Advocates’ and Critics’ Perspectives On Creating A Synthetic Human Genome Ovarian Cancer and Us OVARIAN CANCER and US Ovarian Cancer and Us

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

Advocates’ and Critics’ Perspectives On Creating A Synthetic Human Genome



science article
 June 9, 2010 

Twenty-five years after the launch of the Human Genome Project – whose goal to sequence the entire DNA complement of a human cell was completed in 2003 – top researchers are setting their sights on an even more ambitious aim. The researchers, including George Church, a professor at Harvard Medical School, have begun discussing the feasibility of building an entire human genome using synthetic biology.
Last month, over 130 scientists, lawyers, government officials and other prominent individuals from around the world, met at Harvard University for a round-table on the topic of synthetic genomes. Conspicuously absent from the gathering were members of the media, who were not invited to the closed-door discussions.....

.....At the very heart of the ethical issue is the question of whether something should be done simply because it is within our capability to do so. While not inherently opposed to the idea of building a synthetic genome, Zoloth and others have been outspoken about the necessity to open such discussion to the public. As the ethical implications of undertaking such a project extend to all humans, the importance of including the potentially-critical voices of theologians, philosophers and ethicists in the debate is of the utmost importance.
As the Human Genome Project – Write is still in the very early stages, there are still many questions that need to be answered. Whose genome would act as a reference for the synthetic version be based upon? How could such a technology be regulated? Could existing guidelines, such as those for stem cell research, act as a framework for regulators? Much like its predecessor, the Human Genome Project – Read, this initiative is guaranteed to stimulate intense debate and with decades of research needed before any meaningful conclusions are reached.

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