The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues today released its "Report on the Ethics of Synthetic Biology and Emerging Technologies." The report, available at www.bioethics.gov, includes 18 recommendations for negotiating the risks and benefits of the emerging field of synthetic biology.
Here's a good summary of the panel's recommendation's on Andrew Revkin's Dot Earth.
Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania, chairs the commission and James Wagner, president of Emory University, serves as vice chair. They were among a panel of 13 scientists, ethicists and public policy experts who studied the implications of synthetic biology, following the May 20 announcement by the J. Craig Venter Institute that it had inserted a laboratory-made genome into a bacterial cell, creating an organism not found in nature.
The panel held three public hearings during the past five months in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Atlanta. The commission heard from a range of experts and the lay public, as they considered possible actions government could take to prevent potential problems as synthetic biology continues to develop.
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