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Click here to know more about IDC's online journal PSCA

Safety and ethical aspects of synthetic biology

 

Synthetic biology is becoming one of the hottest new fields of biology, with the potential to no less than revolutionize the way we do biotechnology today. By applying the toolbox of engineering disciplines to biology, a whole set of potential applications become possible ranging very widely across scientific and engineering disciplines. Some of the potential benefits of synthetic biology, such as the development of low-cost drugs or the production of chemicals and energy by engineered bacteria are enormous. There are, however, also potential and perceived risks due to deliberate or accidental damage. In order to ensure a vital and successful development of this new scientific field, it is absolutely necessary to gather information about these risks and to devise possible biosafety strategies to minimize them. Also, ethical issues just start being explored, with very few ethicists specifically focusing on the area of synthetic biology. Recent debates among scientists, however, seemed to spark an initial interest also in the safety, ethical and social aspects. In June 2007 the first international conference on synthetic biology in Europe, the SB 3.0 in Zurich, Switzerland, also focused on the ethical, safety, security and intellectual property rights issues of this new research and technology field.will be discussed. IDC is investigating the biosafety and biosecurity aspects of synthetic biology, as well as (risk)perception and communication processes between scientists, the media, decisions makers and different lay audiences. For more information see our EU funded project "SYNBIOSAFE".

Principal investigator: Dr. Markus Schmidt

SYNBIOSAFE PUBLICATIONS


BOOK
Synthetic Biology the technoscience and its societal consequences
Schmidt, M.; Kelle, A.; Ganguli-Mitra, A.; de Vriend, H. (Eds.)
2009, VIII, 186 p., Hardcover
ISBN: 978-90-481-2677-4
DVD - Documentary Film
SYNBIOSAFE: Safety and Ethical Aspects of Synthetic Biology
Markus Schmidt and Camillo Meinhart
2009, PAL, 38 minutes plus bonus material
ISBN: 978-3-200-01623-1
Special Issue:
Societal Aspects of Synthetic Biology
In: Systems and Synthetic Biology
Numbers 1-4 / December 2009
Guest Edited by Markus Schmidt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Funded by the European Commission’s 6th framework programme

















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