Prenatal diagnosis, GMOs, cloning, these are some of a range of applications of modern molecular biology that are potentially worrisome.
The most important thing is to BE INFORMED!
On this page, I give a very limited number of links to sites that address both sides of such issues. These should be viewed as the starting point for a fuller exploration of these vital areas.
EMBO Science and Society Pages
The Union of Concerned Scientists
GeneLetter (online magazine of genetics, society and culture)
Information Systems for Biotechnology (ISB): provides information resources to support the use of agricultural biotechnology products.
Genetic Engineering News, was the first publication in the field of biotechnology and is now a leading publication in the biotechnology field.
The Foundation on Economic Trends reports on advances in science and technology and their impacts on the environment and society.
As for more extreme activists, there is Genetix Snowball, and the US-based Biotechnology Watch.
Human Genetic Engineering and Cloning
The Human Genome Project ELSI (Ethical, Legal and Social Issues) pages covers most of the major areas, and has a good selection of links.
There are some prominent advocates of human germline genetic engineering. Among the most vociferous are the Transhumanists, who have changed the name of their umbrella group to the more inoccuous Humanity+, but still advocate positive eugenics.
There are many people who are fundamentally opposed to such an idea, including the Council for Responsible Genetics and The Centre for Genetics and Society.
The use of animals
Much of today's biomedical research is based on animal experimentation. Different individuals and organisations hold diametrically opposed views on this. See for example the website of Seriously Ill for Medical Research. SIMR is a voluntary patients' group that promotes research into serious illnesses and medical conditions and that supports humane animal research.
BUAV, on the otherhand, calls itself the world's leading anti-vivisection campaigning organisation. While Uncaged describes itself as the youngest professional anti-vivisection organisation in the UK.
Note: the presence of a link to a web page in no way reflects an endorsement of the views expressed therein.
Page updated 11/2010. Please report any broken links.
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