partial similarities between prints are common enough ... phones and other electronic devices can be more ... lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... April 4, 2017 KEY FINDINGS ... expand at a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast ... the primary factor for the growth of the stem ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell ... application, and geography. The stem cell market of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... with the addition of its newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s ... hemostats, absorbable hemostats, fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 ... ... has launched Rosalind™, the first-ever genomics analysis platform specifically designed for life ... Named in honor of pioneering researcher Rosalind Franklin, who made a major ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... upregulate any gene in its endogenous context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the ... system with small RNA guides is transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... Alto, CA, USA (PRWEB) , ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... set to take place on 7th and 8th June 2018 in San Francisco, CA. ... policy influencers as well as several distinguished CEOs, board directors and government officials from ...
Breaking Biology Technology: