Engineered biological structures

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Engineered biological structures

Postby admin » Tue Oct 18, 2011 7:47 am

Following on from the topic of this month's featured event, Synthetic Biology, the practice of creating artificial structures to manipulate and change biological processes. Sciencewise-ERC asks:

To what extent should modern science be able to manipulate biological structures?
Should there be limits to research?


Where do you stand on this topic? Tell us what you think!
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Re: Engineered biological structures

Postby Patrick_Midd » Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:42 am

Hi,

People might be interested in the dialogue commissioned by BBSRC and EPSRC on synthetic biology. The report and more details can be found here: http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/syntheticbiologydialogue.

A very quick summary of the findings:

  • The public see significant opportunities from the application of synthetic biology and hope that it could help society to address major challenges such as climate change, energy security and serious diseases
  • There is uncertainty about what synthetic biology will lead to and where it is going. There are also concerns that it may be progressing too quickly when the long-term impacts are unknown
  • The public are keen to see effective international regulation and control of synthetic biology, particularly concerning the uncontrolled release of synthetic organisms into the environment
  • The motivation of scientists in this field is important. The public are concerned that curiosity-driven researchers may proceed too quickly and they must consider the wider implications of their work
  • The Research Councils were also seen to have a clear role in developing the capabilities for scientists to think through their responsibilities in this new area of research
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