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Ethics of Emerging Technologies: Synthetic Biology

A guide to resources looking at the ethics of emerging technologies, including genetic engineering, geoengineering, nanotechnology, and synthetic biology.

Synthetic Biology

Synthetic Biology is the engineering of biological components and systems that do not exist in nature and the re-engineering of existing biological elements; it is determined on the intentional design of artificial biological systems, rather than on the understanding of natural biology.

Definition from: Synbiology (2005) SYNBIOLOGY, An analysis of Synthetic biology research in Europe and North America European Comission Framework Programme 6 reference contract 15357 (NEST), October, 2005.

Centers, Initiatives, and Projects looking at the Ethics of Synthetic Biology

Major Ethics Reports




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Kelly Laas
Center for the Study of Ethics in the Professions
10 W. 35th Street
2nd Floor
Subjects: Ethics

New Genetics Recipes: Are We Cooking Up Trouble with Synthetic Biology?

Dr Thomas H Murray, President and CEO of The Hastings Center in the US, delivered the Council's 2009 public lecture on 29 April at the Royal Society in London.His talk considered a range of issues raised by this new multi-disciplinary area of research. In particular, he considered the concept of non-physical harms such as affronts to nature, and the role such harms should play in public policy.