Biology & Society
and technology are changing our lives, social interactions, our
relationship with nature, even our dreams and hopes for the future.
Because the language of science can be impenetrable, its methods
foreign to our daily experiences, and its consequences difficult
to foresee, many of us embrace a futuristic view exaggerating
either hope or fear when dealing with emerging technologies. Biology
is one of the sciences that have dramatically changed our relationship
to nature, to our bodies, animals and plants, the ecosystem, even
our spirituality when we ask the question of where we come from.
This Internet Forum presents background information on emerging
technologies commenting on news coverage of science and technology
and hopes to contribute to ongoing discussions about the purpose
and meaning of scientific and technological progress.
diseases have forced many of us to reevaluate man's relationship
with nature, our own ability and limitations in escaping our
biological destiny as part of the Earth's web of life. In
simpler terms, infectious diseases will always be part of
human life. Here you find information about why this is so
and what can and cannot done about it.
the discovery of the structure of DNA and the genetic code,
the manipulation of genes has become routine in the laboratories
leading to genetically modified food and genetherapy based
medicine. How does genetics affect medicine and agriculture?
cell research has become a politically charged clinic research
because the are derived from human embryos and the practice
has been compared to abortion by some. But what are stem cells?
What can stem cell research provide that makes use of human
embryos justifiable? How are the moral and political issues
resolved around the world?
first cloned mammal has been born in 1997 and dozens of others
followed suit. The factual existence of cloning has forced
us to reconsider the impact and limits of this technology
including of what it would mean to humans. The ultimate potential
of cloning would be achieved when combined with genetics and
information gained from whole genome projects.
search for artificial life and intelligence is probably as
old as mankind. The 20th Century has made this dream seem
closer than ever with the development of computers. Machines
that are lifelike, think, or evolve - can they do what their
inventors claim? Here you can read about robotics, artificial
intelligence, and nanotechnology and 'smart' micromachines.
applications have always brought both applause and condemnation.
The ease of genetic manipulation across species, for genetic
screening or gene therapy, or the release of genetically modified
organism into the environment, have spurred heated discussions
about the ethics of developing these techniques and pushing
scientific advances without really foreseeing possible applications
let alone their impact on society. Bioethics is a growing
academic field of dealing with societal issues in biology
and medicine. How can risks be properly assessed and discussed
in a free society? Answers are complex and difficult to come-by.
Copyright © 2001-2012 Lukas