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Moral obligations for synthetic biology research
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.ORCID iD: 35388049200
2012 (English)In: EUBARnet Review series on policy, ethics and security, no 7Article, review/survey (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

There is no strong need for building a new system of regulation and oversight for synthetic biology. Even though SynBio is novel in respect to scope for scientific creativity, its open-ended nature and the potential for large-scale production, we can use the existing framework of research ethics. To fulfill reasonable obligations we need to adhere to common moral norms, need to improve bioethics education and deliberation, protect and encourage whistleblowing, take biosafety and biosecurity measures, and make more use of biosafety and ethical review committees. The only thing that might be lacking is a robust co-operative system for addressing issues that surrounds the publication of sensitive findings (scientists, journals and the security service might have to establish new forms for collaboration). This does not mean that there is not some other questionable phenomenon with regard to the field – commercial providers might have a legal duty to screen customers for potential wrong-doers. But as far as researchers having obligations, individually or collectively, those can be met through research ethics as we already know it, bonly better implemented.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. no 7
Keyword [en]
Dual use, Synthetic biology
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-191405OAI: diva2:585631
Available from: 2013-01-10 Created: 2013-01-10 Last updated: 2014-02-26Bibliographically approved

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