Risks and Ethics

The manipulation of genetic information, the cloning of animals and human cells, the use of animal grown organs for transplantation (xeno-transplantation) are but a few aspects where the technological applications of biological knowledge requires ethical consideration about the impact and applicability of such technology. Should the patenting of living organisms, genetically modified to serve as model organisms, be allowed? Can any legal entity own genetic information of man, of natural resources, mostly wild grown plants that contain potentially useful pharmaceuticals? Clearly, biology has changed the way we see ourselves, has caused major shifts in what makes us human. And since we tend not only to analyze but also judge, ethical considerations are a necessary component of all scientific "progress". The simple use of the word "progress" implies such a judgment that what we do today is better than what has been done in the past. Of course, bioethics is not really a new kind of ethics, it simply reflects the influence biology and medicine have and will have in the future on our lives.

See more on selected topics:

Foot and Mouth Disease - trade policies -  vaccination vs burning
Genetically modified organisms in your food ... good or bad?
Cloning of humans
Patenting of genes and organisms

Bioethics Resources @ the National Institute of Health (NIH)

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